Taxus canadensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Taxaceae

Scientific Name: Taxus canadensis Marshall
Common Name(s):
English Canadian Yew
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: 2012-03-15
Assessor(s): Thomas, P.
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Stritch, L.
Taxus canadensis has an extensive range in northeastern North America. Although it has undergone a decline within that range over the last century, especially in the south, the extent of decline is currently insufficient for it to qualify for listing under any threatened category and it is therefore assessed as Least Concern. The decline is expected to continue and may increase if predicted climate change impacts such as reduced snow cover lead to an increase in browsing pressures, the primary threat. A reassessment within the next ten years will be necessary.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Widespread in northeastern North America. In the U.S.A. it has been recorded from Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersery, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. In Canada it has been recorded from Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Islands, and Quebec. The extent of occurrence is in excess of 20,000 km2 and it is known from more than 10 locations. The area of occupancy has not been calculated.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec); United States (Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Additional data:
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 can form quite large clonal colonies of up to several hectares as a result of layering of branches.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Usually occurs as a low straggling understorey shrub in broadleafed and coniferous forests. Branches often layer so that quite extensive clumps can be formed. Sexual reproduction is rare. For a detailed account of its ecology and habitat see Windels and Flaspohler 2011.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Historically Canadian Yew was extensively used by native North Americans and settlers as a beverage and as a treatment for various ailments (Pinto and Herr 2005). Although this species has considerable potential as a source of biomass for Taxol production, it is not currently exploited (Cameron and Smith 2002).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Over the last century there has been a significant but unquantified decline of populations within T. canadensis' range as a result of browsing by native ungulates, fire, intensive forest management, and clearing of land for agriculture and other development. Currently it is considered threatened to various degrees in 12 states of the U.S.A. and 1 Canadian province in eastern North America. Increasing deer populations and reduced snowfall as a result of climate change in eastern North America are significant threats for the future.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is recorded from numerous protected areas throughout its range. Some of these areas have deer control programmes.

Citation: Thomas, P. 2013. Taxus canadensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42547A2986960. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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