Brazil is about to start a massive census of all its rainforest trees, a huge and challenging task to be done in the name of conservation. This will take about four years and provide important information on the quality and conditions of the forest, which has been under severe threat as a result of logging and climate change.
To tackle the census, teams will be sent throughout the 3.2 million square miles of rainforest, sampling about 20,000 different points and recording the number, height, diameter, and species of trees along with soil types, biomass carbon stocks, and the type of interaction the forest has with humans living in each location.
Deforestation in the Amazon has reached a point that is so serious, a 2010 study showed that half of the forest could be gone by 2050, a point that would be far beyond repair. Brazil’s goal is to reduce its 2004 deforestation levels by 80% by 2020.
It might sound crazy to literally create a tree census, but it all comes down to the basic principle that in order to save what’s there, you have to actually know exactly what’s there. Sounds like an excellent step in rainforest conservation, and there is no better time to get started.
Image CC licensed by dabdiputs: Brazil