Balaka macrocarpa 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Arecales Arecaceae

Scientific Name: Balaka macrocarpa Burret
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously described as occurring on Viti Levu, however, this population is now recognized as Balaka diffusa (Hodel 2010) as its own species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-05-03
Assessor(s): Tikoca, S. & Rivers, M.C.
Reviewer(s): Hodel, D.R.
Contributor(s): Watling, D.
Balaka macrocarpa is a an understory palm species endemic to Vanua Levu in Fiji. It is found in three locations on the island with an extent of occurrence measuring 301 km2. There is continuing decline in the quality and extent of the habitat due to expansion of mahogany plantations, logging and forest conversion to agriculture. It is listed here as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only found on Vanua Levu, Fiji, on the Natwea Peninsula, near Mt Sorolevu  and Saquani (Hodel 2010). The extent of occurrence is 301 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:3
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is described as locally common. The Mt Sorolevu subpopulation comprise of 100-200 mature plants (Watling 2005), however, the Natewa Peninsula subpopulation is larger and more extensive (Hodel 2010). Precise population numbers are not known, but regeneration appears to be good.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is an understory palm up to 10 m tall, that grows in wet and undisturbed forest up to 800 m in altitude.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This palm, known as niuniu, has been used for spears.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is a threat of forest conversion to agriculture and other exotic timber plantations (mahogany), as well as logging.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The recommended conservation actions are: i) Seed collection, ii) establish ex situ collection in Vanua Levu, iii) documenting seed propagation and cultivation methods, iv) species recovery and management plan (possibly including enhancement planting) , and v) awareness and engagement of land owners and regulatory authorities. Research is also needed into ecology and ecosystem service. Many of the ex situ collections of this species, may actually be misnamed and should be Balaka diffusa (Hodel 2010).

Citation: Tikoca, S. & Rivers, M.C. 2017. Balaka macrocarpa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T38434A2868990. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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