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Nephrosperma van-houtteanum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA LILIOPSIDA ARECALES PALMAE

Scientific Name: Nephrosperma van-houtteanum
Species Authority: (H.Wendl. ex Van Houtte) Balf.f.
Synonym(s):
Nephrosperma vanhoutteanum (H.Wendl. ex Van Houtte) Balf.f.[orth. error]
Oncosperma van-houtteanum H.Wendl. ex Van Houtte
Taxonomic Notes: The only species in its genus, representing a unique evolutionary lineage for Seychelles. IPNI lists the species as Nephrosperma van-houtteana. “TROPICOS” lists the name N. vanhoutteana, which is also the commonly used spelling in the Seychelles. The ”World Checklist of Selected Plant Families” lists the name N. van-houtteanum.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2007-02-01
Assessor(s): Ismail, S., Huber, M.J. & Mougal, J.
Reviewer(s): Baker, W.J. & Lutz, M.L.
Justification:
Nephrosperma van-houtteanum occurs on at least 10 islands in the Seychelles, with a total area of 233 km2. It is locally abundant and well distributed over the islands and there don't seem to be any major threats at the moment. The favored habitat is in low and intermediate altitude forests,  which is strongly affected by alien invasive species. Although the species seems to be tolerant to habitat alterations by spreading of alien invasive species, this has to be considered as a possible threat. But the species is also frequent on rocky outcrops (glacis habitat), which are less invaded. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
History:
1998 Lower Risk/near threatened (Oldfield et al. 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Seychelles, where it occurs on at least ten islands. It is currently known from Mahé, Silhouette, Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse, St. Anne, Cerf, Moyenne, Conception and Therese (Robertson 1989, Hill 2002, L. Chong Seng pers. comm.). It can be suspected that the species occurs on even more islands (except the extremely small and very dry islands) (J. Mougal pers. comm. 2006). The extent of occurrence and area of occupancy were not determined, but the total area of these 10 islands is 233 km2.

In a survey in 1994 the species was found in 48 sites of total 73 surveyed areas of special conservation value (Carlström 1996). This indicates its rather wide intra-island distribution.
Countries:
Native:
Seychelles (Seychelles (main island group))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The current population size is unknown, but it surely exceeds 10,000 mature individuals. It is unlikely that there is a continuing decline. It was a common and abundant species on Mahé and Silhouette in 1942, while is was infrequent on Praslin (Vesey-Fitzgerald in Bailey 1942). Presently, it is locally very abundant in certain areas on Praslin such as Glacis Noir.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Erect, medium-seized palm tree, 5-13 m tall. It is rather common in open exposed rocky places, by the sides of shady streams and in forest at low and intermediate altitudes. The seeds are successfully dispersed by birds (Dogley and Matatiken 2006).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The favoured habitat is the low and intermediate altitude. The quality of these habitats is strongly affected by alien invasive species and developments for human settlement.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is legally protected (Laws of Seychelles 1991) and occurs in the Morne Seychellois and the Praslin National Parks, and St Anne and Curieuse Marine National Park.

Citation: Ismail, S., Huber, M.J. & Mougal, J. 2011. Nephrosperma van-houtteanum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 November 2014.
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