Podocarpus pendulifolius Buchholz & Gray

Podocarpaceae

Distributed in the Cordillera de Merida in Venezuela where a reduction in the size of the population is due to logging for its valuable wood

Associated Names:

Distribution

Endemic to Venezuela in the Cordillera de Merida. This species has been collected in the provinces of Edo Lara, Merida, Tachira and Trujillo. While no quantities are known, the two subpopulations/ locations known of this species are quite small, occurring in ca. six different localities (2-3 in the east, 3 in the west according to herbarium collections). Logging has taken out many larger trees, so there is likely to be a continuous decline in the number of mature trees.

Habitat and Ecology

Podocarpus pendulifolius occurs in montane mixed low-canopy rainforest at elevations between 140m and 3000m above sea-level. At the highest elevations it is part of a dwarfed forest on slopes immediately below the paramo vegetation, an alpine grassland rich in herbs. Young trees are said to be locally abundant in this habitat. It is less common in the taller forests below these stunted forests, where it can occasionally attain a height of 20 m.

Human Uses

The wood of this species is considered to be of good quality for construction of houses.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)

Global rationale

Podocarpus pendulifolius meets the criteria for Endangered under B1 and B2 since a continuing decline of the population can be inferred from its exploitation, which has been and is targeting mature trees. There is no legal protection in the form of protected areas and the species is not legally protected from logging.

Global Threats

Based on distribution data from herbarium specimens, the extent of occurrence (EOO) is less than 3000km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is less than 100km²; the species is only known from two subpopulations (locations) ca. 100km apart. Trees of some size are known to be valued and used for building houses, so there must be logging targeted at this species. No (sub)populations have been reported in protected areas.

Conservation Actions

As this species does not occur in a protected area, such protection is needed for the two subpopulations