Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Reports of the species occurring on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands date to the 1700s and the occurrence in Jamaica is also doubtful. In Puerto Rico, there are two locations: the nuclear power plant site at Rincon and Hato Tejas, Bayamon, consisting of 16 and 12 plants respectively. The Hato Tejas population was larger but was partially destroyed by limestone mining in the 1980s.
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Historic Range:
U.S.A. (PR, VI)

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A shrub or tree of coastal limestone hills, restricted to forested ledges and ravines.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2c, C2ab, D

Version
2.3

Year Assessed
1998
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Reviewer/s

Contributor/s

History
  • 1997
    Endangered
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Endangered
Date Listed: 08/13/1985
Lead Region:   Southeast Region (Region 4) 
Where Listed:


Population detail:

Listing status: E

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Buxus vahlii, see its USFWS Species Profile

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Threats

Major Threats
The remaining individuals are threatened with development of a coal-fueled power plant, further mining and industrial or commercial developments.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is listed by the US Endangered Species Act.
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Wikipedia

Buxus vahlii

Buxus vahlii (Vahl's boxwood) is a rare species of plant in the boxwood family. It is native to Puerto Rico and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it is known from no more than four populations total. It has probably never been very common, but its distribution has been reduced by deforestation and other human disturbance of its habitat.[1] At the time it was listed as an endangered species of the United States in 1985, it was thought to be endemic to Puerto Rico.[2] Reports that it existed in Jamaica have not been confirmed.[2] A few individuals have been located in St. Croix, some of which are within Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge.[3]

This is a shrub or small tree which can reach 5 meters in height. The stem has two grooves below each node, an identifying characteristic.[1] Clusters of flowers yield fruits which are horned capsules containing black seeds.

The two populations remaining in Puerto Rico total 40[4] to 85[1] individuals, none of which have been observed to successfully reproduce.[4] One population is located in Rincón near the beach at Punta Higuero.[1] The plants there are short in stature and chlorotic, possibly from exposure to sun, sea spray, and high winds.[1] The plants are located in a canyon next to a popular surfing and camping beach which has experienced accidental fires.[2] The other population is in a forest near Hato Tejas in Bayamón.

The plant grows on limestone substrates. Quarrying of limestone threatens this type of habitat on Puerto Rico, and the smaller population is located next to a quarry.[2]

References[edit]

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