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Diospyros veillonii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA EBENALES EBENACEAE

Scientific Name: Diospyros veillonii
Species Authority: F.White

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ace; B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-15
Assessor(s): Hequet, V.
Reviewer(s): Pollock, C.M. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Diospyros veillonii is endemic to a single dry forest in New Caledonia. The species occurs in a patch of 20 ha of residual dry forest that is privately owned, and currently there are plans for building construction on the site. The population has already been partly destroyed by a bulldozer-constructed trail; the population was estimated at 20 adult individuals before this incident. Diospyros veillonii has an area of occupancy (AOO) and extent of occurrence (EOO) of 0.2 km². The reduction of its habitat has been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995) across the country. Based on this, and because of the recently built trail, it is suspected that a population reduction of at least 80% has occurred over the last three generations.
History:
1998 Critically Endangered (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Critically Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known from a single patch of 21 ha of degraded dry forest located in Paita region (total extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are 0.2 km²). This patch is located on a private land except for the "50 géometric steps" belonging to the State's public maritim domain.
Countries:
Native:
New Caledonia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population of adult trees may comprise no more than a couple of dozen individuals. It had been estimated at 20 individuals but a recent trail (created by bulldozers) through the middle of the population may have destroyed a large part of it. Dry forests surrounding the only known location of D. veillonii are well known; they have been surveyed (unsuccessfully) for this species and there seems very little hope that it will be found in any other location.
Population Trend: Unknown

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.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The presence of this species on a very small private piece of forest makes it difficult to protect. The population has already been dramatically reduced by the opening of a bulldozer-constructed trail that crosses the population and has felled several of these trees. The land, which currently is empty, will soon become a permanent residence. The owner has been informed of the presence of this rare species on his land and he seems willing to take some care of it. Still the conservation of D. veillonii in the wild is entirely dependant on the land-owner. The site holds a large population of the Rusa deer (Cervus timorensis russa). This deer was introduced in the 1880s and has adapted extremely well to the Caledonian habitats. Its population may have reached 105,000-110,000 individuals in the wild. This deer consumes a wide variety of plant species and also causes severe damages to trees by rubbing antlers against tree stems.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is located on a private land. The owner has been informed of the critical conservation status of the species. The species need to be cultivated ex situ.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Diospyros veillonii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 November 2014.
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