Southern Africa and Madagascar

Direct exploitation occurs through general logging (deforestation), selective logging or the use of forest non-timber products (FNTP’s). General logging is the biggest threat to conifer species whereby forest habitats are often replaced by plantations, settlements or agricultural land. Selective logging involves the removal of individual tree species for their valuable timber, for charcoal production or fire wood. This practise is often considered to be a sustainable alternative to clear-cutting however, for every tree removed 30 more will become severely damaged because the practise of selective logging is inherently destructive. Conifers play an important role in the production of non-timber products, one example is the use of the foliage and bark of Taxus species for the production of the anti-cancer drug taxol. Although over-exploitation can lead to local extinction, the sustainable commercial and domestic use have the potential of increased incentives for forest conservation.

Fitzroya cupressoides

Fitzroya cupressoides© M.Gardner, RBGE

Taxa in the category - Southern Africa and Madagascar:

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Podocarpus capuronii de Laub.

One of five threatened species of Podocarpus endemic to Madagascar where threats include deforestation, cutting for firewood, fires and grazing. Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus henkelii Stapf ex Dallim. & A.B.Jacks.

Occurs in South Africa, Malawi,Tanzania and Zimbabwe where logging for its valuable wood and deforestation threaten it. Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus humbertii de Laub.

One of five threatened species of Podocarpus endemic to Madagascar where it is has a fragmented distribution due to grazing and habitat degredation.     Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus madagascariensis var. procerus ( de Laub. ) Silba

One of five threatened species of Podocarpus endemic to Madagascar and because of ongoing logging and deforestation it now has a very restricted area of occupancy. Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus perrieri Gaussen & Woltz

One of five threatened Podocarpus species endemic to Madagascar where it has been severely impacted by deforestation Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus rostratus M.Laurent

One of five Podocarpus species endemic to Madagascar and only known from three highly disjunct localities where deforestation, grazing and fire have had major impacts Read full species entry >

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Widdringtonia cedarbergensis J.A.Marsh

Endemic to South Africa where historical exploitation for its valuable timber and more recently fire have greatly reduced the population Read full species entry >

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Widdringtonia schwarzii (Marloth) Mast.

Endemic to the eastern Cape Province of South Africa where past over-exploitation has greatly reduced the population; today the major threats include wildfires Read full species entry >

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