Dalbergia cultrata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Dalbergia cultrata Graham ex Benth.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Burma Blackwood
Dalbergia fusca Pierre

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-06-22
Assessor(s): Contu, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
The distribution range extends over a wide area at present, but the species has been described as decreasing over the past (no figures about population reduction are currently available), due to the severe reduction of forest areas in the countries where it occurs and to the overexploitation of the timber (Oldfield et al. 1998). Deforestation has contributed to the increasing fragmentation of the forested areas, which might also lead to reduced genetic diversity and genetic flow between Dalbergia cultrata subpopulations. On the basis of the available data, the species at present does not meet any of the IUCN Red List Criteria, meaning that it cannot be rated as a threatened species. However, due to the fact that the species has been subject to a population decline in the past and that this trend is believed to be still ongoing, and due to the severity of the threats in the areas where the species occurs, it is believed that it is of conservation concern and that further research and studies on population size, distribution and trends should be carried out in the near future to better define the conservation status as it may warrant a higher rating.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Dalbergia cultrata occurs in Cambodia, China (Yunnan province), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam and it has been introduced to India.
Countries occurrence:
Cambodia; China (Yunnan); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):120
Upper elevation limit (metres):1700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:D. cultrata has been described as scattered in open areas on hill evergreen forest, in mixed deciduous forest, in Thailand (Wongprasert #18), on hillside in dry evergreen forest (Wongprasert #46) and in open areas (Noiyomdham #922). It has also been reported as a common species in fire-prone areas where it is shrubby and coppicing.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:D. cultrata is a medium sized (up to 20-30 m high) deciduous tree which grows in humid deciduous, evergreen and evergreen mixed with pine, forests. In open forest, in bamboo forest, in dry dipterocarp forest and in dry mixed deciduous forest. Pollination is by wind and the winged seed is dispersed by wind. Germination rate is quite high, about 70% ( Lao Tree Seed Project). Flowering is in June to August and fruiting is in September to November.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood is used for making furniture, cabinets, doors, window frames, agricultural implements, musical instruments, plywood, veneer, rifle-buds, high quality handicrafts and fuel-wood. It can also be used as a shade tree in agro-forestry systems.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation is one of the most serious threats to biodiversity in the countries where the species is known to occur. The natural vegetation has been reduced and fragmented for the conversion to agricultural land and settlements. Illegal logging has been a serious problem, and even though there are programs of management of forest resources, the level of forest reduction has not stopped (i.e. in Thailand since 1992 there is a strict logging ban in all natural forests, but it hasn’t been able to stop deforestation in the country). The species has been overexploited for the timber and this has been identified as the main cause of the population decline of the variety cultrata (Oldfield et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures specifically for D. cultrata at present, however, the species is known to occur in some protected areas across its distribution range, among them: Doi Suthep National Park,Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Sakaerat Reserve. The Lao Tree Seed Project, which is part of the Indochina Tree Seed Programme supported by the Danish government, is currently improving the supply of forest tree seed in collaboration with the National Agricultural and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI). Sample of seed of D. cultrata have been collected as the species is of socio-economic important and it has been included in the list of the priority species for conservation, improvement or seed procurement in Lao PDR.

Dalbergia cultrata var. cultrata has been assessed as Endangered (criteria A1cd) in The World List of Threatened Trees (1998), as the population is believed to have declined through overexploitation of the timber, and shows a scattered distribution in Vietnam (from Dac Lac to Dong Nai).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

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
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.2. Area-based Management Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Fuels
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Construction or structural materials
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Other (free text)
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Lamotte, S., Gajaseni, J. and Malaisse, F. 1998. Structure diversity in three forest types of north-eastern Thailand (Sakaerat Reserve, Pak Tong Chai). Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment 2(3): 192-202.

Lao Tree Seed Project. Unknown. Dalbergia cultrata (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Bean or pea family) Mai Kham Phee. NAFRI-DANIDA.

Lock, J.M. and Heald, J. 1994. Legumes of Indo-China: a checklist. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Kew.

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

Pakkad, G., Elliott, S., Anusarnsunthorn, V., James, C. and Blakesley, D. Unknown. Forest restoration planting in northern Thailand. In: S. Koskela, S. Appanah, A.P. Anderson and M.D. Markopoulos Markopoulos (eds), Conservation, Management and Utilisation of Forest Genetic Resources. Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources, pp. 143-153. FORSPA, Bangkok.

Phongoudome, C. and Mounlamai, K. 2003. Status of forest genetic resources conservation and management in Lao PDR. Forest genetic resources conservation and management Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN) Inception Workshop, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,15–18 July, 2003: 183-205. Malaysia.

Theppavong, B., Khamphan, K. and Vonghachack, S. 2001. Conservation and management of the forest genetic resources in LAO PDR. Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources: 6. Thailand.

Thothathri, K. 1987. Taxonomic Revision of the Tribe Dalbergieae in the Indian Subcontinent. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.

UNEP. 2010. Atlas of our Changing Environment. Available at: (Accessed: 2010).

Walker, S. and Rabinowitz, A. 1992. The small-mammal community of a dry-tropical forest in central Thailand. Journal of Tropical Ecology 8(1): 57-71.

Wu, Z.Y., Raven, P.H. and Hong, D.Y. (eds.). 1994. Flora of China, Vol. 10 Fabaceae. Science Press, Beijing and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St Louis.

Citation: Contu, S. 2012. Dalbergia cultrata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T62496A20055554. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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