Dacrydium leptophyllum (Wasscher) de Laub.

Podocarpaceae

Only found on a single mountain in Irian Jaya in Indonesia where there are less than 1000 mature individuals

Distribution

Indonesia: Irian Jaya. A little-known tree confined to altitudes over 3000m on Mt. Goliath. Limited to a single mountain summit as far as is known, at 4º 32’ S, 139º 51’ E, at 3000 to 3600m elevation. Extent of occurence less than 100km² and the area of occupancy less than 10km². Population unknown, but presumably less than 1000 mature trees.

Habitat and Ecology

Mossy heath forest.

Human Uses

Unknown

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable D1+2

Global rationale

Part of the reason that Dacrydium leptophyllum has been collected only once and a century ago is its remote locality; other reasons are probably its rarity if it occurs in other places, and/or the lack of knowledge of its taxonomic characters so it will not be easily recognized. The area in question is very under-collected botanically. Its foliage is distinct, so if accepted as a species we must assume that only one locality exists until evidence emerges to the contrary. Hence the taxon qualifies for Vulnerable under the D criterion. It is urgently recommended that a revisit to the locality is made to collect more complete herbarium material and to assess the size of the population. It is unlikely to be in decline assuming that the habitat has remained stable.

Global threats

Only known from one location on a mountain summit. First described as Podocarpus leptophyllus Wasscher, based on a herbarium collection made in 1911 and not recorded from other localities since. No evidence of decline, but obviously at some risk if this locality became subject to environmental changes detrimental to this species.

Conservation Actions

The locality is situated in a remote part of the highest section of the Central Mountain Range of New Guinea, between the highest peaks Mt. Jaya and Mt. Trigora, in an area known as Pegunungan Maoke. There is no evidence of deforestation and it is remote from villages. This species is not within a protected area.