Magazine article American Forests

"For the Birds": The Worthy Importance of Restoring Tropical Forests

Magazine article American Forests

"For the Birds": The Worthy Importance of Restoring Tropical Forests

Article excerpt

The beaming sun warming your skin, the soft sand shifting between your toes and an island breeze blowing in with the waves ... a tropical paradise is luxurious and exotic--its forests don't need restoration, right? Not so fast! Tropical forests face the same threats as other forest ecosystems, such as deforestation due to continuing development and the threat of invasive species. Yet, their health is particularly crucial as tropical forests actually house 96 percent of the world's tree species and store nearly 26 percent of global carbon emissions. And, the forests of Hawaii, the United States' very own paradise, are no different.

That's why, in 2015, American Forests partnered with the Hawai'i Forest Institute (HFI) on a Global ReLeaf project to reforest four acres of the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center (KBCC) Discovery Forest by planting 2,400 trees, including 17 different native species.

After many decades of over-grazing that allowed invasive species to come in and consume a once-thriving forest on the Big Island, the KBCC Discovery Forest was established in an effort to begin restoring native species to the area and to improve wildlife habitat for endemic birds, many of which are critically endangered. …

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