Juniperus saltillensis M.T.Hall

Cupressaceae

Distributed in northern Mexico and in decline due to intensive grazing and deforestation for agricultural purposes.

Distribution

Distributes in Mexico in the Satets of: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Zacatecas.

This can be an aggressive species that moves into disturbed habitat. However, due to cutting for fuel and some fence posts (larger trees), goat browsing of seedlings and the general state of habitat degradation in the deserts of Mexico, it is probably in overall decline, especially near towns. It may be more stable in less disturbed areas

Habitat and Ecology

Juniperus saltillensis is sometimes an understorey shrub in Pinyon-Juniper woodland or open Pinus-Quercus or Quercus forest, with Pinus cembroides, Juniperus flaccida, J. deppeana and Acacia constricta, or occurs in the ecotone to Bouteloua grassland with e.g. Opuntia imbricata, Agave sp., and Ephedra sp.; predominantly on limestone in the semi-arid zone (rain-shadow) of mountain ranges. The altitudinal range is from 1800 to 2900 metres above sea-level.

Human Uses

May be used for fence posts and firewood

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v)

Global rationale

This species has a wide range extent of cccurrence (EOO) largely due to two or three outlying localities; the main distribution is in a much more limited area around the borders of Nuevo León, Zacatecas and Coahuila. Here almost all herbarium collections were made since 1940. The increasing pressure on this subpopulation due to ‘range improvement’ is interpreted as causing continuous decline. The area of occupancy AOO is probably smaller than here calculated because it often occurs as widely scattered shrubs in open landscapes

Global threats

This species occurs partly in areas with grassland and trees/shrubs that are subject to clearing for pasture improvement (Adams, 2011) and is likely to be in decline in these situations. Intensive grazing is likely to negatively impact regeneration in the open pasture and restrict opportunities to within thorny shrubbery

Conservation Actions

This species is in need of protection from grazing cattle and other animals.