The Red Plants of Israel: a proposal of updated and revised list of plant species protected by the law

Avi Shmida, Ori Fragman, Ran Nathan, Zvi Shamir, Yuval Sapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The list of plant species protected by the law in Israel, established in 1964, includes 268 wild plant species. This list contains mainly attractive flowering plants and includes many ambiguities. The list includes plant species that are highly abundant, genera without specifying the species and plants that are not natives in Israel. Thus, the existing list of plants species protected by the law is insufficient for the current conservation needs of Israel. Since the species were not selected on the basis of any quantitative data, it is highly disadvantaged for conservation. We suggest an update and revised list of plant species to be protected. Entry criterion of the revised list is rarity, defined as less than 100 grid cells of one square km (0.5% of Israel area) in which the plant is present. The criteria for inclusion in the red list are (i) rarity, (ii) attractivity of the plant for picking the flower or for commercial use, (iii) endemism, (iv) life form of tree or a shrub, and (v) rate of extinction or habitat destruction, combined together because of the correlation exists. The revised list includes 543 species, 0.25 of the 2167 plant species in the Israeli flora. Of the list of the "red plants", 119 species are present in 1 to 3 sites and 307 species present in less than 30 sites. The proposed list might be a better tool in nature conservation in Israel, regarding parameters affecting extinction probabilities.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalEcologia Mediterranea
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


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