Terminalia cherrieri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Myrtales Combretaceae

Scientific Name: Terminalia cherrieri McKee
Taxonomic Notes: Even though Terminalia cherrieri is a valid species, the New Caledonian Terminalia group needs a complete taxonomic revision.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2ce+3e 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.
Terminalia cherrieri has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 86 km² and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 37 km². The species is endemic to New Caledonian dry forests and it is present in nine locations. Its habitat is among the most threatened in New Caledonia; dry forests have been reduced dramatically, both in size and quality. They have been intensively cut for agricultural purposes over the last century and what remains today are highly fragmented patches that suffer intense predation by introduced Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa) and cattle, and uncontrolled fires. The reduction of habitat has been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995) and this degradation continues today. As a direct consequence of this degradation, it is suspected that a population reduction of at least 50% has occurred over this time period. Regeneration of Terminalia cherrieri is close to zero because it is intensively grazed by cattle and deer and because a very high proportion of seeds are consumed by butterfly larva (close to 100% have been lost in this way at the Beaupré site). The population is mostly composed of adult trees that are not replaced when they die. For those reasons, it is suspected that a population reduction of at least 80% will occur over the next century. Generation length is not known for this species, but with the evidence of large declines over the last 150 years and very weak current regeneration abilities, it is likely that the species has declined by at least 50% over the past three generations and will likely decline by at least 50% over the next three generations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the Poya region of New Caledonia. Its total extent of occurrence is 86 km², and its estimated area of occupancy within this range is 37 km².
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:37
Number of Locations:9
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is unknown but when present, this species is usually common. However, regeneration is very poor because of different disturbance factors, including grazing by livestock and introduced Russa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa) as well as severe seed predation by butterfly larva. Recruitment is close to zero and subpopulations mostly consist of adult trees.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
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. The fruit of T. cherrieri is a large dry samara that doesn't allow long-distance dispersal capacity. It probably doesn't disperse further than a few dozen metres, except maybe in case of hurricanes.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): An important threat is the impact of introduced Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa) and cattle that intensively graze on this species and strongly affect its regeneration. Predation of the seeds by the butterfly larva also contributes to the almost total absence of natural regeneration of T. cherrieri.Its lowland habitat has been cleared for cattle grazing and agriculture, which began in the 1850s and is ongoing. Another 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: The Programme de Conservation des Forêts Sèches de Nouvelle Calédonie (PCFS) is actively working on the conservation of this species. A 13 ha reserve has been created to protect the site from deer and cattle grazing one of the larger remnant populations. Conservation ex situ is ongoing with 125 individuals already planted in three different protected areas. Studies are underway on seed predators and a new reserve has been created with “pig and deer-proof” fences.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Terminalia cherrieri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T31324A9625966. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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