Auerodendron Pauciflorum

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Auerodendron pauciflorum

No Common Name

ListedMarch 2, 1994
FamilyRhamnaceae (Buckthorn)
DescriptionEvergreen shrub or small tree with smooth oval to elliptical leaves that have minute black glandular dots; flower stalks bear 2-3 flowers.
HabitatSemi-evergreen subtropical forests in limestone hills.
ThreatsResort development.
RangePuerto Rico


Auerodendron pauciflorum is an evergreen shrub or small tree which may grow as tall as 15 ft (4.6 m). The oval to elliptical leaves are opposite or subopposite, and are 2.4-5.9 in (6.1-15 cm) long and 1.4-2.4 in (3.6-6.1 cm) wide. The smooth leaves have minute black glandular dots. There are oval to triangular-shaped stipules (leaflike appendages) on the leaf stalk. The flower stalks vary from 0.2-0.3 in (0.5-0.8 cm) in length, and bear two to three flowers. The outer protective cover (calyx) is bell shaped. Nothing is known about the fruit at the present time.


This species is restricted to the semi-evergreen forests (subtropical moist forest life zone) of the limestone hills of Isabela in northwestern Puerto Rico at elevations of less than 390 ft (119 m).


A. pauciflorum was not discovered until 1976, and its historic range is not known. The only known 10 individuals are restricted to the semi-evergreen forests (subtropical moist forest life zone) of the limestone hills of Isabela.


Hills in the area of the known populations were destroyed for the construction of Highway 2. The area is privately owned and presently under intense development pressure. The construction of a resort development, including seven hotels, five golf courses, 36 tennis courts and 1,300 housing units is proposed for this area. Limestone hills are continuously being leveled for the production of construction material. These factors, as well as random cutting and the harvesting of yams, have apparently contributed to the decline of the species and continue to threaten the remaining individuals.

One of the most important factors affecting the continued survival of this species is its limited distribution. Because so few individuals are known to occur in a limited area, the risk of extinction is extremely high. The fruit has not been described and seedlings have not been observed in the field.

Conservation and Recovery

The Fish and Wildlife Service believes that to designate critical habitat, with habitat descriptions and maps, would increase the possibility of vandalism or theft. All involved parties and landowners have been notified of the location and importance of protecting this species' habitat.


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office 1875
Century Blvd., Suite 200
Atlanta, Georgia 30345

Boqueron Ecological Services Field Office
P.O. Box 491
Boqueron, Puerto Rico 00622-0491
Telephone: (787) 851-7297
Fax: (787) 851-7440


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2 March 1994. "Determination of Endangered Status for the Plant Auerodedron pauciflorum. " Federal Register. 58(51): 9935-9936.