The North western Andes conifer region consists only of taxa from Podocarpus, Prumnopitys and Retrophyllum in the Podocarpaceae, with Podocarpus having the largest number of species. The family is distributed along the northern and western Andes or centred on the Guyana Shield of southern Venezuela with Podocarpus magnifolius, P. celatus, and P. tepuiensis being the only conifers that share a distribution in both the Guyana Shield and the western Andes. Most of the ca 24 species occur at mid to high elevation in tropical montane forests, often preferring the ridge vegetation of cloud forests where they form relatively small, scattered populations. Only five species have been assessed as globally threatened and three as near threatened. The region is under intense pressure from an ever-growing population which has led to the conversion of native forests for agricultural purposes, especially for coca production. Selective logging for the highly prized wood of the taller growing podocarps has significantly reduced the range of some species.
Distributed in the Cordillera de Merida in Venezuela where a reduction in the size of the population is due to logging for its valuable wood Read full species entry >
Native to Peru and Bolivia where deforestation is the main cause for the loss of habitat of this species Read full species entry >
Populations in Ecuador and northern Perú are declining due to heavy exploitation of mature trees for timber Read full species entry >
Although this valuable timber tree has a widespread distribution in Tropical South America the population has been significantly reduced due to logging Read full species entry >
Distributed in Tropical South America where the population has seen a dramatic reduction as a result of selective logging for its valuable timber Read full species entry >