Prumnopitys standleyi (J.Buchholz. & N.E.Gray) de Laub.

Endemic to Costa Rica, the primary threat is logging which has reduced the population and led to poor regeneration


Endemic to Costa Rica where it occurs in the following Provinces and Cantons: Alajuela (Poas); Cartago (El Guarco); Heredia (Heredia); San José (Dota). It is known from three locations and has an estimated EOO of 1365.6km² (Estrada, 2005). Generally occurs in small scattered stands.

Habitat and Ecology

This is a large forest tree to 30m tall which has a scattered distribution on the slopes of mountains. It occurs in the montane rain forest belt, from 2200 to 3310m. This forest type is characterised  by the following species: Podocarpus oleifolius, Magnolia poasana, Cleyera theaeoides, species of Ilex and Weinmannia and a number of Lauraceae species from the following genera Nectandra, Ocotea, Persea and Phoebe.

Human Uses

The wood is used in construction, for making paper pulp, boxes, floors, indoor decorations, veneer, farming tools, fenceposts, firewood, charcoal, and furniture (Carpio, 1992; Rojas et. al., 1992).

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)

Global rationale

The EOO has been estimated as 1,365.6km² based on herbarium data from the main herbaria in Costa Rica. The number of locations is about 3 and there is an ongoing decline in the number of mature individuals, the loss of which is not helped by poor regeneration. There is also a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat, particularly outside of protected areas.  This species therefore meets the criteria for Endangered under B1ab(ii,iii,v).

Global threats

Prumnopitys standleyi, like most members of the Podocarpaceae, is much valued for its timber and is consequently subject to selective logging. The level of exploitation has been estimated to be up to 300 trees cut each year (Chavarría, 2005; Varela, 2002) with the most vulnerable forests outside of protected areas (ca 52% of its range). Since 1992 the available habitat for this species has been reduced by 12.4 % by deforestation and land conversion (Chavarría, 2005; Varela, 2002).

Conservation Actions

It occurs in Parque Nacional Volcan de Poas and in La Amistad Biosphere Reserve. About 48% of its total range is within protected areas (Estrada, 2005).

References and further reading

  1. Carpio, I. (1992). Maderas de Costa Rica, 150 especies forestales. Editorial Universidad de Costa Rica.
  2. Estrada Chavarría, A., A. Rodríguez González & Sánchez González, J. (2005). Evaluación y categorización del estado de conservación de plantas en Costa Rica. CR/INBio/SINAC.
  3. Merello, M. (2003). Podocarpaceae. In: Hammel, B. E., Grayum, M. H., Herrera, C. & Zamora, N. (ed.), Manuel de Plantas de Costa Rica. Volumen II. Gimnospermas y Monocotiledóneas (Agavaceae–Musaceae) , pp. 11-13. St. Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden Press.
  4. Moreira, I. & Arnaéz, E. (2003). Prumnopitys standleyi. In: Vozzo, J. A. (ed.), Tropical Tree Seed Manual, pp. 661-662. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
  5. Rojas, F., G. Torres, E. Arnáez & Moreira, I. (1992). Ciprecillo. Especies Forestales Tropicales. Subserie de Cuadernos Cientéficos y Tecnológicos No. 9. Editorial Tecnológica de Costa Ricas, Cartago, Costa Rica.
  6. Slooten, H. J. van der, (1969). Maderas latinoamericanas. I. Objetivos y especificaciones generales de los estudios. Turrialba 19: 409-411.
  7. Slooten,H.J.van der, I.Acosta-Contreras &.Aas, P. A. (1970). Maderas latinoamericanas. III. Podocarpus standleyi, Podocarpus oleifolius, Drimys granadensis, Magnolia poasana y Didymopanax pittieri. Turrialba 20(1): 105-115.
  8. Varela J.C. (2002). Determinación de la abundancia y distribución de las principales especies maderables con valor comercial en Costa Rica. Tesis de Licenciatura. Universidad de Costa Rica.

Entry information:

Entry author:

M.F.Gardner ·

Entry last edited:

13 Mar 2018

Recommended Citation:

M.F.Gardner, 2018, Prumnopitys standleyi, from the website: ‘Threatened Conifers of The World’ (https://threatenedconifers.rbge.org.uk/conifers/prumnopitys-standleyi). Downloaded on 22 February 2024.

Categorised in:

Endangered, Direct exploitation, Southern Mesoamerica and Podocarpaceae