Vatica diospyroides 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Theales Dipterocarpaceae

Scientific Name: Vatica diospyroides Symington
Vatica guangxiensis S.Lo.MO
Taxonomic Notes: Vatica fleuryana was removed and should be considered it's own species Newman, pers.comm 2017

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-03-16
Assessor(s): Pooma, R., Newman, M. & Barstow, M.
Reviewer(s): Chua, L.S.L.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rivers, M.C.
Vatica diospyroides is a small tree species. The species is endemic to Thailand where its population is currently in decline due to deforestation. The species habitat is threatened and in decline. The species is suspected to occur in fewer than five locations and the species range is small with extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be only 3,566 km2. This estimate is based on very old specimens and therefore the current range of the species is not known, but it is likely to be as small if not smaller. The species is found in protected areas but only in one ex situ collection, these should be produced. The species is globally assessed as Endangered. Population and habitat decline requires monitoring and the harvest of the species for medicinal purposes should also be monitored to ensure use is sustainable into the future.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is endemic to Peninsular Thailand. The species is also reported from Malaysia and Viet Nam but these individuals are cultivated or misidentified; they are not native. Within Thailand the species is found within four provinces; Phangnga, Ranong, Surat Thani and Trang. This species has a fairly restricted range with an estimated EOO of 3,566 km2. This estimate was produced from only 10 known specimens of the species, seven of which were collected prior to 1970. Therefore this estimate may no longer be representative and the species range may be smaller due to deforestation within the species range.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:2-5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is locally common in Thailand but due to deforestation within the area population is likely to be in decline. In total across the four provinces the species is present. There has been 17% forest loss over the last 14 years based on Global Forest Watch data (WRI 2017), suggesting population decline. The species is also likely to occur in five or fewer sub populations as it only occurs within four states and there is likely to be fragmentation from deforestation. The point map also illustrates almost five distinct subpopulations and there are likely to be fewer than this based on the age of this specimen data.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Vatica diospyroides is a small tree species, only growing to 15 m in height. It grows in swampy areas at low altitude in evergreen forest. It is a perennial species. This tree produce fragrant flowers almost annually between February and April however drought limits flowering (Srisawat et al. 2013). Reproduction is via seed which do not show dormancy (Srisawat et al. 2013). The species habitat is currently in decline in area, extent and quality.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The flowers are used for medicinal purposes and are currently under investigation as a potential cancer treatment (Srisawat et al. 2014). Flowers are also harvested to be used in the production of perfumes due to sweetly scented resins and oils they contain (Srisawat et al. 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species habitat is threatened by deforestation. Although efforts are being made by local people to protected the swampy habitat it is not known how successful this is. In the future the species may come under harvest pressure as flowers and whole plants may be collected for the medical research or to be used to make perfume. This is a particular threat to the species as it is difficult to propagate the species for these purposes (Srisawat et al. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is only reported from one ex situ collection (BGCI 2017). Further ex situ collections of this species should be made. It occurs in protected areas (e.g. Nong Thung Thong Forest Park). It is recommended that population be monitored for decline due to harvest for medicinal and cosmetic purposes and limited where necessary. Propagation methods should continue to be investigated. The remaining species habitat should be protected.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

Bibliography [top]

BGCI. 2017. PlantSearch. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, London. Available at:

Chinh, N.N., Chung, C.T., Can, V.V., Dung, N.X., Dung, V.V., Dao, N.K., Hop, T., Oanh, T.T., Quynh, N.B. and Thin, N.N. 1996. Vietnam forest trees. Forest Inventory and Planning Institute, Agricultural Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. Available at: (Accessed: 7 December 2017).

Li-kuo, F. and Jian-ming, J. 1992. China Plant Red Data Book - Rare and Endangered Plants 1. Science Press, Beijing.

Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. 2007. Vietnam Red Data Book ? Plants, 2nd edition. Science and Technics Publishing House, Hanoi.

Oldfield, S., Lusty, C. and MacKinven, A. (compilers). 1998. The World List of Threatened Trees. World Conservation Press, Cambridge, UK.

Pooma, R. 2002. Further notes on Thai Dipterocarpaceae. Thai Forest Bulletin 30: 7-30.

Srisawat, T and Jongkraijak, N. 2013. Propagation of Vatica diospyroides symington: an endangered medicinal dipterocarp of peninsular Thailand by cultures of embryonic axes and leaf-derived calli. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 16(8).

Srisawat, T., Sukpondma, Y., Chimplee,S., Kanokwiroon, K., Tedasen, A. and Graidist, P. 2014. Extracts from Vatica diospyroides Type SS Fruit Show Low Dose Activity against MDA-MB-468 Breast Cancer Cell-Line via Apoptotic Action. BioMed Research International: 8.

World Resources Institute. 2017. Global Forest Watch. Available at:

Citation: Pooma, R., Newman, M. & Barstow, M. 2017. Vatica diospyroides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T33482A2837625. . Downloaded on 21 February 2018.
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