Podocarpus insularis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Podocarpaceae

Scientific Name: Podocarpus insularis
Species Authority: de Laub.
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-10-24
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Gardner, M.
The status of this species will remain difficult to assess because it is not often recognized in the field and our knowledge is mostly derived from herbarium collections, some misidentified. It is obviously very scattered on several dispersed archipelagos in the western Pacific. Deforestation and logging may have had negative effects on the population, but on the other hand many locations appear to be in relatively or totally undisturbed forest. Some of its habitat is less likely to be logged. Its huge extent of occurrence makes it likely that it will turn up on more islands than is presently known. This species was only described in 1985.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Recorded from Papua New Guinea: New Britain, D’Entrecastaux Islands, Louisiades Archipelago, Woodlark Island, Solomon Islands; and Southwest Pacific: Vanuatu (Erromango, Tanna). Records from mainland New Guinea are based on erroneous determinations of a few herbarium collections.

Countries occurrence:
Papua New Guinea (Bismarck Archipelago); Solomon Islands; Vanuatu
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 1216
Number of Locations: 4-5
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is widely distributed on islands with often considerable distance between subpopulations. This includes islands where it has not (yet) been found or identified. Calculated with the Kew conservation assessment tool mapping herbarium collections with ArcView there are 4-5 subpopulations known. This still relatively unknown species may turn up at other islands in the region, and it may be more widely distributed in New Britain.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Podocarpus insularis occurs as a canopy tree in sub-montane to montane rainforests mostly on islands in the Louisiades, Solomon, and Vanuatu Archipelagos. It is usually scattered, but locally common and attains considerably size in sheltered forests, but remains a low, stunted tree on exposed mountain ridges. It has been collected from near sea level to 1,500 m a.s.l. It occurs mostly in angiosperm forest (e.g. with Nothofagus at higher altitudes in New Britain), but can be associated with a few other species of Podocarpus, among which are the similar P. neriifolius and the small-leaved P. glaucus on ridges. On ultramafic rock it grows often with Casuarina.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 40

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Larger specimen trees yield valuable timber, used for light construction, carpentry, boat building (especially oars), and flooring. This species is usually not recognized as distinct from P. neriifolius by foresters and loggers and simply taken as podocarp wood. It is not known to be in cultivation anywhere.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging of the larger trees at lower altitudes poses a threat in that this species grows slowly and may not get the chance to re-grow to maturity in cut-over forest. Deforestation is occurring but still patchy, on some islands more progressed and on other islands almost absent.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not known to occur in any protected area. It could be present in the Kauri Reserve on Erromanga, but the herbarium collection was made a few km to the east of this reserve.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Podocarpus insularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42509A2983732. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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