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THE CONSERVATION OF (SUB)ENDEMIC CENTRAL AFRICAN TREES

Research output: Contribution to conferenceC3: Conference - meeting abstract

With the growing biodiversity crisis comes the need to assess the risk of species extinction and identify and address the root causes of their decline. To halt the loss of vascular plant species in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, we coordinated a project to assess the conservation status of all Endemic (and subendemic) Central African Trees (ECAT). Central Africa, as defined here, includes the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. We carried out this work in close collaboration with the Central African and Eastern African Plant Red List Authorities under the umbrella of the Global Tree Assessment (the largest initiative in the history of the IUCN Red List process). I will briefly outline each of the project's phases, including the compilation of the herbarium specimen dataset, label transcription, georeferencing, data cleaning and the organization of two IUCN Red List workshops. All assessments prepared during the project are now published online (https://www.iucnredlist.org/) and culminated in our book entitled ‘Red List of the endemic and subendemic trees of Central Africa’. Our findings show that 221 out of 347 taxa (64%) are at risk of extinction. Of these, 34 are Critically Endangered, of which 25 may already be extinct. Agriculture, livestock farming and logging are the main threats, but charcoal production and mining also provide significant pressures. Because climate change impacts are emerging, we will increase our understanding of these taxa's distribution and ecological requirements employing Species Distribution Modeling techniques. We will analyze the geographical species richness patterns of (sub)endemic trees today and in the future using several climate change scenarios and compare these with the existing network of protected areas to evaluate the effectiveness of that network and suggest improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages31
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-2022
Event22nd AETFAT Congress - Avani Resort, Livingstone, Zambia
Duration: 27-Jun-20221-Jul-2022

Conference

Conference22nd AETFAT Congress
CountryZambia
CityLivingstone
Period27/06/221/07/22

    Research areas

  • B290-systematic-botany - Central Africa, conservation, IUCN Red List, Flora, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Bioinformatics
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