Home > Planetwatch > Planetwatch series – Huarango forests of Peru

Planetwatch series – Huarango forests of Peru

Huarango

Huarango forest

Huarango (Prosopis pallida) is the ultimate survivor. This hardwood tree has survived in the arid and frigid AtacamaSechura deserts of Peru for over a millennium. Veteran trees since the time of Spanish conquistadors still exist in isolated pockets. The trees are critical to the ecosystem. They nourish soil, capture moisture from the sea fog, prevent desertification and soil erosion, increases biodiversity of the region and provide food and timber to the villagers. However, centuries of deforestation have depleted Huarango woodlands to 1% of its original size. Although conservation efforts are underway, cutting down of Huarango for firewood continues unabated.

Here again the immediate business of survival and profit have taken precedence over preservation. Someday, jolted out of our complacence we would blink and see that the only jungles left behind are concrete ones.

Inspired by article in NY Times – Link

Categories: Planetwatch
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