Save conifers

Published: Sunday 31 October 1999

The World Conservation Union (iucn) has warned that some of the most ancient trees on Earth face extinction. In a report titled Action Plan for Conifers, IUCN says a quarter of the world's conifer species are threated. Among these conifers, many are survivors from the dinosaur age. Only three specimens remain of the world's rarest conifer. Logging, mining, wildfires, urban growth and ozone pollution are taking their toll. A new action plan shortlists 42 conifers for urgent attention and nine hotspots where at least eight species will be protected. It suggests areas that should be protected against logging, mining, fire and regions where the conifers' shrinking habitat is being destroyed ( New Scientist , Vol 163, No 2201).

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