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March 6, 2010

Trees of Endangeredstan

Central Asia is possibly the region of the world least on most people's radar (despite its proximity to that perennial focus, the Middle East), but it is a center of diversity for many, many fruit crops, and as such has genetic resources which could prove critical for future breeders of such things as apples, almonds, walnuts, peaches, pomegranates and many other crops. It also has environmental degradation, unstable governments, and widespread poverty, which threaten those resources, many of which have never made it out of the region thanks to nearly a century of Soviet rule and isolation.

Flora & Fauna International has compiled a "Red List" of endangered fruit and nut species in the area. Critically endangered species include pears, hawthorns, currants, and barberries. Some of these things are down to a single tiny population.

Red List of Trees of Central Asian

An interesting read about a bunch of species I at least hadn't heard much (or anything) about.

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