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Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name a recently extinct plant. We present a comprehensive, global analysis of modern extinction in plants. Almost 600 species have become extinct, at a higher rate than background extinction, but almost as many have been erroneously declared extinct and then been rediscovered.
The world is increasingly facing a species extinction crisis (Ceballos and Ehrlich, 2002, Thomas et al., 2004). The current rate of species extinction is 100–1000 times higher than pre-human levels (Pimm et al., 1995), and the increasing rate of species loss is a significant challenge for conservation biologists (Purvis and Hector, 2000a).
Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has published a landmark State of the World’s Trees report. The report, compiling work led by the Global Tree Assessment (GTA), is the culmination of five years of research to identify major gaps in tree conservation efforts. It is one of the first assessments of the world’s threatened trees.
Extinction rates are expected to increase during the Anthropocene. Current extinction rates of plants and many animals remain unknown. We quantified extinctions among the vascular flora of the continental United States and Canada since European settlement. We compiled data on apparently extinct species by querying plant conservation databases, searching the literature, and vetting the resulting list with botanical experts. Because taxonomic opinion varies widely, we developed an index of taxonomic uncertainty (ITU).
When you think of endangered species, you probably picture exotic animals like pandas or tigers, but species don’t have to be far away or even animals to be endangered. In fact, there are over 800 plants in the United States alone that are listed as threatened or endangered under federal jurisdiction. Even more are protected on the state level.
A new study reveals that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental United States and Canada since European settlement, more extinctions than any previous scientific study has ever documented.
The State of the World’s Plants and Fungi report from Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew estimated that 39.4% of plants are now threatened with extinction. It’s a jump from one in five plants thought to be at risk in Kew’s 2016 report.
For starters, an untold number of creatures — especially teensy, nocturnal or otherwise cryptic ones — have vanished before humans ever noticed them.