Recognizing that this list should be updated and wishing to make it more objective, UpS initiated conversations with Kelly Kindscher (ethnobotanist and head of the botany side of our program), who previously worked on a draft scoring tool that can be used for ranking at-risk species. Scores have been created for many species. Though some subjectivity remains in the scoring tool, it offers a strong basis for our knowledge of the status of medicinal plants in the wild. The project of fine-tuning the scoring tool and updating the UpS At-Risk List was funded by a grant from UpS. The project involved:
*Development of a mathematics-based or statistical analysis for reviewing scores.
*Development of more information for use on the UpS website so UpS members and others can contribute information to the ranking of plants.
*Facilitation of ongoing discussion among people from many fields who have experience working with these plants, so that we will understand which medicinal plants truly are at risk.
Castle L.M., Leopold S., Craft R., Kindscher K. 2014. Ranking tool created for medicinal plants at risk of being overharvested in the wild. Ethnobiology Letters 5, 77-88. [PDF]