Madagascar's palm trees face threat of extinction

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A majority of Madagascar's unique palm tree species are in danger of extinction, according to a study by an environmental group released Wednesday, the Montreal Gazette said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said that 83% of the 192 tree varieties in Madagascar has been added to the threatened species list, BBC News said.

"The figures on Madagascar's palms are truly terrifying, especially as the loss of palms impacts both the unique biodiversity of the island and its people," Jane Smart, the global director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group, said in a statement, the Montreal Gazette said.

Madagascar is the world' fourth biggest island and most of its mammals and plants are unique because of its isolation, BBC News said.

Forests, however, have been shrinking due to agriculture and logging, BBC News said. The palm trees have been subject to excessive harvesting that has led to the trees' near extinction state, BBC News said.

According to William Baker, head of the IUCN expert group on the palm trees, the palm trees in the island's eastern rain forests have already been reduced to less than a quarter of their original size, the Montreal Gazette said.

The decline in these palm tree forests "threatens all of the remarkable wildlife that occurs there," Baker said according to the Montreal Gazette.

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This page contains a single entry by takik001 published on October 17, 2012 8:11 PM.

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