Pterocarpus marsupium 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.
Common Name(s):
English East Indian/Malabar Kino

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-02-10
Assessor(s): Barstow, M.
Reviewer(s): Rehel, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rivers, M.C.
Pterocarpus marsupium is a large tree species. It is found over much of India and Sri Lanka and also in Nepal, Bangladesh and Taiwan. There is a lack of population information for this species but in Sri Lanka the species is known to be in decline. Also, within India field observation shows that the population is likely to be small. The species is used for a number of medicinal purposes and also for its timber. Both of which are thought to threaten the species. Pterocarpus marsupium is listed as Near Threatened based on the threats present to the species and our current understanding of population which suggests it almost meets the criteria for Vulnerable C1. Although this species has a wide native range the status of the population across the range is not known. The range also overlaps with Global Forest Watch sites of decline. The impact of species harvest for timber and medicinal purposes is not fully known either. Until species specific information for these three factors is gathered an accurate conservation assessment cannot be generated.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ptercarpus marsupium is native to southern and eastern Asia. It is found in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Taiwan (RPRC 2014, WCSP Unpublished, ILDIS 2013, TPN 1996). The species is considered introduced on Madagascar.
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; India (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Nepal; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is limited information for population size and trend for the species. Natural stands of the tree are said to be 'fast disappearing' by Anis et al.(2005) and the species is known to be declining in Sri Lanka (MOE 2012). Pterocarpus marsupium is considered rare within Andra Pradesh India, where only a few individuals have recently been sighted (Rasingam pers. comm. 2017). The species exhibits low diversity across 4x1 ha plots in the Shervarayan hills of Eastern Ghats, where only 22 individuals were counted within a Sanyasimalai forest reserve (Kadavul and Parthasarathy 1998). The population is likely to be in decline as a consequence of the species use as a timber and a medicinal plant but there are no explicit figures for this.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Pterocarpus marsupium is a tall tree species, growing up to 33 m in height (Ecocrop 1993-2007). Within India the species is found in hilly regions (RPRC 2014). It is commonly found in southern moist or dry mixed deciduous forests across its range (ITTO 2017). The species grows best in deep, well drained, low fertility soils and can tolerate dry spells. It is also light demanding and found in tropical wet, dry climates (Ecocrop 1993-2007).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Pterocarpus marsupium is often described as one of the most 'multipurpose forest trees' (RPRC 2014, Seema et al. 2010). The species is used for its timber. This can be used for bridge, boat and small scale construction material, plywood, veneer, tool and container production and to produce musical instruments (ITTO 2017). P. marsupium has been used in traditional, ayurvedic for many centuries (RPRC 2014). More recently the species has been studied for its application in modern medicine. The heartwood of the tree is widely used to produce a tonic to treat diabetes (Abirami et al. 2012). The wood is considered astringent, antioxidant, anthelminitc and anti-inflammatory so is used to treat a variety of illnesses. Leaves and resin can be used to treat skin conditions and other ailments (Seema et al. 2010). The species may also be used for agroforestry, revegetation and soil improvement (CABI 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The tree is threatened by its use as a timber and a medicinal plant. For the latter the plant may be felled or its bark removed (Abirami et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is found in three ex situ collections (BGCI 2017), these collections should be expanded. Pterocarpus marsupium is considered Vulnerable within Sri Lanka (MOE 2012). The species is likely to be found in areas where Global Forest Watch considers there to be a loss of 30% tree cover since 2000. It is recommended that a population census across the species range should be conducted to more accurately assess population size and potential decline. It is recommended that species international trade is monitored and harvest quotas introduced. An ecological assessment may also be beneficial.

Citation: Barstow, M. 2017. Pterocarpus marsupium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T34620A67802995. . Downloaded on 25 April 2018.
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