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Almost a third of the world's tree species face extinction: Report

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    4th Sep, 2021

Context

Almost a third of the world’s tree species are at risk of extinction, while hundreds are on the brink of being wiped out.

  • The State of the World’s Treesreport is published by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). 

Key-highlights of the Report

  • Some 17,500 tree species – or 30 percent of the total – are at risk of extinction, 
    • While 440 species have fewer than 50 specimens left in the wild.
  • Overall the number of threatened tree species is double the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. 
  • Vulnerable species: Among the most vulnerable trees are species including magnolias and dipterocarps – which are commonly found in Southeast Asian rainforests. 
    • Oak trees, maple trees and ebonies also face threats.
  • Top countries: Thousands of varieties of trees in the world’s top six countries for tree-species diversity are at risk of extinction.
    • The greatest single number is in Brazil, where 1,788 species are at risk.
    • The other five countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Colombia and Venezuela.
  • Top threats: The top three threats facing tree species are:
    • crop production
    • timber logging
    • livestock farming
      • While climate change and extreme weather are emerging threats.
  • At least 180 tree species are directly threatened by rising seas and severe weather.
    • Especially island species such as Magnolias in the Caribbean.

Concern

  • Trees help support the natural ecosystem and are considered vital for combating global warming and climate change. 
    • The extinction of a single tree species could prompt the loss of many others.
  • Every tree species matters – to the millions of other species that depend on trees, and to people all over the world.
  • Though mega-diverse countries see the greatest numbers of varieties at risk of extinction, island tree species are more proportionally at risk.
    • This is particularly concerning because many islands have species of trees that can be found nowhere else.