Reports

Example 1 - IDENTIFICATION AND CONSERVATION OF IMPORTANT PLANT AREAS FOR MEDICINAL PLANTS IN THE HIMALAYA

According to Appendix I within the above Project and Workshop Report (organised jointly by Plantlife International and the Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal), various species were noted as 'commercially threatened' in the India Himalaya. I disagree that Delphinium denudatum or Arnebia benthamii are 'Critically Endangered' and to include Meconopsis aculeata is farcical - as the latter species occurs in large quantities amongst rocks and on cliffs, often damp, typically @ 3300-4500m.  As M.aculeata occurs over a wide geographical range within the VAST Western Himalaya, which is infrequently surveyed by regional botanists, with the higher altitudes, where this mostly is found, seldom explored in at all! To become familiar with this blue-poppy one often has to scramble amongst rocks, which I KNOW rarely happens - so how can local botanists possibly state this species is 'Endangered', let alone 'Critically' so i.e. likely to become extinct.  Ludicrous.  Many large populations of Meconopsis aculeata are completely out of harms way, requiring serious mountaineering and rock-climbing skills to access them - just as some colonies of the 'Snowdon Lily' (Lloydia serotina) in the UK can only be surveyed by abseiling. 


'The West Himalayan Blue-poppy' (Meconopsis  aculeata) - growing amongst boulders; unless it is in flower, one cannot locate specimens without scrambling amongst rocks (not all of which are accessible) - there are usually numerous seedlings

Meconopsis  aculeata - a very showy plant utilised in Tibetan Medicine


The list in the Appendix also falsely claims that Rhododendron anthopogon is 'Endangered' - this dwarf shrub grows abundantly - Dr Ralph Stewart, who knew the flora of Pakistan and Kashmir well, accurately states this to be "gregarious and very common in the alpine zone @ 2850-4200m". It is found by the million over a wide geographical range!  To observe this species one has to explore higher elevation parts of mountain slopes and passes - which is physically demanding.  It cannot be surveyed from an office or close to the road-side when travelling by vehicle.  Proper treks (involving camping for several days) are essential to assess the occurrence of this species. How can people who spend much of their time in offices at lower elevations possibly judge this to be under threat?

Rhododendron anthopogon var. hypenanthum in the Western Himalaya


I do not know who undertook the surveys or made such SILLY claims....but to do so is very wrong. Utterly misleading.


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