Ariane Cosiaux, our international volunteer based in Yaoundé, has been Red Listing all African palms this last year. Today, her first article was published in the Biodiversity Data Journal under its new Species Conservation Profile section. We published the IUCN conservation assessment of Eremospatha dransfieldii, a rattan species growing in West Africa (Ghana and Ivory Coast). This species was assessed as "EN" meaning endangered, the second highest threat level, just after CR or critically endangered. Data gathered around this species (including its distribution, field observations and ongoing and future threats) suggests that its future will be in peril if nothing is done to stop deforestation and agriculture extension in the areas where it grows. Recently a total of 8 African rattan species were also included on the official IUCN Red List, one of them even being CR. Soon, the rest of the African palm species will be published too.
Red Listing is a central part of biodiversity conservation as this list is the only authoritative list governments, companies and project funders turn too when taking decisions about the impact a project has on biodiversity. As one one the co authors of this recent paper said: A species doesn't exist unless it has a conservation status (Lauren Gardiner).
Cosiaux A, Gardiner L, Ouattara D, Stauffer F, Sonké B, Couvreur TLP (2017) An endangered West African rattan palm: Eremospatha dransfieldii. Biodiversity Data Journal 5: e11176. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.5.e11176
Thomas Couvreur, researcher in tropical biodiversity evolution