Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Endangered Forests in The World in 2017. Forests are habitats to over 70 percent of terrestrial biodiversity.Flora, Fauna and a wide range of species provide resources and offer services to over 1.5 billion people, despite them occupying below 30 percent of the world.It is important to conserve the ecosystem because the environment can do without us, but we can not do without it.However, forest destruction is increased by human activities, the main reason being the’ tragedy of the commons,’ a concept associated with the use of common resources such as forests.Over exploitation of forest resources leads to environmental degradation. Here are the ten most endangered forests in the world 2017 according to Conservation International, a global environmental organization.
List of The top 10 most endangered forests in the world 2017:
10. The Eastern Afromontane forest(Africa)
Located along the Eastern edge of Africa, the Eastern Afromontane forest is one of the most endangered forests in the world 2017.The forest stretches from Saudi Arabia to Zimbabwe and is home to various flora species such as Juniperus, bamboo, podocarpus, and Hagen.The forests consist of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf ecosystems and montane grasslands. The forest harbors a variety birds, amphibians, and mammals, with over 600 fishes in the lakes.The forest is, however, threatened by expanding agriculture, especially extensive crop cultivation of bananas, beans, and tea. Growing demand for bush meat and a rapidly growing population have reduced the forests to 10% of the original habitat.
9. Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands(Africa)
Madagascar and Indian Ocean islands are cut off from the African mainland and thus do not share endemic African animal group, despite them being close to Africa.The islands consist of forests with tropical and subtropical moist broad environments.The islands are home to over 50 species of Lemur, together with other animals, insects, and plants under the danger of extinction.Some of the activities that endanger plants and animals species include unsustainable agriculture, hunting, timber harvesting and mining.Only below 10% of the original habitat survives today, meaning the forests in the islands are near extinction.
8. The Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa
East Africa’s coastal forests may be fragmented and tiny but consist of tropical and subtropical broadleaf forests.The forests are home to various flagship species that include three endemic monkey species.The animal species face the threat of elimination as a result of hunting, an activity that is carried out by the immigrants.However, agricultural activities such as commercial farming and subsistence agriculture have consumed over 90 percent of the entire habitat.The degradation is a result of population increase, which exerts pressure on natural resources.
7. Forests of California’s Floristic Province (North America)
California’s Floristic Province has a Mediterranean climate.The tropical and subtropical forests are home to Sequoia, the largest living organism on the planet, as well as the coastal redwood, its close relative.The largest North American bird known as the California condor breeds here, with a majority of large mammals being already extinct.The major threats to these forests are pollution, commercial farming, expanding urban centers and road constructions.Over 10% is already barred, and this is likely to continue if nothing is no efforts are made to conserve the forest.
6. Forests of Southwest China mountains (Asia Pacific)
South West China mountains have temperate coniferous forests that support a broad range of flora, including the endangered giant Panda and other species in the river system.The primary threats to biodiversity include overgrazing, illegal hunting and firewood collection. With over 90 percent of the forest’s habitat consumed by the construction of the Three Gorges dam, the forest is under the threat of extinction.
5. The Atlantic Forest (South America)
South America’s forests extend along the Atlantic coast of Brazil to parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.The forests also include other islands off Brazil’s coast and the offshore archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.The forest is tropical and subtropical and is home to 20,000 plant species, over 23 critically endangered vertebrate species including six bird species and the lion tamarins. The major threats to the forests include coffee and sugarcane plantations and the expansion of urban centers such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Only 9 percent of the habitat is safe from degradation.
4. Philippines’ Forests (Asia Pacific)
Philippines hotspot spreads across over 7,000 islands.Over 6,000 plant species exist in the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, including many amphibians and bird species. Increasing human populations have cleared the land for farming and settlements, with only around five percent of the ecosystem left uninterrupted.
3. Sundaland Forests (Asia Pacific)
The Sunderland spreads across the Indo-Malayan archipelago and covers the over 17,000 tropical islands that include Sumatra and Borneo.These tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests consist of fauna that is unique to this region and two species of South East Asia rhinos.Industrial forestry and illegal trade in wildlife species for food and medicine have lead to massive degradation.Some other threats to the forests include unsustainable timber logging and rubber production, which have left only 7 percent of the original habitat intact.
2. New Caledonia forests (Asia Pacific)
New Caledonia is a small hotspot in the Islands of the South Pacific, east of Australia.More than five endemic plant families exist in the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, including the only parasitic conifer in the world and over two-thirds of Araucaria trees.Fauna found in the region includes endangered species like the crested Kagu.The main threats to the forests include deforestation, Nickel mining and invasive plant and animal species.Unfortunately, only 5 percent of the original habitat remains.
1. Indo-Burma Forests (the Asian Pacific)
Indo-Burma hotspots in the Asian Pacific have tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, birds, freshwater turtles and some of the world’s largest fish species.Some of the aquatic ecosystems in the area include giant catfish and Jullien’s golden carp.Environmental degradation in the ecosystem is as a result of draining floodplains and wetlands for rice cultivation.Coastal and freshwater systems have been destroyed by overfishing, leaving only 4 percent of the original habitat.
Human beings have continued to destroy forests, forgetting that they need the services of the same forests they destroy.The destruction causes global warming and climate change, leading to prolonged droughts and floods.These natural calamities affect the same people who destroy forests.It is, therefore, important to conserve forests, so as to protect our collective future.