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Juniperus brevifolia

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Juniperus brevifolia
Species Authority: (Seub.) Antoine
Common Name(s):
English Azores Juniper

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-05-27
Assessor(s): Thomas, P.
Reviewer(s): Bilz, M. & Farjon, A.
Contributor(s): Elias, R, Herrington, S & Gardner, M.
Justification:
The area of occupancy (AOO) has been calculated to be 513 km² which falls well within the 2,000 km² threshold for Vulnerable under criterion B. The population is severely fragmented with a continuing decline in both its area of occupancy and quality of its habitat. In 1998 this species was assessed as EN B1+2c (Farjon 1998). More detailed field studies throughout the Azores undertaken since 1998 indicate that it is more widespread than previously thought.
History:
1998 Endangered (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: It is found on all the islands of the Azores with the exception of Graciosa. The area of occupancy (AOO) = 513 km². The AOO was estimated on the presence within 1 km² grid cells overlaid on a 1;25000 scale map. This mapping scale is more appropriate in the context of the size of the individual islands in the Azores, compared to the standard 4 km² grid recommended in the IUCN guidelines. The AOO is distributed throughout the islands as follows (the percentage given is the AOO relative to the total area of each island):
  • Corvo - 6 km² (35%);
  • Faial- 28 km² (16%);
  • Flores - 87 km² (61%);
  • Pico - 174 km² (39%);
  • São Jorge - 64 km² (27%);
  • São Miguel - 35 km² (5%);
  • Santa Maria - 1 km² (1%) and
  • Terceira - 118 km² (29%).
São Miguel has two locations: Lagoa do Fogo and Tronqueira/Graminhai. On Terceira Juniperus occurs throughout the central part of the island, with one coastal location at Agualva. On Pico it also occurs throughout the central part of the island with two coastal locations of Manhenha  and Cais-do-Mourato (Elias 2007). On Santa Maria it only has one location at Almagreir.
Countries:
Native:
Portugal (Azores)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Sizeable trees are now rare and the species is represented largely by shrub-sized individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Juniperus brevifolia can be found in a variety of different habitats; coastal scrubland with Myrica faya and Erica azorica; mountain scrubland with Calluna vulgaris; pioneer scrubland on lava flows with Erica azorica, Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium cylindraceum; Juniperus-Laurus azorica forest; Juniperus-Ilex azorica forest; as pure Juniperus woods and Juniperus-Sphagnum woods or Juniperus forested peat bogs.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Historically Juniperus brevifolia has been used in forestry, building of furniture, infrastructure and ships. The Azores were a very important port of call for Portuguese sailing ships coming from or to Brazil, Africa and India in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. It is now too rare to be exploited.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Current threats stem from the expansion of agricultural land and impact of livestock as well as forestry, especially the establishment of Cryptomeria japonica and Eucalyptus globulus plantations. These activities have caused a great decline of the subpopulations on Pico, Terceira, São Jorge and Flores especially in mountainous areas above 500 m. Perhaps the current greatest threat to Juniperus brevifolia is competition from alien species, especially Pittosporum undulatum at lower altitudes, Hedychium gardnerianum at higher altitudes and, in São Miguel, Clethra arborea. Over the past ten years there has been a decline of less than 10 % of the overall population but the situation varies from island to island.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Juniperus brevifolia is internationally protected under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) (Elias and Silva 2008).

Juniperus brevifolia has protection in the following designated areas: 

  • Flores: (i) Reserva Florestal Natural Parcial do Morro Alto e Pico da Sé; (ii) Zona Especial de Conservação da Zona Central-Morro Alto (Rede NATURA 2000); (iii) Reserva da Biosfera.
  • Covo: (i) Parque Natural da ilha do Corvo: Área Protegida para a Gestão de Habitats e Espécies da Costa e Caldeirão.
  • São Miguel: (i)Parque Natural da ilha de São Miguel: Reserva Natural da Lagoa da Fogo; (ii) Parque Natural da ilha de São Miguel: Reserva Natural do Pico da Vara; (iii) Parque Natural da ilha de São Miguel: Área Protegida para a Gestão de Habitats e Espécies da Tronqueira e Planalto dos Graminhais; (iv) Parque Natural da ilha de São Miguel: Área Protegida para a Gestão de Habitats e Espécies da Serra de Água-de-Pau.
  • Terceira: (i) Reserva Florestal Natural Parcial da Serra de Santa Bárbara e dos Mistério Negros; (ii) Reserva Florestal Natural Parcial Biscoito de Ferraria; (iii) Zona Especial de Conservação da Serra de Santa Bárbara e Pico Alto (Rede NATURA 2000); (iv) Zona Especial de Conservação das Quatro Ribeiras (Rede NATURA 2000).
  • São Jorge: (i) Reserva Florestal Natural Parcial do Picos do Carvão e da Esperança; (ii) Reserva Florestal Natural Parcial do Pico do Areeiro; (iii) Zona Especial de Conservação Costa Nordeste e Ponta do Topo (Rede NATURA 2000).
  • Pico: (i)Parque Natural da ilha do Pico: Reserva Natural da Montanha do Pico; (ii) Parque Natural da ilha do Pico: Reserva Natural do Mistério da Praínha; (iii) Parque Natural da ilha do Pico: Reserva Natural do Caveiro; (iv) Parque Natural da ilha do Pico: Paisagem Protegida da Cultura da Vinha  Ponta da Ilha; (v) Parque Natural da ilha do Pico: Paisagem Protegida da Cultura da Vinha  Zona Norte; (vi) Parque Natural da ilha do Pico: Paisagem Protegida da Zona Central.
  • Faial: (i)Parque Natural da ilha do Faial: Reserva Natural da Caldeira do Faial; (ii) Parque Natural da ilha do Faial: Paisagem Protegida do Cabeço do Fogo
Proposed practical conservation actions include the maintenance and restoration of the habitat, reinforcement of populations and regional recovery plans. The establishment of corridors, controlling invasive species and access to sensitive areas are also considered important to put in place.

Citation: Thomas, P. 2013. Juniperus brevifolia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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