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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Khan, Shujaul Mulk [1], Habib, Ahmad [2].

Applying IUCN criteria to assess conservation status of endemic species in the western Himalayas.

Quantification of biodiversity and identification of endemic flora has always been the prime goal of conservationists. There have been very less previous quantitative ecological or conservation studies in this region. There are huge deficiencies in the existing data about endemic and endangered species and proper quantification is needed for each of the taxa according to their requirements. This study was undertaken to quantify the vegetation abundance using phytosociological attributes of species i.e., density, cover and frequency alongside environmental variables. Owing a distinctive geographical and geological setting, we chose the Naran Valley situated in the Western Himalaya on the edge of the Hindukush and Karakorum mountain ranges. This valley not only support high biodiversity but also is an important hot spot for endemic flora. A total of 198 species from 68 families at144 stations along 24 transects across an elevation range of 2450-4400 m were recorded in the targeted region. All the species were revaluated with existing literature to sort out endemic species. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA)was used to determine vegetation-environment relationships of these endemicspecies. It was hypothesized that the conservation status ofthe endemic flora of the Western Himalayas is critical. Our finding showed 64 plant species (32.32% % of the total recorded species) are in critical situation in our study area. Social perception about the trend in these species population was recorded using ethnobotanical questionnaires. The IUCN Red List criteria were applied to constancy and availability data of each species at regional level to assess their conservation status. We found out that 20 of these endemic species are Critically Endangered (CR), fourteen are Endangered (En), twelve are Vulnerable (VU) and eleven are Near Threatened (NT) in the region while seven species comes under the category of less concern. Four species are of global importance as listed on the CITES. These species are also under continuous anthropogenic pressure and needs immediate conservation measures. Such assessments are not only imperative for the conservation of biodiversity itself but also for the environmental sustainability in the scenario of changing climate, global warming and economic crises. Our findings indicate the species once destroyed in such habitats are extremely difficult to be re-grown due to a number of climatic and edaphic constraints. The results also contribute to an enhanced understanding of (i)plant diversity in the Western Himalaya, ii) a contribution to the IUCN Red Listdata from the region and (iii) local and regional plant conservation priorities.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Hazara University Mansehra, , Botany, Department of Botany, Hazara University Mansehra, , Mansehra, 21300
2 - Hazara University Mansehra, Pakistan, Department of Genetics , Department of Genetics , Hazara University Mansehra, Pakistan, Mansehra, 21300

endangered species
IUCN criteria
Western Himalaya.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB010
Abstract ID:124
Candidate for Awards:None

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