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Pittosporum gatopense

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA ROSALES PITTOSPORACEAE

Scientific Name: Pittosporum gatopense
Species Authority: Guillaumin

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-15
Assessor(s): Hequet, V.
Reviewer(s): Pollock, C.M. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Pittosporum gatopense has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 577 km² and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 40 km². The species is endemic to New Caledonian dry forests (including calcareous forests) and it is known from 10 locations. Its habitat is among the most threatened in New Caledonia; dry forests have been reduced dramatically, both in size and in quality. They have been severely cleared for agricultural purposes over the last century and what remains today are fragmented patches that suffer intense predation by the introduced Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa) and uncontrolled fires. Reduction of habitat has been estimated at 95% over the last 150 years (Bouchet 1995) and degradation continues today.
History:
1998 Endangered (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to New Caledonia. Scattered subpopulations of the species are met from Poya to Voh with distances between sites never exceeding 26 km. Its total extent of occurrence is 577 km², and its estimated area of occupancy within this range is 40 km².
Countries:
Native:
New Caledonia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Little is known about the population of this rare and discreet species. It mostly occurs as rare and scattered individuals.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is endemic to New Caledonian dry forests (including calcareous 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 major threat is lowland clearing for cattle grazing and agriculture, which began in the 1850s and is ongoing. Another threat comes from the Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa), which was introduced in the 1880s and 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 damage to trees by rubbing antlers against tree stems. The third major threat is uncontrolled fires that sweep across lowlands of New Caledonia each year during the dry season and have slowly transformed remnant patches of dry forest into shrubland dominated by Acacia spirorbis and Leucaena leucocephala, or Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) savannas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in two protected areas.

Citation: Hequet, V. 2010. Pittosporum gatopense. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 August 2014.
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