In news– Recently, the Red Sanders (Red Sandalwood) has fallen back into the ‘endangered’ category in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.
About Red Sandalwood-
- Red Sandalwood, scientifically called Pterocarpus santalinus, is an Indian endemic tree species, with a restricted geographical range in the Eastern Ghats.
- The species is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh.
- Its local names are-Yerra Chandanam, Rakta Chandana, and saunderswood.
- It is also referred to in Chinese as zitan.
- It is known for its therapeutic properties, are in high demand across Asia, particularly in China and Japan, for use in cosmetics and medicinal products as well as for making furniture, woodcraft and musical instruments.
- This tree is valued for the rich red colour of its wood and is traditionally considered not aromatic.
- It has been used for making the bridge and also the neck of the Japanese musical instrument Shamisen.
- It is used in traditional herbal medicine as an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, tonic, hemorrhage, dysentery, aphrodisiac, anti-hyperglycaemic and diaphoretic.
- It is grown on the shale subsoils, at altitudes around 750 metres (2,460 ft), and in semi-arid climatic conditions.
- The slow growth of the species and continued harvesting leaves no time for the species to recover naturally.
- Cattle grazing and invasive species also threaten the species.
- It was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018(was lifted off from the endangered category for the first time since 1997) and has now joined the ‘endangered’ list once again in 2021.
- It is also scheduled in Appendix II of CITES (banned from international trade) and protected under Wildlife Protection Act.
IUCN Red list –
- The IUCN maintains a list — called the Red List of flora and fauna species and categorizes them based on their conservation status.
- The status ranges from ‘least concern’ for the species that are abundant in numbers to ‘extinct’ for those that have completely disappeared from the planet.
- Species that come under ‘critically endangered’, ‘endangered’ and ‘vulnerable’ categories are considered threatened.