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The Hispaniola Island comprises 77,914 km2 distributed between the Dominican Republic, with 48,442 km2 and the Republic of Haiti, with 29,472 km2. Most of the original vegetation on the island has been destroyed as a result of intense human activities from colonial timaes to the present day. This destructive process has caused the floristic richness and the phytogenetic heritage of Hispaniola to suffer a marked deterioration, for which reason efforts are currently being made for its restoration and conservation. In the Dominican Republic, it is estimated that 18 % of the forest cover is primary forest, while in Haiti only 3 % may be considered primary. A high percentage of the Dominican flora is found within protected areas, which cover 25 % of the national territory. In Haiti, the state of conservation of its interesting and exclusive flora is uncertain; it is assumed that many endemic species are extinct. In the Dominican Republic, the Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo “Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso”, created in 1976, has been in charge of studying and conserving the flora of the eastern part of the island through numerous national and international projects and agreements, aiming to increase the level of knowledge about the flora and vegetation of priority areas for plant species conservation. According to records made in recent decades, there are some 6,000 species of vascular plants on the island, 5,500 of which grow in the Dominican part. As part of the project "Conservation Status of the Vascular Flora of the Dominican Republic and Application of Threat Categories According to IUCN Criteria" it was possible to evaluate 1,388 species, 831 of which are endemic and 557 native. In Haiti, the Jardin Botanique des Cayes, founded in 2003, is working hard to develop the first Red List of threatened plants, which is expected to be published by 2023 with the support of the BCGI. This important consultation tool, together with conservation projects, has made it possible to improve the situation of certain species and prevent their total disappearance.


Dominican flora, Red List, conservation, Hispaniola

Betsaida Cabrera García

Presentation within symposium:

S-46 Noah´s Arcs of the Anthropocene: the role of Botanic Gardens in Caribbean plant conservation

Contrasting efforts in plant conservation in Hispaniola


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