World Tree Alert

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Science  15 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5635, pp. 915
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5635.915b
CREDIT: CHRISTIAN ECHEVERRIA

Fires in the past 2 years have ravaged forests of monkey puzzle trees (Araucaria araucana), pictured here in Chile's Conguillio National Park, destroying trees as old as 2000 years. This Chilean icon is one of an estimated 8000 tree species—about 10% of the world's total—threatened with extinction, according to a report published last week by the United Nations Environment Programme and Flora and Fauna International in Cambridge, U.K. The groups are seeking funding for a “World Atlas of Threatened Trees” as part of their Global Trees Campaign (see http://www.globaltrees.org/). Urgent action is needed to map and protect wild forests, says the report, Towards a Global Tree Conservation Atlas, which includes distribution maps, population estimates, conservation status, and information on the ecology and uses of five “flagship” species.

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