|Scientific Name:||Xanthocyparis vietnamensis|
|Species Authority:||Farjon & Hiep|
|Taxonomic Notes:||See Farjon et al. 2002. New genus and species in Cupressoid clade of family Cupressaceae, apparently closely related to one species in North America now placed with it in the new genus (X. nootkatensis, syn. Chaemaecyparis nootkatensis).|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered B2ab(v) ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||Farjon, A., Phan Ke Loc, Nguyen Tien Hiep & Averyanov, L.|
|Reviewer/s:||Farjon, A. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Conifer Red List Authority)|
Xanthocyparis vietnamensis was discovered on limestone ridges in a remote but populated area of Viet Nam near the Chinese border in October 1999. It was recognized as a distinct new genus and species (Farjon et al. 2002). It is extremely rare and restricted in a limited area (area of occupancy is < 10 km²) both within and without the direct influence of tree cutting by locals. The population was originally estimated to number less than 250 individuals, but since the original discovery, new localities have been found substantially increasing the number of known plants to an estimated 560 individuals. Many trees are difficult to access as they grow on ridges and summits. Regeneration has also been recorded in the natural habitat. The evidence of logging in one area indicates continuing decline and the distribution is severely fragmented.
Based on the initial population estimate, the species was thought to be Critically Endangered, but this view has subsequently been changed in the light of the new discoveries. The species is, however, Endangered, because of the ongoing deforestation taking place in the area. There is some debate as to whether or not the species occurred lower down in areas that are now deforested, hence the population reduction could be far greater than indicated by the Endangered assessment. But, firm evidence that this species occurred in these areas is lacking.
|Range Description:||Current knowledge indicates that it has a very limited range of less than 50 km² in the Bat Dai Son mountains of northern Ha Giang Province on the Chinese border, Viet Nam. Within this area it is restricted to the ridges and summits. It is scarce or rare in its habitat, scattered (not present on all ridges and summits visited so far). It does not, as previously thought (see Farjon et al. 2002), occur on the lower slopes or in the valleys as these, where forest is still intact, do not support conifers.|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||This small to medium sized tree (10-15 m) grows on the ridges and summits of karst limestone formations (very steep mountains) in elfin forest (cloud forest). Occurs together with other conifers (the dominant species is Pseudotsuga sinensis) and small-leaved angiosperms, numerous epilithic and epiphytic orchids, ferns, mosses, etc.|
|Major Threat(s):||Wood cutting is the main threat. The wood of Cupressaceous conifers, as well as its foliage, is sought after in eastern Asian culture. The lower slopes are being heavily deforested for the expansion of agriculture, but this is unlikely to reach the ridges. But firewood cutting and cutting for other purposes (this species produces a fine, yellow-brown very hard, fragrant timber) evidently does occur in some areas. Due to the lack of transport facilities and other factors, most of the timber has been traded locally. Estimates of population decline, cannot be made at this stage given our current knowledge.|
|Conservation Actions:||No concerted conservation activities are yet underway. Forest protection authorities have been notified (Farjon and collaborators, pers. comm. May 2002) and cuttings have been taken by a forestry nursery (Central Forest Seed Company) for propagation (Nguyen Duc to Luu and Thomas 2002). The area is partly covered by a Provincial Forest Protected Area.|
Averyanov, L.V., Hiep, N.T., Harder, D.K. and Loc, P.K. 2002. The history of discovery and natural habitats of Xanthocyparis vietnamensis (Cupressaceae). Turczaninowia 5(4): 31-39.
Farjon, A. 2002c. New conifer genus is added to the global Red List. Fitzroya 5: 2.
Farjon, A. 2002. Xanthocyparis vietnamensis Farjon and Hiep, a new conifer genus and species in Vietnam. Report for Fauna and Flora International (internal unpublished report).
Farjon, A. 2002. Rare and possibly threatened conifers in Vietnam. Report for Fauna and Flora International (internal unpublished report).
Farjon, A, Nguyen Tien Hiep, Harder, D.K., Phan Ke Loc and Averyanov, L. 2002. A new genus and species in Cupressaceae (Coniferales) from northern Vietnam, Xanthocyparis vietnamensis. Novon 12(2): 179-189.
IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.
IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 23 November 2004.
Nguyen Duc To Luu and Thomas, P. 2002. Utilisation and conservation. Fitzroya 5: 2.
To Van Thao, Nguyen Duc To Luu and Nguyen Tien Hiep. In prep. Conservation assessment and vegetative propagation of Xanthocyparis vietnamensis Farjon & Hiep in Ha Giang.
|Citation:||Farjon, A., Phan Ke Loc, Nguyen Tien Hiep & Averyanov, L. 2004. Xanthocyparis vietnamensis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 May 2013.|
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