Podocarpus guatemalensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Podocarpaceae

Scientific Name: Podocarpus guatemalensis Standl.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Ocotillo de Llano , Alfajillo, Ciprecillo Amarillo , Ciprecillo Blanco , Cipresillo, Cypress de Montaña , Palo de Oro , Pinillo, Piño de Montaña
Podocarpus allenii Standl.
Podocarpus pinetorum Bartlett
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-06-27
Assessor(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Mill, R. & Gardner, M.
This one of the most widespread species of Podocarpus, with a sporadic distribution from Ecuador in the south to as far north as Veracruz and Oaxaca in Mexico. It is occasionally reported as fairly common at localities. It has been collected consistently over the past few decades and is known to occur within several protected areas. It has also been reported to be locally threatened by logging and to suffer a reduction of the extent of its habitat from agricultural expansion. In Costa Rica this species has been assessed as Critically Endangered based on criterion C: <250 mature individuals and ongoing decline (Estrada Chavarría et al. 2005). It is also listed as Critically Endangered (criteria not stated) on Panama's most recent Red List (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente 2008). In Guatemala it has been nationally assessed as Vulnerable as a result of a past decline of at least 30% while in Colombia it has been listed as Near Threatened (Cárdenas López and Salinas 2007) for similar reasons. In other range states it either has not been nationally assessed or is not listed as threatened.
Despite decline within parts of its range, the global assessment is still Least Concern, mainly due to its wide distribution. However, the next assessment could find that this species qualifies for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from Belize; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador (Cordillera del Condor); Guatemala; Honduras; El Salvador; Mexico (Oaxaca, Veracruz); Nicaragua; Panama; and Venezuela (Cordillera Oriental, Selvas de Guatopo). Some records from Venezuela may be referable to Podocarpus trinitensis while records from Chiapas are Podocarpus matudae.  Podocarpus guatemalensis'  extent of occurrence is well in excess of 20,000 km2. The area of occupancy is difficult to calculate as throughout its range it only occurs sporadically in relatively small fragmented subpopulations.
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico (Oaxaca, Veracruz); Nicaragua; Panama
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This one of the most widespread species of Podocarpus. It is occasionally reported as fairly common at localities. In other places it is almost certainly declining due to deforestation. No overall trend can easily be established for such a widespread species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Podocarpus guatemalensis occurs in mixed conifer-angiosperm forest or pine forest, often along streams. The altitudinal range calculated from data with herbarium specimens is 1-1,400 m a.s.l., but it is most common below 1,000 m a.s.l. Records of this species from higher altitudes are usually referable to Podocarpus matudae or Podocarpus oleifolius. It is therefore a species both from lowland and lower montane forests. In the lowlands it is often present in savanna type vegetation with Pinus oocarpa, P. caribaea, and many angiosperm shrubs and usually near stream sides. In evergreen broad-leaved tropical rainforests it is a canopy tree, apparently successfully competing with other trees. Little is known of the soil types in which this tree occurs in the latter vegetation type; often conifers are restricted to nutrient-poor substrates where they do better with the aid of mycorrhiza.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Herbarium specimen labels indicate that this species is used for furniture and general construction. In Nicaragua it is used for poles (Piñeda 2006). It is not known to be in cultivation except in a few botanic gardens.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It has been reported to be locally threatened by logging and there has been a decline in its area of occupancy due to agricultural expansion. In some parts of its range, subpopulations are small and restricted in their distribution. They are therefore more susceptible to changes in land-use. Additionally, it is mainly found at lower altitudes where forest conversion and deforestation has been more extensive.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been recorded from several protected areas, including Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Altos de Campaña, Rincón de la Vieja, Rio Indio Maíz and Mountain Pine Ridge Reserves.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Construction or structural materials
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (Panama). 2008. Resolucion No. AG - 0051-2008. Por la cual se reglamenta lo relativo a las especies de fauna y flora amenazadas y en peligro de extinción, y se dictan otras disposiciones (Appendix 1). Government of Panama.

Cárdenas López, D. and Salinas, N.R. 2007. Libro Rojo de plantas de Colombia. Volumen 4 : especies maderables amenazadas. Primera part. Instituto Amazónico de Investigaciones Cientificas SINCHI, Bogotá, Colombia.

Estrada Chavarría, A., Rodríguez González, A. and Sánchez González, J. 2005. Evaluación y categorización del estado de conservación de plantas en Costa Rica. CR/INBio/SINAC. [Available from:]

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Huérfano, A.A., Fedón, I. and Mostacero, J. (eds). 2003. Libro Rojo de la Flora Venezolana. Available at: (Accessed: 20 August 2012).

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

Piñeda, A.G. 2006. Flora Util. Etnobotánica de Nicaragua. Managua Available at: . (Accessed: 20 February 2013).

Torres-Romero, J.H. 1988. Flore de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá.

Vivero, J.L., Szejner, M., Gordon, J. and Magin, G. 2006. The Red List of Trees of Guatemala. Fauna and Flora International, Cambridge.

Citation: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. 2013. Podocarpus guatemalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T34084A2844360. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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