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Monday, April 28, 2008

Palmiste bouclé

Common Name: Palmiste bouclé
Scientific Name: Tectiphiala ferox
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (CR) A1ac+2ce, B1+2e, C1+2ab, D ver 2.3 (1994)

A palm of the uplands with enormous spines that protect the palm heart from predation. One of three palm species native to Mauritius and harvested for its palm heart There are less than 20 adult palmiste bouclé in the wild.

Why is this species important?
The tree has no commercial value

Where is it found?
Tectiphiala is a monospecific genus endemic to Mauritius. It is found in the upland forest in the south west of the island.

Why is it threatened?
In the past the tree was harvested for its heart, a local delicacy. Harvesting from the wild does not occur any more although there is no specific legislation to prevent this.

There is no regeneration of this species in the wild. Fruits are eaten by monkeys and pigs (even within conservation management areas) and successful establishment of seeds is limited by seed predators and competition from weeds.

What conservation action is being carried out?
Seeds from the palm are collected and plants grown in the government nursery. So far several plants have been reintroduced successfully to Conservation Management Areas.


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