Periodic Reporting for period 1 - THREAT (The threat status of endemic Atlantic Forest trees)
Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2020-07-31
The central goal of the project THREAT is the assessment of the conservation status of all endemic tree species occurring in the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot in South America, home to thousands of tree species. The project asked and answered the following questions: How many tree species occur in the Atlantic Forest? How many of them are endemic? How many are threatened? What can we do and where to conserve them? The project also aimed at creating awareness among the general public about issues related to species extinction.
As its main results, the project updated 20% of the accepted list of species occurring in the Atlantic Forest and to quantify the endemism ratio of tree species for this global biodiversity hotspot, which was found to be 45%. The project also delivered new conservation assessments for nearly 3000 species, 55% of which are global. Five species that were previously considered as extinct or extinct in the wild were rediscovered and 21 species were classified as critically endangered and possibly extinct.
Besides the generation of scientific publications and conferences, all information generated by the project is or will be made public, so that it can be useful for planning conservation locally and for future scientific studies. All assessments and associated information will be transmitted to CNCFlora, the red list agency responsible for species assessments in Brazil.
The project resulted in the development of two open-access, open-source computer programs in R language, a widely used free software environment. These programs will allow users to manage species records from biological collections, and to perform automated IUCN conservation assessments using multiple criteria.