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New research helps boost conservation of Mexican cloud forests

27 October 2011

The Red List of Mexican Cloud Forest Trees summarises the findings from recent research by Mexican experts working in partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group.

The report details the global IUCN conservation status of 762 tree species. The authors have also included information on current and potential uses for each species, in the hope that this will help promote sustainable resource management and conservation.

The cloud forests of Mexico are mostly found on steep slopes and protected ravines in tropical and subtropical mountain areas. These forests are exceptionally rich in botanical variety, with over 2,800 recorded plant species.

Trees account for around 25% of the total botanical diversity in this type of forest, and play a vital role in its ecological functions (such as the regulation of climate, soil quality and water supply).

Despite the ecological, economic and cultural importance of these forests, they are not well represented within the country’s protected area network. As a result, these ecosystems are facing severe threats from deforestation and other human pressures.

The new Red List report will provide a solid scientific foundation on which conservation strategies can now be built.

The collection of information on tree species of conservation concern is vital for planning conservation action and the restoration of forest ecosystems,” said Sara Oldfield, BGCI Secretary General and Chair of the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group.

The results of this assessment indicate that over 60% of Mexico’s cloud forest trees are threatened with extinction. Clearly, urgent action must be taken to conserve and restore the forests,” she added.

The report is the result of a four-year research project which brought together a range of academics, botanists and ecologists with expertise in this area.

Its findings will be used to help support the work of the Global Trees Campaign, which is a joint initiative between FFI and BGCI.

 To learn more, download The Red List of Mexican Cloud Forest Trees (PDF - 8mb)



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