Ecological Components of Endangered Forests

Issue Paper
September 20, 2006

The concept of Endangered Forests emerged out of concern over the continuing loss of critical forest ecological values, which has resulted from an increasing array and intensity of stressors throughout the world. Endangered Forests are native forests of high ecological value that require protection from intensive industrial use to maintain these values.Not all Endangered Forests are necessarily facing imminent extinction; however, due to the threats posed by one or more stressors (climate change, industrial use, urbanization, etc.), they are in danger of loosing their ability to function as complete and intact, natural ecological communities, and thereby to continue supporting numerous species and essential ecological processes. Vulnerable forests of high ecological value that require protection to maintain these values are what characterize Endangered Forests.

This document was written to describe the scientific foundation for the concept of Endangered Forests and how it might be incorporated in identifying and mapping which of the world’s remaining forests should be protected as part of a larger conservation strategy.