Himalayas

The Himalayan Threatened Conifer Region extends from the northeastern provinces of Afghanistan in a narrow arc through northwestern Pakistan and India, through Nepal, Assam and northern Myanmar. Its eastern limit is at about 98° E where three major river systems (Irrawaddy, Nujiang and Mekong) converge and the main mountain ranges are orientated southwards. Throughout the area climates and vegetation are heavily influenced by summer monsoons and the rapid rise in elevation. The conifer flora is concentrated in the mid montane areas above 1500m above sea-level and is dominated by members of the Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. Of the approximately 40 taxa that occur in this area, 22 are endemic. Most species occur in the eastern part of the region with many also occurring in Regions 7 and 8. One species, Taiwania cryptomerioides, also occurs in Region 10. Although only nine taxa have been assessed as globally threatened, several more are nationally threatened in at least one part of their range. Principal region-wide threats include harvesting for medicinal use (Taxus), overexploitation for timber and deforestation associated with agricultural and pastoral activities. Hydroelectric developments are a localized threat in some parts of the region.

Taxa in the category - Himalayas:

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Picea linzhiensis (W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu) Rushforth

A high altitude spruce known mainly from the Zangbo [Yarlung Tsangpo] drainage of SE Xizang [Tibet]. Logging and deforestation have had some impact. Read full species entry >

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Pinus gerardiana Wall. ex D.Don

A small pine from the dry valleys of the western Himalayas. Over-exploitation for its edible seed, coupled with conversion of forests for agricultural use and logging for timber and firewood have led to a range wide decline that is sufficient for it to be listed as Near Threatened. Read full species entry >

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Taxus contorta Griff.

Taxus contorta is distributed from Afghanistan through the Himalayas to central Nepal where it is declining due to logging, agricultural expansion and especially exploitation for traditional and modern medicines.  Read full species entry >

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Taxus mairei (Lemée & H. Lév.) S.Y.Hu

Scattered throughout southern China, Taiwan and parts of the eastern Himalayas as well as southern Vietnam. Subpopulations are severely fragmented and threatened due to overexploitation for medicinal use, deforestation for agricultural purposes and urbanisation. Read full species entry >

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Taxus wallichiana Zucc.

Throughout its range in the eastern Himalayas this species is threatened by exploitation for traditional and modern medicines as well as the conversion of its habitat for agriculture and harvesting for fodder and firewood.  Read full species entry >

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