The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has published for the first time a “red list” of threatened European trees on Friday 27th September 2019.
More than 40% of the tree species present in Europe are endangered, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned Friday 27 September 2019, one of the main dangers being the introduction of invasive species.
This is the first time that IUCN, based in Gland, Switzerland, has published a “Red List” of European trees. On this occasion, the organization looked into the fate of the 454 species of trees present on European soil.
Some of them grow in Europe but also elsewhere in the world. Of these species, 42% are considered threatened and therefore have a “high risk of extinction”, the IUCN report says.
For so-called endemic species – which only grow in Europe, 58% are endangered and 15% are critically endangered.
Diseases, deforestation, farms …
The introduction of invasive species, unsustainable logging and urban development are the main threats to the decline of tree species on European soil.
Diseases, deforestation, animal husbandry and ecosystem changes, particularly related to fire, are other threats to trees in Europe.
“It is alarming to note that more than half of Europe’s endemic tree species are now threatened with extinction,” said Craig Hilton-Taylor, who heads the unit responsible for developing the disease. “Red List”, quoted in a statement.
“Trees are essential to life on earth and European trees in all their diversity are a source of food and shelter for countless animal species such as birds and squirrels, and play a key economic role.”
Craig Hilton-Taylor called on the European Union to work for their survival.
According to IUCN, mountain ash is particularly at risk, with three quarters of the 170 European species of mountain ash being considered threatened.
The chestnut tree (chestnut), attacked by the horse chestnut leafminer, a pest insect from the Balkans, is now considered “vulnerable”.