Global Tree Assessment

Red List to the Rescue

Posted on 5 December 2017

The production of The Red List of Betulaceae resulted in direct conservation of Betula chichibuensis which was assessed as Critically Endangered in this 2014 publication.

Betula chichibuensis has a small population of fewer than 50 mature individuals and has a very restricted distribution in the Chichibu Mountains, Japan. The assessment of this species bought to light a lack of up to date knowledge of the species population size, as it was last surveyed in the early 1990s. It also identified the need for the maintenance of greater genetic diversity within ex situ collections of the species.

Following this assessment, in 2016, a team from GTC and Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum went to Japan to locate the species. Seed collections were also made during the trip to broaden the genetic diversity of global ex situ collections for the species.

The production of this taxonomic red list enabled the prioritisation of conservation efforts towards this rare tree and has secured its future. 

Betula chichibuensis seed collecting trip, Japan, 2016. Photo Credit: Kirsty Shaw/GTC.

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