Major Population of Wild Tree Species at Worldwide Risk of Extinction

Around one-third population of wild tree species is at risk of worldwide extinction, which in long-run would consequently decrease the ecological resilience. According to the State of the World’s Trees report, deforestation is one of the major reasons causing a threat to the wild tree species.

As per the report, the other threats include logging, housing followed by other commercial development, fires, mining, pulp plantations and invasive species. Surprisingly, climate change is at the bottom of the list.; although global warming, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns are emerging as new, potent threats to trees.

More than 17,500 species of trees are threatened, which is approximately twice the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined. This analysis is nearly 29.9 percent of the 58,497 known species of trees around the globe. Considerably, only 41.5 percent of the evaluated species were confirmed as safe.

Major Population of Wild Tree Species at Worldwide Risk of Extinction

Image: Martin Brandt

Madagascar had the most 1,842 threatened tree species, with Brazil in second place with 1,788, among them big-leaf mahogany, rosewood and Eugenia. In China, the world’s sixth most biodiverse nation, trees such as magnolia, camellia and maple were among the 890 species at risk.

Tropical Island usually undergoes periodic disturbances but now they are being affected disproportionally, disturbing the equilibrium state of the ecosystem. However, approximately 142 species have already vanished and 442 are on the verge of extinction.

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The report’s lead author, Malin Rivers, the head of conservation prioritization at Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), said;

For the first time we know which species are threatened, where they are and how they are threatened so we can make better-informed conservation decisions. These species are not extinct yet. There is still hope. There are still ways to get them back from the brink.

BGCI has recommended an extension of the protected area coverage for threatened population, more planting campaigns that would focus chiefly on the jeopardized species, additional funding for conservation efforts and better efforts to back up trees in botanic gardens and seed banks.

Via: The Guardian

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