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9,600 Tree Species Found in Danger of Extinction, Says First Ever Global Survey

Apr 06, 2017 01:24 PM EDT

Animals are closely monitored for endangerment, but plants are in danger too. Trees play a very important role in a healthy ecosystem, and the first ever global database of trees revealed that thousands of tree species are currently under the threat of extinction.

According to a report from Phys Org, the London-based group Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) produced the list with data from over 500 published sources. They revealed that there is a total of 60,065 tree species in the world.

Roughly 20,000 of these species have already been assessed to determine their conservation status, with 9,600 found to be under grave threat of 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 organization explained 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."

One species called Karomia gigas is teetering dangerously close to the edge of extinction, a report from BBC News revealed. The species, found in a remote part of Tanzania, is survived by only a single population of six trees.

This recent survey also showed that Brazil features the most diverse tree population with an impressive 8,715 tree species. The country also has the most number of endemic species at 4,333.

There are a lot of single country endemics, making up 58 percent of the total number of species that was recently recorded. Other than Brazil, other countries who provide Madagascar has 2,991 endemic species and Australia has 2,584.

Columbia and Indonesia are also standouts in diversity, with 5,776 and 5,142 different tree species in each country respectively.

The study is published in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry.

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