A community-based recovery programme for the most threatened endemic plants in Egypt

Karim Abdelhai Omar

Endemic plants are a national and international treasure trove of science and socio-economic issues. Although Egypt harbours about 50 species of endemic plants, the unstudied impacts of human activities on these plants continue to grow. Thus, there are large gaps in the information needed to determine conservation priorities for endemic plants in Egypt. Lack of knowledge and inaction will inevitably lead to the deterioration in the quality of species and habitats to a degree unknown to decision-makers and may lead to species extinctions. Among the 50 endemic species, the conservation status of only eight species located in the St. Catherine Protected Area (SCPA) has been assessed in previous projects. Four of them were listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered and the other four as Endangered. With a very small geographic and population size, and evidence of declining numbers of sub-populations and habitat quality, critical recommendations for conducting restoration activities have become inevitable. In this project, focused conservation recovery actions based on new information for eight globally threatened endemic plant species in SCPA are agreed upon and implemented with support from local communities and other key stakeholders, as part of a new national in situ and ex situ conservation strategy and action for Egypt’s endemic plants.

Team leader Karim Omar explains more in the below video:

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