Ancient and endangered forests are defined as intact forest landscape mosaics, naturally rare forest types, forest types that have been made rare due to human activity, and/or other forests that are ecologically critical for the protection of biological diversity. Ecological components of endangered forests are: Intact forest landscapes; Remnant forests and restoration cores; Landscape connectivity; Rare forest types; Forests of high species richness; Forests containing high concentrations of rare and endangered species; Forests of high endemism; Core habitat for focal species; Forests exhibiting rare ecological and evolutionary phenomena.
As a starting point to geographically locate ancient and endangered forests, maps of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)(1), as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and of intact forest landscapes (IFL), can be used and paired with maps of other key ecological values like the habitat range of key endangered species and forests containing high concentrations of terrestrial carbon and High Carbon Stocks (HCS).
Key endangered forests globally are the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests; Coastal Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia, Alaska and Chile; Tropical forests and peat lands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa.
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