One in three trees faces extinction
September 1, 2021 - At least 30 percent of all tree species are at risk of extinction, twice the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined, according to a comprehensive new study.
The State of the World’s Trees report, published by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), found that 17,500 tree species out of the total 58,497 species worldwide are a risk of extinction. Some 142 species have already vanished from the wild, while 442 are on the very edge of extinction, with fewer than 50 individual trees remaining.
The main threats to tree species are forest clearance and other forms of habitat loss, direct exploitation for timber and other products and the spread of invasive pests and diseases. Climate change is also having a clearly measurable impact.
Thousands of varieties of trees in the world's top six countries for tree-species diversity are at risk of extinction the report found. The greatest single number is in Brazil, where 1,788 species are at risk.