Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Orchidales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Acianthera compressicaulis
Species Authority: (Dod) Pridgeon & M.W.Chase
Pleurothallis compressicaulis Dod

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-08-13
Assessor(s): Dyson, P.L.
Reviewer(s): Rankou, H.
Acianthera compressicaulis has a restricted range and is subject to ongoing threats from agriculture, tourism and urban/rural expansion. There is very little protected land across the whole of the island, particularly where the majority of specimens were found. More research is needed for population numbers and distribution, as well as habitat preferences and the conservation status of those habitats. It is clear that, at the very least, A. compressicaulis qualifies for Endangered under Criterion B1 due to its extent of occurrence (EOO); the number of population locations being less than five; and the ongoing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only known from western Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Countries occurrence:
Dominican Republic; Haiti
Number of Locations:3
Lower elevation limit (metres):400
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no population data for this species but three specimens from Haiti were found in close proximity to each other and a specimen from the Dominican Republic was found approximately 350 km away, forming two distinct subpopulations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Three specimens of this species were found in Hispaniolan moist forests, and the other may have been from either the same ecoregion, or Hispaniolan dry forests. These ecoregions consist of broadleaved, evergreen tree cover, with some regularly flooded shrub/herbaceous cover.

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Haiti is said to be one of the most deforested countries in the world: its forest cover, the majority of which consists of moist forest, has been reduced or degraded by at least 97% (Black 2004), due to agriculture, logging for firewood and urban expansion. This is likely to continue as deforestation increases soil erosion from flooding, increasing the need to convert more fertile forested land for agriculture, thus continuing the cycle. The area surrounding the three specimens in Haiti is mostly covered by villages and other cultivated and managed areas, with very little forest, which means that this particular population of this species is at high risk of becoming extinct.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: One specimen was found within the Parque Nacional Jose del Carmen Ramirez, which is not on the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) 2009 database and so whose protection level is unknown, but which is experiencing increasing levels of illegal squatting (Pariser 1994). Still, the population of this species in this area may be protected to some extent. In Hispaniola overall there are very few protected areas; in Haiti these constitute just 0.3% of the total land area (EarthTrends 2006); the Dominican Republic has a larger percentage of protected land area, but it seems that the taxon is more prevalent in Haiti so it may not be found in these areas. It has not previously been assessed, and is not known to be cultivated. It is listed (as part of Orchidaceae) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Appendix II. More research is needed on its range and distribution and the protection of extant populations is advisable.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Marginal  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Marginal  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Marginal  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.4. Scale unspecified

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Black, R. 2004. Haiti's Vicious Circle. Deforestation and flooding news of Haiti. Available at: (Accessed: 29/07/2009).

EarthTrends. 2006. Biodiversity and Protected Areas- Haiti. Details of protected areas of Haiti. Available at: (Accessed: 29/07/2009).

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Pariser, H.S. 1994. Adventure Guide to Dominican Republic. Hunter Publishing, Edison NJ.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 2001. WWF Ecoregions. Information about ecoregion habitats and threats. Available at: (Accessed: 01/07/2009).

Citation: Dyson, P.L. 2013. Acianthera compressicaulis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T44393049A44512037. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided