|Scientific Name:||Raphia regalis|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable B2ab(iii) ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Maunder, M. & Zona, S. (Palm Red List Authority)|
First described from a 1910 collection from the Oban area, Nigeria, this species was thought extinct in that country until a conscious effort to rediscover it in the 1970s by Otedoh proved successful, it being recorded in large numbers (at that time) in the Equi Issu hills near the Cameroonian border. In Cameroon it appears restricted to the Bakossi Mountains, where it has been collected at Ngomboku and recorded at Nyandong. It is also known from Gabon and Angola (Cabinda). The total area of occupancy is estimated to be < 2,000 km², and it is known from less than ten highly fragmented locations.
This highly distinctive palm, with no aerial trunk and with leaves rating amongst the largest in the plant kingdom, is likely under-recorded due to difficulties in collecting specimens of it, and in the fact that it has received limited taxonomic attention, being treated only briefly in Otedoh’s revision of the genus Raphia (Journal of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research 6(22), 1982), with no specimen citations.
Continuing decline is inferred because of extensive forest clearance for timber and for agricultural expansion in Nigeria and Bakossi. Selective felling for use in building and tapping of palm wine, mainly in Nigeria, poses a serious threat. The species may well be more threatened than the current lisiting indicates.
|Range Description:||Nigeria, Cross River State: Oban (1 coll.), Equi Issu Hills (1 coll.); Cameroon, S.W. Province: Bakossi (1 coll., 1 additional site record), E. Province: Djouo, nr. Somalono (1 coll.); Gabon: Nyanga (1 coll.); Congo (Brazzaville): ‘Nschaggebod’ (1 coll.); Angola (Cabinda): Nkanda Mbaku (1 coll.).|
Native:Angola (Angola, Cabinda); Cameroon; Congo; Gabon; Nigeria
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Occurs in mid-elevation wet forest, often on ridges, where it may be gregarious; 500–850 m alt.|
|Conservation Actions:||A full survey of the populations of this taxon should be carried out throughout its range; this should not prove difficult as the species is so distinctive. This will likely lead to the discovery of more sites, thus the conservation assessment may be downgraded in the future. Local populations should be encouraged to use the commoner R. hookeri in preference to R. regalis in building and palm wine production.|
|Citation:||Darbyshire, I. 2004. Raphia regalis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 10 March 2014.|
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