Homalium leratiorum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Malpighiales Salicaceae

Scientific Name: Homalium leratiorum Guillaumin

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable 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.
Homalium leratiorum has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 6,384 km2 and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 31.2 km2. The species is endemic to New Caledonia, where it is known from eight locations. Its habitat is among the most threatened in New Caledonia; 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 the introduced Rusa Deer (Rusa timorensis) and uncontrolled fires. Reduction of habitat has been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995) and degradation continues today.

Homalium leratiorum is known from old collections around Noumea where it probably used to be common. However, considering the rate of extinction of dry forest patches, it is suspected that the species has now disappeared from many of those sites.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known from old herbarium collections around Noumea where it probably used to be common. A few other scattered collections were made from Boulouparis, Bourail and Pouembout, and two more are from the east coast: one from Thio and a doubtful specimen from Yaté. Distances between these sites (respectively and from south to north) 54, 39, 29, 76 and 78 km. Its total extent of occurrence is 6,384 km2, and its estimated area of occupancy within this range is 31.2 km2.
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:31.2
Number of Locations:8
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species seems to be tolerant in terms of habitat. It has been collected mostly in dry forests but also in maquis. 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. Maquis are also extremely vulnerable habitats because of the richness of their soil and their mining value.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Homalium leratiorum apparently used to be common around Noumea but intense urbanization, developing human activities and repeated fires around the city have considerably reduced its habitat. The species may already have disappeared from Noumea and its suburbs.

Outside of Noumea, it is threatened by lowland clearing for cattle grazing and agriculture, which began in the 1850s and is ongoing. Another threat comes from the Rusa Deer (Rusa timorensis), 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. For all subpopulations in maquis, mining activity is the major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are in place for this species at present.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Homalium leratiorum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T177844A7468373. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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