One out of three African tropical plants faces extinction
Johannesburg – A study published by Science Advances shows that one-third of tropical African plants are on the path to extinction with species at risk including trees, shrubs, herbs and woody vines.
Much of western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are the hardest-hit regions, standing to lose more than 40 percent of their richness of plants, the BBC reported on Thursday.
Deforestation, population growth and climate change, are some of the threats the continent is facing all of which will impact on Africa’s biodiversity resulting in major social and political challenges and expected rapid population growth over the next decades.
"Biodiversity provides countless benefits to humans and losing diversity jeopardises our future," said lead researcher Dr Thomas Couvreur of the French National Institute for Sustainable Development.
1/5 New study by T Stévart @gildauby: 31.7% of 22'036 tropical #Africa plant species potentially threatened with #extinction assessed with new Preliminary Automated Conservation Assessments or #PACA method following @IUCNRedList criteria @FRBiodiv https://t.co/iuUEYpMoPO pic.twitter.com/FvBAvHbmKX— Thomas Couvreur (@tlpcouvreur) November 20, 2019
2/5 We used #RAINBIO, a verified database of over 600k specimens and 22k tropical African plant species based on international collaborations; species were classified into "potentially /likely threatened" "potentially/likely rare" & "potentially not threatened" results below pic.twitter.com/jonMnQbWZT— Thomas Couvreur (@tlpcouvreur) November 20, 2019
3/5 Spatial analyses show that #Ethiopia, west #Africa #SierraLeone, southern #DRC and central #Tanzania all have high proportions of threatened species and are in urgent need of continued conservation efforts pic.twitter.com/7hKJlq5tag— Thomas Couvreur (@tlpcouvreur) November 20, 2019
4/5 more worrying: an additional 38% of plant species are potentially #rare in tropical #Africa, albeit not threatened. These species might also be at risk given their limited distributions. Below examples of 2 threatened species #orchidaceae photo V. Droissart; #annonaceae pic.twitter.com/pNtVDviZLI— Thomas Couvreur (@tlpcouvreur) November 20, 2019
5/5 Finally, another example of a threatened species #Sericanthe lowryana #Cameroon from the coffee family #Rubiaceae in honor of Pete Lowry @mobot also a co-author on our paper! Photo by B Sonké Univ Yaoundé I pic.twitter.com/tDeQa8hmRO— Thomas Couvreur (@tlpcouvreur) November 20, 2019
African News Agency (ANA)