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Half of the Amazonian tree species are endangered

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Staff writer |
Amazonian trees
Nature   8,700 species out of the 15,000 estimated

The Amazon Tree Diversity Network international consortiu revealed that 36% to 57% of Amazonian species are at risk of disappearing.

In other words, up to 8,700 species out of the 15,000 estimated during the first inventory of the Amazonian Basin, published two years ago.

According to these results, when considered at the scale of the planet, it is feared that 40,000 tropical tree species may be exposed to a risk of extinction and that the proportion of endangered plants on the planet has increased to one fifth.

One in two tree species could disappear due to deforestation in the Amazon. This has just been revealed by a vast international study published in the Science Advances journal, involving nearly 160 scientists, including IRD researchers, assembled under the banner of the Amazon Tree Diversity Network.

According to the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN) – the most commonly used to determine the conservation status of any species – the research team believes that 36% to 57% of Amazonian tree species are threatened with extinction, i.e. up to 8,700 species, including the famous Brazilian walnut, which has significant economic implications for the countries of the region.

To date, only a minute part of these species features on the NGO's red list. Some may even disappear before they can be observed and described.

Should these results be confirmed, the amount of endangered plants on the planet would increase to 22%.


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