Acmopyle sahniana J.Buchholz & N.E.Gray

Podocarpaceae

Endemic to Viti Levu, the largest island in the Republic of Fiji, where it is known from 5 localities with an estimated total population of about 200 individuals

Associated Names:

drautabua and nggamleve

Distribution

Endemic to the Republic of Fiji in the Central Division of Viti Levu in the provinces of Namosi and Naitasiri. It is known from five localities in Namosi and near Mt Tomanivi. It was also known from the Koroyanitu Range (Ba Province) but recent surveys (1996-2010) indicate that that locality has been extirpated, possibly as a result of cyclone damage. The area of occupancy (AOO) is likely to be less than 10km². Subpopulations are severely fragmented and the total number of mature individuals is estimated to be around 200. Regeneration is variable between localities

Habitat and Ecology

Steep, narrow forested mountain ridges in areas of high rainfall at altitudes above 400 m.

Conservation Status

Current Global status

Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv); C2a(i)

Global rationale

The previous assessment (1998) of Critically Endangered under Criterion D (population less than 50; IUCN version 2.3) is no longer applicable as new subpopulations have been found and the criteria used for that assessment have been superceded. In the current assessment the total population of mature (reproducing) individuals was estimated to be less than 100 with no subpopulation having more than 50 mature individuals. However, since then further small stands have been located that indicate that a total population of about 200 individuals in five, severely fragmented localities. The actual area of occupancy is less than 10 km.

Global threats

Acmopyle sahniana occurs within a very restricted habitat over a very small area. As such it is very susceptible to disturbance from both natural and anthropogenic sources. The subpopulation on Mt Koroyanitu (formerly known as Mt Evans), first recorded in 1947, has not been located since 1997 despite surveys and is now thought to be extinct. Other localities in the Korobasabasaga Ranges are threatened by mining activities.

Conservation Actions

This species is listed under Schedule 1 of Fiji's Endangered Species Act (2002). Some recently discovered localities are within the Wabu FOrest Reserve, an area that has been identified as one of the priority forests for conservation (Olson et al., 2009) although it does not have formal protection yet.

A Fijian NGO, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, has launched an awareness raising project under the auspices of the Save Our Species Fund and uses this species as its logo.