Western Mediterranean

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 - Western Mediterranean:

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Abies numidica de Lannoy ex Carrière

Endemic to a very small area of the Djebel Babor Mountains in northern Algeria where it is threatened by a combination of fire, fuel-wood collection and grazing by cattle and goats. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo

One of two varieties of the Spanish fir restricted to three areas of southern Spain where in the last 45 years large areas of  forest have been lost mainly as a result of fire. Read full species entry >

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Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière

Endemic to North Africa where it occurs in Morroco and Algeria. The main threats include logging, fire and extensive grazing by goats Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana A.Camus

Represented by the two varieties C. dupreziana var. dupreziana (Algeria) and C. dupreziana var. atlantica (Morocco). Long-lived (2000 years) but their future is threatened by fire, seed collecting and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana var. atlantica (Gaussen) Silba

One of two varieties of cypress native to North Africa where it occurs in a very restricted area of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The severely fragmented population is Crtically Endangered Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana var. dupreziana

Native to the Sahara Desert in Algeria where it occupies a narrow strip of about 120km long on the edge of Tassili Plateau. It is Critically Endangered due to grazing and cutting for firewood Read full species entry >

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