Zagros Plants Facing Extinction

Zagros Plants Facing ExtinctionZagros Plants Facing Extinction

Several Zagros endemic plant species, which are the main source of livelihood for local communities, are at risk of extinction.

“Prangos and allium are major mountain species that have been driven to extinction due to its unsustainable use,” Omid Sajjadian, a member of the managing board of Zagros Green Movement Society, told ISNA.

The NGO has been endeavoring to conserve the endemic plant species of the region since 1999.

“We produce and distribute the seeds of these plants among the local communities after raising awareness about planting and preserving the species,” he said.  

Unfortunately, apart from the plants, oak trees are also being felled in an unrestrained manner, especially to make way for expanding agricultural cultivation.

“The local community depends on oak trees, therefore, it is essential to educate people on how to plant oak trees and harvest them in a sustainable manner to maintain a balanced population of these trees in the region,” he added.

Apart from their wood, oaks provide many other ecological benefits. They are widely used in medicine, provide food for the cattle, store underground water and prevent soil erosion and flooding.

Sajjadian stressed the importance of cooperation between NGOs and governmental organizations to tackle problems such as wildfires, drought, plant diseases and polluting industries facing the forests of Zagros Mountains.

“We must encourage alternative means of livelihood and move toward sustainable development,” he said, adding that illegal poaching, for instance, can be replaced by ecotourism.

Zagros Green Movement Society is an environmental NGO established 18 years ago for the conservation of Zagros Mountains’ forest steppe region.


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