Rediscovery of Ilex sapiiformis
In a remarkable discovery, scientists have rediscovered a species of small holly tree in Brazil that had not been seen for nearly two centuries. The tree, known as ‘Ilex sapiiformis’ or the Pernambuco holly, was feared to be extinct until an expedition in the urban city of Igarassu, Pernambuco state, recently found it. Conservationists and experts consider this rediscovery to be an extraordinary and significant find.
The Pernambuco Holly: A “Most Wanted Lost Species”
- The Pernambuco Holly, also called the Pernambuco holly, was included in the list of “top 25 most wanted lost species” by Re:wild, a conservation group.
- The list comprises species that have been missing from scientific observation for at least a decade, with many believed to be extinct for much longer.
- This effort to rediscover lost species is part of a global initiative launched by Re:wild and experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Rediscovery and Identification
- An expedition team spent six days exploring the Igarassu region, where the tree was last seen, with the hope of locating the species.
- The team successfully identified four different Pernambuco Holly trees by recognizing their tiny white flowers.
- Despite the urbanization of Igarassu over the years, the area was once covered by dense tropical forests.
Conservation and Breeding Program
- The research team’s next objective is to launch a breeding program for the Pernambuco Holly.
- The mission is far from over, as the team aims to conduct additional searches in collaboration with local partners to locate more individuals of the species.
- The ultimate goal is to protect the forests where the Pernambuco Holly was found and establish a captive breeding program to ensure the tree’s survival.
Category: Science & Technology Current Affairs