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Delonix decaryi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA FABALES LEGUMINOSAE

Scientific Name: Delonix decaryi
Species Authority: (R.Vig.) Capuron
Synonym(s):
Poinciana adansonioides R.Vig.
Poinciana decaryi R.Vig.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-01-13
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Delonix decaryi is listed as Vulnerable because it is predicted to lose more than 30% of its habitat in the next 100 years (approximately three generations) due to climate change and charcoal production. Genetic-range studies also found that the loss in range is strongly correlated to genetic diversity, so this decline is likely to have a serious impact on the species, and would therefore qualify for a threatened (Vulnerable) rating under Criterion A3.

D. decaryi is known from several localities, however, rarely in substantial populations. It does not qualify for a threatened category based on geographic range (extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are both large), but its habitat is fragmented and degraded, and its native habitat continues to decrease in quality and extent.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: D. decaryi is endemic to the southern parts of Madagascar. It is found in a narrow band along the coast from north of Toliara to Tolagnaro (Fort Dauphin). Based on the distribution of herbarium specimens, the extent of occurrence (EOO) is 51,902 km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is 28,048 km². Occurs from sea level up to 260 m.
Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: GIS analysis estimates that D. decaryi has eight subpopulations (Rivers et al. 2010). However, genetic subpopulation analyses show that the species consist of three genetic subpopulations. One in the southeastern corner, one mainly in the northwestern corner and one in the middle (Rivers et al. 2011). D. decaryi contains levels of genetic diversity that are similar to the average for Delonix s.l. (Rivers et al. 2011). About one fifth of the genetic variation is distributed within sample sites, and four fifths are distributed between different sample sites. The genetic variation is distributed geographically.

Signs of regeneration were rarely found, and the stands often consisted of single or very few mature trees.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: D. decaryi is a deciduous tree reaching up to 10 m. It is found within the spiny forest and coastal bushland often with Didieriaceae and succulent species of Euphorbia on limestone and sand (Du Puy et al. 1995, 2002). It is thought to be pollinated by moths due to its night opening flowers, white petals with long dark stamens and an upper petal with a narrow tubular nectariferous claw (Du Puy et al. 2002).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Cuttings of D. decaryi are often planted in villages as a “living fence”. The trunks are sometimes hollowed out to make canoes; the seeds are reported to be edible; and the resin used as glue (Du Puy et al. 2002) for sealing canoes. Herbarium collections also report that crushed leaves are put on a baby’s head to harden the skull (Du Puy M94).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats to the spiny forest (natural vegetation of D. decaryi) are the widespread exploitation for firewood and charcoal production. Selective logging, increased cultivation and grazing of livestock are also leading to further degradation of the habitat. The degradation has been exacerbated in recent years and the naturally slow rate of growth and regeneration is putting the species endemic to the area at particular risk (Moat and Smith 2007, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 2001). The spiny forest is one of the primary vegetation types that are declining significantly in Madagascar with an estimated rate of loss of 1.2% per year (Harper et al. 2007 and MEFT et al. 2009). Climate change modelling predicted a 46% loss (by 2100) of its present climatically suitable range (Rivers et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: D. decaryi can be found in two protected areas (Cap St. Marie and Tsimanampetsotsa), although the effectiveness of this official protection is not always adequate. Seed collections have been made and are held by the Millennium Seed Bank (MSB, Wakehurst Place, UK) as well as in-country by Silo National des Graines Forestières (SNGF). Botanic garden collections exist according to BGCI (www.bgci.org).

Citation: Rivers, M. 2014. Delonix decaryi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 September 2014.
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