The conservation status of the 372 taxa of orchids native to the Australian State of Victoria was assessed using the IUCN 2001 Red List categories and criteria. The assessment resulted in the following findings: Extinct, 11 taxa (10 global, 1 regional); Critically Endangered, 79 taxa (70 global, 9 regional); Endangered, 26 taxa (12 global, 14 regional); Vulnerable, 92 taxa (38 global, 54 regional); Near Threatened, 8 taxa (1 global, 7 regional); Data Deficient, 24 taxa (15 global, 9 regional); and Least Concern, 132 taxa. These findings indicate that a high proportion (65%) of Victoria's native orchids are rated as being of Conservation Concern, which reflects the substantial land-use changes, subsequent habitat degradation, and operation of threatening processes occurring across much of the state. Although the assessment was undertaken at a regional scale, the relatively high degree (40%) of endemicity/near endemicity of Victoria's native orchids makes the findings relevant at the global scale. Undertaking such a comprehensive assessment was a major exercise that entailed many challenges, such as varying interpretation and application of the IUCN Red List system, collation of information from disparate sources, and uncertain and changing taxonomy—all of which affected the assessment. The experience gained and lessons learned from the conservation assessment are described.
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