There are several seasonal fruits that are at risk of extinction due to a variety of factors such as loss of habitat, climate change, and over-consumption. With climate change and global warming on the rise, many of the world’s fruits are at risk of becoming extinct. From beloved tropical fruits like durian and mangosteen to common supermarket staples like bananas, some of our favorite fruits are threatened by human activity and changing habitats. In this article, we will explore which fruits are endangered (possible fruit extinction), what causes them to be at risk, and what can be done to protect them.
Some examples include:
- The ackee fruit, which is native to West Africa and is a staple food in Jamaica, is at risk due to deforestation and over-harvesting.
2. The durian fruit, which is native to Southeast Asia and is a popular delicacy, is at risk due to habitat loss and over-consumption. It’s one of the world’s smelly fruit.
3. The rambutan fruit, which is also native to Southeast Asia, is at risk due to habitat loss and over-harvesting.
4. The mangosteen fruit, which is native to Southeast Asia, is at risk due to habitat loss and over-harvesting.
5. Carambola, also known as star fruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to tropical Southeast Asia.
6. Loquat – Used to make herbal tea, it’s also cultivated as an ornamental plant. The loquat is in the family Rosaceae and is native to the cooler hill regions of south-central China.
7. Persimmon fruit – national Japanese fruit.
It’s important to note that these examples are not exhaustive and that many other fruits and species are also at risk of extinction due to human activities.
In this article, I will be sharing some of the uncommon African fruits that are even getting rarer as the year goes by. Others include;
- Ugli fruit
Fruits That Are Becoming Rare in Nigeria
1. Bush Cherry (Ubene)
This is a freshly discovered fruit that is widely seen in the wild. The bush cherry species is high in vitamins and makes excellent wine and fruit juice. Some people are amazed that bush cherry still exists and are prepared to pay a high price for it.
2. Utu (Landolphia Owariensisiensis) – Rubber vine tree fruit
- The fruit of the rubber vine tree is known as utu in Igbo.
- This fruit was quite prevalent 20 years ago.
- It’s so prevalent that you can even buy it on the street. However, until you happen to come across it at the market, you may not even realize it’s in season.
- Utu is a sweet-sour fruit that is similar to other landolphia kinds.
3. Rose Apple (Watery Rose Apple)
This fruit has many names including water apple and wax apple. It has almost the same resemblance as a java apple, only that it is lighter, more stunted, and with waxy skin.
More so, it is crispy and has a bland taste but is juicy. For more pictures and details see Bloomhood
4. Monkey Kolas (Achicha/Ochicha)
- There are many varieties of this fruit example is white monkey kola (cola pachycarpa), which has a brown pod and a white seed pulp.
- These fruits have various degrees of sweetness.
However, of all the varieties in Nigeria, yellow monkey kola seems to be more common.
Sadly, many people do not know about the goodness of these fruits. And may not even know till it finally enters into extinction.
5. Bush Mango (Ugiri)
Bush mango is of 2 types. The bitter Bush mango and the sweet bush mango (the ugiri ogbono fruit).
Bush mango tree will always remain with us but the fruit is becoming so uncommon. This is because more than 90% of commercial farmers/owners grow it for the seed rather than the fruit.
6. Java Apple
Java apple and Rose apple are of the same family and genus, which is why they have a similar resemblance.
It has a sweet-sour taste, juicy but soggy like a cashew. It is pink but the intensity of the color can differ, as some are lighter than others. You can make it into juice, eat them fresh, or added to fruit and vegetable salads. The same with water rose apple.
7. Mbembe (Wild Black Plum)
What to Do to Stop Fruit Extinction
To help prevent fruit from going extinct, we must first understand what is causing the decline in their populations. Factors like habitat destruction, over-harvesting, and climate change all contribute to fruit population decline. To combat these factors, people can work to protect habitats, practice sustainable harvesting methods, and support laws that address climate change. In addition to these larger-scale initiatives, individuals can also help by growing endemic fruits in their own gardens or supporting small local farmers.
Many food experts believe that we have fewer fruits now than we had five decades ago.
Fruits, like various food crops and animals, may become extinct for a variety of causes.
However, if nothing is done to enhance the cultivation and preservation of these fruits, we may no longer have them in two decades.