Conservation status and threats to vascular plant species endemic to Soutpansberg Mountain range in Limpopo Province, South Africa

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Ikarabeng Moraswi
Samuel Oloruntoba Bamigboye *
Milingoni Peter Tshisikhawe
(*) Corresponding Author:
Samuel Oloruntoba Bamigboye | reachtoba@gmail.com

Abstract

Soutpansberg Mountain range is one of the main biodiversity hotspots in South Africa and it is located in Limpopo Province. It possesses high diversity of flora and fauna. Communities surrounding this mountain have long benefited from the ecosystem services that the area provides. It is of importance to determine the threat status of plant species endemic to this mountain range that has been a great source of ecosystem services. Twenty-two endemic vascular plant species of the mountain range have been identified. In this study we use the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) current 2017 version Red List categories to determine the threat status of plant species endemic to Soutpansberg Mountain range. SANBI is the national body in South African that is responsible for national threat assessment for plant and animal species and they also provide data to IUCN (International Union ofC onservation of Nature) on threat status of plant and animal taxa found in South Africa. We calculated the categorical percentages of threat status of endemic vascular plants species of Soutpansberg Mountain range and the threats these plant species are facing were gotten from SANBI Red List. This study showed that over 50% of the plant species endemic to this area are of conservation concern meaning they deserve conservation attention. Majority of threats are due to anthropogenic pressure. This implies that the endemic flora of this region is facing risk of extinction. This study recommends protection of all the endemic plant species of this mountain range in order to prevent theirf uture extinction.


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