Acacia anegadensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Acacia anegadensis Britton
Common Name(s):
English Pokemeboy
Fishlockia anegadensis (Britton) Britton & Rose
Vachellia anegadensis (Britton) Seigler & Ebinger
Taxonomic Notes: There is a new combination for this species, Vachellia anegadensis (Britton) Seigler & Ebinger, which results from the re-typification of the genus Acacia Mill from A. nilotica (L.) Willd ex Del, a widely distributed African and Asian species, to the Australian species A. penninervis Sieb. ex DC.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-10-27
Assessor(s): Bárrios, S. & Hamilton, M.A.
Reviewer(s): Clubbe, C.P.
Contributor(s): Clubbe, C.P., Pollard, B.J., Smith-Abbott, J., Walker, R., Woodfield-Pascoe, N.K., Bachman, S., Sanchez, M., Corcoran, M.R., Heller, T.M., Harrigan, N. & Linsky, J.
This species has been previously assessed as Critically Endangered (Clubbe et al. 2013). Since then, intensive survey efforts were directed to better understand the preferred habitats of this species and it population numbers.. For the re-assessment of this species, a down listing from Critically Endangered (CR) to Endangered (EN) is proposed. This species is still in a threatened category having a small extent of occurrence of only 298 km2 and even smaller area of occupancy of 72 km2. The species is now reported from two different locations, Anegada and Fallen Jerusalem (Barrios 2015), with the latter subpopulation recorded since the original assessment. There has been an observed decrease in the number of individuals and quality of habitat, mainly due to the threat posed by feral animals which feed on this species and severely degrade its habitat. Opening of new roads and random clearance of land on Anegada has also led to a decrease in the number of individuals. Monitoring and establishing a species action plan which includes feral animal control is essential to secure this species future.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was previously thought to be endemic to the island of Anegada, which is part of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) a UK Overseas Territory, situated in the Caribbean Sea. In 2008, a survey by Kew's UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) team and National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) discovered a flowering tree of this species on Fallen Jerusalem, BVI. Field surveys in 2011, 2013 and 2014 successfully identified and mapped all existing trees on this island. The species full distribution across Anegada was mapped during a 2014 field survey (Barrios 2015). This species occupies an area of occurrence (AOO) of 72 km2 and extent of occurrence (EOO) of 298 km2. Two locations were considered corresponding to the two islands were the species occurs.
Countries occurrence:
Virgin Islands, British
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:72
Number of Locations:2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is locally abundant on Anegada, especially on the eastern half of the island on limestone and small cays within the salt ponds. Large, isolated trees were found on sandy soils on the western half of the island during 2014 field surveys (Barrios 2015). On Fallen Jerusalem, we estimate that there are approximately 60 mature trees occupying dry forest on the leeward side of the island.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:0
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is common on open limestone pavement, limestone cays and is occasionally found in sandy habitats, such as sand dunes and disturbed areas on the island of Anegada (Clubbe et al. 2004, McGowan et al. 2006). On the island of Fallen Jerusalem, it grows on volcanic substrates occupying the central area of the island where a mixed forest and scrub-land with succulents (Kennaway et al. 2008) is predominant in the lee of large boulders (Barrios 2015).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no known uses for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Feral animals, namely goats, donkeys and cows, are the biggest threat to this species on Anegada (Barrios 2015). These animals roam freely across the island feeding from mature trees and devouring small seedlings. This is severely impacting the trees ability to reproduce and its future survival. Urbanization and uncontrolled land clearance are destroying and modifying this species natural habitat on Anegada. On Fallen Jerusalem, the main threat to this species is human disturbance near the beach used by tourists, although this island is infrequently visited compared to other major touristic destinations on BVI. On this island, rats have been recently documented with camera traps. These alien species might be predating this species' seedlings which haven't been observed during recent surveys. Both locations may be impacted by climate change, particularly increased droughts, sea level rise and more intense hurricanes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Monitoring and establishing a species action plan which includes feral animal control is essential for the future of this species. The species is held in ex situ conservation collections. There is a seed collection stored at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, UK (T.M. Heller pers. comm. 2017) from which several live plants have been secured in ex situ collections at J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens on Tortola, BVI and in Kew's Tropical Nursery, UK (M.R. Corcoran pers. comm.). All ex situ collections are derived from Anegada source material. The species has in situ protection on Fallen Jerusalem as the entire island is a National Park. On Anegada, the species occurs within two proposed protected areas (Gardner et al. 2008), the Western and Eastern Ponds, which have not been formally designated. Controlling feral animals and establishing the proposed protected areas on Anegada are essential actions to prevent any further declines of the species. Further seed collecting is needed from across the species range, particularly from Fallen Jerusalem, to ensure that the genetic diversity of the population is captured in the ex situ collection.

Citation: Bárrios, S. & Hamilton, M.A. 2018. Acacia anegadensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T43894A125646453. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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