Meet Cameroon’s New Tree Named After Leonardo DiCaprio

An international team of researchers has reported a new tropical tree in Cameroon’s Ebo forest and named it after American actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. the article published yesterday in the newspaper PairJ explains that the actor’s name was chosen because he had “lobbied a lot on social media to draw attention to the threats to Ebo’s many rare species of the logging concession that had been announced in Ebo more early that year “.

The tree, named Uvariopsis dicaprio, is four meters tall, with leaves 15 cm long, and has clusters of large, brilliant yellow-green flowers on its trunk. The tree is endemic to the Ebo forest and so far is only known from the lower submontane forest which has an elevation of 850 meters. The area of ​​occupancy of U. dicaprio is estimated at 4 km².

With the recognition of U. dicaprio, 20 species of Uvariopsis are now accepted and the greatest diversity of species is found in Cameroon.

The new tree has been assessed as “critically endangered” because its habitat remains unprotected and is threatened by logging, conversion to plantations and mining.

“There are still thousands of plant species and maybe millions of fungal species that we don’t know… This natural habitat in which they grow – especially forests, but other habitats are also increasingly being destroyed. faster. by us humans without knowing what’s out there ”, one of the authors, Dr. Martin Cheek, was quoted by the BBC. He is originally from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, UK.

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