We only have one planet to live on (28)
Today, we study the importance of forests in prevention of destruction of animal and plant species.
Forests are important habitats, which cover one third of lands filled with trees. Although forests only cover 6% of the plant, they have accommodated nearly half of the animal and plant species. Thus, forests are of paramount importance. According to experts, the least area needed for formation of forests is around three thousand square meters. Throughout forested regions, a peaceful coexistence is maintained between the animal and plant species.
Forests, especially intact forests, maintain a high diversity of animal and plant species, some of which are yet to be discovered. For instance, Amazon forests are the habitat of one tenth of all animal and plant species on the planet. The scientists have estimated that 40,000 different plant species, 427 different types of mammals, 1294 bird species, 378 reptile types, 427 amphibian species, and 3,000 different fish species live in Amazon forests. However, unfortunately deforestation has left irreparable negative impacts on the global climate, while also endangering bio diversity and existence of animal and plant species throughout the forested regions.
Scientists have pointed out that more than half of tree types throughout forests are on the verge of extinction due to transformation of forests into farmlands. This threat is currently posed against Amazon forests. If this trend continues, in the future, 36-57% of plant species throughout Amazon forests will be on the verge of extinction. This fact has been discovered by scientists, who carried out large-scale studies throughout the forested regions in Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
This body of research, upon the study of roughly 1500 graphs, has foreseen the quantity and types of trees which will be destroyed probably by mid-21st Century. The Environmentalist, Nigel Pitman, who works at Chicago Museum, notes: The trees which are on the verge of extinction include types such as Brazilian walnuts, and palm trees; which play roles in the lives of residents of Amazon. These trees highly contribute to stability of soil and moderation of climate. Previous studies show that the areas covered by forests have reduced by 12% and will shrink by another 28% by the year 2050 AD.
The studies of the scientists of Imperial College confirm and verify this fact, manifesting that deforestation in Brazil has left countless negative impacts on the Amazon forests. Upon preparation of statistical figures on the different types of endangered animal and plant species, scientists have discovered that the possibility of extinction of 38 animal species exists in eastern and southern parts of Amazon forests, which have shrunk in the past thirty years due to the deforestation process. These 38 endangered animal species include 10 mammal species, 20 bird species, and 8 amphibian species. These animal species face gradual death due to a number of reasons; including destruction of trees, fall in reproduction, and a surge in rivalry for acquisition of food.
According to experts, the eastern and southern regions of Amazon forests are endangered more than other regions due to long-term deforestation process. On top of this, construction of highways which pass through Amazon forests can expedite the extinction of different animal species. The outcomes of the studies carried out by the scientists of Imperial College prove in order to rescue the animal and plant species throughout Amazon forests, the process of deforestation should reduce by 80% until the year 2020 AD.
This fact is also the case for forests in other parts of the world. A body of research which has recently been carried out by an Australian University Professor, William Lawrence, on Amazon forests, Africa, and tropical forests in Australia prove that upon global warming, the rate of destruction of animal and plant species throughout forested regions surges. A rise in heat waves leads to spread of diseases among creatures, dries up some plant species, and ultimately ignites wildfires in forests, destroying millions of trees, and emitting billions of tons of carbon dioxide into air. According to this Australian university professor, deforestation fuels the destruction of animal and plant species, reducing them by 30% in quantity. For instance, a change in habitats in parts of Africa and Asia respectively led to the destruction of 65% and 67% of wildlife in these regions.
Scientists also opine that one of the ensuing consequences of destruction of animal and bird species is the spread of diseases. Based on three studies, upon the reduction of mammal species in a region, there is a sharp rise in the spread of a type of virus among animals, which in turn causes fatal lung infections in mankind. For instance, upon the reduction in diversity of mammal species in Oregon, in the US, the spread of this virus surged from 2% to 14% in a type of mice. Also, researchers concluded that direct contact with wildlife can lead to transmittance of this disease from animals to humans.
This fact once again proves the importance of forested regions in protection of different types of animal and plant species. The United Nations has named protection of animal and plant species as one of the most important functions of forests. This is while in many developing countries, forested regions are neglected because the officials of these countries wrongly believe that plantation of a new tree can compensate for uproot of another tree.
However, the fact of the matter is that cutting trees destroys habitats and animal and plant species. If we intend to halt the destruction of animal and plant species and global warming, we should end the deforestation process. Otherwise, the quality of our lives will be negatively impacted. The sustainable management of forests forms the cornerstone to sustainable development, alleviation of poverty, and stabilization of global climate.