Podocarpus costaricensis de Laub.


This species is limited to four locations in Costa Rica and has seen a decline because of deforestation and changes in land use.

Associated Names:


Generally a small tree with a rounded crown, 10-20 m tall. Outer bark light reddish brown. See Mill 2015 for a detailed description.


Restricted to a limited area in San José Province of Costa Rica (earlier records from Panama are based on erroneous identifications). Extent of occurrence is estimated to be 41km²

This species is uncommon and (sub)population sizes are presumably small.

Habitat and Ecology

It occurs near lower montane rainforest on low hills or well-drained areas in a relatively narrow altitudinal range of 1100–1700 m. The type was collected on a coffee plantation, near other trees of the same species, and it has chiefly been found so far in similar habitats and at the edge of pastoral grazing areas, very rarely within the rainforest itself. Associated species include Heliocarpus appendiculatus Turcz. and Zinowiewia costaricensis Lundell (Jiménez, 1999a in Mill, 2015).

Conservation Status

Global status

Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)

Global rationale

Podocarpus costraicensis is still only known from fewer than 10 herbarium collections, gathered at 4 localities within an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 41km². The calculated area of occupancy (AOO) based on a grid width of 2 km is 16km² (within the threshold of EN) but the EOO and a continuing decline inferred from ongoing deforestation and habitat disturbance satisfy the criteria for Critically Endangered. The previous assessment of VU under B1 made an erroneous assumption about the size of both EOO and AOO, now more accurately calculated on the existing geo-referenced herbarium collections.

Global threats

This species is limited to four localities in Costa Rica with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of less than 100km². The altitudinal range of 1100 m to 1700m above sea-level, taken from herbarium collections, supports an inference of decline because of deforestation and changes in land use at lower levels.

Conservation Actions

This species is not recorded from any protected area.