Plant Conservation Day > Why plants need our help
Why plants need our help
The world’s plant species are facing unprecedented threats to their continued survival, despite the fact that their loss will have significant negative impacts on the humans and wildlife that depend upon them and the ecosystems services they provide.
Unfortunately, we know very little about what we are losing or how quickly we are losing it: there are nearly 250,000 angiosperm species currently known, and upwards of 350,000 species predicted (1). The world’s plants are greatly underrepresented on the IUCN RedList when compared to other groups (2), but studies indicate that as many as 47% of the world’s angiosperm species are now threatened with extinction (3).
Efforts to halt the loss of plant diversity are ongoing around the world (through local efforts and global efforts that collectively contribute to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation), but this work receives disproportionately less support and funding that equivalent work on animal species [e.g. over half of the listed species in the U.S. are plants, but these species receive only 5% of funding spent on endangered species (4)].