Over 25% of flowers face extinction – many before they are even discovered
More than one-in-four of all flowering plants are under threat of extinction according to the latest report to confirm the ongoing destruction of much of the natural world by human activity.
As a result, many of nature's most colourful specimens could be lost to the world before scientists even discover them, claims the research, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The results reflect similar global studies of other species groups by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which estimates that one-in-five of all mammals, nearly one-in-three amphibians and one-in-eight birds are vulnerable to being wiped out completely. Later this year the results of a huge global analysis of all the world's estimated up to 400,000 plants by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is due to be published by the IUCN as part of its ongoing mission to assess the state of all life on Earth.