According to a study ABC News calls a first-of-its-kind examination of the iconic rainforest’s ecosystem, more than 5,000 tree species, including mahogany, in the Amazon may be on the brink of extinction because of mass-scale deforestation. Mahogany is commercially extinct throughout the Amazon.
About 15 years ago, the Amazon lost 11.6 million square miles of forest a year, but that total has now declined to 3.8 million square miles a year, according to ABC News.
A globe-spanning group of 158 scientists concluded that, around 36 to 57 percent of the 16,000 tree species in the Amazon would be considered threatened, depending on the extent deforestation, will be brought under control in the next 35 years. The team’s study was published in Science Advances Nov. 20. It is viewable in full online.
If deforestation continues at the rate of the 20th and early 21st centuries, 8,700 species of trees will be in trouble. However, that number shrinks to 5,500 if the Amazon deforestation rate is slowed down to the levels proposed in 2006.