Two plant species now extinct in the wild


  • Two plant species now extinct in the wild. 

  • Two species of plants first collected by botanists more than 125 years ago from Meghalaya and the Andaman Islands are now extinct in the wild.

About Two plant species now extinct in the wild

  • Classified under the genus Boesenbergia, the species belong to the family Zingiberaceae, the ginger family of flowering plants
    • Boesenbergia rubrolutea was first collected from the Khasi Hills, Thera, in Meghalaya.
  • Specimens of Boesenbergia albolutea were collected from the Andamans and sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in 1889.

    Two plant species now extinct in the wild
    Credit: TH
  • Possible reasons for their disappearance include climate change, human interference and over-exploitation, or natural calamities.
  • Endemic to the locations of their discovery, Boesenbergia albolutea and Boesenbergia rubrolutea are also among the least explored species of the genus Boesenbergia.
  • Ten species of this genus, including the two cited above, have been reported in India.
  • The authors have recommended listing them as ‘Extinct in the Wild (EW) (IUCN 2019)’ under the IUCN Red List category on the basis of field visits, examination of databases of various herbaria, and available literature.
  • On the basis of available literature, reported the species Boesenbergia rubrolutea as endemic to Meghalaya and endangered as it was restricted to ‘very small areas of one State and facing immediate danger of extinction, these species need urgent conservation.’

Source: TH

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