30% of the world’s tree species face extinction in the wild. This means one in every three trees face extinction in wild, says a new report. Based on the study experts say that 17,500 tree species are at risk. This is twice the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined. The new study has experts calling to scale-up conservation of trees.
Earth has nearly 60,000 tree species. For a healthy world, we need tree species diversity as each tree species has unique role.Already almost 142 species have vanished from the wild, while 442 are on the very edge of extinction, with fewer than 50 individual trees remaining.
The biggest threat to trees globally are forest clearance for crops, logging, clearance for livestock grazing, clearance for development and fire.
It is estimated that one million animals and plant species are threatened with extinction. Over the past 300 years, global forest area has decreased by about 40% and 29 countries have lost more than 90% of their forest cover.
Some trees at risk of extinction include, large tropical trees known as dipterocarps, Oak trees lost to farming and development, Ebony and rosewood trees being felled for timber, Magnolia trees due to unsustainable plant collecting, trees such as ash from pests and disease.
The region with the highest proportion of tree species under threat (40%) is the “Afrotropics,” spanning sub-Saharan Africa, most of the Arabian Peninsula, and the islands of the western Indian Ocean.