Palestine (West Bank and Gaza) has been considered as an important center of plant diversity and speciation in the Mediterranean region. However, several species are threatened by numerous factors including human activities, e.g., conversion of traditional to intensive agriculture, accompanied by deep ploughing and the application of pesticides, overgrazing, and urban development and construction; and global climatic change. In this study, the “rednumber” procedure was applied, with a few modifications, to Palestinian plants and a red list with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categories conservation priorities was constructed, as quantified by the red numbers. The same procedure was applied to extinct plants. One hundred and two species that received red numbers of 3 or above were entered in the updated “red list” of the endangered plants. This study also shows a high extinction risk to the Palestinian threatened wild flora, with 76.4% of the threatened species were critically endangered 39.2%, and endangered 3.72% only 19.6% were vulnerable. The Palestinian flora is thus of conservation concern. The study provides an updated national IUCN Red List for a large group of Palestinian plants, and thus offers an overview of the threatened Palestinian flora. This Red List is an important prerequisite towards the recognition of the danger to Palestinian biodiversity hotspots, conservation of threatened species and the raising of public awareness at national and international levels.
Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species
Flora Palaestina; conserving the plants, preserving the knowledge (M36-010)
Biodiversity conservation, Biodiversity hotspot, Extinction risk, Red number, IUCN categories, Red listing, Palestinian wild flora, Threatened flora