Source: This post is based on the article “Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction“ published in Down to Earth on 2nd September 2021.
What is the news?
According to the State of the World’s Trees report, released by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International, some 469 of India’s 2,603 tree species (18%) are threatened with extinction.
Firstly, about a third of the tree species found in the Indo-Malaya (Tropical Asia) biogeographic realm of which India is a part, have not been evaluated and data about them is deficient.
Secondly, other than Indo-Malaya and Oceania, the Afrotropics (Africa south of the Sahara, including Madagascar) have the highest proportion of threatened tree species.
Thirdly, the Palearctic and Nearctic (North America) realms mostly have tree species that are not threatened.
Fourthly, the Neotropics (Central and South America) have the largest number of tree species with 23,631 tree species. Indo-Malaya is second and the Afrotropics have 9,237 species. The Nearctic and Oceania have the lowest number of tree species.
Fifthly, the researchers found that 142 of the world’s tree species have become extinct.
Sixthly, among countries, Brazil, China, Colombia and Indonesia had many tree species as well as many threatened species. Madagascar is one of the countries with the highest number of threatened trees.
What are the threats to the trees?
Threats to tree species, as listed in the report, includes:
Agriculture (29%), logging (27%), livestock farming (14%), residential and commercial development (13%), fire and fire suppression (13%), energy production and mining (9%), wood and pulp plantations (6%), invasive and other problematic species (5%) and climate change (4%).