Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Red Data and Biodiversity Action Plan issues

Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby admin » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:41 pm

Most field members will know that a 'Draft' Red Data list of vulnerable and threatened UK fungi was published in 2006 (see the BMS website). On the recommendation of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee this was downgraded from 'Draft' to 'Preliminary Assessment'. Little has advanced since then and we are unfortunately now 10 years on from the 1999 date when a qualified Red Data list was first promised. However for the first time, through the enhanced functionality of CATE phase 2, it is possible to highlight statistically some of the problems residing in the preliminary assessment, which appears not to have drawn on the data delivered to the FRDBI by UK recorders. It is therefore reasonable to question the purpose which those records have been, or are being put to.

Registered users of CATE may verify some of this by referring to the genus Inocybe, which was selected as a 'test case'. If a registered user goes to the Species Totals Search of CATE and enters 'Inocybe' in the genus box, also entering the post-1960 dating period (the IUCN transition year), enabling pop up totals and ticking 'hectads', the critical discrepancies are revealed. Scroll the list to any of the following species, I. albomarginata, I. calida, I. squarrosa and I. tabacina. Each of these has been populated with a complete set of data (i.e. the combined CATE and FRD records).

The criteria for Vulnerable or Near Threatened Species that qualify for Red Data listing include a level of hectad recording at 10 hectads or less. It will be seen that each of the above species qualifies for Red Data status. However, the preliminary assessment Red Data list currently includes none of these species and only lists: I. arenicola and I. vulpinella.

The ease with which IUCN criteria can be evaluated in CATE is effectively demonstrated by this exercise and it underlines the importance of more recorders copying their records into the CATE system. Without their cooperation it is impossible to predict when, if ever, the UK will have a qualified Red Data list of fungi in need of protection. We are currently at near bottom of the European ratings in mycological conservation progress. One significant reason for this is that, apart from the advances made with CATE, we do not have a mycological data system up to the task. The hope must be that the British Mycological Society can be encouraged to copy its FRDBI records to CATE, an analysis programme can then be enabled that will trawl the full set and sift species on IUCN Red Data criteria. Individual and group recorders who are only sending their records exclusively to the FRDBI can do much to facilitate progress by copying these record sets to the ABFG. It is worth a thought that positive action may save some species of UK fungi from extinction.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
Forum moderator
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby Andreas Gminder » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:08 pm

Dear Michael,

admin wrote:Most field members will know that a 'Draft' Red Data list of vulnerable and threatened UK fungi was published in 2006 (see the BMS website).


I can not find something like a provisional Red List or anything comparable to it on the BMS website. I'm in urgent need for something like a Red List or an preliminary list to check the status for some 20 species. We are in a progress of defining some fungi species as "species with national responsibility" and one of the arguments is them being threatened on an european scale. So I have to check as many european Red Lists I can get my hands on ....

best regards,
Andreas
Andreas Gminder
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:47 pm
Location: Jena - Germany

Re: Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby admin » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:11 pm

Andreas

If you go to http://www.fieldmycology.net you will find a download link to this so-called 'preliminary assessment'. However, it has little authority having been rejected by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in the UK who were not prepared to acknowledge its status even as 'provisional'. It is basically an anecdotal 'brew' of what a very limited number of people considered 'should be on the list' and there is no proper analysis attached to it.

You have been warned!

MJ
Michael Jordan
Forum moderator
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby Andreas Gminder » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:35 pm

Dear Michael,

thank you, and also for your clear statement. You refer to the list of 2009, do you? Not the former one of 1992? In the foreword to the 2009 list it reads "The Red List [...] is prepared by the BMS, working with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee". That sounds more serious then you wrote above, at least in my ears.

best regards,
Andreas
Andreas Gminder
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:47 pm
Location: Jena - Germany

Re: Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby admin » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:33 pm

Andreas

There is no '2009 list', although I can understand your thinking so!

History: In 1999 it was agreed that the UK needed an authoritative Red List of fungi to replace the provisional document of 1992. A team including Shelley Evans, Bruce Ing and Alick Henrici became involved in the project but undertakings on delivery came and went year after year without results. Eventually a document claimed to be a 'draft list' was circulated in April 2005, although with considerable confusion over its authorship.

'Working with JNCC' is a rather obscure expression. Joint Nature Conservation Committee was merely the authority empowered to sanction the Red List.

JNCC did not receive their copy until July 2006! On examination, however, JNCC responded that in their view, without considerable further work being done, it could not be called either a 'provisional list' or a 'draft list', and that it could only be described as a 'preliminary assessment' (something much less authoritative). JNCC was not involved in publishing a report, or with creating the preliminary assessment, so 'working with JNCC' is something of a euphemism.

In March 2008 the BMS President, Lynne Boddy, announced at a meeting in London, that the BMS was now proposing to 'draw a line under the Red Data list project' and start again. The so-called 2009 Red List is virtually no different from that of 2005/6 and at no time has it been approved by JNCC as an authoritative UK Red List.

MJ
Michael Jordan
Forum moderator
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:43 pm

Re: Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby Andreas Gminder » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:59 pm

Dear Michael,

thank you very much for explaining!
I hope and wish us all that the british mycologists come to a good end with their red data list. Fungi are the underdogs in conservation of nature and we can only raise them to a higher level when all efforts can be concentrated. I know that you know that too ...

best regards,
Andreas
Andreas Gminder
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:47 pm
Location: Jena - Germany

Re: Unreliability of the 'preliminary assessment' Red Data list

Postby admin » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:42 am

It's worth adding that the real core of problem of why we have no authoritative Red Data list in the UK has lain with the absence of a fungus records database with any viable analytical function. There has long been a catch-phrase here of fungus records 'disappearing into a black hole'. It is one of the principal reasons why the ABFG has been investing so much time and money into developing the CATE system, which does now provide the facility online to generate accurate data and then to analyse it in accordance with agreed IUCN criteria.

CATE2 currently contains between 1/2 and 3/4 millions post-1960 records, added in the last 3 years. When it reaches 1 million records it is probably going to contain enough data to generate a credible Red List. In the meantime . . .

MJ
Michael Jordan
Forum moderator
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:43 pm


Return to Fungi: rare, threatened and vulnerable

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron