Wild conifers listed as one of world’s most threatened species

An updated review of the list of the world’s most threatened species has shown that wild conifers are under threat, with some species facing extinction. The Red List is an inventory of the conservation status of more than 60,000 species from all over the world and a review of the records showed that tropical plant species and wild relatives of wheat and sugar beet are also under threat.
The list, which is also known as IUCN Red list of Threatened Species, is compiled by a partnership led by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which publishes the information.
A review of the records for conifers showed that several species, including the Taxus contorta, which is used for the chemotherapy drug Taxol and Glyptostrobus pensilis, which is native to China and Vietnam, are facing extinction.
Tim Entwisle, director of conservation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said that the Red List helps to highlight critical groups.
“The Red Listing process highlights the state of knowledge for some of the critical groups, like conifers, and is the first step towards understanding and dealing with one of the biggest problems we have to face in the 21st century – species extinction,” he said.