Diospyros cherrieri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Ericales Ebenaceae

Scientific Name: Diospyros cherrieri F. White

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ce; B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-15
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hequet, V.
Reviewer(s): Pollock, C.M. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Diospyros cherrieri has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 790 km² and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 28 km². The species is known from six different locations that are up to 125 km apart. It is threatened because it is restricted to dry forests in New Caledonia and its habitat is among the most threatened in the country. Dry forests have been reduced dramatically, both in size and in quality. They have been severely cleared for agricultural purposes over the last century and what remains today are highly fragmented patches that suffer intense predation by introduced Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa). The reduction of dry forest has been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995) and this degradation continues today. From this it is suspected that a population reduction of at least 30% has occurred over this time period. Generation length is not known for this species, but with the evidence of large declines in dry forest over the last 150 years, it is likely that the species has declined by at least 30% over the past three generations

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species endemic to New Caledonia. It is present in dry forests between Poya and Pouembout, then it is totally absent from areas between there and its type locality, 125 km north in Pam (Ouégoa). Its total extent of occurrence is 790 km², and the estimated area occupied by the species within this range is 28 km².
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:28
Number of Locations:6
Upper elevation limit (metres):200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is unknown. When present, this species can be isolated, with scattered to rare individuals, or common but it is never abundant. Because it is sometimes difficult to differentiate from other sympatric Diospyros species, D. cherrieri may actually be more common than previously thought.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Tropical dry forests are probably among the world’s most endangered of all lowland tropical forests. Because of their propensity to become pastures and their susceptibility to fire, dry forests have reduced dramatically, in size as well as in quality. In New Caledonia, they’ve been intensively cut for agricultural purposes for a century; what remains today are highly fragmented patches that have been estimated at 2% of the original area.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is lowland clearing for cattle grazing and agriculture, which began in the 1850s and is ongoing. Another threat comes from the Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa), which was introduced in the 1880s and adapted extremely well to the Caledonian habitats. Its population may have reached 105,000–110,000 individuals in the wild. This deer consumes a wide variety of plant species and also causes severe damage to trees by rubbing antlers against tree stems. The third major threat is uncontrolled fires that sweep across lowlands of New Caledonia each year during the dry season and have slowly transformed remnant patches of dry forest into shrubland dominated by Acacia spirorbis and Leucaena leucocephala, or Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) savannas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in two protected areas.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Diospyros cherrieri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T173444A7006745. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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