A report assessing the state of trees worldwide has found that 30 percent of species are threatened with extinction. But only two out of Israel’s 60 or so tree species are threatened, constituting a mere 3 percent.

The State of the World’s Trees report, published this month as part of the Global Tree Assessment by Botanic Gardens Conservation International, looked into the extinction-risk information on the world’s 58,497 tree species.

“We now know that 30 percent of tree species are threatened with extinction, and at least 142 tree species are recorded as extinct,” the report noted. “The main threats to tree species are forest clearance and other forms of habitat loss, direct exploitation for timber and other products and the spread of invasive pests and diseases. Climate change is also having a clearly measurable impact.”

The report didn’t mention which Israeli tree species are threatened but specified their number, as well as the fact that two of them are endemic—native and restricted to a certain area.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species shows that Israel is home to 61 tree species, out of which 45 were in the “of least concern” category; another four were “near threatened;” and only one was “endangered.”

Another five species were not evaluated, and the remaining six had insufficient data.

This report first appeared in Israel21c.


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