Skip to content
Credit: Xi Zhinong/WildChina/FFI

Credit: Xi Zhinong/WildChina/FFI

Forests

Forests contain the majority of life on Earth, including a staggering 80% of the planet’s terrestrial species. These diverse environments provide warmth, shelter, water and food, and are havens for a multitude of plants and animals.

Many of the planet’s diverse forests are under threat, however, from a range of sources. The most prominent are all linked to human activity. Vast areas of forest are being lost to agricultural conversion, urbanisation, timber extraction and other forms of commercial exploitation.

Forest ecosystems are incredibly fragile, and any disruption to that system has a knock-on effect. At its most devastating, deforestation can result in a catastrophic loss of biodiversity.

What types of forest are there?

Broadly speaking, there are three types of forest: tropical, temperate and boreal.

Tropical forests are confined to a broad geographical band that straddles the equator and are undisputed havens for biodiversity. A single square kilometre of Amazonian rainforest can harbour up to 100 different tree species.

Temperate forests thrive in the highly variable seasons of the northern hemisphere; oak, elm, beech, cedar and maple trees are just a few species typical of these forests – all of which create beautiful colours as they shed their leaves in autumn.

Boreal forests, also known as taiga, grow in northerly latitudes and are dominated by evergreen conifers that can tolerate freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow for months on end.

Which species live in forests?

There are over 60,000 tree species in the world and natural forests can be made up of thousands of different species. The types of animals found in them vary depending on the type of forest and its location. Tropical forests, for example, harbour more exotic species such as monkeys, toucans, colourful frogs and iridescent butterflies. Meanwhile, temperate forests attract squirrels, martens, deer, wolves, wild cats, and nocturnal species such as badgers, bats and owls.

How do forests help to tackle climate change?

Forests play a crucial role in combating global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.

But, rapidly rising global temperatures are increasing the risk of catastrophic forest fires and are threatening to alter the composition of forests across the globe, with the more adaptable species thriving and others dwindling. This will upset the equilibrium of delicate forest ecosystems, further reducing their resilience to climate change and diminishing their carbon storage potential.

Female okapi photographed using a camera trap. © Fauna & Flora

Female okapi photographed using a camera trap. © Fauna & Flora

An elusive female okapi caught on one of our camera traps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

One trillion tonnes

Over one trillion tonnes of carbon are stored in forests and forest soils.

Over 50%

Over 50% of the animals on Earth are found in rainforests.

4.03 billion hectares

Forests cover roughly 30% of the total land area on Earth.

    One trillion tonnes

    Over one trillion tonnes of carbon are stored in forests and forest soils.

    Over 50%

    Over 50% of the animals on Earth are found in rainforests.

    4.03 billion hectares

    Forests cover roughly 30% of the total land area on Earth.

Fauna & Flora’s work to protect forests

Fauna & Flora has been working in forest protection for many decades, focusing predominantly on tropical forests in areas such as the Amazon basin, Ecuador’s Chocó rainforest, Central America, the Congo Basin, Southeast Asia and West Africa, as well as fruit-and-nut forests in Central Asia.

Wherever we are working, we collaborate with communities to ensure they can participate actively in – and directly benefit from – forest conservation initiatives in their own backyards.

We also champion the need to take a species-level approach, in addition to an ecosystem-level one. Although one in six tree species is threatened with extinction, conservation efforts often fail to consider that trees may need conservation management in their own right.

Fauna & Flora team overlooking Southern National Park. © Fauna & Flora

Fauna & Flora team overlooking Southern National Park. © Fauna & Flora

Fauna & Flora team over looking Southern National Park, South Sudan.

Conservation Impact Report 2022
Diving picture of Mediterranean monk seal, Gokova Bay Turkey. © Zafer Kizilkaya
Publication

Conservation Impact Report 2022

The Conservation Impact Report seeks to demonstrate the impact of Fauna & Flora’s conservation work and the changes that...
Africa
Americas & Caribbean
Asia-Pacific
Eurasia
Securing a viable future for the tiger
Tiger close up. Credit Evan Bowen-Jones.
Publication

Securing a viable future for the tiger

The six non-governmental organisations (NGOs), all closely involved with tiger conservation and strong supporters of the...
Asia-Pacific
Sumatran tiger
Pygmy hippo
Pygmy hippo. © Edwin Giesbers / Nature Picture Library
Species

Pygmy hippo

Learn about the habits and habitat of West Africa's very own miniature hippo and Fauna & Flora's efforts to protect its ...
Okapi
Okapi in rainforest. © Ji / Adobe Stock
Species

Okapi

Find out how Fauna & Flora and our partners are helping to protect this elusive forest giraffe from hunting and habitat ...
Conserving threatened timber species in Belize
Rosewood germination box with Dalbergia stevensonii. © Ya’axché Conservation Trust
Project

Conserving threatened timber species in Belize

Fauna & Flora works with longstanding partner, Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Ya’axché) to sustainably manage key timber s...
Belize
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
Resource extraction
Forest Protection in Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam
Credit: Anoop Anu/500px/Getty Images
Project

Forest Protection in Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam

Fauna & Flora works with community-based conservation teams in Pu Mat National Park to strengthen law enforcement, remov...
Vietnam
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
Conserving Virachey National Park’s forest ecosystem
Physignathus cocincinus Virachey National Park. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Project

Conserving Virachey National Park’s forest ecosystem

Fauna & Flora is working to strengthen the management of Virachey National Park, survey its biodiversity and support com...
Cambodia
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
Resource extraction
Conserving the critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkey in Vietnam
Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys © Le Khac Quyet / Fauna & Flora
Project

Conserving the critically endangered Tonkin snub-nosed monkey in Vietnam

Fauna & Flora is building community-led conservation initiatives across critical forest habitats to protect the Tonkin s...
Vietnam
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
Conserving fruit-and-nut forests in Central Asia
Malus niedzwetzkyana. Credit: Chris Loades / Fauna & Flora
Project

Conserving fruit-and-nut forests in Central Asia

Fauna & Flora is working with local partners in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to conserve fruit-and-nut forests.
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Habitat destruction
People & the environment
Resource extraction
Sustainable Lansan Project
Forest worker Sean cyril inspecting a lansan tree in Saint Lucia. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Project

Sustainable Lansan Project

Fauna & Flora is working with the Saint Lucia Forestry Department to ensure the long term conservation of lansan trees i...
Saint Lucia
People & the environment
Village forest conservation in Kerinci Seblat buffer zone
© Edy Susanto / Fauna & Flora
Project

Village forest conservation in Kerinci Seblat buffer zone

Fauna & Flora is working with local communities and the government to safeguard rural livelihoods and forest habitats in...
Indonesia
Climate change
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
Northern Aceh forest conservation
© Juan Pablo Moreiras / Fauna & Flora
Project

Northern Aceh forest conservation

Fauna & Flora is collaborating with communities, local government, conservation agencies and rangers to protect threaten...
Indonesia
Climate change
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
African elephants
Elephant family. © John Michael Vosloo / Shutterstock
Species

African elephants

Discover the difference between forest and savannah elephants and find out how you can help Fauna & Flora to protect bot...
Forest protection in Sapo National Park, Liberia
Chimpanzee with young © Fauna & Flora
Project

Forest protection in Sapo National Park, Liberia

To ensure Sapo National Park and its wildlife are protected, we are working with communities and the Forestry Developmen...
Liberia
Illegal wildlife trade
Resource extraction
Piloting REDD+ in the Wonegizi Landscape
Forest in Wongezi / Wologizi. © Philip Tem Dia / Fauna & Flora
Project

Piloting REDD+ in the Wonegizi Landscape

Fauna & Flora is working with government and communities in Liberia to ensure the long-term protection and sustainable m...
Liberia
Climate change
Habitat destruction
People & the environment
Conserving ‘ridge to reef’ in Papua, Indonesia
© Fibrian Yusefa Ardi / Fauna & Flora
Project

Conserving ‘ridge to reef’ in Papua, Indonesia

Fauna & Flora is conserving Papua’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems with support from communities, the local governmen...
Indonesia
Climate change
Habitat destruction
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
Conserving Sumatran tigers in Kerinci Seblat National Park
© Fauna & Flora / KSNP
Project

Conserving Sumatran tigers in Kerinci Seblat National Park

Fauna & Flora is working with park authorities and local communities to protect the critically endangered Sumatran tiger...
Indonesia
Illegal wildlife trade
People & the environment
Transboundary cao vit gibbon conservation
Cao vit gibbon mother with young. © Nguyễn Văn Trường / Fauna & Flora
Project

Transboundary cao vit gibbon conservation

Fauna & Flora works with local partners in northern Vietnam to protect the critically endangered cao vit gibbon.
China
Vietnam
Habitat destruction
Catalysing action for Indonesia’s threatened trees
© Yanuar Ishaq Dc / Fauna & Flora
Project

Catalysing action for Indonesia’s threatened trees

Fauna & Flora and local partners are supporting the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to develop and implement a nati...
Indonesia
Climate change
Habitat destruction
People & the environment
Resource extraction
Protecting rosewood from illegal logging in Belize
Rosewood leaves. © Maximiliano Caal
Project

Protecting rosewood from illegal logging in Belize

Fauna & Flora works with longstanding partner, Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Ya’axché) to sustainably manage key timber s...
Belize
Illegal wildlife trade
REDD+
Page

REDD+

REDD+ explained: finding low-carbon paths to sustainable development and ensuring the conservation of forests.
Protecting biodiversity and improving livelihoods in South Sudan
© Benoit Morkel / Fauna & Flora
Project

Protecting biodiversity and improving livelihoods in South Sudan

Fauna & Flora is protecting biodiversity and improving the livelihoods of local communities in Bire Kpatous Game Reserve...
South Sudan
Illegal wildlife trade
Antiguan racer
Antiguan racer. © Jenny Daltry / Fauna & Flora
Species

Antiguan racer

Discover how Fauna & Flora and our partners brought the world's rarest snake back from the brink of extinction.
Threatened trees
Page

Threatened trees

Today, over 10,000 tree species are threatened with extinction, with more than 1,900 species listed as critically endang...
International Gorilla Conservation Programme
Mountain gorilla. © Juan Pablo Moreiras / Fauna & Flora
Page

International Gorilla Conservation Programme

IGCP’s mission is to conserve the mountain gorilla and its habitat through partnering with key stakeholders while signif...
Asian elephant
Asian elephant collecting grass in woodland habitat. © Nick Everett / Getty Images
Species

Asian elephant

Delve into the life of Asia's largest land mammal and discover how Fauna & Flora is addressing the increasing threats to...
Common chimpanzee
Chimpanzee. © Marc Guitard / Getty Images
Species

Common chimpanzee

Discover little-known facts about chimpanzees and how we are working to ensure the survival of our closest relatives.
Eastern lowland gorilla
Eastern lowland gorilla. © Eric Baccega / Nature Picture Library
Species

Eastern lowland gorilla

Find out how Fauna & Flora and partners are protecting this critically endangered great ape from poaching, habitat loss ...
Grey wolf
Grey wolf in woodland habitat. © Uryadnikov Sergey / Adobe Stock
Species

Grey wolf

Discover how Fauna & Flora and our partners are helping to ensure harmony between humans and the world's largest canid.
Hornbills
Great hornbill. © Biraj Sarkar/ BIA / Minden / Nature Picture Library
Species

Hornbills

Hornbills are under threat from deforestation and hunting. Find out more about these extraordinary birds and how we can ...
Jaguar
Jaguar. © Mike Lane / iStock
Species

Jaguar

Find out more about the world's largest spotted cat and the threats it faces throughout its range in the Americas.
Lansan tree
Lansan tree. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Species

Lansan tree

Discover more about how we've helped protect the threatened Caribbean tree that produces incense.
Wild magnolias
Wild magnolia flower. © Chu Xuan Canh / Fauna & Flora
Species

Wild magnolias

How Fauna & Flora and partners are saving the critically endangered wild ancestors of some of the world's oldest trees.
Mountain gorilla
Mountain gorilla. © Camilla Rhodes / Fauna & Flora
Species

Mountain gorilla

Learn how the mountain gorilla was brought back from the brink of extinction and what threats these great apes still fac...
Myanmar snub-nosed monkey
Myanmar snub-nosed monkey. © Yin Yang
Species

Myanmar snub-nosed monkey

Uncover the secrets of Myanmar's very own sneezing monkey and learn about our efforts to secure its future.
Saint Lucia racer
Saint Lucia racer. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora
Species

Saint Lucia racer

Find out more about the world's rarest snake and the efforts of Fauna & Flora and partners to rescue the tiny surviving ...
Sumatran tiger
Sumatran tiger close up. © Ondřej Prosický / Adobe Stock
Species

Sumatran tiger

Feast on fascinating facts about Indonesia's last surviving tiger and how we're supporting the country's efforts to prot...
Pangolins
Sunda pangolin © Bjorn Olesen
Species

Pangolins

Meet the world's most trafficked mammals and discover how Fauna & Flora is tackling the threats to their survival in Afr...
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey
Tonkin snub-nosed monkey. © Le Khac Quyet / Fauna & Flora
Species

Tonkin snub-nosed monkey

Meet the mysterious monkey that Fauna & Flora rediscovered in Vietnam and find out how we're tackling the threats to its...
Union Island gecko
Species

Union Island gecko

Find out about the dazzling and diminutive Union Island gecko and our work to protect this critically endangered Caribbe...
Yellow-naped amazon
Yellow-naped parrot. © Ondrej Prosicky / Adobe Stock
Species

Yellow-naped amazon

Follow the fate of the critically endangered Central American parrot that Fauna & Flora and partners are helping to prot...
Cao vit gibbon
Cao vit gibbon. © Ryan Deboodt
Species

Cao vit gibbon

High-speed swingers with haunting calls, cao vit gibbons are under threat from hunting and habitat loss in their shrinki...