Red Sanders falls back in IUCN’s ‘endangered’ category

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Red Sanders falls back in IUCN’s ‘endangered’ category

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) has recently categorised the Red Sanders (or Red Sandalwood) again into the ‘endangered’ category in its Red List.
  • It was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018.


  • Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is known for their rich hue and therapeutic properties
  • It is very high in demand across Asia, particularly in China and Japan, for use in cosmetics and medicinal products as well as for making furniture, woodcraft and musical instruments.
  • Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that a tonne of red sanders costs anything between Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore in the international market.
  • It is an Indian endemic tree species, with a restricted geographical range in the Eastern Ghats.
  • The species is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Red Sanders usually grow in the Red Soil and hot and dry climate.

Use of Red Sanders

  • It is in high demand for furniture production, diabetes therapy, and inflammation reduction.
  • Wood is also used to make red dye in India.
  • Red sanders are said to be able to absorb radioactive radiation, however, this is unproven.
  • However, its principal function is aesthetic and ornamental.
  • It also produces Santaline dye, which is used to colour foods and pharmaceutical preparations, as well as extracts from the tree bark and wood, which have a variety of therapeutic qualities.


  • Illicit felling for smuggling, forest fires, cattle grazing and other anthropogenic threats.
  • Location: Andhra Pradesh is the major target for traffickers, particularly the Seshachalam hills and the Nalgonda woods.
  • Agents recruit individuals from Tamil Nadu, particularly from regions like Tiruvannamalai and the tribal settlements of Javadhu Malai, to cut down these trees (Javadi Hills).

Protection Status

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered.
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule II