Coffea pseudozanguebariae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Gentianales Rubiaceae

Scientific Name: Coffea pseudozanguebariae Bridson
Taxonomic Source(s): Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2012. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Coffea pseudozanguebariae Bridson is a wild relative of commercial coffee species, C. arabica L. and C. canephora Pierre ex A.Froehner (Vincent et al. 2013). The species is classified in Gene Pool 3 for both species, following the definition of Maxted et al. (2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2015-07-06
Assessor(s): O'Sullivan, R.J. & Davis, A.P.
Reviewer(s): Beentje, H.J. & Luke, W.R.Q.
Contributor(s): Duarte, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hargreaves, S.

Coffea pseudozanguebariae is found in northeastern Tanzania, Zanzibar and southeastern Kenya. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) is 45,307 km2 which initially rates it as Least Concern. However, the minimum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 152 km2 which could place it in a threatened category. The Eastern Arc Forests, which overlap with the species distribution, have lost much of their natural forest cover, which is now only preserved in Forest Reserves. A number of its subpopulations exist in these Forest Reserves of Tanzania, which affords them variable protection as the Forest Reserves are not formally protected, and so habitat degradation is still a problem. Subpopulations outside of these protected areas in Tanzania and Kenya are at risk from human encroachment and disturbance due to habitat modification (often for agricultural use), and on Zanzibar, conversion for tourist activities such as the building of hotels.

While the AOO is a minimum estimate, it is thought unlikely that the maximum AOO is over 2,000 km2, the value needed for a threatened category. Due to the continuing decline in habitat and the restricted range, this species is classified as Near Threatened under Criterion B.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Coffea pseudozanguebariae is found in northeastern Tanzania, including Zanzibar and southeastern Kenya, from Dar es Salaam to Mombassa (Davis et al. 2006). There are a number of collections from the East and West Usambara Mountains, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains Biodiversity Hotspot (Myers et al. 2000)
Countries occurrence:
Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:152Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:45306.943
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Upper elevation limit (metres):650
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


 Coffea pseudozanguebariae is fairly common and known from at least 75 collections from northeast Tanzania and southeast Kenya, yet the exact population size is unknown. It is inferred that the population is decreasing, based on the known level of habitat loss (Hall et al. 2009).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in seasonally dry, evergreen and mixed evergreen-deciduous forest, littoral forest, shrubland and coastal bush. It is found between 0–650 (–800) m above sea level (Bridson and Verdcourt 1988, Davis et al. 2006).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no known uses for this species although coffee species are widely used for minor construction purposes and for fuel wood. It is a tertiary wild relative of, and potential gene donor to cultivated Coffea species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Much of the natural forest of the Eastern Arc Mountains, which overlap with some of the species range (East and West Usambara) has been cleared due to human disturbance and fire, and is now highly fragmented (Newmark 1998). By the year 2000 lowland montane habitat (200–800 m) had lost close to 92% of its palaeoecological extent (Hall et al. 2009). Much of the remaining forest of the Eastern Arc is confined to Forest Reserves, but even these suffer from habitat degradation due to exploitation for building materials and fuel wood (Burgess et al. 2007). Fire is an additional problem in the dry season (Burgess et al. 2007). Areas where this species occurs outside of reserves and National Parks are at increased threat from human intrusion and disturbance, particularly on Zanzibar where tourism levels are increasing and the building of hotels is often to the detriment of the local environment (Rotarou 2012). There is a likely negative impact from climate change (elevated temperatures reducing flower and fruit production; reduction of suitable niches; soil/water balance) but the level of impact is currently unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Coffea pseudozanguebariae is found in the Shimba Hills National Reserve and Arabuko Sokoke National Park in Kenya (both IUCN category II), as well as a number of Forest Reserves in the East and West Usambaras of Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains, which affords them a degree of protection. However, forest reserves are often exploited for wood for construction purposes and as a fuel source, which has a detrimental effect of the quality of the habitat (Burgess et al. 2007). The Eastern Arc Forests of Kenya and Tanzania  are an extremely rich area for restricted range vascular plant species, displaying a high degree of endemism (Lovett 1998). Of all the world's biodiversity hotspots the Eastern Arc Forests are expected to suffer the most extinctions from a given loss of habitat (Brooks et al. 2002).

Conservation investment over the long term is essential in preserving the biodiversity of the Eastern Arc Mountains and is closely aligned with the management policies of the Tanzania Forestry and Beekeeping Division, the Tanzania National Parks Authority and the Kenya Forest Department (Burgess et al. 2007). Due to the high degree of historical deforestation at the low altitudes where this species is found these areas should receive increased conservation consideration (Hall et al. 2009). In 2006 The Eastern Arc Mountains were nominated as a natural World Heritage Site.

There is one known ex situ collection of this species (BGCI 2016).


Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
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:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.3. Temperature extremes
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.3. Work & other activities
♦ timing:Ongoing    

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

Bibliography [top]

Bachman, S., Moat, J., Hill, A.W., de la Torre, J. and Scott, B. 2011. Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT: geospatial conservation assessment tool. In: V. Smith and L. Penev (eds) e-Infrastructures for data publishing in biodiversity science. Zookeys 150: 117–126.

BGCI. 2016. PlantSearch. London: Botanic Gardens Conservation International Available at:

Bridson, D. and Verdcourt, B. 1988. Rubiaceae (Part 2). In: R.M. Polhill (ed.), Flora of Tropical East Africa , A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Brooks, T.M., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., da Fonseca, G.A.B.; Rylands, A.B., Konstant, W. ., Flick, P., Pilgrim, J., Oldfield, S., Magin, G. and Hilton-Taylor, C. 2002. Habitat loss and extinction in the hotspots of biodiversity. Conservation Biology 16: 909-923.

Burgess, N.D., Butynski, T.M., Cordeiro, N.J., Doggart, N., Fjeldsa, J., Howell, K.M., Kilahama, F., Loader, S.P., Lovett, J.C., Mbilnyi, B., Menegon, M., Moyer, D.C., Nashanda, E., Perkin, A., Rovero, F., Stanley, W.T. and Stuart, S.N. 2007. The biological importance of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. Biological Conservation 134: 209-231.

Davis, A.P., Govaerts, R., Bridson, D.M. and Stoffelen, P. 2006. An annotated taxonomic conspectus of the genus Coffea (Rubiaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 152: 465-512.

Hall, J., Burgess, N.D., Lovett, J., Mbilinyi, B. and Gereau, R.E. 2009. Conservation implications of deforestation across an elevational gradient in the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania. Biological Conservation 142: 2510-2521.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. Available at: (Accessed: 7 December 2017).

Maxted, N., Ford-Lloyd, B.V., Jury, S., Kell, S. and Scholten, M. 2006. Towards a definition of a crop wild relative. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 2673-2685.

Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., da Fonseca, G.A.B. and Kent, J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853-858.

Newmark, W.D. 1998. Forest area, fragmentation, and loss in the Eastern Arc Mountains: Implications for the conservation of biological diversity. Journal of East African Natural History 87: 1-8.

Rotarou, E.S. 2012. Environmental Impacts of Tourism on Zanziba. Revista Interamericana de Ambiente y Turismo 9(1): 2-17.

Vincent, H., Wiersema, J., Kell, S., Fielder, H., Dobbie, S., Castañeda-Alvarez, N.P., Guarino, L., Eastwood, R., Leόn, B. and Maxted, N. 2013. A prioritized crop wild relative inventory to help underpin global food security. Biological Conservation 167: 265–275.

Citation: O'Sullivan, R.J. & Davis, A.P. 2017. Coffea pseudozanguebariae. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T34797A2855557. . Downloaded on 13 December 2017.
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