Red Listing Bermuda's Endemic Plants
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the UK Overseas Territories Programme at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew have been collaborating since May of 2013 on a project to assess the conservation status of 10 of Bermuda's threatened endemic plant species.
What is Red Listing?
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is seen as the global standard for assessing the extinction risk faced by the world's endangered species. For a species to be included on the list it must be assessed against a set of scientifically rigorous criteria.
These assessments involve considerable work in the field; mapping the locations of endemic plant populations, recording counts of mature individuals and juveniles, looking for signs of reproduction within the population, documenting threats and potential threats to each population and summarizing the habitat.
Red list assessments also involve library research on the historic distributions of these plants, the name changes many have undergone over the years, and gathering information on current and planned conservation activities.
What Bermudian Species will appear on the list?
The Red Listing Project aims to assess the following ten species:
- Governor Laffan's Fern
- Bermuda Shield Fern
- Bermuda Sedge
- Wild Bermuda Pepper
- Bermuda Bean
- Darrell's Fleabane
- Bermuda Cedar
- Bermuda Palmetto
- Bermuda Olivewood
- Bermuda Maidenhair Fern
....and the results?
Assessed species can be listed in one of the following categories based on how threatened it is: Least Concern (LC), Near Threatened (NT), Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN), Critically Endangered (CR), Extinct in the Wild (EX) or Extinct.
Our first two assessments were published in the June 2014 update to the Red List. Links to these assessments:
Our next two assessments were published on November 17th 2014. Links to these assessments are as follows:
The assessment for Wild Bermuda Pepper was published in June 2015.
- Wild Bermuda Pepper - Endangered
The updated Red List published on December 7th 2016, included these 3 Bermuda species:
Update: The latest version of the Red List, published in September 2017 contained our assessment of the Bermuda Maidenhair Fern:
- Bermuda Maidenhair Fern - Least Concern
- IUCN Press Release on the June 2014 update (includes Gov. Laffan's Fern)
- UK Overseas Territories Programme, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
- IUCN Red List