Critically Endangered (CR) endemic plant species of the Western Himalayas used in ethnomedicines

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 16 May, 2013 - 22:00 to 22:20
KHAN, Shujaul Mulk - Department of Botany Hazara University Mansehra Pakistan
Habib AHMAD - Department of Genetics Hazara University Mansehra Pakistan
Sue PAGE - Department of Geography University of Leicester, UK
David HARPER - Department of Biology University of Leicester, UK

Assessment of endemic plant species has always been the major area of conservation interest for the plant scientists. The relatively young Himalayas host significant number of endemic plant species most of which are endangered due to number of natural and anthropogenic pressures. The Western Himalaya is an important hot spot for endemism as it hosts about 300 endemic species. In the present study, abundance of each endemic species was measured in a western Himalayan Valley, the Naran Pakistan. 64 endemics were recorded from this valley. It was hypothesized that the conservation status of the endemic flora of the Western Himalayas is critical. The IUCN red list criteria at regional level were assigned to recorded 64 endemic species. Our finding showed that these species were in critical situation in our study area. Analyses showed that 18 of these species were critically endangered (CR) in the region. All of these 18 species are used as ethnomedicines in the traditional health system and are under tremendous anthropogenic pressure and needs immediate conservation measures. We found out that Four species are of global importance as listed on the CITES. Existence of these critical endemic species grown in such a fragile ecosystem indicates the species once destroyed are extremely difficult to be re-grown due to numbers of climatic and edaphic constraints. It is thus imperative to conserve the biodiversity and encourage the sustainable use of the services at species and habitats levels.