Scientists develop new mapping model to save Africa’s cycad plants from extinction

Scientists develop new mapping model to save Africa’s cycad plants from extinction
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These plants are facing extinction. Cycads are the world’s oldest seed-producing plants but are facing extinction due to poaching and the infestation of a scale insect. These insects can kill a cycad plant within a few months after infesting it. New mapping models are helping to predict the places these pests could potentially become widespread. Cycads, the world’s oldest seed-producing plants , are facing extinction. Africa is home to a variety of cycad species and South Africa is regarded as a global hotspot for cycad diversity . One of the most prominent cycad taxa, the genus Encephalartos, is endemic to Africa and is categorised as “ critically endangered ” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This status indicates that if no conservation actions are taken, it may be wiped off this earth in the near future. The poaching of wild cycads is the biggest threat to their survival in Africa, particularly the cutting of old trees that are growing in the wild, as they are in high demand in traditional medicine markets and as ornamental plants in gardens. Already, poaching activities in South Africa have resulted in the extinction of three species in the wild. Now to […]

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