Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, recently announced the discovery of a tropical tree in Cameron. The 13ft tree is now being called Uvariopsis dicaprio and has been named after Academy Award Winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. They made this decision in recognition of his campaigning to save the rainforest where it was found.
Daily Mail reported that Uvariopsis dicaprio is the first plant species to be officially named in 2022. The tree is from the ylang-ylang family, has large yellow-green flowers on its trunk and was discovered in the Ebo Forest in Cameron
The publication quoted the scientists as saying: “We very much appreciated the support Leo gave us in campaigning to protect Ebo last year so it seemed fitting to honour him in this way, naming a species unique only to this forest, after him,” said Dr Martin Cheek, senior researcher in RBG Kew’s Africa team.
Ebo Forest is one of the largest intact rainforests in Cameroon. It is home to the Banen people. It also provides a habitat for forest elephants and over 75 threatened species of plant.
After numerous experts from across the globe wrote a letter to the Cameroon government highlighting the danger to animal and plant species which are at the risk of extinction, DiCaprio joined the movement, giving it widespread popularity.
The star, in February 2020, took to social media in an effort to revoke the logging concession in the Ebo Forest.
A simple Instagram post did the trick.
He had posted in February.: “Cameroon’s Ebo Forest, and all of the incredible animals that live there, are in trouble. This includes forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees and so many others”.