Juniperus gracilior var. ekmanii (Florin) R.P.Adams

Cupressaceae

Restricted to two localities in the Dominican Republic and Haiti where the few remaining trees are still threatened by cutting and firewood collection.

Distribution

Restricted to Haiti: Massif de la Selle (Morne la Selle, Morne la Visite?) and the Dominican Republic (Sierra Baoruco). This variety is now probably limited to two localities, where only a few trees remain. Some large trees in Haiti are now only stumps and are dead (Adams, 2011). Cutting for its valuable wood as well as for firewood (branches) continues. Seed cones have never been collected, so it is probably regenerating very poorly and few if any female trees may still exist. Robert Adams found only two surviving trees on a visit in 1995 to Morne la Selle. The number of mature trees in the Sierra Baoruco (Dominican Republic: Pedernales Region) is also small but not known.

Habitat and Ecology

Occurs in remnant forest in the mountains of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Human Uses

The wood of large trees is valuable for carving due to its reddish colour and beautiful patterns. Firewood is also taken from branches

Conservation Status

Global status

Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i); D

Global rationale

The situation in Haiti appears to be critical (Adams, 2011) but based on a collection made by W. Till in 2001 (WU) it is now known to occur in the Dominican Republic in the Pedernales region as surmised by Adams (2011). No data about that subpopulation are given, but it is assumed to be only a few tens of mature trees at most and they are subject to similar destructive actions as in Haiti. This taxon is Critically Endangered

Global threats

The main threat to the few remaining trees is illegal cutting for timber and for firewood.

Conservation Actions

Urgent protection measures are needed, with aid from foreign governments or NGOs, if this taxon is to be saved from extinction. In Haiti it occurs in a National Park, but for lack of management and policing this offers little protection.