The World’s 10 Most Endangered Forests Hotspots
10 Eastern Afromontane, Africa
The Eastern Afromontane, which stretches from Saudi Arabia in the north to Zimbabwe in the south, is home to Podocarpus, Juniperus, bamboo, Hagenia, and other vegetation. Tropical and subtropical wet broadleaf forests, montane grasslands, and shrublands make up the majority of the region. It also has a diverse range of animals, birds, and amphibians, as well as 617 fish in its lakes. However, increased agriculture, particularly big crop plantations such as bananas, beans, tea, and other legumes, as well as the burgeoning bushmeat market and rising population, have reduced it to 11% of its natural habitat.
9 Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands
Despite their near proximity to the African mainland, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands do not share the animal group indigenous to Africa. Tropical and subtropical wet broadleaf forests make up the majority of the area. It is home to over 50 lemur species, as well as a diverse range of other exquisitely unique animals, insects, and plants in the rainforests, the majority of which are threatened by high population, non-sustainable agriculture, hunting and timber extraction, and industrial and small-scale mining, with only 10% of the original habitat surviving.
8 Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa
Although the Coastal Woods of Eastern Africa are small and fragmented, the remnants contain tropical and subtropical broadleaf forests, as well as flagship species like as the Tana River red colobus, Tana River mangabey, and Zanzibar red colobus. Immigrant hunting is one of the most serious dangers to animal populations. Agriculture expansion, on the other hand, poses the greatest threat. Due to low soil quality and a growing population, subsistence agriculture and commercial farming have taken over all but 10% of the natural environment.
7 California Floristic Province
The climate in the California Floristic Province of North America is Mediterranean. The giant sequoia, the planet’s biggest living creature, as well as its near sibling, the coastal redwood, live in tropical and subtropical broadleaf forests. The California condor, the biggest North American bird, breeds here, as does the US’s largest avian range. A huge number of big animals have become extinct. Commercial farming, coupled with increasing metropolitan areas, pollution, and road development, are all serious concerns, and have deteriorated the rest of the landscape, with the exception of roughly 10% of the habitat.
6 Mountains of SouthWest China
The temperate coniferous forests of Southwest China in the Asia-Pacific region support a diverse range of temperate flora, with endemic species including the endangered giant panda, which is entirely restricted to these shrinking forests, the red panda, a smaller relative of the giant panda, and many species in the river systems. Illegal hunting, overgrazing, and firewood gathering are all major threats to biodiversity in this area. The construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest dam, and other river dams has destroyed all but 8% of the natural habitat.
5 Atlantic Forest
The Atlantic Forest stretches from Brazil’s Atlantic coast to portions of Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay, including the Fernando de Noronha archipelago and other islands off the coast of Brazil. There are 20,000 plant species in these tropical and subtropical wet broadleaf forests. There are over 24 Critically Endangered vertebrate species present here, including lion tamarins and six bird species. Sugarcane and coffee plantations, together with the growing urbanisation of Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo, have now endangered the region, with just around 8% of the natural ecosystem remaining.
The Philippines is a hotspot that spans over 7,100 islands. The tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests contain over 6,000 plant species, as well as many bird species such as the Philippine eagle, the world’s second-largest eagle, and amphibian species such as the panther flying frog with adaptations for gliding, such as an extra skin flap and webbed fingers and toes, among others. The area is being quickly cleared for agricultural and population growth, as well as being logged for wood products, with just around 7% of the natural environment remaining.
The Sundaland hotspot covers the western part of the 17,000-island Indo-Malayan archipelago, which includes Borneo and Sumatra. The wildlife of the tropical and subtropical wet broadleaf woods includes a unique orangutan and two Southeast Asian rhino species. The flora and wildlife of this area have been claimed by industrial forestry and international animal trafficking for food and medicine. Only approximately 7% of the original area remains due to commercial uses such as rubber, oil palm, and pulp manufacturing, as well as illegal and unsustainable logging and non-timber forest.
2 New Caledonia
New Caledonia is one of the smaller hotspots, located in the South Pacific’s Melanesian area, east of Australia, in a collection of islands known as New Caledonia. At least five endemic plant families may be found in tropical and subtropical wet broadleaf forests, including the world’s sole parasitic conifer and approximately two-thirds of the Araucaria trees. The fauna includes endangered animals such as the kagu, which is the sole living member of its family. With just 5% of its natural habitat surviving, nickel mining, forest degradation, and exotic species pose a danger to the flora and wildlife.
Birds, freshwater turtles, and fish species, including some of the world’s biggest, may be found in the Indo-Burma hotspots in the Asia-Pacific area, which feature tropical and subtropical wet broadleaf forests. Giant catfish and Jullien’s golden carp are found in aquatic environments. Dams flood sandbars and other wildlife habitats while draining for wet rice farming destroys freshwater floodplain marshes and wetlands. Shrimp aquaculture ponds, overfishing, and other fishing practises have damaged coastal and freshwater ecosystems by displacing mangroves.