March 21 is International Day of Forests

The United Nations says global deforestation continues at an alarming rate, with 13 million hectares of forest destroyed annually. And deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions.

But what we often forget is that forests are home to more than 80% of the world’s terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.

Last Spring we commissioned a biodiversity survey near our Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Survey plantings at Morawa in the WA northern wheatbelt.

This is a region where less than 12% of remnant native vegetation is left. Despite the large-scale historical clearing, this is what our ecologists found in a small remnant vegetation ecosystem the across close to a 100 hectare survey area:

  • 136 plant species (including 3 threatened species)
  • 130 insect species (plus 10 macroinvertebrates)
  • 41 bird species (including 7 conservation significant species)

As one of the world’s greatest living scientists says:

“When you cut a forest… you are not just removing a lot of big trees and a few birds fluttering around in the canopy. You are drastically imperiling a vast array of species within a few square miles of you. The number of these species may go to tens of thousands… Many of them are still unknown to science, and science has not yet discovered the key role undoubtedly played in the maintenance of that ecosystem, as in the case of fungi, microorganisms, and many of the insects”.

Dr. Edward “E.O.” Wilson (often called “the father of biodiversity”)  

 

Our biodiversity survey report is available on request.

 

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