GENEVA - An invasive beetle has driven North America’s most widespread ash Tree towards extinction, conservationists said Thursday, also warning of dramatic declines among several African antelope species.
The species are being destroyed by the invasive and fast-moving emerald ash borer beetle, which arrived in the northern state of Michigan from Asia in the late 1990s via infested shipping pallets.
It has already wiped out tens of millions of trees throughout the United States and Canada, and can kill off virtually an entire forest of ash within six years, the IUCN said.
The white ash is also one of the most valuable timber trees in North America and is widely used to make furniture, baseball bats and hockey sticks.
IUCN highlighted five species of African antelope that have seen their numbers decline drastically in recent years, largely due to poaching and habitat degradation.
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