Completing threat assessments for the world’s oak species to prioritize species for conservation and enable policymakers to protect threatened oaks. Download the PDF of The Red List of US Oaks.
The collection of biological, ecological, and demographic information on threatened species is vital for planning effective conservation action. Our goal is to add all of the world's roughly 450 oak species (genus Quercus) to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. The IUCN Red List is an objective system for assessing the risk of extinction of a species based on past, present, and projected threats. We accomplish this by compiling data on oak species worldwide and evaluating their conservation status. This project is part of a larger initiative, the Global Tree Assessment, which aims to assess the threat level of all of the world’s tree species by the year 2020.
Since 2015 over 90 threat assessments for Quercus species have come out of this project. In September 2017, The Morton Arboretum published The Red List of US Oaks. The report details for the first time the distributions, population trends, and threats facing all 91 native oak species in the U.S., including updated versions of previously published assessments. Sixteen species of oaks, all in the southern and western U.S., are now classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, with another four species deemed Near Threatened. This report serves as a baseline for our current understanding of the state of the country’s oak trees and an authoritative guide for future conservation action. The individual species assessments can be viewed on the IUCN Red List website here.
The Morton Arboretum