Pinus squamata


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pinus squamata
Species Authority: X.W.Li

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-15
Assessor(s): Yang, Y. & Christian, T.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.

This species has an extremely restricted range, known from only a very small area which is essentially one location. It seems to be a naturally very rare taxon and there is no indication for there having been any past reduction and likewise no evidence for any continuing decline. Hence the species is listed as Critically Endangered under criterion D on the basis of the very small population – around 18-20 mature individuals.


1998 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to China: Yunnan (Qiaojia Xian); known from a single locality only 4 km2 in extent.
China (Yunnan)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


There are about 36 trees, 20 of which are mature. (Wu and Raven 1999). A more recent count gave 29 mature and juvenile trees in total (State Forest Bureau 2009). There is limited natural regeneration. The latest reports indicate that there are 18 coning trees. Seedling survival was reported to be low.

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This  extremely rare pine grows at approximately 2,200 m altitude on a mountain slope with open (disturbed) woodland and grassland with shrubs. It is associated with Pinus yunnanensis and various broad-leaved shrubs and trees
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No uses have been recorded; the species is locally propagated for conservation purposes. It may eventually appear in the horticultural domain, first in China and perhaps later abroad. There is substantial interest as this species as it is most probably the rarest species of pine in the world. The State Forest Bureau report (2009) also highlighted its horticultural potential.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This tiny population occurs on a partly deforested mountain on a NW-facing slope, surrounded by fire-prone grass and scrubland. State Forest Bureau report (2009) expresses concern that genetic pollution with Pinus yunnanensis may be a threat. In the severe winter of 2008 three individuals died because of the heavy snow fall.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The area is now a nature reserve (Qiaojia Xian), and the trees are now strictly protected. With help from the local foresters, a farmer in the vicinity has successfully propagated young trees to be eventually planted in habitat.

Citation: Yang, Y. & Christian, T. 2013. Pinus squamata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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