11 January 2022.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) recently categorised the Red Sanders (or Red Sandalwood) again into the ‘endangered’ category in its Red List.
- The species, called Red Sanders, is scientifically called as Pterocarpus santalinus.
- It is an Indian endemic tree species and its geographical range is restricted to Eastern Ghats.
- The species is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh.
- It was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018. It was a moment of celebration when species was lifted off from the endangered category since 1997.
Why was the species categorised in endangered list?
The Red Sanders species has been experiencing a decline in population by 50-80 percent, for last three generations. Thus, it was again added to Endangered category.
Red Sanders is listed under Appendix II of CITES. As a result, it is banned from international trade. The harvest of the tree is also restricted across states, but illegal trade is there in practice.
IUCN red list
The Red List is maintained by IUCN. It is a list of flora and fauna species and categorises them on the basis of their conservation status. The status include:
- Least concern– It is for the species, which are abundant in numbers.
- Extinct– It is for those species, which have completely disappeared from the planet.
- Critically endangered- This category is for threatened species.
- Endangered– Threatened species are added to this list
- Vulnerable– The category is reserved for threatened species.
Significance of Red Sanders
Red Sanders are known for their rich hue and therapeutic properties. They are highly demanded across Asia, especially in China and Japan, to use them in cosmetics and medicinal products. It is also used to make furniture, woodcraft and musical instruments.