Wild Progenitors of Domestic Fruit & Nut Trees in Central Asia Threatened with Extinction

niedzwetzky apple photo

Flora & Fauna International is working in Krygyzstan to help save and restore the Niedzwetzky apple (pictured here), one of the most threatened apple species in the region. Photo: FFI

There's a , and now trees in Central Asia have theirs as well. The Red List of Trees of Central Asia identifies 44 tree species that are threatened with extinction; the 'original' apple tree Malus sieversii, from which all domesticated varieties of apples were developed, is on the list:Compiled by international scientists and published by Flora & Fauna International, in collaboration with , the Red List of Trees cites over-exploitation, human development, pests and diseases, overgrazing, desertification and fires as the main threats to the trees and forests of Central Asia.

kyrgyz women photo

Flora & Fauna International is working with communities and government forest services in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to encourage more sustainable use and protection of forests, including providing training for community groups and grants for eco-friendly businesses. Photo: FFI
Future Food Security Threatened Without These Trees
Lead author of the report, Dr Antonia Eastwood explains why preserving these tree species is of vital importance,
Central Asia's forests are a vital storehouse for wild fruit and nut trees. If we lose the genetic diversity these forests contain, the future security of these foods could be jeopardized, especially in the face of unknown changes in global climate.

More: Red List of Trees of Central Asia
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