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Turbina inopinata 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Solanales Convolvulaceae

Scientific Name: Turbina inopinata Heine

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-15
Assessor(s): Hequet, V.
Reviewer(s): Pollock, C.M. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Turbina inopinata has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,110 km2 and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 28 km2. The species is endemic to New Caledonian dry forests where it is known from four locations. For a long time it was only known from a couple of plants until a healthy population of about 20 individuals was found near Pouembout, then another one plant was found in Païta. Its current total known population is less than 50 mature individuals. Its habitat is among the most threatened in 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 the introduced Rusa Deer (Rusa timorensis) and uncontrolled fires. The reduction of the habitat has been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995) and this degradation continues today.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known from two localities in Pouembout and one in Poya, and there is also one recent collection (2007) from Paita. Its total extent of occurrence is 1,110 km2, and its estimated area of occupancy within this range is 28 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:28
Number of Locations:4
Upper elevation limit (metres):150
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Until the beginning of 2007, this species was known only from a couple of individuals. In 2006, 21 new individuals where discovered in a dry forest patch in Pouembout, and in 2007 another one was discovered in Paita. The oldest collection of T. inopinata was a sample without date and without precise locality from Paita and the species has never been seen there until the 2007 record which reconfirms the species' presence there.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:25-50
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is endemic to New Caledonian dry forests. 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 (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.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Two populations of T. inopinata are now located in protected areas. Eighty one individuals have been grown from seeds and planted in two different protected areas. Because of its high agricultural potential due to its remarkable pink flowers, Turbina has been promoted for production by private nursery gardeners. Its commercialisation is beginning and Turbina are slowly colonizing private gardens.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Turbina inopinata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T177859A7471271. . Downloaded on 21 November 2017.
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