Pichonia balansana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Ericales Sapotaceae

Scientific Name: Pichonia balansana Pierre

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern 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.
Pichonia balansana is endemic to New Caledonia, where it is common on the Loyalty Islands. At the species level, it is currently assessed as Least Concern, however the subpopulations occurring on the main island (Grande Terre) are under threat because their dry forest habitat there has reduced dramatically, both in size and quality. The reduction of dry forests have been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995). The most threat to the species may be the loss of genetic diversity if all individuals originating from Grande Terre are lost. Therefore, although this species is Least Concern at present, it is important to monitor the population, particularly on Grande Terre.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is very rare on the main island (Grande Terre) but it is common in the calcareous forests of the Loyalty islands. On Grande Terre, it has been collected in Bourail in the "Guaro Deva" area and in Koumac, 160 km further north. The species is common on two of the Loyalty Islands: Maré and Lifou.
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:28
Number of Locations:6
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The subpopulation on Grande Terre must be very small, but the subpopulation occurring in the Loyalty islands is significant (J-M Veillon pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits calcareous dry forests. It is threatened on Grande Terre where dry forests in general are endangered and dry forests on calcareous forests are an uncommon habitat. However, populations in the Loyalty Islands are well preserved.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): For the subpopulation(s) on Grande Terre, 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. Another threat is the loss genetic diversity if the subpopulation on Grande Terre is lost. Currently the species is well preserved in the Loyalty Islands.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Pichonia balansana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T177869A7473344. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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