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State Of The World’s Trees Report: BGCI

State Of The World’s Trees Report

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.

Species Under Threat:

  • 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.

Most At-Risk Trees:

  • 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.

Countries with Highest Risk:

  • 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.

Island 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.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International:

  • It is a plant conservation charity based in Kew, London, England.
  • It is a membership organisation, working with 800 botanic gardens in 118 countries, whose combined work forms the world’s largest plant conservation network.
    • Headquarters location: Richmond, United Kingdom
    • Founded: 2003