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Bertholletia excelsa

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA LECYTHIDALES LECYTHIDACEAE

Scientific Name: Bertholletia excelsa
Species Authority: H. & B.
Common Name/s:
English Brazil-nut Tree, Para Nut
French Noix Du Brésil
Spanish Turury

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A1acd+2cd ver 2.3
Year Published: 1998
Date Assessed: 1998-01-01
Annotations:
Needs updating
Assessor/s: Americas Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Costa Rica, November 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Large natural stands still exist in northern Bolivia and the species is locally abundant in Suriname.
Countries:
Native:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia); Colombia; French Guiana; Guyana; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A widely occurring emergent of the Amazonian forest.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Brazil nut tree has experienced major declines in its population because of deforestation. One of the greatest concentrations of trees exists in Tocantins valley where various activities, from the construction of the trans-amazon railway to the building of a reservoir, have brought about a shrinking in the gene pool. An area of 200,000 ha in south Pará has been purchased by the government with the aim of settling landless farmers. Trees remaining in the vast cattle ranches of Pará and Acre are neglected and dying. The production of Brazil nuts more than halved between 1970 and 1980, apparently because of deforestation. Almost all Brazil nuts consumed around the world still come from wild trees. Little is known about the impact of seed gathering on regeneration, but it clearly can be detrimental under some regimes where agoutis, the natural disperser of the Brazil nut, are hunted or chased away.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are various subpopulations in protected areas and on protected corporate properties. There have been relatively few successes at establishing plantations. The sustainable harvesting of nuts by indigenous people in extractive forest reserves offers the most promising protection for the remaining natural stands.
Citation: Americas Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Costa Rica, November 1996) 1998. Bertholletia excelsa. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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