Picconia azorica 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Scrophulariales Oleaceae

Scientific Name: Picconia azorica (Tutin) Knobl.
Notelaea azorica Tutin
Taxonomic Source(s): WCSP. 2017. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-11
Assessor(s): Silva, L. & Beech, E.
Reviewer(s): da Silva Menezes de Sequeira, M., Fernandes, F. & Allen, D.J.
Picconia azorica is a shrub or small tree that is found only in the Azores. It is assessed as Least Concern as although it has a small area of occupancy, it occurs in many locations and the current threats will not lead to extinction. It is threatened by competition from alien species but if these are controlled the species will continue to persist. Although found in ex situ collections and protected areas, action is needed to ensure the genetic diversity of this species is conserved. A high percentage of the individuals are found outside of a protected area so efforts should be made to include these locations into new protected areas or managed to ensure the species' survival.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Azores where it is found on all of the islands except Graciosa (AZORESBIOPORTAL 2016). It is found between 0 and 660 m above sea level. The estimated extent of occurrence is 45,000 km2. Martins et al. (2015) calculated the area of occupancy to be 55 km2 using 0.5 km2 grid. When measured with a 2x2 grid, the area of occupancy is 1,100 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Azores)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1100Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:45000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Upper elevation limit (metres):660
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are several subpopulations found on the islands, with many of them small and fragmented. Some islands such as San Miguel have only one subpopulation whereas others have several (Martins et al. 2015). It is thought to have over 100,000 individuals (Schäfer 2005). This figure is a very rough estimate as no surveys of population number have been undertaken. In the past, the species was cleared and used as a timber, but now this use is no longer allowed, resulting in a stable population.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is an evergreen shrub or tree, growing to a height of 8 m. It grows on cliffs, ravines and lava flows in scrubland or forests of Erica, Morella and Laurus (Martins et al. 2015).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species was historically used for furniture construction and making religious statues in the Azores (Martins et al. 2015).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In the past, a major threat to this species was over-exploitation with the populations on several islands decreasing significantly. In fact timber of the tree was exported from Pico Island to other islands of the Azores. Currently the tree is threatened by habitat degradation because of competition from alien species and grazing. Isolation of the populations is also important on some of the islands (Martins et al. 2015). Agricultural and commercial forestry expansion were more important threats in the past and tourism may become an important threat in the future, due to increased visitor numbers in natural areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive (Council of Europe 1992). It was listed as Endangered in The World List of Threatened Trees (Oldfield et al. 1998). Picconia azorica is reported as held in 18 ex situ collections (BGCI 2016) and is recorded as present in an ex situ seed bank collection (ENSCO 2015). 53% of the population is found within the Island Natural Parks. It is suggested that conservation action should aim to secure the genetic diversity of this species as well as reinforcing fragmented populations, managing exotic species and moving the natural park boundary to incorporate more of the species' range (Martins et al. 2015).

Citation: Silva, L. & Beech, E. 2017. Picconia azorica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T30330A2792714. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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