13th June 2014: Hassan Rankou IUCN Red List

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This week has been very busy for Hassan Rankou, a Linnean Society employee based at Kew.

Hassan is the IUCN SSC Red Listauthority for the Orchid Specialist Group and on the 12th June was involved in the IUCN Red List update.

His work on Orchids has exposed “the shocking level of threat to temperate slipper orchids" and "the fact that many of them have very narrow distributions. China is particularly rich in slipper orchids and 37 species of Cypripedium occur there, many of which are in the higher categories of threat. In contrast, widespread species such as Cypripedium calceolus, although threatened in many countries where it occurs, are assessed as Least Concern globally. The narrowly distributed species can be pushed towards extinction very quickly by illegal collecting, whereas the widely distributed species may become locally extinct, but will survive somewhere.”

species of Cypripedium