New research: A fourth of all tree species in Amazonas are threatened – University of Copenhagen

01 December 2015

New research: A fourth of all tree species in Amazonas are threatened

News from Globalnyt (Danish). The report can be found here (English).

New research shows that the biodiversity in the Amazonas are threatened more than first expected. 25 % of all tree species in the Amazonas are already vulnerable or under direct threat - and more species are to come.

Abstract from the report

Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%. We show that the trends observed in Amazonia apply to trees throughout the tropics, and we predict that most of the world’s >40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened. A gap analysis suggests that existing Amazonian protected areas and indigenous territories will protect viable populations of most threatened species if these areas suffer no further degradation, highlighting the key roles that protected areas, indigenous peoples, and improved governance can play in preventing large-scale extinctions in the tropics in this century.