Tahina spectabilis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Arecales Palmae

Scientific Name: Tahina spectabilis
Species Authority: J.Dransf. & Rakotoarinivo
Common Name(s):
English Tahina Palm, Suicide Palm

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-12-17
Assessor(s): Rakotoarinivo, M. & Dransfield, J.
Reviewer(s): Baker, W.J., Beentje, H.J. & Bachman, S., Baker, W.J. & Beentje, H.J.
Known only from a single site where the area of occupancy and extent of occurrence are estimated to be well less than 4 km² (even less than 1 km²) and is threatened by increased fire frequency and grazing which may reduce the quality of the habitat for the population and any regeneration. About 30 mature trees have been counted at this site. The species is listed as Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from a single locality in Analalava district, in the northwest of Madagascar.
Countries occurrence:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):10
Upper elevation limit (metres):20
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:About 30 mature individuals are known in the wild. The current population trend is unknown as this species was only discovered fairly recently. It was almost certainly commoner in the past, as much of the habitat where it occurs has been converted to agricultural lands.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:30
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in the gently rolling hills and flatlands of the region, now dominated by anthropogenic grasslands, there is a small outcrop of 'tsingy', karst Tertiary limestone, about 250 m long, carrying a semi-natural vegetation. Tahina grows in seasonally flooded land at the foot of the limestone hill at an elevation between 10 and 20 m
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Uses for this species are not known, but as a rare species, it is likely to be prized as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The increased frequency of fire is probably the main threat at present, as most of the former habitat has been transformed. Grazing by livestock also poses a threat to the remaining habitat and to the regeneration of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Efforts are under way to conserve this species through distribution of seed and cultivation in botanic gardens. The site is not formally protected. Regular monitoring of the population is required.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability: Suitable  
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:No
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.7. Reduced reproductive success

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Dransfield, J., Rakotoarinivo, M., Baker, W.J., Bayton,R.P., Fisher, J.B., Horn, J.W., Leroy, B. and Metz, X. 2008. A new Coryphoid palm genus from Madagascar. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 156: 79-91.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 17 October 2012).

Citation: Rakotoarinivo, M. & Dransfield, J. 2012. Tahina spectabilis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T195893A2430024. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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