The Extinction Crisis of the Iconic Palm Family: 70% of Species May Be At Risk

Scientists say that more than half the palm species are at risk of extinction

Scientists have used artificial intelligence to estimate the conservation status for nearly 1,900 palm tree species. They found that more than 1,000 of them may be in danger of extinction.

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and Zurich University combined data from IUCN’s Red List of threatened species with machine learning techniques in order to create a more accurate picture of the threat facing palm trees. Even though palms are well-represented on the Red List and popular, their threat has been unclear up until now.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has long been considered the gold standard in assessing the conservation status of animal and plant species. There are still gaps in the Red List, since not all species are listed and some assessments need updating. The lack of funding, the time required to manually assess each species and public perception that certain vertebrate animals are more valuable than plants and fungi complicate conservation efforts.


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