Nesiota elliptica 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Rhamnales Rhamnaceae

Scientific Name: Nesiota elliptica
Species Authority: (Roxb.) Hook.f.
Common Name(s):
English St Helena Olive
Phylica elliptica Roxb. in Beatson

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Cairns-Wicks, R.
Reviewer(s): Cronk, Q. & Clubbe, C. (South Atlantic Island Plants Red List Authority)
The last known tree surviving in the wild died in 1994 and the only known plant still in cultivation died in December 2003. No other live material (plants, seeds or tissues) remains in local or international collections.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Extinct in the Wild (EW)
1998 Extinct in the Wild (EW)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Previously known from localised subpopulations on the highest parts of the eastern central ridge. N. elliptica became noticeably rare in the nineteenth century, when the subpopulation was recorded as consisting of only 12 to 15 trees on the northern side of Diana's Peak, after a time this subpopulation was thought to be extinct. In 1977 a single tree was discovered on a precipitous cliff near Diana's Peak, this was reported to have died in 1994. The last remaining plant in cultivation died in December 2003. The genus is monotypic.
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A small tree, that was known to be pollinated by an endemic syrphid fly, which also visits other endemic trees.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threat to this species was loss of habitat through felling for timber and to make way for plantations.
N. elliptica also has a self-incompatibility mechanism (99% self-incompatible), making successful propagation difficult. Pests and systemic fungal infections that are carried through to seed are other threats that are affecting the survival of N. elliptica.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Draft Recovery Action Plan for this species set out a number of objectives to encourage the long-term persistence of the Olive, these objectives were:
1. To maintain and encourage the growth of the Olive at Pounceys
2. To carry out pollinations when the tree is in flower
3. To establish seed in micropropagation at the RBG Kew

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Cronk, Q.C.B. 2000. The Endemic Flora of St. Helena. Anthony Nelson Publishers, Oswestry, UK.

Holland, M., Cronk, Q., MacDonald, D. and Holland, M. 1986. The Endemic Flora of St. Helena. The Government of St. Helena, St Helena.

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 November 2004.

Jackson, A. 1991. Project Popeye – Saving the St Helena Olive. Preliminary report to the World Wide Fund for Nature. WWF Project No. 162/89. Wakehurst Place, RBG, Kew.

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

Citation: Cairns-Wicks, R. 2004. Nesiota elliptica. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T37598A10062366. . Downloaded on 25 June 2016.
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