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May 13, 2020
It’s not just animals that suffer endangerment and extinction, plant species are also disappearing across the globe. The baobab tree, also known as Africa’s ‘tree of life’, is becoming an endangered species despite its incredible capability of living for thousands of years. Baobabs are some of the largest trees in the world, with trunks that can reach over 30cm in circumference. There are 9 species of baobab in the world and unfortunately 3 species of these incredible trees are endangered, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The natural habitat of the baobab tree is rapidly disappearing due to agriculture and human developments. Climate change is having a huge effect on the hardy baobab tree, creating extreme weather conditions and environmental changes. Baobab fruit has been popularised in western countries as a ‘superfood’, leading to over farming and many of the large animal species that were responsible for eating the baobab fruit and thus carrying its seeds have become endangered or extinct, meaning the baobab tree is unable to spread, limiting the distribution of the plant species. It is believed that some baobab species will not survive the next century.
The greatest way we can help to protect the baobab and many other plant species around the world is to reduce our environmental impact. By reducing our footprint we can help to slow down the environmental effects that are damaging the natural habitats of these plants and many others like them. An important step is to use wood and paper products wisely, buy FSC certified products, try to reuse paper where possible and always recycle. Another easy way to support plant life is to use the internet search engine Ecosia which plants a tree for every search you make. Donate to organisations such as the Global Trees Campaign who work to protect tree populations all around the world by implementing conservation projects for over 100 threatened tree species. You can read more about their baobab conservation project here.
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