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Three tree species on verge of extinction expert

20th April 2012
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The country’s most endangered tree species, Terocarpus Tinctorious, Militia Excelsa and Bombax Rhodognophalon, are reportedly on the verge of extinction due to massive illegal logging in the Segoma Forest Reserve in Mkinga district, Tanga region.

Recent investigations in the Reserve located on the East-Usambara Mountains, uncovered massive destruction caused by illegal cutting down of trees, posing a big threat to the trees species and the biodiversity.

Illegal harvesting of trees is championed by a well coordinated syndicate involving traders, local government leaders and unfaithful villagers, according to investigations conducted by The Guardian. Moses Mwangoka, a botanist with the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), said such kind of trees were important components in attracting rainfall and maintaining biodiversity.

“The biodiversity of the Segoma forest is under pressure due to tree felling,” he said. “The number of trees being cut on daily basis is quite alarming,” he added, calling for urgent intervention to rescue the situation.

According to him, illegal logging in the reserve has adversely affected water supply to villages, dried up dams and rivers such as Zigi used for irrigation, domestic and industrial purposes. “This is a strategic water catchment for many rivers, supplying water to many parts in Tanga region. So, illegal logging does not only affect water supply and climate but also many people in surrounded regions,” he said.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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