Juniperus barbadensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Juniperus barbadensis L.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English West Indies Juniper
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: J. barbadensis is represented by to varieties; J. barbadensis var barbadensis  and J. barbadensis var. lucayana (Britton) R.P.Adams

Historically there have been several taxonomic treatments for J. barbadensis and its varieties. J. lucayana Britton was reduced to a variety of J. barbadensis (Adams, 1995) and the most recent name J. barbadensis var jamaicensis (Silba, 2000) is considered to be a synonym of J. barbadensis var lucayana (Adams, 2011).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-03-08
Assessor(s): Gardner, M., Campbell, K.C.St.E., Smith, M., Freid, H. & Graveson, R.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Juniperus barbadensis has a wide distribution in the northern Caribbean, in about two restricted sites in Cuba, on five islands in northern part of the Bahamas and in one site on St Lucia in the southern Caribbean. Due to the nature of this distribution, particularly that in the Lucayan Archipelago of the Bahamas, it is not possible to give an accurate figure for the area of occupancy. Despite its protection in several locations, it is clearly in decline throughout its distribution mainly as a result of fire and urbanization. The total population is estimated to be less than 10,000 individuals with no subpopulation containing more than 1,000 individuals, therefore it has been assessed as Vulnerable under C2a(i).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:J. barbadensis is endemic to the West Indies where it is distributed in the Bahamas (5 islands), Cuba (2 locations), Jamaica (1 location) and St Lucia (1 location)

J. barbadensis var barbadensis is confined to a single location on St. Lucia, formely it was known from Barbados but it is now extinct there.

J. barbadensis var. lucayana occurs in the Bahamas on the following islands: Great Abaco, Andros, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and New Providence. Although Adams (1989) cites a figure of ca. 100 plants in the Bahamas the number is between 2000-3000.  In Cuba it is currently recorded from Camagüey (Cayo Sabinal), Holguín (Sierra de Nipe) and Isla de la Juventud, Pinar del Río (Sabanalamar), (Areces-Mallea 1997, Adams 1989), however it is thought to only be extant in the latter two locations (Adams 1989).  In Jamaica 15-20 trees grow in St Andrew Parish near to Clydesdale (Adams 1989, pers. obs.) where it has an EOO of 30 km2. It is now extinct on Haiti.

Countries occurrence:
Bahamas; Cuba; Jamaica; Saint Lucia
Regionally extinct:
Barbados; Haiti
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:J. barbadensis var. barbadensis was once believed to be more common on St Lucia and according to an agricultural report for St Lucia written in 1921, (published in The Voice, April 29, 1922, p. 6) it once occured all along the South Western coast of the island, but has now been nearly all destroyed with the exception of the few trees situated at the top of the Petit Piton where the are less than 50 individuals. It is now extinct on Barbados.

J. barbadensis var. lucayana: In Jamaica and Cuba the sub-populations are relatively restricted and occur in small stands with 5-30 individuals. In the Bahamas, the number is much higher and although there is no precise figure, it is believed to be between 2000-3000 individuals, most of which are confined to the islands of Andros, Abaco and Grand Bahama. In recent years there has been some reduction in some of these stands, for example the best stands at the west end of Grand Bahama have almost all disappeared due to the construction of apartments, a golf course and a marina.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species occurs from sea level to 1600 m in a range of forest types depending on the country. In Cuba it is found in ‘bosque aciculifolio’ forest which is characterised as having about 30% forest cover dominated by Pinus spp. with evergreen trees and associated shrubs and herbaceous plants but very few epiphytes and climbers (Berazaín 2005). In contrast, on the Isle of Pines off the south coast of Cuba, it grows in forest swamps. In the Bahamas it is found in coppices on rocky slopes. On St Lucia it grows on rocky outcrops (volcanic origin) in deciduous seasonal forest (Graveson 2009) 30 m below the summit of a coastal mountain at an altitude of ca 700 m. Associated species include: the endemic Bernardia laurentii (sole location) and occasional small gnarled trees bent by the wind  such as Capparis indica, Casearia decandra, Daphnopsis americana, Erithalis odifera, Krugiodendron ferreum, Tabebuia heterophylla. Non-woody species include: Agave caribaeicola, Peperomia magnoliifolia, Pitcairnia angustifolia, Tillandsia fasciculata and T. utriculata.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In Jamaica it is often used in furniture making due to its attractive wood and its excellent insect-repellent properties.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Exploitation for fuel wood and timber is a threat to this species throughout its distribution; in Cuba fire is also a threat. In the Blue Mountains of Jamaica the species is under pressure from a number of threats including potential damage from bark beetle, and selective cutting of old-growth trees - although this illicit practice has been stopped in the Cinchona area since 1994 by the park authorities (Goodland and Healey 1996). However, now that there are gaps in the canopy this can cause serious encroachment problems with invasion non-native species such as Pittosporum undulatum (Goodland and Healey 1996). In the Bahamas there has been a reduction of some stands due to urbanization.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In the Bahamas it is afforded protection in a number of National Parks which are admninistered by the Bahamas National Trust. In Jamaica stands are within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. In St Lucia the only location for J. barbadensis var barbadensis is protected in an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Citation: Gardner, M., Campbell, K.C.St.E., Smith, M., Freid, H. & Graveson, R. 2013. Juniperus barbadensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T34083A2844260. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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