Direct exploitation

Direct exploitation occurs through general logging (deforestation), selective logging or the use of forest non-timber products (FNTP’s). General logging is the biggest threat to conifer species whereby forest habitats are often replaced by plantations, settlements or agricultural land. Selective logging involves the removal of individual tree species for their valuable timber, for charcoal production or fire wood. This practise is often considered to be a sustainable alternative to clear-cutting however, for every tree removed 30 more will become severely damaged because the practise of selective logging is inherently destructive. Conifers play an important role in the production of non-timber products, one example is the use of the foliage and bark of Taxus species for the production of the anti-cancer drug taxol. Although over-exploitation can lead to local extinction, the sustainable commercial and domestic use have the potential of increased incentives for forest conservation.

Fitzroya cupressoides

Fitzroya cupressoides© M.Gardner, RBGE

Taxa in the category - Direct exploitation:

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Widdringtonia whytei Rendle

Endemic to Mt. Mulanje in Malawi where historical logging has had a serious effect on the population; more recently illegal logging, fire, tourism and introduced pests have become serious threats. Read full species entry >

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Xanthocyparis vietnamensis Farjon & T.H.Nguyên

Described in 2002 following its discovery in the Bat Dai Son Nature Reserve in Hagiang province in northern Việt Nam in 1999. Since then it has been discovered in other provinces of the karst limestone areas of northern Việt Nam and in Guangxi, China. Selective felling is the most serious current threat due to its small population size. Read full species entry >

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