Falcatifolium angustum de Laub.

Podocarpaceae

Endemic to Sarawak where it only has two coastal locations which are threatened by deforestation for oil palm plantations

Distribution

Endemic to Malaysia: Sarawak. Collected four times from just two localities near the coast at Bintulu and Kuching.

This taxon has been collected from two locations near the coast in Sarawak (NW Borneo) namely near Bintulu and near Kuching and is undoubtedly rare. No herbarium collections have been made since 1966 but this does not necessarily mean the taxon has disappeared. It is likely that this species occurs (or has occurred) in other locations.

Habitat and Ecology

Falcatifolium angustum occurs in 'kerangas' (forest on podzolised white sands) at 90-240 m altitude near the coast. The two populations occur in open forest with among other trees Gymnostoma sp. (Casuarinaceae), Parastemon sp. (Chrysobalanaceae) and Shorea albida (Dipterocarpaceae).

Human Uses

Although no uses have been recorded of this rare species, its timber, like that of other Podocarps, is likely to be useful for construction.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); D2

Global rationale

Although this species is only known from two locations, both in protected areas, it is unlikely that it is/was restricted to these. Habitat degradation, conversion to oil palm plantations and illegal cutting of trees in one of the reserves all contribute to a potential future decline and an unknown rate of past decline is inferred from these circumstances. As a result it is assessed as Endangered under Criterion B. Urgent action in the form of surveys to establish population size and status is needed in both locations, while surveys outside these are needed to establish the true EOO and AOO of this rare species

Global threats

Illegal logging is a potential threat. Probably of more serious concern is conversion of lowland forest to oil palm plantations, which may well have destroyed habitat in which this species occurred but was not noticed.

Conservation Actions

Both locations are in protected areas: Bako National Park and Niah National Park. Due to its rarity botanical collections are few and no recent collections were made. It is urgent that a renewed survey backed by herbarium collections is undertaken in the two locations to establish an estimate of population size and status, including regeneration. Surveys in similar still existing habitat in the region are also recommended.