National Red List of Sri Lanka prepared after a decade

National Red List of Sri Lanka prepared after a decade

National Red List of Sri Lanka prepared after a decade

Written by Amani Nilar

31 Aug, 2021 | 1:26 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The National Red List of Sri Lanka was finalized after 10 years. The last time a National Red List was released was back in 2012.

The first list of threatened flora of Sri Lanka was prepared by Prof. B.A. Abeywickrama in 1987. This list was reproduced by Wijesinghe et al., in 1987 which also included a list of nationally threatened fauna.

This list was updated by Wijesinghe et al., in 1993, using the data gathered from National Conservation Review of the natural forests of Sri Lanka.

Although these lists were used widely by the scientific community as well as policy makers, they were not accepted at a global scale as all these lists were prepared in a subjective manner by a few experts using their personal experience.

In 1996 IUCN International introduced a new set of criteria for assessing the conservation status of a species based on an objective methodology as compared to the subjective process that was followed before that.

In 2004, the National Species Conservation Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Environment, requested that IUCN Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Biodiversity Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment, to establish a digital database containing information on all the Sri Lankan species as well as to update the conservation status of Sri Lankan species.

This led to the publication of 2007 list of threatened fauna and flora of Sri Lanka, where species were evaluated using Global Relist Categories and Criteria (version 3.1) and categories adapted at the regional level. In this list, altogether 1,099 flowering plants and 1,064 animals represented by freshwater fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, butterflies, land snails and Mygalomorph spiders were evaluated. Further, the conservation status of amphibians, dragonflies and freshwater crabs that has already been evaluated at a global scale has been included in this list making the total number of faunal species listed to 1,341.

In 2009, the Biodiversity Secretariat started updating the National Red List.

The updating of flora has been done in collaboration with the National Herbarium of the Department of National Botanical Gardens to evaluate the flora of the country.

The National Red List of Sri Lanka 2021 will be released on Friday (03).

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