09 February 2007

A Hispaniolan Palm

Carossier palm (Attalea crassispatha)

Here's an endangered tree, for a change from all the endangered animals. The Carossier Palm grows only on Hispaniola. Hispaniola is the Carribean Island shared by two countries--The Dominican Republic and Haiti. It's estimated that there are only 30 or so trees left in the wild. 30!

It's mainly threatened by habitat loss, due to the conversion of land to agricultural purposes, although storms and flooding may also be a problem. Another threat is the excessive harvesting of the nuts from this palm, as they are highly valued for food and cooking oil. But . . . no nuts left to grow, means no new trees. It is thought that perhaps the best chance of survival for this tree, is as an ornamental in courtyard gardens.

Efforts are underway to collect nuts and propagate them as seedlings. If you'd like to donate to the organization responsible for this initiative, go here.

If you want to read more about the trees, go here, or view some photographs, go here.

1 comment:

Ian Ramjohn said...

According to this story in the St. Petersburg Times, the species is extinct in the wild


However, I can find no other source for this, and a newspaper story isn't necessarily reliable, even if it is about Jack Fisher.