Juniperus comitana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Juniperus comitana
Species Authority: Martínez

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-05-20
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Adams, R
In Guatemala, this species is known from three locations, one is along the border with Mexico (Chiapas), into which it extends but is scattered and known from four localities (one could be considered identical with a locality in Guatemala). Not all have been collected, but 90% is probably represented. This and the continuous decline indicates an assessment of Endangered. The area of occupancy is estimated to be not greater than 275 km² if grids are 5 km wide: this may be an overestimate. This species is listed as Endangered on the Guatemalan Red List (Vivero et al. 2006).
1998 Vulnerable
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Relatively widespread stretching from Comitán in Chiapas, Mexico to northern Guatemala.
Guatemala; Mexico (Chiapas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No population figures are known, but there is evidently a substantial and ongoing decline in the numbers of mature trees.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Juniperus comitana is found on dry, rocky slopes or in canyons with shrub or open woodland cover, growing with e.g. Acacia and Ficus in forest pasture on dolomite and other rock types with thin soil. The altitudinal range is from 1,300 m to 1,800 m a.s.l.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood of this juniper is used locally by the Amerindian population for firewood and also for fence posts.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by deforestation and overexploitation of forest resources as an indirect result of a rapidly growing human population with an almost exclusively rural economy. Especially the junipers that occur in pine-oak forests, although not specifically targeted, have decreased with that forest type both in Chiapas and in Guatemala. The situation in Guatemala has been described by Islebe (1993) with some emphasis on the situation in the Guatemalan Sierra de los Cuchumatánes where both J. comitana and J. standley still occur.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is necessary to declare and manage more protected areas in both countries to include viable populations of this species, as the main threat is deforestation and conversion to agricultural land uses.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Juniperus comitana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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