Podocarpus perrieri Gaussen & Woltz

Podocarpaceae

One of five threatened Podocarpus species endemic to Madagascar where it has been severely impacted by deforestation

Associated Names:

Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar where it is restricted where it is restricted to Fianarantsoa Province (Andringitra Massif), Antanarivo Province (Toamasina, Forêt d'Andasibé). Very restricted in these localities, with an area of occupancy (AOO) of less than 10km² (probably less than 1km²). Although no quantitative data are available that could give an estimate of population size, an indication that it is small is provided by the few herbarium collections that have been made. It has not been collected since 1951 despite an overall increase in plant surveys and herbarium collecting in recent decades. Given the situation with deforestation in the areas where it has been found, a serious decline is inferred.

Habitat and Ecology

Podocarpus perrieri occurs in the eastern subhumid forest, at elevations between 1200m and 2000(-2,500?) m above sea-level. In one of the known locations the terrain is described as "pentes rocailleuses", i.e. rocky slopes, at an altitude of 2000m, and the rocks are silicious. At the type locality, at 1200m above sea-level, this species was said to attain 30m in height; this would have been in tall forest. No mention of tree size was made with the collection made at an altitude 2000m.

Human Uses

No commercial uses are recorded of this species, but it is undoubtedly used locally for firewood and, if trees are large enough, for construction timber, such as flooring of houses.

Conservation Status

Global status

Critically Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v)

Global rationale

The area of occupancy here calculated is based on locality data from herbarium specimens using ArcView mapping conservation tools developed at RBG Kew. It assumes a grid size as recommended by IUCN of 2 x 2km, but given that this species has not been found since 1951 the actual area of occupancy (AOO) may by now be much smaller. If less than 10km² it will be CR, which is accepted here because we suspect it has declined dramatically since its last collection in 1951. This species was recently assessed under the project to assess Data Deficient conifers, with the outcome: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) (Farjon et al. 2006).

Global threats

This species is only certainly known from the type location and one other location and from GIS data it appears to be a deforested area. The type collection was made in 1925, the most recent collection dates from 1951. Surveys in this area are urgently required to determine if this species is still extant. Deforestation is serious in this region and this species is not known from any protected area.

Conservation Actions

A survey to find and locate individuals and/or subpopulations of this species is urgently needed. Based on current knowledge it is possible that it approaches extinction, as no collections of it were made for herbaria since the 1950s. When found, protection as a nature reserve should be proposed for its localities.