Tropical dry forests are one of the most threatened parts of the earth’s environment. This forest type typically experiences an annual hard dry season. The average rainfall is sufficient enough to promote growth of trees, but these tree and plant species must be able to withstand periods of low precipitation and moisture.
Dry tropical forests play a critical role in supporting the island’s ecosystems by providing fruit to many species of bats and birds during dry periods. Additionally, these forests help retain sediment, prevent coastal erosion, increase the retention of freshwater and capture carbon dioxide.
Dry forests largest threat comes in the form of overgrazing and loss of space due to due development projects. Feral grazers (such as goats and donkeys) can decimate dry tropical forests by wiping out sparce vegetation leaving only the prickliest of cacti behind. This loss of vegetation means that there is less water retention within the soil, sediment is more easily eroded by wind and rain and the loss of overall biodiversity affects the diverse animal populations utilizing these areas..