Majority of Amazonian Tree Species on Threat of Deforestation

Majority of Amazonian Tree Species on Threat of Deforestation

According to a new study, researchers said that deforestation is affecting more than 50% of the tree species in Amazon. They studied the status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species including the Brazil nut and the plants that produce cacao and acai palm and compared the maps of projected deforestation with data collected in the forest. About 36% to 57% of the Amazon's tree species should be declared as threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.

The findings suggest that the number of globally threatened plant species and globally threatened tree species could increase by about 22% and 36%. Nigel Pitman, a tropical ecologist at the Field Museum in Chicago, said the new study shows us estimates regarding the vulnerability of Amazonian trees. Till now, more than 76,000 species including all birds, amphibians and mammals, and more than 22,000 animals, fungi and plants have been labeled at risk of extinction by the conservation Union.

As per the 'business as usual' computer model used by scientists, about 40% of the original Amazon forests would disappear by 2050. Another model in which governments enacted stronger preservation regulations estimated
21% of the forest would be destroyed by 2050. Timothy J. Killeen, a botanist at Agteca-Amazonica in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, said "Fortunately, deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon, which represents about 60% of the total Amazon area, have decreased by about 75% since 2005".


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