Today, 1 million species are threatened with extinction due to human pressures, impacting our planet's ability to sustain life. The main driver of species extinction is habitat loss and fragmentation. Locally in South Africa, the main drivers of habitat loss are commercial agriculture and forestry. Forests, which are home to 80% of the world's species, are particularly important to protect: it is estimated that more than 15 billion trees are cut down each year, leading to a loss of the planet's ability to sequester carbon and mitigate climate change. climate change.
Dry sand forest is South Africa's most threatened forest type, providing essential habitat for many endemic and rare plants, trees and mammals (home to more plant species than all of Europe!). This fragile forest is under threat due to deforestation for agricultural purposes, human population growth, and increasing animal population density within wildlife reserves (which, when overpopulated, overgraze the forest unsustainable and threaten the ecosystem).