Over 50% of palms are threatened with extinction: Research
A new study warns that at least 185 palm species may be threatened in 92 different regions.
Using artificial intelligence, scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, found that more than a thousand species of palm trees are at risk of extinction, the BBC reported.
Published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, a new study warned that at least 185 palm species may be threatened in 92 different regions, stressing the need to protect these plants.
According to the news website, hundreds of wild species of palms support millions of people across the world, providing food, medicine, and building materials for hundreds of communities across the tropics.
However, scientists fear the extinction risks of less popular wild species of Palms that are invaluable to local people.
The costly and time-consuming official assessments of extinction risks prompted the research team to use machine learning as a tool for their research purpose.
Data suggested that just over 50% of palms are threatened with extinction.
"With these predictions we can help to prioritise conservation activity and to target species with further conservation work in the countries where they are most at risk," Steven Bachman, research leader in Kew's conservation assessment and analysis team, told the BBC.
The analysis team has designated Borneo, Hawaii, Jamaica, Madagascar, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Sulawesi, the Philippines, Vanuatu, and Vietnam as priority regions for palm conservation.
"We need to do all we can to protect biodiversity and that encompasses more than a thousand palm species that we now know may be threatened," stressed study leader, Sidonie Bellot of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, as quoted by the BBC.
Bellot underlined that action was needed to conserve plants and collect more data on them through cooperation with locals who live in the regions where palms grow.
According to Rodrigo Cámara-Leret of the University of Zurich, who also worked on the study, palms are the most iconic plant group in the tropics and one of the most useful, as cited by the BBC.