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Rare, Endemic and Endangered Plants of Nepal

Rabindra M. Joshi (Author) Tirtha B. Shrestha (Author)
Synopsis Nepal’s flora currently faces mounting conservation problems resulting from continued deforestation pressure on natural vegetation. Estimates of current forest cover in Nepal vary from 10 to 37 or even 42% depending upon the definition of forest cover and the method of survey employed. The terrain and topography of mountainous Nepal pose serious problems in quantifying the loss of forest cover or the loss of species. However, threats to natural vegetation from a rapidly growing population at a rate of 2.6% per year is quite obvious. Although the botanical exploration in Nepal began as early as the beginning of last century i.e. 1802, a comprehensive list of flowering plants was completed only during 1980s with a joint endeavour of the British and the Japanese botanists assisted by Nepalese counterparts. This work quickly initiated the interest among Nepalese botanists to inventory and asses the endemic and threatened plants of Nepal. The WWF-US promptly responded to it and supported the study in 1986. This contribution aims to provide materials for the Plant Red Data Book on Nepal. This is an attempt to elucidate the endemic flora of Nepal with factual statements about their present status. It has also attempted to include other indigenous species which appear to be under various threats and their continued existence in Nepal is in question. If no conservation measures are undertaken, they would obviously run into the risk of extinction. This work is to be elaborated by further surveys and observations. Our judgements of threats are largely based on how general plant collectors felt about them during their herbarium collections. There has been but a few rapid field surveys to test the validity of existing threats. A complete and comprehensive flora of Nepal will take several years or even decades. Therefore, our information on various species is limited to their general diagnostic features and natural occurrence. Botanical collectors in the past hardly indicated threat to those species in their herbarium labels. This turned out to be a great deficiency in the part of botanical recordings. We believe that this work will help conservation scientists to priortise their actions and endeavours towards species conservation in this fast depleting world of natural vegetation.
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Bibliographic information

Title Rare, Endemic and Endangered Plants of Nepal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1998
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher WWF Nepal Program
Language: English
length x+246p., Figures; Tables; Col. plates; Maps; 26cm.