Nearly a third of world’s cacti face extinction, says IUCN


The Guardian reports: Nearly a third of the world’s cacti are facing the threat of extinction, according to a shocking global assessment of the effects that illegal trade and other human activities are having on the species.

Cacti are a critical provider of food and water to desert wildlife ranging from coyotes and deer to lizards, tortoises, bats and hummingbirds, and these fauna spread the plants’ seeds in return.

But the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)‘s first worldwide health check of the plants, published today in the journal Nature Plants, says that they are coming under unprecedented pressure from human activities such as land use conversions, commercial and residential developments and shrimp farming.

But the paper said the main driver of cacti species extinction was the: “unscrupulous collection of live plants and seeds for horticultural trade and private ornamental collections, smallholder livestock ranching and smallholder annual agriculture.” [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email