Friday, November 2, 2012


Here is a Veitchia spiralis, a species of flowering palm in the Arecaceae family. It is found natively only in Vanuatu, which is a remarkable fact. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, headquartered in the UK) Red List classification of plants by conservation status as follow:

LC = Least Concerned
NT = Near Threatened
VU = Vulnerable Species
EN = Endangered Species
CR = Critically Endangered
EW = Extinct in the Wild
EX = Extinction

The V. spiralis is assigned the status of NT, which is threatened by habitat loss. You may wonder where in the world is Vanuatu? Here is the answer: Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu, Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The volcanic archipelago is about 1,750 kilometres east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea. V. spiralis trees you see at other places like this one here must have been collected from this island and from nowhere else.

Talking about extinction, do you know that of the various species partitioned into: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, molluscs, plants, all have some percentage of population that are critically endangered... all except, you guessed it: the insects. Now, just think about this... us, human beings (well, at least the majority of us) belong to the mammal group... and we do have a finite probability of suffering extinction as a species sometime in the future. Let's hope that future is not coming too soon.
Near Threatened

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