Conservation status of the endemic and near endemic plant taxa of the Korça region, Albania


Endemic and near endemic taxa are good indicators of habitat quality and the evaluation of ecosystem health. Furthermore, they are key indicators for the elaboration of conservation policies and strategies for the protection of biodiversity in national or global scale. Using IUCN categories and criteria, we assessed the national conservation status of 24-endemic and near endemic plant taxa from Korça region in the south-eastern part of Albania. Only 11-taxa have been assessed before referring the National Red List of 2013, whereas all the other taxa are assessed for the first time in this study for the Albanian National Red List. The existing data collected during plant monitoring in the years 2019-2022 allow us to assess the conservation status using criteria B, C and D. One taxon is assessed as CR, nine taxa as EN, four taxa as VU, six taxa as LC and four others as DD. Out of 24-assessed taxa only six of them, Acantholimon albanicum, Centaurea pindicola, C. shumkana, Dichoropoetalum stridii, Heliosperma pusillum subsp. chromodontum, Oxytropis dinarica subsp. weberi occur within the current territory of the protected areas of Albania, while three others, Centaurea candelabrum, Dianthus galicicae and Odontarrhena albiflora occurs outside the network of protected areas. The distribution range of 15-other taxa occurs partly within and/or outside of the protected areas of Albania. Eight taxa out of 24 assessed are Albanian endemics and 16-others are near endemics which have a limited distribution range even in the neighbouring territories of Greece and North Macedonia. Based on the reference list of threats of IUCN, the assessed endemic and near endemic taxa of Korça district are directly or indirectly threatened by climate change, overgrazing and natural biotic and abiotic processes (abiotic natural processes and reduced fecundity).

DOI Code: 10.1285/i15910725v44supp121

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