Araucaria angustifolia 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Araucariaceae

Scientific Name: Araucaria angustifolia
Species Authority: (Bertol.) Kuntze
Common Name(s):
English Parana Pine, Paraná-pine, Candelabra Tree
Spanish Pino Blanco, Pino de Missiones
Columbea angustifolia Bertol.
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-08-16
Assessor(s): Thomas, P.
Reviewer(s): Mill, R. & Farjon, A.
This species was formerly evaluated as Vulnerable A1d, B1+B2b under the 1994 IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (Farjon and Page 1999) but published data cited in Enright and Hill (1995) indicate that a reduction of 97% has taken place due to logging since the beginning of the 20th century. It is estimated that in about 1900 AD this species had an extent of occurrence of ca. 20 million ha; analysing this area using LANDSAT-II imagery, Gantzel (1982) showed that only 565,419 ha remained by 1982. Logging at that time was still continuing at an estimated rate of 80,000 ha per year. This amounts to a forest reduction of over 97% within three tree generations. Plantation forestry with Pinus and Eucalyptus as well as conversion of forest for other uses have the habitat loss irreversible. Consequently an assessment of Critically Endangered under the A2 criterion is warranted.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:It occurs in southeastern Brazil (primarily in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande Do Sul, and locally in São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio De Janeiro) and adjacent areas of Argentina (Misiones) and Paraguay. Found at an altitude of 500-1,800 m in Brazil and 500-2,300 m in the adjoining countries.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina (Misiones); Brazil (Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo); Paraguay
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):500
Upper elevation limit (metres):2300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The original extent of Araucaria forest, estimated at 200,000 km², is believed to have declined by more than 97% in the last century. In Rio Grande do Sul, for instance, the forest area, over half of which was made up of Araucaria, has plummeted from 40% land cover to 3% today. Araucaria forest in Sâo Paulo covers 4.3% of its original area. The Paraguay population is small and confined to Alto Paraná. Seeding trees are scarce. Small relict populations, covering less than 1,000 ha, in northeast Misiones, Argentina, are all that remain of the forest that in 1960 covered 210,000 ha. The species is included on the official list compiled by IBAMA of threatened Brazilian plants.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Grows in subtropical forest on acidic soils. Araucaria is usually dioecious, rarely monoecious and like other conifers is wind pollinated. Pollen maturation and pollination in Brazil occur from August through October. The seed cones begin to mature two years after pollination, and the complete cycle from primitive carpel to seed takes about four years. Young trees begin to set seed between 12 and 15 years of age. Seeds are dispersed between May and August.
Generation Length (years):35

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Previously heavily exploited for its timber which was widely used for construction. The species is used as a fuelwood. Seeds are used as a food source and resin from the bark is traded subnationally. The tree is also planted as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Paraná Pine is the most important timber species in Brazil. In addition to the massive exploitation for timber, 3,400 tonnes per annum of fruit and seeds are collected for human consumption. Fragmentation, forest clearance for planting other agricultural crops (wheat, soya and corn) as well as faster growing timber species such as pine and eucalypt are also continuing threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Since 2001 there has been an official Brazilian ban on log exports of this species. The Brazilian Government is also promoting several initiatives to protect Araucaria genetic resources. Only a small fraction of the former range of this species is protected in reserves and national parks.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ 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 -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

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

5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.7. Reduced reproductive success

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Other chemicals
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Construction or structural materials
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Bittencourt, J.V.M. 2007. Araucaria angustifolia - its geography and ecology. University of Reading.

Chebez, J.C. 1994. Los que se van. Albatros, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Enright, N.J. and Hill, R.S. 1995. Ecology of the Southern Conifers. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Farjon, A. and Page, C.N. (compilers) 1999. Conifers. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Conifer Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Gantzel, O.L. 1982. Avaliação das florestas de Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) O. Ktze. do suldo Brasil, através de imagens do satélite LANDSAT-II. Revista Floresta 13: 38-40.

Harcourt, C.S. and Sayer, J.A. 1996. The conservation atlas of tropical forests: The Americas. Simon and Schuster Macmillan. New York.

IBAMA. 1992. Lista oficial de espécies da flora Brasileira ameaçadas de extinçao (unpublished).

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

Ortega Torres, E., Stutz de Ortega, L. and Spichiger, R. 1989. Noventa especies forestales del Paraguay. Flora del Paraguay. Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.

Stefenon, V.M., Steiner, N., Guerra, M.P. and Nodari, R.O. 2009. Integrating approaches towards the conservation of forest genetic resources: a case study of Araucaria angustifolia. Biodiversity Conservation 18: 2433-2448.

Citation: Thomas, P. 2013. Araucaria angustifolia. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32975A2829141. . Downloaded on 23 January 2017.
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