Scientists estimate that one of the tallest species of tree in the Peruvian Amazon may lose its place among the skyline in as little as a decade, as excessive logging pushes it toward extinction, according a report by Mongabay.
The shihuahuaco, or Dipteryx micrantha, also known as cumaru or Brazilian teak, is a slow-growth species that can reach heights of 164 feet over the course of 700 years. The report says the species began to be heavily targeted after Peru began to enforce changes in the monitoring and trade of mahogany and cedar, two species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2001; this led loggers to set their sights on other species such as cumaru, which is not protected. The volume of cumaru extracted in 2013 was 22 times the amount removed in 2000, according to the report, and the main destination for the timber after it is cut is the United States, followed by China, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
The felling of the 500-year-old trees is also having an impact on wildlife, such as the harpy eagle, one of the largest raptors in the world, which tends to nest in the tallest trees in the Amazon.
The full report by Mongabay can be found here.