First world survey finds 9,600 tree species risk extinction

April 5, 2017
Brazil is the country with the most diverse tree population, with 8,715 species, according to the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) group

The first ever global database of trees on Wednesday revealed that 9,600 tree species are threatened with extinction and identified a total of 60,065 in existence.

Brazil is the country with the most diverse tree population, with 8,715 species, according to the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) group.

It also has the largest number of —4,333—that only exist there.

In total 58 percent of trees are so-called single country endemics, with 2,991 species only found in Madagascar and 2,584 only found in Australia.

After Brazil, Colombia is the second most diverse country, with 5,776 different tree species, followed by Indonesia, with 5,142.

The London-based BGCI, which represents an estimated 2,500 around the world, used data from more than 500 published sources to create the list.

Of the 60,065 tree species, only around 20,000 have been assessed for their conservation status—of which 9,600 are threatened with extinction.

"BGCI's main reason for publishing the list is to provide a tool for people trying to conserve rare and threatened tree species," the organisation said in a statement.

"Currently, around 10,000 tree species are known to be threatened with extinction, largely by deforestation and over-exploitation.

"This number includes over 300 species that are critically endangered with fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild."

Aside from the Arctic and the Antarctic where there are no , the Nearctic region—comprising most of North America—has the lowest diversity, with less than 1,400 tree .

The database will be continually updated, as around 2,000 new plants are discovered and described each year.

Explore further: Tropical forests just got a little more diverse

Related Stories

New method recognises tree species automatically

January 20, 2017

A joint research project by Tampere University of Technology's mathematics laboratory and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has developed a new method of recognising tree species based on laser scanning measurements. ...

What can extinct species do to help conservation?

May 18, 2016

The dodo, the passenger pigeon and the Tasmanian tiger are well-known victims of extinction caused by human behaviour, but could their status be used to help conservation efforts from beyond the grave?

Recommended for you

Galactic center visualization delivers star power

March 21, 2019

Want to take a trip to the center of the Milky Way? Check out a new immersive, ultra-high-definition visualization. This 360-movie offers an unparalleled opportunity to look around the center of the galaxy, from the vantage ...

Ultra-sharp images make old stars look absolutely marvelous

March 21, 2019

Using high-resolution adaptive optics imaging from the Gemini Observatory, astronomers have uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The remarkably sharp image looks back into the early history of ...

When more women make decisions, the environment wins

March 21, 2019

When more women are involved in group decisions about land management, the group conserves more—particularly when offered financial incentives to do so, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study published ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

highzone
not rated yet Apr 07, 2017
Because of Fossil Fuels, Extinction Rates Gets Higher by the month ! ! !

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.