Toward Target 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation: An Expert Analysis of the Puerto Rican Flora to Validate New Streamlined Methods for Assessing Conservation Status
Target 2 of the 2020 Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) calls for a comprehensive list of the world's threatened plant species. The lack of such a list is one of the greatest impediments to protecting the full complement of the world's plant species, and work to achieve this has been slow. An efficient system for identifying those species that are at risk of extinction could help to achieve this goal in a timeframe sensitive to today's conservation needs. Two systems that efficiently use available data to assess conservation status were tested against a provisional International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List analysis to evaluate the native seed plant species of Puerto Rico. It was demonstrated that both systems efficiently identify species at risk, which is a step toward both the GSPC Target 2 and a more comprehensive IUCN Red List for plants. Both systems were effective at identifying plant species at risk, with the New York analysis identifying 98% and the Smithsonian analysis 85% of the plant species considered Threatened in the IUCN Red List. Both analyses to some extent overestimated those plants at risk, but the species identified are all range restricted and, thus, of some conservation interest.