Oryx

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The conservation status of West Indian palms (Arecaceae)

Scott Zona c1, Raúl Verdeciaa2, Angela Leiva Sáncheza3, Carl E. Lewisa1 and Mike Maundera1

a1 IUCN/SSC Palm Specialist Group, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, Miami, Florida 33156, USA.

a2 IUCN/SSC Palm Specialist Group, Jardín Botánico Las Tunas, Las Tunas, Cuba.

a3 IUCN/SSC Palm Specialist Group, Jardín Botánico Nacional, Carr. El Rocío, Km. 3 ½, Calabazar, CP 19230, La Habana, Cuba.

Abstract

The conservation status of 134 species, subspecies and varieties of West Indian palms (Arecaceae) is assessed and reviewed, based on field studies and current literature. We find that 90% of the palm taxa of the West Indies are endemic. Using the IUCN Red List categories one species is categorized as Extinct, 11 taxa as Critically Endangered, 19 as Endangered, and 21 as Vulnerable. Fifty-seven taxa are classified as Least Concern. Twenty-five taxa are Data Deficient, an indication that additional field studies are urgently needed. The 11 Critically Endangered taxa warrant immediate conservation action; some are currently the subject of ex situ and in situ conservation projects in the region’s botanical gardens. We recommend that preliminary conservation assessments be made of the 25 Data Deficient taxa so that conservation measures can be implemented for those facing imminent threats.

(Received April 17 2006)

(Reviewed August 14 2006)

(Accepted October 06 2006)

Correspondence:

c1 IUCN/SSC Palm Specialist Group, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, Miami, Florida 33156, USA. E-mail szona@fairchildgarden.org

Footnotes

This paper contains supplementary material that can only be found online at http://journals.cambridge.org

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