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Campnosperma seychellarum 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Sapindales Anacardiaceae

Scientific Name: Campnosperma seychellarum Marchand

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2007-02-01
Assessor(s): Ismail, S., Huber, M.J. & Mougal, J.
Reviewer(s): Gibbs, D. & Lutz, M.L.
Justification:
Campnosperma seychellarum occurs only on Mahé (Seychelles), the extent of occurrence is approximately (EOO) 51 km² and the population is severely fragmented. Most of the subpopulations are too small to support a viable population and no propagule exchange seems to occur between the subpopulations. This species was observed to be common before the cinnamon oil rush at the beginning of the last century. The use of the plant as firewood for the cinnamon oil distilleries has caused a decline in the population size over the past 100 years. Successful regeneration varies in the different areas but is always very low. Seed predation by rats might be the main reason for the poor regeneration success. Furthermore, a number of invasive species (e.g. Cinnamomum verum, Adenanthera pavonina, Sandoricum koetjype, Psidium cattleianum) are spreading through its habitat. There is a continuous decline in the extent and quality of its habitat and the number of mature individuals. It is therefore listed as Critically Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs only on Mahé Island, Seychelles. Although the exact distribution of this species is not known, the boundaries of its occurrence are known. The EOO is approximately 51 km². The species was recorded on Praslin in the west of Vallée de Mai, 280 m (Friedmann 1994, Carlström 1996), however it seems to have disappeared from Praslin.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Seychelles (Seychelles (main island group))
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is less than 1,000 individuals, but the exact number is not known (RDLP workshop 2006). The largest subpopulations are known from Salazie, between Mare aux Cochons and Casse Dent, and from Brulée, where each subpopulation contains fewer than 50 individuals (RDLP workshop 2006). Most subpopulations are too small to support a viable population (Carlström 1996) and no propagule exchange seems to occur between the subpopulations. The subpopulations are therefore considered to be severely fragmented.

Historically, C. seychellarum must have been much more abundant. It was said to be common in all the islands from the shores to the hilltops (Baker 1877, Diels 1922). There must have been a huge decline as the species is nowadays very rare and not easy to find.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:900-1000
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This tree grows in crevices in exposed rocky outcrops and in forests at intermediate to high altitudes. It occurs from 300 to about 600 m, becoming scarcer at the higher altitudes, rarely reaching 750 m. Campnosperma seychellarum was probably one of the co-dominant species in the canopy of the original forests on deeper soils. The fruits appear to be suitable for frugivore dispersal, but the present distribution pattern and the observation that saplings are scarce indicate that there is no successful dispersal. The endemic Blue Pigeon seems to be most likely candidate to be dispersing the species (L. Chong Seng pers. comm. 2006). Most subpopulations are too small to support a viable population and no propagule exchange seems to occur between the subpopulations. Genetic diversity in subpopulations was already questioned by Carlström (1996).
Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood was used for making canoes, boats and houses. The species is now too rare for commercial use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has probably suffered much from exploitation for timber and later for firewood. All subpopulations show very poor regeneration, which might be due to seed predation by rats. Being mainly confined to single isolated trees or small groups of trees, most subpopulations of this species are probably too small to be viable (Carlström 1996). Successful regeneration varies in the different areas but is always very low if there is regeneration at all (M. Huber and S. Ismail pers. obs. 2006). First attempts of propagation in the Biodiversity Centre on Mahé failed (D. Doudee pers. comm. 2006). In many of the sites there is also a severe competition from exotic species (e.g., Cinnamomum verum, Adenanthera pavonina, Sandoricum koetjape, Psidium cattleianum). This species was observed to be common before the cinnamon oil rush at the beginning of the last century. The use of the plant as firewood for the cinnamon oil distilleries has caused a decline in the population size over the past 100 years.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in the Morne Seychellois National Park. First attempts of ex-situ propagation in the Biodiversity Center Barbarons on Mahé failed (D. Doudee pers. comm. 2006). In a survey in 1994, C. seychellarum was found in 12 out of 73 areas of special conservation value (Carlström 1996).

Citation: Ismail, S., Huber, M.J. & Mougal, J. 2011. Campnosperma seychellarum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T30498A9548966. . Downloaded on 24 September 2017.
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