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Verschaffeltia splendida

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA LILIOPSIDA ARECALES PALMAE

Scientific Name: Verschaffeltia splendida
Species Authority: H.Wendl.
Synonym(s):
Regelia magnifica H.Wendl.
Regelia majestica auct.
Regelia princeps Balf.f.
Stevensonia viridifolia Duncan
Taxonomic Notes: The only species in its genus, representing a unique evolutionary lineage of the Seychelles.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened 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:
Verschaffeltia splendida has a very restricted range as it occurs only on three islands in the Seychelles. It does not seem to be obviously threatened except by its restricted range. It was historically used for the production of water gutters and the walls of huts. The invasion of alien plant species and habitat loss due to human settlements are potential threats to this species, but it does not seem to be strongly affected by these threats. It is listed as Near Threatened.
History:
1998 Lower Risk/conservation dependent (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Seychelles. It only occurs on three islands: Mahé, Silhouette and Praslin (Robertson 1989, Matatiken and Dogley 2006) with a total area of 216 km2 (National Statistics Bureau 2005). It occurs from near sea level up to 850 m and is common above 300 m.
Countries:
Native:
Seychelles (Seychelles (main island group))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No data on the population size is available. It is possible that the total population size exceeds 10,000 mature individuals. In a survey in 1994, the species was found in 35 out of 73 areas of special conservation value (Carlström 1996). This indicates that this species is quite well distributed on the islands. The fruits are dispersed by birds (Dogley and Matatiken 2006). As the species occurs only on three islands it is questionable if there is successful exchange of propagules between the islands.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Canopy or under story palm tree in moist forest, on steep hillsides and ledges, from near sea level to 850 m becoming scarcer at the highest altitudes. Rare below 300 m except in river valleys. It appears to reproduce well in wet shady places in forests (Carlström 1996).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It was historically used for the production of water gutters and walls of huts.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats are the restricted range and alien invasive species causing habitat alteration. It appears to reproduce well in wet shady places in forests (Carlström 1996). In less shady places invasion of introduced species is in general more severe (affecting habitat quality), which can affect reproduction success. In the lower altitudes, where the species is rare, there is a habitat loss due to human settlement. On Praslin, fires are an additional threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in the Morne Seychellois National Park and in the Praslin National Park. It is legally protected by the Breadfruit and other Trees (protection) Act.

Citation: Ismail, S., Huber, M.J. & Mougal, J. 2011. Verschaffeltia splendida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 October 2014.
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