Forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. From flora to fauna, a wide range of known and unknown species resides within the foliage that covers only 30% of the world, as well as providing resources for 1.6 billion people, while meeting the basic needs of creatures on Earth.
Unfortunately, forests are on the verge of collapse. Many factors contribute to the rapid destruction of forests , many of which are man-made. To expand this awareness, Conservation International released a report in 2014 covering the world’s most endangered forests. Below is Top 10 Most Threatened Forest In The World.
Located along the eastern edge of Africa, north of Saudi Arabia, south of Zimbabwe, East Afromontane is home to flora for species such as Podocarpus, Juniperus, Bamboo, Hagenia, among others.
But growing agriculture, especially large plantations of crops such as bananas, beans, tea, etc., the burgeoning wildlife meat market, and population growth have reduced that to 11 percent of its original habitat.
It consists of humid tropical and subtropical hardwood forests. And it is home to more than 50 species of lemurs along with another unique exquisite variety of animals.
Still insects and plants in the rainforests, most of which are facing the threat in this economically disadvantaged region with high population, unsustainable agriculture, hunting, and logging, and industrial and small scale mining, leaving only 10% of the original habitat surviving.
Hunting for immigrants is a major threat to animal species. The biggest threat, however, is agricultural expansion. Subsistence agriculture and commercial agriculture have taken over everything but 10 percent of the original habitat, particularly because of poor soil quality and a growing population.
The California Floristic Province of North America has a Mediterranean-like climate. Tropical and subtropical hardwood forests are the home of the giant sequoia, the largest living organism on the planet , as well as its close relative, coastal redwood.
Many large mammals have been extinct. Commercial agriculture, along with urban sprawl, pollution and road construction, are all major threats, and with the exception of about 10% of the habitat, have degraded the rest of the land.
The Southwest Mountains of China in the Asia Pacific region, with temperate coniferous forests support a broad array of temperate flora. Poaching, overgrazing and collecting firewood are some of the main threats to biodiversity here.
The construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam along with other river dams, destroyed everything but 8 percent of the original habitat.
The Atlantic Forest extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, traversing parts of Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, including the archipelago in the Fernando de Noronha sea, and other islands off the coast of Brazil. These broad-leaf wetlands, tropical and subtropical, comprise 20,000 species of plants.
Cane and coffee plantations, with the expansion of the urbanization of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo now increasing, threatened the region, except around 8% of the natural habitat.
The Philippine area has been spread over more than 7,100 islands. More than 6,000 plant species can be counted in humid, broadleaf, tropical and subtropical forests. The place is being rapidly eliminated by agriculture and accommodation of the growing population, in addition to being connected with the trade of wood products, leaving about 7% of the original habitat.
The Sundaland area spreads across the western half of the Indo-Malayan archipelago of 17,000 equatorial islands, including Borneo and Sumatra. Industrial forestry and international trade in animals for food and medicine require the flora and fauna here.
Commercial uses such as rubber, palm oil, and pulp production, coupled with illegal and unsustainable logging, and the characteristic of logging-free forest left only about 7% of the original size.
New Caledonia is one of the smallest areas, located on the group of islands in the South Pacific at the southern end of the Melanesia region, eastern Australia. The broad-leaf, tropical and subtropical wetlands contain at least 5 families of endemic plants, including the world’s only parasitic conifer, and nearly two-thirds of araucaria trees.
And nickel mining, destruction of forests and invasive species threaten flora and fauna, with only 5% of the original remaining habitat.
The Indo-Burma areas in the Asia Pacific region, with broad-leaf tropical and subtropical wetlands, have birds, freshwater turtles and fish species, including some of the largest in the world.
During the discharge to wet rice cultivation, freshwater marshes and flooded areas, floodplain dams and other wildlife habitats are destroyed.
Aquaculture shrimp ponds, predatory fishing, and other fishing techniques, and mangrove swapping, have destroyed coastal and freshwater ecosystems, leaving 5% of the original habitat.