Podocarpus costaricensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Podocarpus costaricensis
Species Authority: de Laub. ex Silba
Common Name(s):
Spanish Cipresillo
Taxonomic Notes: This species was described and named in 1990.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-06-27
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Gardner, M.
Podocarpus costraicensis is still only known from fewer than 10 herbarium collections, gathered at four localities within an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 41 km². The estimated area of occupancy (AOO) based on a grid width of 2 km is 16 km² (within the threshold of Endangered) but the EOO and a continuing decline and severe fragmentation inferred from ongoing deforestation and habitat disturbance satisfy the criteria for Critically Endangered. The previous assessment of Vulnerable under criterion B1 made an erroneous assumption about the size of both EOO and AOO, now more accurately estimated using the existing geo-referenced herbarium collections. At a national level this species has also been assessed as Critically Endangered (Estrada Chavarría et al. 2005) due to intense exploitation and deforestation.
2007 Vulnerable
1998 Data Deficient (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Data Deficient
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Restricted to a limited area in San José Province of Costa Rica (earlier records from Panama are based on erroneous identifications). Extent of occurrence is estimated to be 41 km2. Four localities are recorded; these are all small fragments of remnant forest and are severely fragmented.
Costa Rica
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is uncommon and (sub)population sizes are presumably small.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Podocarpus costaricensis occurs in lowland and lower montane tropical rainforest at elevations between 70 m and 1,700 m a.s.l. Its distribution and ecology remain poorly known since it was described in 1990.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Farjon (2010) reports that no economic uses are known of this species and it is not in cultivation. However, Estrada Chavarría et al. (2005) indicate that it is heavily exploited, this is presumably for its timber.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is limited to four localities in Costa Rica within an extent of occurrence (EOO) of less than 100 km2. The altitudinal range of 70 m to 1,650 m a.s.l., taken from herbarium collections, supports an inference of decline because of deforestation and changes in land use at lower levels.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not recorded from any protected area.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Podocarpus costaricensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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