Delonix velutina 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Leguminosae

Scientific Name: Delonix velutina
Species Authority: Capuron

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-01-13
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Delonix velutina is listed as Endangered since its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km² and its area of occupancy is less than 500 km²; its habitat is severely fragmented and genetic studies show that the species consists of only three subpopulations (=locations); and its habitat continues to decline in quality and extent, and probably in the number of mature individuals due to the effect of habitat destruction, population expansion and harvesting.

There is no precise information to assess the population size and trends of the species. However, its native habitat is fragmented and degraded, and continues to decrease in quality and extent; these trends should be monitored to determine whether the population of this species is declining.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: D. velutina is endemic to the very north of Madagascar, where it is found only on the Orangea Peninsula and in the Ankarana Massif. Based on the distribution of herbarium specimens, the extent of occurrence (EOO) is 270 km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is 264 km². Is recorded to occur from sea level up to 200 m and occasionally as high as 500 m.
Countries occurrence:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 264
Number of Locations: 3
Upper elevation limit (metres): 200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: GIS analysis show that D. velutina has two subpopulations (Rivers et al. 2010); and, genetic subpopulation analysis show that the species consist of three genetic subpopulations (Rivers et al. 2011). Despite being distributed over a small geographic range, there is clear genetic population structure. Genetically D. velutina contains high levels of genetic diversity compared to the average levels for Delonix s.l. (Rivers et al. 2011). 15% of the genetic variation is distributed within sample sites, and 85% are distributed between different sample sites. The genetic variation is distributed geographically.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: D. velutina is a deciduous tree up to 15 m tall. It is found within the dry forest especially on limestone rocks and tsingy (Du Puy et al. 1995, 2002). It is thought to be pollinated by sunbirds due to its reduced petals and copious amount of nectar (Du Puy et al. 2002).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The trunks of D. velutina are sometimes hollowed out to make canoes (Du Puy et al. 2002).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The dry forest of Madagascar is under threat from fragmentation and habitat loss, as a result of conversion of land for slash-and-burn agriculture, grazing of livestock, charcoal production and collection of firewood (Moat and Smith 2007, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 2001). The dry forest is one of the primary vegetation types that is declining significantly in Madagascar with an estimated rate of loss of 0.4-0.7% per year (Harper et al. 2007, MEFT et al. 2009). The main known populations consists of very few individuals and under imminent threat from clearing for charcoal production (Du Puy et al. 2002). Also the proximity of the populations to Antsiranana means the habitat is under added pressure from the expanding rural populations (Sabel et al. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: D. velutina is found in one protected areas (Ankarana), although the main population in Orangea is currently under high threat of extinction and is not protected. Botanic garden collections exist according to BGCI (

Citation: Rivers, M. 2014. Delonix velutina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T36271A2864751. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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