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Over 30% of tree species threatened by extinction

Christian Fernsby |
At least a third of tree species worldwide are at risk of extinction.

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The five-year study into the globes 60,000 tree species found that 30% — 17,500 — are currently at risk of extinction.

"That means there are twice the number of threatened tree species globally than threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined," the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), which published the State of the World's Trees report, said in a statement.

Over 440 tree species are right on the brink of extinction with fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild. This includes the Menai whitebeam, found only in North Wales, which has only 30 wild trees remaining. At least 142 species are recorded as extinct in the wild.

According to the report, which was compiled by more than 60 institutional partners such as botanic gardens, forestry institutions and universities as well as over 500 experts — 58% of native European trees are threatened with extinction. Whitebeams and Rowan are the most threatened trees in the region.

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