Scientists warn of cacti species threatened by extinction

World Today

Some species of cactus are threatened with extinction. Biologists across the Americas have produced a comprehensive study after assessing over 1,400 types.

CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reports.

Scientists warn of cacti species threatened by extinction

Some species of cactus are threatened with extinction. Biologists across the Americas have produced a comprehensive study after assessing over 1,400 types. CCTV America's Franc Contreras reports.

The Helia Bravo Hollis Botanical Garden, located at the southern tip of Puebla state, is one of the world’s most important regions for cactus diversity.

Local people call the rare cactus the Little Viper’s Organ. Its brightly colored flower makes it a target of exotic plant poachers.

Other endangered cacti here include the so-called Elephant’s Foot. Biologists estimate this one to be more than 800 years old.

A group of scientists came to this and other hot spots across the Americas to study more than 1,400 cacti species. What they found was alarming: nearly a third of the cacti are threatened with extinction and some are even on the list of critically endangered plants.