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 The Zambian Plant Red Data List
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red Data List (RDL) of species of plants and animals threatened with extinction. The conservation status of a taxon (species, subspecies or variety) can be found on the IUCN website IUCN Red List
This is useful to those who monitor development projects to ensure that the impacts of any project will not pose a threat to the survival of any species.

From time to time, since its inception, the RDL is updated, involving changes to the criteria where required, and adding, upgrading or downgrading species on the threat category list. The selection process began with local national or regional teams of specialists compiling list of species recommended for each category of threat, as indicated in this diagram copied from the Red List website. These national and regional lists are then scrutinized by teams of global experts.

               IUCN

In the earlier editions of the Red List the Lower Risk categories, Near threat (NT) and Least Concern (LC) were omitted, but it is now the intention to add these. However, as these are far larger than the Threatened categories, the completion is likely to be some way off.
The Zambian Plant RDL, which is included in The Southern African Plant Red Data Lists (editor Janice Golding, published by the Southern African Botanical Diversity Network, Report No. 14, 2002), was compiled by a small group which met in Lusaka in June 2000. None of the members of this group was a taxonomist, and selection was based almost exclusively on one source, Flora Zambesiaca, although personal experience was taken into account.

As yet, none of the species listed for Zambia in the Golding Report is to be found on the Red List, although one species which was inadvertently omitted, namely the cycad Encephalartis schmitzii, is there. A small herb, Triceratella drummondii (Family Commelinaceae), known from a single collection in southern Zimbabwe, was given an Ex (Extinct) rating in the Golding Report, yet it too does not appear on the list.
The IUCN Species Programme and the IUCN Species Survival Commission, who are responsible for assessing the conservation status of taxa, depend on information provided by people with local experience. The correct classification of threat status of a taxon assumes that the taxonomic status is well established. This is often a problem, as many species are known from very few collections, and even when there are adequate collections, the taxonomy is still to be done. Mike Bingham, Lusaka, 5 March 2011.

    Click
here to see the ZAMBIA Plant Red Data List
Daniellia alsteeniana
Daniellia alsteeniana
Mike Bingam, Zambia
Milicia excelsa
Milicia excelsa
Jos Stevens, DRC
Cleome macrophyla
Cleome macrophyla
Bart Wursten, Zimbabwe
 Updated: 14 April 2014
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