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Pisonia artensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Nyctaginaceae

Scientific Name: Pisonia artensis (Montrouz.) Heimerl

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ce; B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-15
Assessor(s): Hequet, V.
Reviewer(s): Pollock, C.M. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Pisonia artensis is endemic to New Caledonia, where it has an area of occupancy (AOO) of 40 km² and an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,131 km². The species is threatened because it is restricted to dry forests and its habitat is among the most threatened of New Caledonia. Dry forests have been reduced dramatically, both in size and 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 degradatoin continues today. From this it is suspected that a population reduction of at least 30% has occurred over this time period; the actual generation length for this species is not known, but with evidence of dramatic declines in dry forest habitat over the last 150 years, it is likely that there has been a population reduction of at least 30% over the last three generations.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species must once have been present all along west coast of New Caledonia. Today it is recorded only from remnant dry forests of la Foa, Bourail, Poya, Pouembout and Koumac. Its total extent of occurrence is 1,131 km², and the estimated area occupied by the species within this range is 40 km².
Countries occurrence:
Native:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:40
Number of Locations:10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is unknown. Depending on the site, this species has been found as single individuals or it can form small subpopulations made of scattered individuals. It is never abundant.
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.
Systems:Terrestrial
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. Pisonia artensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T177822A7464777. . Downloaded on 21 November 2017.
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