by Fauna & Flora
Fauna & Flora's in-country partner in Honduras has discovered a new species of magnolia. Named in honor of two prominent Honduran conservationists, Magnolia ciroorum was found in Pico Bonito National Park during ongoing fieldwork to document and safeguard the threatened tree species within this globally important haven of biodiversity.
To date, just five individual trees of this new species have been identified, making it incredibly rare and eligible for Critically Endangered status on the IUCN Red List.
Magnolias are among the world's oldest flowering plants, dating back around one hundred million years. The ancestors of today's magnolias shared the planet with the dinosaurs, and relied on beetles for pollination because they evolved before bees even existed.
Until recently, Fauna & Flora's magnolia conservation efforts were focused on the critically endangered species found at our project sites in Vietnam and—historically—China. This new discovery is a timely reminder that wild magnolias are seriously threatened throughout their global range, including Central America, another vital stronghold of these ancient trees.