The Southern Africa and Madagascar Threatened Conifer Region only includes conifers from the families Podocarpaceae and Cupressaceae. Apart from a few remnant coastal forests with Afrocarpus falcatus in South Africa and Mozambique, the conifers are mostly restricted to highland Afromontane areas, characterized by a patchy mosaic of forest and grassland. At mid elevations the subtropical forests consist of a mixture of angiosperm and Podocarps while at higher altitudes the forest is Podocarp dominant. Seventeen conifer taxa are found in this region, nine of which are currently globally threatened. In Madagascar there are seven endemic conifer taxa, five of which are threatened and all restricted to tropical montane forest of which more than 90% has been lost. On the mainland, the four species of Widdringtonia (Cupressaceae) occur at mid to high elevations on steep rocky slopes or in Afromontane forests. Two of these are threatened and one is Near Threatened. Threats in this conifer region include fire (especially for three of the four Widdringtonias) deforestation and grazing. In Madagascar forest loss is due to slash-and-burn, selective logging and overgrazing.
Endemic to Mt. Mulanje in Malawi where historical logging has had a serious effect on the population; more recently illegal logging, fire, tourism and introduced pests have become serious threats. Read full species entry >