WORLD’S TREES REPORT

  • Recently, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) launched the State of the World’s Trees Report.
  • The report warns that almost a third of the world’s tree species are at risk of extinction, while hundreds are on the brink of being wiped out.
  • BGCI is a membership organisation, representing botanic gardens in more than 100 countries around the world. It is an independent UK charity established in 1987 to link the botanic gardens of the world in a global network for plant conservation.

Important points:

  • 17,500 tree species which is some 30% of the total – are at risk of extinction, while 440 species have fewer than 50 individuals left in the wild.
  • 11% of the flora or plant life of every country was made up of threatened species.
  • Overall the number of threatened tree species is double the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined.
  • Among the most at-risk trees are species including magnolias and dipterocarps – which are commonly found in Southeast Asian rainforests. Oak trees, maple trees and ebonies also face threats.
  • 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.
  • There were also 27 countries that had no threatened species of trees.
  • Though megadiverse 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.

Major Threats:

  • The top three threats facing tree species are crop production, timber logging and 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.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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