INCOMPETENT & Fraudulent CAMP Methodology SCANDALOUSLY accepted by International Bodies! Why no BBC investigation? Corruption....

A pdf copy of the SCANDALOUS Report of the Conservation Assessment and Management Plant (CAMP) Workshop at Lucknow (1998) Published by Zoo Outreach Organisation for Biodiversity Prioritisation Project (BCPP) India, Endangered Species Project, is available at:


It seems that those present do not understand the basics of plant ecology, nor the so-called Indian scientists who undertook the surveys which are the 'evidence' of population reduction. Insufficient, reliable surveys of populations of every species included in the report have taken place to draw ANY conclusions.

WHAT WENT ON AT LUCKNOW ON WAS FARCICAL, TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC, INDEED A GIANT CON-TRICK - SCANDALOUS IN FACT!  A 'PACK-OF-LIES' - JUST LIKE NAVIN SINGH KHADKA'S ABBC ARTICLE ABOUT SUPPOSEDLY 'ILLEGAL' SEED COLLECTION IN THE HIMALAYA..... THE BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA HAS NO SELF-RESPECT. DOES ANYONE IN A SENIOR POSITION AT KEW, EDINBURGH, THE MAJOR INTERNATIONAL BODIES, THE BBC GIVE A DAMN?  CLEARLY NOT - PERHAPS THEY THE ARE PART OF THE WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION? LAZINESS, BEING TOO COWARDLY TO EXPLORE PROPERLY IN THE HIMALAYA AND NOT HAVING THE COMPETENCE TO RELIABLY IDENTIFY PLANTS IS ANOTHER BUT TO 'MAKE UP' RECORDS FOR SPECIES, CANNOT BE ACCEPTED. I CAN ARRIVE AT NO OTHER EXPLANATION THAN FRAUD.  THOSE IN WELL-PAID, COMFORTABLE, SENIOR BOTANICAL POSITIONS AROUND THE WORLD NEED TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED. JOLLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SITUATION AND SUPPORT CHRIS CHADWELL....  WHY ARE THESE FIGURES NOT ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES - THEY HAVE ALL BEEN OVER-PAID AND HAVE LARGE, DETACHED HOMES IN THE COUNTRY... WHY SHOULD THEY BOTHER AND ADDRESS WHAT HAS GONE ON UNDER THEIR WATCH.  CHRIS IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS THE TRUTH BUT THIS SITUATION IS BEING COVERED UP - THEY MUST KNOW THAT CHRIS IS REVEALING THE TRUTH.

I AM DUTY-BOUND TO EXPRESS GRAVE CONCERNS.  I FAIL TO SEE HOW 'CAMP' METHODOLOGY IS SOUND WHEN USED FOR PLANTS IN THE HIMALAYA. WHY DOES THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT REQUIRE AN OUTSIDE AGENCY TO PUBLISH SOMETHING WHICH IT SHOULD BE PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF DOING.

Dr Wafai, a able plant cytologist, who went on to be Professor & Head of the Botany Department at the University of Kashmir, pictured here in 1985 during Chris Chadwell's expedition to Kashmir - it is possible to become an expert in some fields of botany/biology sat in an office and undertaking research in laboratories but it is not possible to assess the abundance or rarity of plant species sat in an office or even in herbaria; one must undertake extensive surveys in the field (in the case of Himalayan flora, in the mountains themselves) and it is essential that those conducting the surveys can recognise species whilst in the field, taking quality pressed voucher specimens for depositing in herbaria with detailed accompanying field notes.  This rarely ever happens with Indian botanists, who have little appetite for botanizing "in the field". I know of only one Indian field-botanist competent enough for the NW Himalaya and he is not even based there!  None of the authors of the CAMP Report below have the necessary expertise to comment on NW Himalayan flora - most are not even botanists!! What on earth, does the 'facilitator', Ms Walker, know about plants....  NOTHING.... It strikes me that International Organisations DELIBERATELY pick contributors to, and authors of, reports who have no relevant expertise!!!  JUST WHAT IS GOING ON?  Why is Navin Singh Khadka not investigating this SCANDAL for the BBC?  For a start, he doesn't have a clue but since when has a lack of understanding preventing of the material/subjects he covers prevent him writing articles?  INDEED, IGNORANCE SEEMS TO BE A PREREQUISITE TO WORK FOR THE BBC.....© Chris Chadwell


WITH ALL SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOURS, THE RESULTS ARE DEPENDENT UPON THE RELIABILITY OF THE ORIGINAL DATA - WHICH IN THIS CASE IS FLAWED. I HAVE FAR GREATER KNOWLEDGE OF MOUNTAIN SPECIES OF THE NORTH-WEST HIMALAYA THAN THE COMBINED EXPERTISE OF THE BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA AND INDIAN BOTANISTS AT EVERY BOTANICAL INSTITUTION (INCL. UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS AND BOTANICAL GARDENS) IN INDIA.  I AM FAMILIAR WITH MOST OF THE SPECIES WITHIN THE LIST BELOW FROM ELEVATIONS ABOVE 3000m IN THE NW HIMALAYA (BY THAT I MEAN THE INDIAN STATES OF KASHMIR AND HIMACHAL PRADESH (I CLAIM NO SUCH COMPARABLE EXPERTISE FOR LOWER ELEVATION PLANTS OR SPECIES FOUND IN THE CENTRAL OR EASTERN HIMALAYA) THE SPLIT OF FLORA INTO 'WEST' AND 'EAST' HIMALAYA IS OVERLY SIMPLISTIC AND UNSCIENTIFIC - THOUGH MY KNOWLEDGE OF THE FLORA OF MOUNTAIN PLANTS IN NEPAL AND BHUTAN PROBABLY EXCEEDS THAT OF ANY INDIAN BOTANIST, AS WELL! BT I SHALL RESTRICT MYSELF TO WHAT I KNOW THE BEST).  UNLIKE INDIAN BOTANISTS, I CAN RELIABLY IDENTIIFY A PROPORTION OF SPECIES, PARTICULARLY THOSE FROM HIGHER ELEVATIONS, WHILST IN THE FIELD.  I ALSO HAVE ACCESS TO LISTS OF SPECIES WHICH HAVE BEEN CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED, EITHER COLLECTED BY (AS PRESSED SPECIMENS AND IDENTIFIED IN BRITISH HERBARIA) OR PHOTOGRAPHED DURING EXTENSIVE TREKS IN THE NW HIMALAYA, BY OTHER WESTERNERS, WHO ENJOY THE OPPORTUNITY TO TREK IN THE MOUNTAINS.  INDIAN BOTANISTS RARELY VENTURE OUT OF THEIR OFFICES AND WHEN THEY DO, SELDOM EXPLORE MUCH BEYOND THE ROAD/TRACK-SIDE WHERE VEHICLES HAVE TAKEN THEM.  HARDLY ANY TREK.  ALMOST NONE SEARCH AMONGST LARGE BOULDERS OR ON STEEP SLOPES, LET ALONE CLIFFS.  THIS MEANS THOSE SPECIES WHICH GROW IN SUCH HABITATS ARE MISSED!  MOST FLORA-WRITING DOES NOT INVOLVE FRESH FIELD-WORK BUT TAKES PLACE IN INDIAN HERBARIA AND THUS IS RELIANT UPON THE EFFORTS OF 'BRITISHERS' FROM THE 19TH AND EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURIES - NOT NEW/FRESH COLLECTIONS BY INDIAN BOTANISTS.  IF A SPECIES FOUND BY THESE MORE ACTIVE FIELD-BOTANISTS A CENTURY OR MORE AGO, HAS NOT BEEN RE-COLLECTED BY INDIAN BOTANISTS SINCE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE IN 1947, THIS IS TAKEN AS AN INDICATION OF ITS ENDANGERMENT!  WHAT UTTER TOSH, IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT NO INDIAN BOTANIST HAS BOTHERED OR IS BRAVE ENOUGH TO UNDERTAKE ARDUOUS JOURNEYS IN CHALLENGING TERRAIN OR EVEN READILY ACCESSIBLE LOCATIONS AT LOWER ELEVATIONS DUE TO BEING LAZY AND COWARDLY..... NOT THAT THEY HAVE THE COMPETENCE TO COLLECT QUALITY PRESSED SPECIMENS FOR INDIAN HERBARIA - WHICH I AMD MY TEAM OF RECENT BIOLOGY GRADUATES DID DURING THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON LADAKH EXPEDITION BACK IN 1980.  THIS SURVEY OF VEGETATION IN THE SURU VALLEY RESULTED IN SEVERAL NEW RECORDS FOR LADAKH, CERTAIN ONES, NEW TO INDIA - YET IT WAS NOT AS IF WE WENT FAR FROM THE MAIN ROAD (TRACK), REACHING THE SURU VALLEY HITCHING RIDES (PAID FOR) ON PUBLIC CARRIER TRUCKS - WE DID NOT HAVE THE BENEFIT OF JEEPS WHICH UNIVERSITY AND BOTANICAL SURVEY OF INDIA BOTANISTS HAD AVAILABLE TO THEM AT THAT TIME.  WE OPERATED ON A TIGHT BUDGET, DEVOTING 3 MONTHS TO THE EXPEDITION, WORKING IN A METHODICAL AND DEDICATED WAY - WHICH, SADLY, IS VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN AMONGST INDIAN BOTANISTS.  ONE THING WHICH CAN BE STATED WITH CERTAINTY, IS THAT THE FIELD BOTANY HAS INDEED BEEN 'CRITICALLY ENDANGERED' IN INDIA SINCE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE.  WHY DO INDIAN BOTANISTS STILL RELY UPON HOOKER'S 'FLORA OF BRITISH INDIA' (PUBLISHED IN THE 19TH CENTURY, 'FLORA SIMLENSIS' (PUBLISHED ALMOST A CENTURY AGO) AND 'FLOWERS OF THE HIMALAYA' (PUBLISHED 34 YEARS AGO) - ALL COMPILED BY BRITISHERS AND OTHER EUROPEANS FOR FLORA OF THE NW HIMALAYA?  THE LATEST PUBLICATION ON LADAKH FLOWERS IS BY CZECH PLANT GEOGRAPHERS AND A GERMAN PLANT TAXONOMIST (PUBLISHED THIS YEAR) AND YOUR TRULY HAS BEGUN PUBLISHING DIGITAL GUIDES TO FOUR DISTRICTS OF THE NW HIMALAYA THIS YEAR - WITH THE AID OF AN INDIAN AMATEUR BOTANIST.  I HAVE BEEN 'BENDING OVER BACKWARDS' ATTEMPTING TO COLLABORATE WITH INDIAN BOTANIST BUT NONE COULD BE BOTHERED.

Chris Chadwell with his trusty 'Kashmir Botanical Expedition 1983' brief-case, stood next to Dr Uppeandra Dhar, Survey of Medicinal Plants Unit, University of Kashmir, along with one of the 3 other team-members of a 3 month expedition.  Chris has explored more extensively in Kashmir (and Ladakh) than the whole of the Botany Department put together.  He has trekked widely and scrambled about amongst large boulders, steep terrain and cliffs, which is practically unheard of amongst Indian botanists - if one does not venture into such habitats, then it is impossible to discover what goes there.  CERTAINLY IMPOSSIBLE TO ASSESS PLANT SPECIES SAT IN AN OFFICE OR ATTENDING WORKSHOPS..... © Kashmir Botanical Expedition 1983


THE ORIGINAL 'RED-DATA' RECORDS FOR INDIA ARE FRADULENT AND THE CATEGORIES ASSIGNED TO THE HIGHER ELEVATION SPECIES FROM THE NW HIMALAYA INVENTIONS (SEED BELOW FOR COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL SPECIES) - YES, I DO HAVE EVIDENCE TO BACK-UP MY OBSERVATIONS.

ASSESSMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL SPECIES FROM NW HIMALAYA

A SERIOUS SHORTCOMING IN THIS REPORT IS THAT THE INDIVIDUAL SPECIES ARE NOT GIVEN THEIR ‘AUTHORS’ NOR SYNONYMS, THUS IN CASES WHERE TAXONOMIC AND NOMENCLATURAL TREATMENT IS UNCERTAIN, ONE CANNOT BE CERTAIN JUST WHICH SPECIES THEY ARE REFERRING TO – SO HOW CAN THE AUTHORS POSSIBLY DECIDE ON THE LEVEL OF ‘RARITY/ENDANGERMENT’?  THIS IS A MYSTERY TO ME ..... ALL GENERA ALONG THE HIMALAYA ARE IN NEED OF TAXONOMIC REVISION, MAKING ASSESSMENT OF RARITY OR ABUNDANCE, EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT.

Aconitum balfourii - aconites are difficult to identify.  According to my references this species occurs from Garwhal (now within Uttarakhand state through to Nepal).  Very few, if any Indian botanists are capable of identifying this species correctly.  Even if it is uncommon or rare in Garwhal, what matters is its distribution and abundance within Nepal, not Indian territory.  To assess it meaningfully, the populations within Nepal have to be assessed as well.  The situation is data deficient.  NOBODY ACTUALLY KNOWS the TRUE status of this plant.  To suggest it is Critically Endangered is a nonsense!

Aconitum  deinorrhizum  the workshop  decided this species is ENDEMIC to the Indian NW Himalaya. FALSE.  Aconites are difficult to identify. Very few, if any Indian botanists are capable of identifying this species correctly. 

According to Dr Stewart author of ‘An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Pakistan & Kashmir’ (Kashmir is disputed territory between Pakistan and India) – a far superior field and herbarium botanist than an Indian botanist present or past,  this species was only ever reported by Sarin & Gupta in Bulletin of he Botanical Survey of India from East Kashmir.  I consider this a highly dubious record.The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A.deinorrhizum Stapf. as merely a synonym of A.heterophylloides (Bruhl) Stapf.  ‘An Enumeration of the Flowering plants of Nepal’ lists both species, with the later under var. leucanthum. Lauener in ''Aconitum of the Himalaya' II, where he describes this variety from Topke Gola, East Nepal - which is very much in the Eastern Himalaya! As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this is a joke.  DATA  DEFICIENT – nobody has a clue!  Aconitum is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Aconites in the field and few in herbaria, so how can their status be meaningfully assessed - it would take HUNDREDS of botanists many years to arrive at sound assessments of abundance or rarity of the uncommon species.

Aconitum  falconeri  – the workshop decided this species is ENDEMIC to the Indian NW Himalaya. FALSE.

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A.falconeri Holmes ex Stapf  is merely a synonym of A.lethale (Bruhl) Griff.   There are images of pressed specimens of this plant at Kew but they are from Griffith’s herbarium, collected in East Bengal – which is nowhere near the NW Himalaya..As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this is a joke.  DATA  DEFICIENT – nobody has a clue!  Aconitum is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Aconites in the field and few in herbaria.DATA-DEFICIENT.

Aconitum  ferox 

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A.falconeri Wall. ex Ser. ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ gives a distribution of Nepal to Bhutan!  Definitely not a NW Himalaya distribution. There are photos on the internet taken in ‘Valley of Flowers’ claiming to be this species but there have not been reliably identifiied – though even if correct, Uttarakhand is not NW Himalaya.  I have no records of this species in Kashmir nor Himachal Pradesh. As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this is a joke.  DATA  DEFICIENT – nobody has a clue!  Aconitum is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Aconites in the field and few in herbaria. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Aconitum  heterophyllum

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A.falconeri Wall. ex Royle. ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ gives a distribution of Kashmir to Nepal!  As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this species REMAINS common, not anywhere near Endangered.! I have seen this plant a number of times in the Kulu Valley.Aconitum is a difficult genus identification-wise I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Aconites in the field and few in herbaria.


Aconitum  violaceum

A variety robustum has long been recognised but the authors make no mention of this.The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A. violaceum Jacquem. ex Stapf. ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ gives a distribution of Kashmir to Nepal!  As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this species REMAINS very common, not anywhere near Endangered.! I have seen this plant a number of times in the Kulu Valley and in Ladakh. Aconitum is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Aconites in the field and few in herbaria. DATA-DEFICIENT.


Angelica glauca


The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A.glauca Edgew. ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ gives a distribution of Kashmir to Nepal!  As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this species is certainly not Critically Endangered! I have seen this plant a number of times in the Kulu Valley but to be honest,  paid little attention.  DATA-DEFICIENT.  Insufficiently known.Angelica is a difficult genus identification-wiseI do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Angelicas in the field and few in herbaria. DATA-DEFICIENT.


Arnebia  benthamii

As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this species is certainly not Critically Endangered! I have seen this plant a number of times in Kashmir & the Kulu Valley. As the authors of this ludicrous report have never been to places where this plant grows, how ould they know? DATA-DEFICIENT.Arnebia is not a difficult genus identification-wise, however not all Indian botanists can reliably distinguish between A.benthamii and A.euchroma. See:  https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/ethnobotanical-studies  DATA-DEFICIENT.


Atropa  acuminata

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has A.acuminata Royle.  ‘Flowers of the Himalayal’ gives a distribution of Pakistan to Himachal Pradesh!  As for being ‘Critically Endangered’ – this species is certainly not Critically Endangered but  DATA-DEFICIENT.  Insufficiently known.


 


Berberis  aristata 

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has B.aristata DC.  ‘ Flowers of the Himalaya’ gives a distribution of Himachal Pradesh to Central Nepal. As for being ‘Endangered’ – this species is certainly not Endangered, in fact it is COMMON, so preposterous to suggest this!  The authors have not got a clue. A recent revision of Nepalese Berberis halved the number of species.  B.aristata is common in Nepal in forest clearings & disturbed vegetation along forest edges and roadsides. I see no reason to suspect much the same applies in Uttarakhand and perhaps also Himachal Pradesh – EVEN IF IT WERE ENDANGERED IN PART OF ITS RANGE IN INDIAN TERRITORY, IF IT IS COMMON, EVEN ABUNDANT IN NEPAL, THEN THESE FINDINGS ARE OF LESS CONCERN – ONE MUST CONCENTRATE FINITE RESOURCES ON SPECIES GENUINELY ENDANGERED OVER THE WHOLE OF THEIR  RANGE – INDIAN BOTANISTS FAILURE TO CHECK DATA FROM BORDERING COUNTRIES IS INEXCUSABLE AND RAISES ISSUES OF COMPETENCE. Berberis is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Berberis in the field and few in herbaria.  Berberis are often misidentified. DATA-DEFICIENT.



Berberis  chitria*  – the workshop decided this species is an NW Himalaya plant. CORRECT but also distributed through to Central Nepal, which I consider to be Central Himalaya. Probably have no information about flora of Nepal!!


 

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has B.chitria Buch.-Ham.ex Lindl.  ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ gives a distribution of Kashmir to Bhutan!  One of the supposed Kashmir records is from Chamba which is in Himachal Pradesh. The Bhutan records have now been discounted.As for being ‘Endangered’ – this species is certainly not Endangered but occurrence insufficiently know.  DATA-DEFICIENT.Berberis is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Berberis in the field and few in herbaria.  Berberis are often misidentified.  A recent revision of Nepalese Berberis halved the number of species.  The authors have relegated B.chitria to a synonym of B.aristata!  ONLY A SYSNONYM OF B.ARISTATA. DATA-DEFICIENT.



Berberis  kashmiriana  

The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has B.kashmiriana Ahrendt. Stewart in ‘An An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular plants of Pakistan & Kashmir’ gives 2 locations incl. on Takht-I-Suleiman Hill, Srinagar (specimen at Kew) also Muntnar Valley – the Type At BM.  This certainly suggested a limited distribution but DATA-DEFICIENT.As for being ‘Citically Endangered’this species is unlikely to be Critically Endangered but might be Endangered, given the proximity to habitation of populations, however, as with almost all species of all genera in the NW Himalaya, their occurrence is insufficiently known i.e.  DATA-DEFICIENT. Berberis is a difficult genus identification-wise.  I do not know of any Indian botanists capable of reliably identifying Berberis in the field and few in herbaria.  Berberis are often misidentified.  A recent revision of Nepalese Berberis halved the number of species.



Berberis  lycium var. simlensis  – the workshop decided this species is an NW Himalaya plant.


There is NO justification for inclusion of subspecies let alone varieties!  The best current treatment of plants is in ‘The Plant List’ which has B.lycium Royle with B.lycium var. simlensis relegated to a synonym! RIDICULOUS ENTRY. DATA-DEFICIENT.


Berberis  petiolaris var. garwhalana  – the workshop decided this species is an Endemic in the NW Himalaya. Whereas ‘Enumeration of the Flowering Plants of Nepal’ gives a distribution of Garwhal to Nepal, which I count as ‘Central Himalaya’.However,there is NO justification for inclusion of subspecies let alone varieties.  RIDICULOUS ENTRY. DATA-DEFICIENT.


The best current treatment of is in ‘The Plant List’ which has B.petiolaris Wall. ex G.Don but there is no mention of varieties.


Bergenia ciliata  – the workshop decided this species is an NW Himalaya plant. There is confusion between B.ciliata and B.ciliata forma ligulata (which is now B.pacumbis).  I am sure the authors do not understand this.  As they have not provided author abbreviations, one cannot tell which taxon they refer to.  Hence their findings are MEANINGLESS and should be dismissed! DATA-DEFICIENT.


Dactylorhiza hatagirea - the workshop concluded this was 'Critically Endangered' but on what basis?  They have not explored for plants in the habitat of this plant.  They also do not mention that this is a very difficult genus taxonomically, requiring specialists to study populations.  A number of species have been separated from the D.hatagirea complex/aggregate but whether these are valid remains to be seen.  A complete muddle.  No conclusions can possibly be valid. DATA-DEFICIENT.


Delphinium denudatum - the workshop concluded this was also 'Critically Endangered' but on what basis? This is the COMMONEST low-altitude Delphinium in the W.Himalaya!!!  RIDICULOUS. HOW DARE DO THEY COME UP WITH SUCH FALSE RUBBISH. Not that too many Indian botanists can tell Delphiniums apart - perhaps they mistook it for a less common species.... RIDICULOUS ENTRY.


Dioscorea deltoidea - the workshop concluded this also to be 'Critically Endangered' but on what basis?  I am familiar with this.  It e.g. grows commonly, around settlements in the upper Kulu Valley.  To suggest it is about to become extinct is ridiculous! DATA-DEFICIENT.

Fritillaria roylei - the workshop concluded this also to be 'Critically Endangered' but on what basis?  I am familiar with this.  Even above Gulmarg, at the edge of Khelanmarg, where thousands of Indian tourists visit every year, the population is maintaining itself, so to suggest it is about to become extinct overall, is ridiculous.  The authors of this report do not have a clue!  They do not go to where these plants grow and could not identify them if they were there! DATA-DEFICIENT.

Gentiana kurroo - the workshop concluded this also to be 'Critically Endangered' but on what basis?  I am familiar with this.  It grows in accessible places, otherwise would not have been cultivated at the University of Kashmir's botanic garden when I visited in 2012.  But I have seen it growing on very steep cliffs in Himachal Pradesh - NO Indian botanist would have surveyed here nor illegal collections made as it is likely that those attempting to, would fall to their death.  So such populations are safe.  I accept that the total population of this species may well have reduced in recent decades but that does not make it about to become extinct! DATA-DEFICIENT.

Hedychium spicatum - the workshop concluded this to be 'Vulnerable' but on what basis?  To describe this species as a NW Himalayan one is false.  It is primarily an Eastern Himalayan plants, distributed as far as Arunachal Pradesh; yes, it is found in Himachal Pradesh but is far more common in Nepal.  Misleading to say the least.  To suggest it is vulnerable is ridiculous. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Heracleum candicans - the workshop concluded this to be 'Endangered' but on what basis?  To describe this species as a NW Himalayan one is false.  It is distributed from Pakistan to SW China!  As to Pakistan & Kashmir, Stewart knew it throughout the hills from 2100-3300m.  This is a member of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family, which is not that easy identification-wise, so few Indian botanists would be capable of recognising this in the field or distinguishing it from related species.  To suggest it is endangered is ridiculous. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Inula racemosa - the workshop concluded this to be 'Critically Endangered' but on what basis?  I have seen this being grown by the MILLION in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh and cultivated in Ladakh and Kashmir - it is easy to grow.  As this plant has been grown for centuries due to its medicinal properties it is impossible to be certain as to its native range.  Stewart recorded it from Chitral & Above Astor in Pakistan and various parts of Kashmir @ 2000-3600m.  In 1934 the Kashmir Forest Department was raising this plant as the roots were considered medicinal and useful in perfumes. As staff from the University of Kashmir have not undertaken extensive surveys of Kashmir, it is impossible to assess it true abundance/distribution - and they have absolutely no idea of its occurrence in bordering states.  Nobody at the CAMP gathering was familiar with this species.  To suggest that a plant which can so readily be grown, even in open fields as an 'agricultural' crop, is about to become extinct is farcical - the authors do not have a clue. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Jurinea  dolomiaea - the workshop included this as 'Lower Risk' though why is a mystery to me?  Surely the purpose was to 'identify' plants under serious threat..... A JOKE. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Lavatera kashmiriana - quite why the workshop considers what is a common plant (at least in Kashmir) to be Endangered is a mystery to me. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Meconopsis aculeatathis plant grows abundantly amongst rocks at the correct elevations.  The only conclusion that can be draw is that the 'panel' at this workshop have not got a clue as to what grows in Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh!  They are utterly incompetent to suggest this 'West Himalayan Blue-poppy' is about to become extinct.  There are large colonies in both states on sheer cliffs beyond the reach of any botanist!  But Indian botanists do not explore on the accessible rocks and cliffs which this species inhabits - it is even found in Ladakh. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Nardostachys  jatamansi - the workshop says this occurs in the NW Indian Himalaya.  I do not agree.  It is not recorded from Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh but Uttarakhand (specifically, Garwhal) through to SW China. This area has not been surveyed well, so to claim it is 'Critically Endangered' is meaningless.  All plant species have a geographic& altitudinal range - near the limit of its range, a species become uncommon, even rare and at some point can no longer survive under those conditions.  Attaching too much importance to the status of N.jatamansi at its North-Westerley limit, IF it occur in reasonable or large quantity else, cannot be justified anyhow. According to Indian botanists "sizeable" populations occur in Himachal Pradesh but I have no records of this species from this state!  I suspect a misidentification.They also consider "the Himalaya" to extend to the mountains of NW China - which is incorrect. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Paeonia  emodi - the workshop says this is vulnerable.  In this case, the authors could be correct.  This plant grows in forests and shrubberies at lower elevations (to a maximum of 2500m), so readily accessible if illegal collection happens and for habitat destruction. I am quite sure that insufficient study over its range in the NW Himalaya has taken place with no Indian botanists possibly having covered sufficient ground in the field to reach a scientifically valid conclusion.  For once, this is a plant that is found in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Panax pseudo-ginseng - well at least the workshop realised that this species was not found in the NW Himalaya!  The truth is that this plant principally occurs in non-Indian territory.  It grows in Nepal, in Bhutan (where I have seen it growing) and SW China.  I don't know much about its occurrence in Arunachal Pradesh but neither does anyone else!  I was consultant to The Royal Government of Bhutan on the 'Cultivation of Medicinal Plants for Traditional Medicinal Project' - this species is gathered for traditional medicine. It seems that the personnel at the workshop were not aware this species has been segregated into two subspecies: pseudo-ginsenghimalaicus.  The latter subspecies has been further subdivided into two varieties: bipinnatifidus and angustifolius. It is the latter variety which is widespread in Bhutan, Darjeeling and Sikkim.  So presumably, and the personnel at the workshop do not tell us, it is variety bipinnatifidus which is that they are referring to as 'Critically Endangered'.  On what basis?  DATA DEFICIENT.

Picrorhiza kurroa - the workshop describes this as from the 'Indian Himalaya'.  I think this is an indication that they do not realise that this species only extends from Pakistan to Uttarakhand. I suspect this as when I was working in Bhutan (see previous entry) an Indian botanist had incorrectly identified a medicinal plant from Bhutan as this species - which is not found in Bhutan, which was at that time was known as Picrorhiza scrophularriflora (now Neopichroriza scrophulariifolia).  Whilst I agree that this plant is extensively collected for use in Ayuvedic medicine, this has been the case for centuries.  Yes, it may be that extensive populations have been stripped off hillsides in readily accessible places, the plant grows on rocky slopes to 4300m, I am sure some of these are inaccessible on near sheer cliffs, beyond the capabilities of illegal collectors - so no chance of extinction.  'Critically Endangered' would thus not be justified as a status (though it probably has smaller populations overall than certain species in this list which as give as 'CR', such as Meconopsis aculeata.  I consider 'Endangered' as probably too strong a classification - would accept 'Vulnerble', though as with EVERY entry in this list, insufficient surveys have taken place. DATA-DEFICIENT.

Podophyllum hexandrum - this is now Sinopodophyllum hexandrum - it is UTTERLY ridiculous to count this as Critically Endangered. No such thing.  It even survives in forest above Gulmarg, despite thousands of Indian tourists walking up to Khelanmarg either to avoid the queues for the Gondola (ski-lift) or cost.  Also a healthy population on the lower slopes of the Rohtang despite large numbers of Indian tourists.  Yes, it is uncommon in Ladakh but that is simply because it is a forest plant, not one which can cope with seriously arid conditions.
The workshop does not know what they are doing but following FRAUDULENT submissions to CITES see: https://sites.google.com/a/shpa.org.uk/main/cites

Polygonatum verticillatum - this is a widespread species.  Nothing to suggest it is endangered.  DATA-DEFICIENT.

Rheum australe - this is primarily and Eastern Himalayan species.  It has been recorded from Himachal Pradesh (though I do not know where).

Rheum nobile

Rhododendron anthopogon

Saussurea costus

Saussurea gossypiphora

Saussurea obvallata

Swertia angustifolia var. angustifolia

Swertia chiraytia

Taxus wallichiana

Thalictrum foliosum






































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