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Red data book

Towards a red data book
The problem of lack of reliable, accurate biodiversity data on the threatened plants of Nepal has been highlighted in the Nepal Biodiversity Strategy (NBS 2002). Many countries have now produced a Plant Red Data Book that includes information on their most threatened plants, but Nepal does not yet have this. The foundations for a Plant Red Data Book for Nepal were made in the mid 1980’s when WWF-US funded the project ‘An Inventory on Endemic, Endangered and Threatened Plants of Nepal’. In the final report (Shrestha, et al., 1986) this publication listed 246 endemic species, providing information sheets on 193 of these. Unfortunately this work was not followed by a red data book as such, but, ten years later, Shrestha and Joshi (1996) published these results in Rare, Endemic and Endangered Plants of Nepal. This very useful book details 246 endemic and 60 other threatened species of plants. 90% of the endemics are only known from their original type collection, about 75% of these are from the high mountains. They conclude that nine species of flowering plants are nowsuspected as being extinct from Nepal, including eight endemics.