Taxonomy

endemique
protegee
UICN

Synonyms

Melodinus balansae var. velutinus Däniker

Red List Status -

Vulnerable (VU) , assessed in 12/10/2015

Protected species -

in Northern Province

Melodinus reticulatus is a narrow endemic liana found in Grande Terre in New Caledonia. This species is known from two widely-separated massifs : vallée de la Tontouta and Taom, which constitute a disjunct distribution. It is found in shrubland on an ultramafic substrate at an altitudinal range 10-400 m asl. Main identified threat is linked to habitat damage by ongoing mining activities and uncontrolled bushfires. The twenty five year projection for mining operation indicate that severals individuals may be affected. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) are respectively estimated to be of 1876 km² and 36 km² while the number of locations are estimated to be 6. Melodinus reticulatus is therefore assessed as Vulnerable (VU) with criteria B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) with a continuing decline of of its habitat quality and number of mature individuals.

Geographical area


Melodinus reticulatus is a narrow endemic liana found in Grande Terre in New Caledonia. This species is known from two widely-separated massifs : vallée de la Tontouta and Taom, which constitute a disjunct distribution.

Population


Population size is unknown.

Habitat


Melodinus reticulatus is found in shrubland on an ultramafic substrate at an altitudinal range 10-400 m asl.

Threats


The main threat is presented by ongoing mining activities in Taom and Tontouta areas. The twenty five year projection for mining operation indicate that severals individuals may be affected. New Caledonia contains between 20 - 30% of the world’s nickel resources and has experienced intense mining activities since the late 19th century which has generated soil erosion (1.2% of bare ground mapped by SPOT5 in 2007). Based on the distribution of metal-rich soils and site accessibility, these threats are predictable and planned (rise in nickel production from 60,000 to 200,000 tonnes per year between 2013 and 2015). La vallée de Tontouta and Taom are also under a heightened threat from bushfire and invasive species such as rusa deer (Rusa timorensis).

Conservation


Melodinus reticulatus is protected by legislation in Province Nord, but does not occur in any protected area. It is recommended to prospect "La vallée de la Tontouta" and it would be moreover advised to develop protected areas on serpentinous substrate.

Bibliography


Endemia.nc 2016. Faune et Flore de Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Wulff AS, Hollingsworth PM, Ahrends A, Jaffré T, Veillon J-M, L’Huillier L, et al. 2013. Conservation Priorities in a Biodiversity Hotspot: Analysis of Narrow Endemic Plant Species in New Caledonia.

Morat, P.; Jaffré, T.; Tronchet, F.; Munzinger, J.; Pillon, Y.; Veillon, J.-M. and Chalopin, M. 2012. The taxonomic database « FLORICAL » and characteristics of the indigenous flora of New Caledonia. Adansonia(334) , p.177-219.

L'Huillier L.; Jaffré T. and Wulff A. 2010. Mines et Environnement en Nouvelle-Calédonie : les milieux sur substrats ultramafiques et leur restauration.

Experts


Assessor(s): Tanguy, V., Veillon, J., Amice, R., Barrière, R., Chambrey, C., Fleurot, D., Lannuzel, G.

Reviewer(s): Vandrot, H.

Contributor(s): Wulff, A.

Facilitator(s): Chanfreau, S., Tanguy, V.


Geographical distribution