Araucaria angustifolia


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Araucaria angustifolia
Species Authority: (Bertol.) Kuntze
Common Name(s):
English Parana Pine, Paraná-pine, Candelabra Tree
Spanish Pino Blanco, Pino de Missiones
Columbea angustifolia Bertol.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-08-16
Assessor(s): Thomas, P.
Reviewer(s): Mill, R. & Farjon, A.
This species was formerly evaluated as Vulnerable A1d, B1+B2b under the 1994 IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (Farjon and Page 1999) but published data cited in Enright and Hill (1995) indicate that a reduction of 97% has taken place due to logging since the beginning of the 20th century. It is estimated that in about 1900 AD this species had an extent of occurrence of ca. 20 million ha; analysing this area using LANDSAT-II imagery, Gantzel (1982) showed that only 565,419 ha remained by 1982. Logging at that time was still continuing at an estimated rate of 80,000 ha per year. This amounts to a forest reduction of over 97% within three tree generations. Plantation forestry with Pinus and Eucalyptus as well as conversion of forest for other uses have the habitat loss irreversible. Consequently an assessment of Critically Endangered under the A2 criterion is warranted.
2006 Critically Endangered
2000 Vulnerable
1998 Vulnerable (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Vulnerable
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:It occurs in southeastern Brazil (primarily in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande Do Sul, and locally in São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio De Janeiro) and adjacent areas of Argentina (Misiones) and Paraguay. Found at an altitude of 500-1,800 m in Brazil and 500-2,300 m in the adjoining countries.
Argentina (Misiones); Brazil (Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo); Paraguay
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The original extent of Araucaria forest, estimated at 200,000 km², is believed to have declined by more than 97% in the last century. In Rio Grande do Sul, for instance, the forest area, over half of which was made up of Araucaria, has plummeted from 40% land cover to 3% today. Araucaria forest in Sâo Paulo covers 4.3% of its original area. The Paraguay population is small and confined to Alto Paraná. Seeding trees are scarce. Small relict populations, covering less than 1,000 ha, in northeast Misiones, Argentina, are all that remain of the forest that in 1960 covered 210,000 ha. The species is included on the official list compiled by IBAMA of threatened Brazilian plants.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Grows in subtropical forest on acidic soils. Araucaria is usually dioecious, rarely monoecious and like other conifers is wind pollinated. Pollen maturation and pollination in Brazil occur from August through October. The seed cones begin to mature two years after pollination, and the complete cycle from primitive carpel to seed takes about four years. Young trees begin to set seed between 12 and 15 years of age. Seeds are dispersed between May and August.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Previously heavily exploited for its timber which was widely used for construction. The species is used as a fuelwood. Seeds are used as a food source and resin from the bark is traded subnationally. The tree is also planted as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Paraná Pine is the most important timber species in Brazil. In addition to the massive exploitation for timber, 3,400 tonnes per annum of fruit and seeds are collected for human consumption. Fragmentation, forest clearance for planting other agricultural crops (wheat, soya and corn) as well as faster growing timber species such as pine and eucalypt are also continuing threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Since 2001 there has been an official Brazilian ban on log exports of this species. The Brazilian Government is also promoting several initiatives to protect Araucaria genetic resources. Only a small fraction of the former range of this species is protected in reserves and national parks.

Bibliography [top]

Bittencourt, J.V.M. 2007. Araucaria angustifolia - its geography and ecology. University of Reading.

Chebez, J.C. 1994. Los que se van. Albatros, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Enright, N.J. and Hill, R.S. 1995. Ecology of the Southern Conifers. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Farjon, A. and Page, C.N. (compilers) 1999. Conifers. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Conifer Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Gantzel, O.L. 1982. Avaliação das florestas de Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) O. Ktze. do suldo Brasil, através de imagens do satélite LANDSAT-II. Revista Floresta 13: 38-40.

Harcourt, C.S. and Sayer, J.A. 1996. The conservation atlas of tropical forests: The Americas. Simon and Schuster Macmillan. New York.

IBAMA. 1992. Lista oficial de espécies da flora Brasileira ameaçadas de extinçao (unpublished).

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

Ortega Torres, E., Stutz de Ortega, L. and Spichiger, R. 1989. Noventa especies forestales del Paraguay. Flora del Paraguay. Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.

Stefenon, V.M., Steiner, N., Guerra, M.P. and Nodari, R.O. 2009. Integrating approaches towards the conservation of forest genetic resources: a case study of Araucaria angustifolia. Biodiversity Conservation 18: 2433-2448.

Citation: Thomas, P. 2013. Araucaria angustifolia. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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