570 Venezuelan plants are at risk of extinction

The new edition of the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna compiles and reports on endangered species. It will be available at the end of the year.

Angraecum_sesquipedaleIn Venezuela there are 570 plants in danger of extinction as a result of the destruction of their habitat for housing construction, the implementation of activities as farming and livestock, as well as its illegal logging for commercial purposes.

These are some of the conclusions that are drawn from the second edition of the Red Book of Venezuelan Flora , developed by the Centre of Research of the Botanical Garden Experimental Institute and by the Provita Organization, working for the conservation of the environment and endangered species.

The Red Books are compiled of research about the species of flora, fauna or ecosystems that are in danger of extinction.These publications are intended to draw attention of society so they take protective measures against endangered species.

The researcher Irene Fedón from the Botanical Garden of Caracas, explained that for this work was carried out a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of species of plants in Venezuela such as algae, fungi,ferns, plants, trees and mosses which are considered with some level of risk.

“There were more than 630 species that were written in a sheet with the scientific and common name of the plant,family, location and State of conservation, “revealed Fedon, who added that one of the novelties of this edition is that the Book will include color or black and white. photos and drawings. With these graphics support are expected that people can identify and protect different species from further damage.

The International Union for the conservation of nature (IUCN) establishes that while more restricted is the distribution of a species, the greater the danger of extinction to which it is subject, as it is the case of Venezuela, because most of the critically endangered plants are due to the destruction of their habitat or extraction for commercial purposes.

“The situation is critical because it is ending with ecosystems to promote activities such as livestock, farming and housing construction, for this reason in the country the main factor of risk of ecosystems is the man who damaged,deteriorates and destroys everything in its path,” says. The most endangered plants are those located in the North of the Orinoco River; the Mountain Range of the Coast, in the Andes and Venezuelan Plains, while those located on the South side of the River are in better condition because there is more space and few people.

Species at risk

An iconic species that are about to disappear is Sabanero Lily, which abounded in the Plains but currently already unsuccessful because people extracted it and planted in their homes. Another plant in jeopardy is the Christmas orchid, unique in the world, removed from their natural environment to sell it.

For the specialist, in Venezuela lack awareness of conservation, in addition to more effective control measures.

“Venezuelan people devoid of green consciousness, they stand above any other good economic interests.
When they know that there is a unique plant or is in danger of extinction, rather to think in conservation, they think in the monetary value of the plant”, he says.

It warns that there is smuggling of endemic species in Venezuela that leave the country without any permission, this is due in part because they carry the seeds so it is difficult to detect in the airports of the country.

“Here, they have no idea of what they have, therefore they don’t value it and muchless conserve it,” concludes Fedon.
Researchers and main editors of the project are: Irene Fedón, Ana Huérfano and Julian Mostacero, who also stand with a multidisciplinary group professionals from across the country for fields work.

The idea of publishing the Book is that Venezuelans know the species that are in danger of extinction and help their conservation.

In addition to creating Alliances with public or private entities that are willing to provide support to transfer the species with greater danger and thus initiate the conservation work.

By Gabriel Barreto | http://www.eluniversal.com

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