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Comprehensive Red List assessment reveals exceptionally high extinction risk to Madagascar palms.

Rakotoarinivo M, Dransfield J, Bachman SP, Moat J, Baker WJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Where change occurred, more species have moved to lower threat categories than to higher categories, because of improved knowledge of species and their distributions, rather than a decrease in extinction risk.Moreover, many species occurring in protected areas are still threatened, indicating that threatening processes persist even in reserves.Definitive implementation of the new protected areas combined with local community engagement are essential for the survival of Madagascar's palms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, Ambodivoanjo Ivandry, Antananarivo, Madagascar.

ABSTRACT
The establishment of baseline IUCN Red List assessments for plants is a crucial step in conservation planning. Nowhere is this more important than in biodiversity hotspots that are subject to significant anthropogenic pressures, such as Madagascar. Here, all Madagascar palm species are assessed using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, version 3.1. Our results indicate that 83% of the 192 endemic species are threatened, nearly four times the proportion estimated for plants globally and exceeding estimates for all other comprehensively evaluated plant groups in Madagascar. Compared with a previous assessment in 1995, the number of Endangered and Critically Endangered species has substantially increased, due to the discovery of 28 new species since 1995, most of which are highly threatened. The conservation status of most species included in both the 1995 and the current assessments has not changed. Where change occurred, more species have moved to lower threat categories than to higher categories, because of improved knowledge of species and their distributions, rather than a decrease in extinction risk. However, some cases of genuine deterioration in conservation status were also identified. Palms in Madagascar are primarily threatened by habitat loss due to agriculture and biological resource use through direct exploitation or collateral damage. The recent extension of Madagascar's protected area network is highly beneficial for palms, substantially increasing the number of threatened species populations included within reserves. Notably, three of the eight most important protected areas for palms are newly designated. However, 28 threatened and data deficient species are not protected by the expanded network, including some Critically Endangered species. Moreover, many species occurring in protected areas are still threatened, indicating that threatening processes persist even in reserves. Definitive implementation of the new protected areas combined with local community engagement are essential for the survival of Madagascar's palms.

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Example of palm species under threat in Madagascar.(a) Anthropogenic fires in grasslands, causing decline and destruction of palm populations, such as Dypsis decipiens (VU), Itremo. (b) Forest clearance for slash and burn cultivation by smallholder farmers, causing habitat loss for many species, such as Masoala kona (EN), Ifanadiana. (c) Gathering of young leaves of Ravenea lakatra (VU) for production of woven hats and basketry, Masoala. (d) Destructive harvest of palm heart threatens many species such as Dypsis saintelucei (EN), Sainte Luce. (e) Remnant populations of species such as Tahina spectabilis (CR), Analalava, near Mahajanga in vegetation remnants isolated within anthropogenic landscapes, at risk from fire, grazing and other human pressures. Image credits: (a) M Rakotoarinivo, (b) WJ Baker, (c, d & e) J Dransfield.
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pone-0103684-g006: Example of palm species under threat in Madagascar.(a) Anthropogenic fires in grasslands, causing decline and destruction of palm populations, such as Dypsis decipiens (VU), Itremo. (b) Forest clearance for slash and burn cultivation by smallholder farmers, causing habitat loss for many species, such as Masoala kona (EN), Ifanadiana. (c) Gathering of young leaves of Ravenea lakatra (VU) for production of woven hats and basketry, Masoala. (d) Destructive harvest of palm heart threatens many species such as Dypsis saintelucei (EN), Sainte Luce. (e) Remnant populations of species such as Tahina spectabilis (CR), Analalava, near Mahajanga in vegetation remnants isolated within anthropogenic landscapes, at risk from fire, grazing and other human pressures. Image credits: (a) M Rakotoarinivo, (b) WJ Baker, (c, d & e) J Dransfield.

Mentions: The major threatening processes for palms in Madagascar are agriculture and biological resource use with 167 and 184 species affected by these threats respectively. More specifically the threats to palm habitats from agriculture relate to annual and perennial non-timber crop production i.e. crops planted for food, fodder, fibre, fuel or other uses, with ‘shifting agriculture’ listed as the scale of farming affecting the highest number of species (112) (Figs. 5 and 6; threat wordings according to IUCN Threats Classification Scheme (version 3.2) [51]). The threat from biological resource use is related to the gathering of terrestrial plants (55 species, e.g. for palm heart consumption) and logging and wood harvesting (127 species). More specifically the highest scoring threat is from logging and wood harvesting for subsistence on a large scale where the species of palm is actually not intended target, but is threatened due to collateral damage (112 species) i.e. the palms are subject to collateral damage. Other less prevalent threats relate to mining, livestock farming, fires, housing and urban development.


Comprehensive Red List assessment reveals exceptionally high extinction risk to Madagascar palms.

Rakotoarinivo M, Dransfield J, Bachman SP, Moat J, Baker WJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Example of palm species under threat in Madagascar.(a) Anthropogenic fires in grasslands, causing decline and destruction of palm populations, such as Dypsis decipiens (VU), Itremo. (b) Forest clearance for slash and burn cultivation by smallholder farmers, causing habitat loss for many species, such as Masoala kona (EN), Ifanadiana. (c) Gathering of young leaves of Ravenea lakatra (VU) for production of woven hats and basketry, Masoala. (d) Destructive harvest of palm heart threatens many species such as Dypsis saintelucei (EN), Sainte Luce. (e) Remnant populations of species such as Tahina spectabilis (CR), Analalava, near Mahajanga in vegetation remnants isolated within anthropogenic landscapes, at risk from fire, grazing and other human pressures. Image credits: (a) M Rakotoarinivo, (b) WJ Baker, (c, d & e) J Dransfield.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4116232&req=5

pone-0103684-g006: Example of palm species under threat in Madagascar.(a) Anthropogenic fires in grasslands, causing decline and destruction of palm populations, such as Dypsis decipiens (VU), Itremo. (b) Forest clearance for slash and burn cultivation by smallholder farmers, causing habitat loss for many species, such as Masoala kona (EN), Ifanadiana. (c) Gathering of young leaves of Ravenea lakatra (VU) for production of woven hats and basketry, Masoala. (d) Destructive harvest of palm heart threatens many species such as Dypsis saintelucei (EN), Sainte Luce. (e) Remnant populations of species such as Tahina spectabilis (CR), Analalava, near Mahajanga in vegetation remnants isolated within anthropogenic landscapes, at risk from fire, grazing and other human pressures. Image credits: (a) M Rakotoarinivo, (b) WJ Baker, (c, d & e) J Dransfield.
Mentions: The major threatening processes for palms in Madagascar are agriculture and biological resource use with 167 and 184 species affected by these threats respectively. More specifically the threats to palm habitats from agriculture relate to annual and perennial non-timber crop production i.e. crops planted for food, fodder, fibre, fuel or other uses, with ‘shifting agriculture’ listed as the scale of farming affecting the highest number of species (112) (Figs. 5 and 6; threat wordings according to IUCN Threats Classification Scheme (version 3.2) [51]). The threat from biological resource use is related to the gathering of terrestrial plants (55 species, e.g. for palm heart consumption) and logging and wood harvesting (127 species). More specifically the highest scoring threat is from logging and wood harvesting for subsistence on a large scale where the species of palm is actually not intended target, but is threatened due to collateral damage (112 species) i.e. the palms are subject to collateral damage. Other less prevalent threats relate to mining, livestock farming, fires, housing and urban development.

Bottom Line: Where change occurred, more species have moved to lower threat categories than to higher categories, because of improved knowledge of species and their distributions, rather than a decrease in extinction risk.Moreover, many species occurring in protected areas are still threatened, indicating that threatening processes persist even in reserves.Definitive implementation of the new protected areas combined with local community engagement are essential for the survival of Madagascar's palms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, Ambodivoanjo Ivandry, Antananarivo, Madagascar.

ABSTRACT
The establishment of baseline IUCN Red List assessments for plants is a crucial step in conservation planning. Nowhere is this more important than in biodiversity hotspots that are subject to significant anthropogenic pressures, such as Madagascar. Here, all Madagascar palm species are assessed using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, version 3.1. Our results indicate that 83% of the 192 endemic species are threatened, nearly four times the proportion estimated for plants globally and exceeding estimates for all other comprehensively evaluated plant groups in Madagascar. Compared with a previous assessment in 1995, the number of Endangered and Critically Endangered species has substantially increased, due to the discovery of 28 new species since 1995, most of which are highly threatened. The conservation status of most species included in both the 1995 and the current assessments has not changed. Where change occurred, more species have moved to lower threat categories than to higher categories, because of improved knowledge of species and their distributions, rather than a decrease in extinction risk. However, some cases of genuine deterioration in conservation status were also identified. Palms in Madagascar are primarily threatened by habitat loss due to agriculture and biological resource use through direct exploitation or collateral damage. The recent extension of Madagascar's protected area network is highly beneficial for palms, substantially increasing the number of threatened species populations included within reserves. Notably, three of the eight most important protected areas for palms are newly designated. However, 28 threatened and data deficient species are not protected by the expanded network, including some Critically Endangered species. Moreover, many species occurring in protected areas are still threatened, indicating that threatening processes persist even in reserves. Definitive implementation of the new protected areas combined with local community engagement are essential for the survival of Madagascar's palms.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus