Present in the west coast of New Caledonia, this species of trees is endemic to dry forests. According to the IUCN, the number of species is currently unknown; however, it is mostly found in preserved dry forests like the Poya-Pouembout region. There are also subpopulations in between Boulouparis and Paita. The species is listed vulnerable because of clearings for the purposes of agriculture and cattle-grazing. Another major threat is non-native species such as Rusa Deer. The deer not only consumes the species but also rubs its antlers against the tree's stems and trunk which causes significant damage. Lastly, due to the fact the Diospyros pustulat inhabits dry forests, it is suspectible to fires that occur in the lowlands during the dry season. Overall, the IUCN estimated that 95% of dry forests have been reduced within the last 150 years. Yet, studies show that Diospyros pustulat can reproduce at a quick rate when protected from threats like cattle and deer grazing.
Photo Credit: Jean-Jacques Villegente
Restricted to the remaining patches of the dry forests in New Caledonia, Phyllanthus deplanchei is an an endmeic plant spcies that can be found in the southeastern regions like Noumea and Paita. They are also present in Pouembout, Koumac, and Poum. The IUCN states that the population size is unknown at the time, but the species is never found in abundancy. Rather, “scattered individuals” of these species appear in dry forests. Similar to Diospyros pustulat, Phyllanthus deplanchei is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN because of clearings (for agriculture and grazing), the Rusa Deer, and its suspectibility to fires. However, there are two protected areas that contain populations of this species while there are more than 200 juveniles planted in three other different sites. This indicates that major conservation efforts are underway to protect Phyllanthus deplanchei.
Photo credit: Julien Barrault
Categorized as endangered by the IUCN, Polyscias nothisii is limited to the regions of Noumea, Paita, Nepoui, and Pouembout. The current population is not yet determined, but the areas that the species is found are considered highly fragmented. Therefore, isolated individuals of Polyscias nothisii are more common rather than groups of Polyscias nothisii. Because of the practice of converting dry forests into pastures, dry forests of New Caledonia, where Polyscias nothisii is found, have experienced a dramatic reduction in size. According to the IUCN, what remains today are fragmentated patches that are estimated to be 2% of the original area. Furthermore, the species is vulnerable to non-native animals, like the Rusa Deer, and fires. Therefore, the IUCN claims that there has been a population reduction of approximately at least 50% over the last three generations. In terms of conservation efforts, the species is not found in protected areas unlike Phyllanthus deplanchei.
Photo Credit: Bernard Suprin
The Arytera nekorensis is in the Sapindaceae family. It is endemic to New Caledonia and is classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. The extent of this species is only found in the Poya region of the dry forests, where its total extent of occurrence is 102 km2 and within this range it occupies about 32 km^2. The Arytera nekorensis habitat is greatly endangered, since the dry forests are cleared away for pasture land and face damage from uncontrolled fire. The dry forest of New Caledonia have been severely cut for agricultural purposes for more than a century, and now they remain in few patches across the country. This species is vulnerable to extinction as it is threatened by land being cleared for cattle grazing, but the major threat is from the invasive Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa). This deer has increased in population in the wild and damages the Arytera nekorensis since it rubs its antlers against the tree. With few patches of this species remaining, this tree’s survival is limited. This species is currently being protected in two areas of New Caledonia.
Photo Credit: Remy Amice
Atractocarpus platyxylon is a species in the Rubiaceae family, found only in the dry forests of New Caledonia. This species was once found throughout the west coast of New Caledonia, but it is now in scattered patches of dry forest in Noumea, Paita, Moindou, Poya, and Pouembout. It is a flowering plant species and it sprouts large white flowers. The name Atractocarpus is derived from the Greek atractos “spindle” and karpos “fruit”, since this species produces a spindle-shaped fruit. The population size is unknown as it is uncommon to see since it is scattered in sites ranging between 12 and 70 km apart. The dry forests are threatened by forest fragmentation and fire, and this species is also threatened by the Rusa Deer which causes damage to the bark. The reduction of habitat has been estimated to 95% over the last 150 years, and it is likely that the reduction of dry forest led to a 30% decrease in population of this species. Currently, this species is present in four protected areas in efforts to stabilize this species.
Photo Credit: Julien Barrault
This species, under the family Ebenaceae, is endemic to New Caledonia, and was once been common all along the west coast of the country. Today it is restricted to small patches of remnant dry forest. This species was probably disappeared from many places after the dry forest was replaced by Niaouli savannas after the clearance of forests. This species, however, has pioneer characteristics, so it may take advantage of intermediate disturbance in some sites. Nevertheless, this species is classified as Near Threatened because of the forest clearance and fires. At the current rate of forest fragmentation, the population numbers will decline. The species is found in Paita, and a section from la Foa to Pouembout with gaps of distribution of 46 and 86 km apart. This species has alternate leathery leaves, produce small solitary flowers, which produce small yellow fruits that are slightly hairy. This species is known to regenerate, but it cannot regenerate in the face of multiple disturbances (i.e. Rusa Deer and fire). The Diospyros minimifloria is protected in three conservation areas, and has also been planted in one off-site location. This Ex situ conservation is in hopes to maintain its population numbers.
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