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Extinction Risk Assessments at the Species Level: National Red List Status of Endemic Wild Cinnamon Species in Sri Lanka

Authors:

DMHC Kumarathilake ,

Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, LK
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SGJN Senanayake,

Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, LK
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GAW Wijesekara,

Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, LK
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DSA Wijesundera,

Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, LK
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RAAK Ranawaka

Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, LK
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Abstract

Cinnamomum is one of the most important genera among the crop wild relatives in Sri Lanka. Out of the eight Cinnamomum species that grow in Sri Lanka, Cinnamomum verum is indigenous, Cinnamomum camphora is introduced while the other remaining Cinnamomum species are endemic to Sri Lanka. The main objectives of this study were to determine the national red list status of the endemic wild cinnamon species and to assess the extinction risk of them. Only the seven endemic wild cinnamon species were included in the study. The study was mainly based on the eco-geographical survey which consisted of the study of the herbarium specimens to collect reliable secondary data and development of potential distribution maps using available data. DIVA-GIS software was used to develop potential maps. Thereafter, high potential areas were identified using the above maps and field visits were made to collect primary data. Collected primary data were analyzed and national red listing criteria were applied. According to the ecogeographical survey, Cinnamomum dubium found in wet zone forests was the most common species. Average red listing scoring value (ARLSV) of Cinnamomum dubium was 1.375 and was considered as Not Threatened (NT). Cinnamomum ovalifolium was distributed only in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Badulla districts. ARLSV of this species was 2.25 and national red list status was considered as Indeterminate (I). Cinnamomum litseaefolium was limited to Kandy and Matale districts with ARLSV of 3.125 and nationally red listed as Threatened (T). Cinnamomum rivulorum was limited only to Sinharaja forest reserve and was a very rare species. ARLSV of this species was 3.5 and nationally red listed as Threatened. Cinnamomum sinharajaense was distributed in Sinharaja forest reserve and it was a rare species with 3.625 ARLSV and was considered as Threatened. Cinnamomum capparucoronde was limited to the low country wet zone rain forests and was also considered as a rare species. ARLSV of this species was 4 and considered as Highly Threatened (HT). Cinnamomum citriodorum was limited from Balangoda to the Haputale region with scattered distribution and ARLSV of this species was 4.5. Therefore, this species was also considered as Highly Threatened. Lack of awareness, habitat destruction, urbanization and unsuitable agriculture practices were the major threats to wild cinnamon.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i3.3298

TAR 2010; 21(3): 247-257

How to Cite: Kumarathilake, D. et al., (2011). Extinction Risk Assessments at the Species Level: National Red List Status of Endemic Wild Cinnamon Species in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research. 21(3), pp.247–257. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i3.3298
Published on 16 Aug 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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