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Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

Help us get to the core of the problem and save this Endangered apple tree

Join Fauna & Flora International today and help us protect the world’s most endangered wild places.

The fruit and nut forests of Kyrgyzstan contain the living ancestors of domestic apples, pears, walnuts, almonds and other important food trees.

These wild varieties of domestic crops, which may contain resistance to pests and diseases, could prove crucial in helping us meet the challenges of food production in the future.

Sorting walnuts to prepare for sale. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

Sorting walnuts to prepare for sale. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

Unfortunately, however, these forests have declined by 90% in the last 50 years and are threatened by destructive activities such as overgrazing and the unsustainable and illegal collection of firewood.

Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) Global Trees Campaign is working to protect two key remnant forest sites in Kyrgyzstan, which are important for species like the threatened Neidzwetzky apple, of which only 117 individuals remain in Kyrgyzstan.

The remarkable, pink-fleshed Niedzwetzky apple. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

The remarkable, pink-fleshed Niedzwetzky apple. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

The Niedzwetzky apple is a wild relative of the domesticated apples that line our supermarket shelves and is of global importance as an international genetic resource.

This striking fruit has bright pink flesh and is an iconic species for the region. It is thought to have medicinal properties and despite its bitter taste is eaten in some areas – especially by children – as a means to prevent cancer.

Expansion of agriculture and other human development across the Neidzwetzky’s range have decimated the species’ fruit and nut forest habitat in just half a century.

Neidzwetzky seedlings grow in nurseries before they can be planted in forests, repopulating the species. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

Neidzwetzky seedlings grow in nurseries before they can be planted in forests, repopulating the species. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

Overgrazing of cattle is also barrier to natural regeneration, as young shoots are eaten before they can develop a protective bark.

With so few Neidzwetzky trees remaining, FFI’s Global Trees Campaign is working hard to help monitor the remaining wild trees and is helping the state forestry department and local groups to grow new trees in nurseries.

Awareness and education in schools is a vital part of the programme. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

Awareness and education in schools is a vital part of the programme. Credit: Ally Catterick/FFI

So far well over 2,000 saplings have been grown from seed and planted out into the forest to reinforce wild populations.

By joining FFI as a member today, you can help us to protect threatened species like the Neidzwetzky apple and the habitat on which they depend.

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Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 1011102
Fauna & Flora International Australia (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee, and recognised as a Charitable Institution (ABN 75 132 715 783, ACN 132715783)
Fauna & Flora International USA Inc is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Delaware with federal tax identification number 81-3967095. 501(c)(3) status for Fauna & Flora International USA Inc currently is pending IRS approval.
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