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Juniperus saxicola

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Juniperus saxicola
Species Authority: Britton & P.Wilson
Common Name(s):
Spanish Sabina
Taxonomic Notes: The name J. barbadensis L. var. saxicola (Britton & Wilson) Silba was published in 2000 but this has been synonomised in subsequent monographic works (Adams, 2008, Farjon, 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-10-15
Assessor(s): Roberto Gonzalez Torres, L., Adams, R & Gardner, M.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Justification:
The extent of occurrence (EOO) has been calculated at 1.47 km² which is well with the threshold of 100 km² for Critically Endangered. There is a continuing decline in the area of occupancy (AOO), quality of  habitat and the number of mature individuals due to fire, human disturbance and a lack of regeneration. These negative effects are expected to continue until safeguards can be put in place to stop or reverse the situation.
History:
1998 Vulnerable
1997 Not Threatened (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to eastern Cuba; Sierra Maestra; Province: Granma: Municipio Bartolomé Masó. Restricted to three mountain peaks of the Torquino massive. The extent of occurrence is calculated as 1.47 km2, based on recent herbarium specimens from each peak. Consequently, the area of occupancy must be less than 10 km2.  These are within the thresholds for Critically Endangered under criteria B1 and B2.
Countries:
Native:
Cuba
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is restricted to three mountain tops:  Pico Cuba, Pico Real del Turquino, Pico Regino. These peaks are in very close proximity to each other (between 1-3 km apart) and the total population consists  of only 53 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Cloud forest, ridge vegetation, sometimes dense or in vegetation gaps in shallow soils on rocky outcrops and crevices. Associated species include: Ilex, Cyrilla, Chusquea, Clusia tetrastigma, Brunellia camocaldifolia, Citharexylon, Lyonia macrophylla, Vaccinium leonis, Palicourea alpina and Garrya fadyenii. It forms a tall shrub or small tree 5-8 m tall. The foliage is only juvenile (Adams 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No current uses have been recorded. In the past it was probably used for firewood

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Over the last 30 years there has been an estimated 20% reduction of this species as a result of fire and human disturbance (tourism). Controlling fires in this remote part of the country will continue to be a problem, therefore a continuing decline in the population and quality of habitat is inevitable. One other envisaged problem is that the non-native Cupressus being grown close to the population of J. saxicola as a source of firewood for one of the refugios, is now regenerating faster than it is being harvested. Unless this regeneration is controlled, then the Juniper may be displaced. The small population size (only 53 mature individuals) makes it susceptible to stochastic events. This is compounded by the poor regeneration.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is clearly and urgent need to put in place measures to stop the present decline in the population and establish a long-term restoration programme. The species is easily propagated from seed and vegetative means.

Citation: Roberto Gonzalez Torres, L., Adams, R & Gardner, M. 2013. Juniperus saxicola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 September 2014.
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