Coffea togoensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Gentianales Rubiaceae

Scientific Name: Coffea togoensis A.Chev.
Taxonomic Source(s): WCSP. 2017. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Coffea togoensis A. Chev. is a wild relative of commercial coffee species, C. arabica L. and C. canephora Pierre ex A.Froehner (Vincent et al. 2013), and is classified in Gene Pool 2 and 3 respectively, following the definition of Maxted et al. (2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-07-18
Assessor(s): Chadburn, H. & Davis, A.P.
Reviewer(s): Rivers, M.C.
Contributor(s): Hawthorne, W.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hargreaves, S.
The estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 26,500 km2 falls just outside the values needed for a threatened category under criterion B. However, this is an uncertain estimate as the locality detail for a specimen collected in 1933 (Beveridge 36/GC29) is difficult to interpret and it is possible that the EOO is less, but it could also be found more widely in the Digya National Park in Ghana. The estimated area of occupancy (AOO), based on a 2x2 km grid cell at known herbarium specimen localities, falls within threatened values and satellite imagery suggests that most of the forested areas are small and this is likely to be a reasonable representation of on-ground values at most sites. The small forested areas, where this species is thought to remain, are separated by large distances in a matrix of unsuitable habitat and are inferred to qualify as severely fragmented. There are a number of ongoing threats and a continuing decline in the area, extent and quality of habitat available. The generation length is uncertain and percentage declines in forests only known in general and no numerical population information is available. It is not possible to apply criteria requiring these values with any certainty. Taking a precautionary approach it is assessed as Endangered under criterion B2.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has been recorded from the south of Ghana, Togo and Benin. The estimated EOO, based on georeferenced herbarium specimen records, is 26,500 km2. It has been collected at 135m and 580 m asl, although other records have no altitude information given and the lower value for the range is likely to be below this, with the locality in Benin being c. 50 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Ghana; Togo
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:20
Number of Locations:5
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):580
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No numerical population information is available. The 1998 Red List assessment noted this small tree to be common, but restricted to the southern dry forests of Ghana (Hawthorne 1998). Considering the number of ongoing threats to its forest habitat it is suspected that the current trend will be decreasing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This tree species have been recorded in the understory of lowland humid, semi-deciduous forest, and it is also reported to occur in drier coastal forests (Davis et al. 2006).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is a secondary genetic relative of, and therefore a potential gene donor to, the cultivated C. arabica (Davis et al. 2011, GRIN 2017). Although coffee species are widely used for minor construction purposes and for fuelwood it is not known whether this species is utilised.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Within Togo most of the human population lives in rural areas with the majority in the coastal region and most are employed in subsistence agriculture and small cash crops along with large scale agriculture, for example, coffee, cocoa and cotton. The expanding human population are increasing threats to natural habitats, with expansion of agriculture, unsustainable agricultural practices, burning, exploitation of forest resources and overgrazing. Many native plants are being replaced by exotic species in forest plantations and expanding urban areas are also a threat. For example a specimen was recorded in Lome, Togo, in 1900 and this is now a large urban area and its continued presence is unlikely. Many protected areas within Togo have suffered degradation and some are occupied beyond rehabilitation (Posner 2008). In Benin forests are often associated with more fertile areas and located in areas of high human population density and are subject to similar threats from land conversion and fuelwood extraction, including charcoal production, overgrazing and burning. During the decade 1990 to 2000 it is estimated that the total natural forest area here was reduced by 22% (USAIBA 2007). Satellite imagery suggests that very large areas of forest adjacent to and possibly within the Forest Reseve de Ko in Benin, where this species has been recorded, have been converted to plantation forest and very little natural forest remains. In Ghana forests are threatened by excessive timber harvesting, which is particularly intense in the semi-deciduous forests which have a greater density of desirable timber trees; semi-deciduous forest is a habitat of this species. The spread and increasing intensity of fire has been the most immediate cause of forest degradation in the moist semi-deciduous zones which have destroyed c. 30% of these forests. Legal and illegal farms in forest reserves are common and may cause permanent forest loss and some forests have also been converted to plantations of exotic species such as Teak (Hawthorne and Abu-Juam 1995). This species has been recorded from the edge of the Digya National Park in Ghana and here the main threat is bush fire (Birdlife International 2017).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In southern Togo islands of dry semi-deciduous forest are found mainly as sacred forest or as classified forest. Many protected areas lack adequate management and some are beyond rehabilitation (Posner 2008). In Benin conservation measures include alternative agricultural strategies, production and use of fuel efficient stoves and reforestation of depleted cotton fields (USAIBA 2007). In Ghana many forest reserves have been exploited and the concept of protection has been eroded (Hawthorne and Abu-Juam 1995). This species has also been recorded from the edge of the Digya National Park, gazetted in 1971 and covering an area of 3,478 km2 (Forestry Commission Ghana 2017). This species is not known to be conserved ex situ. It was assigned a black star rating with 'urgent attention to conservation of populations needed' by Hawthorne and Abu-Juam (1995).

Citation: Chadburn, H. & Davis, A.P. 2017. Coffea togoensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T34655A2853909. . Downloaded on 20 April 2018.
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