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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152511619

Conservation plan development and IUCN Red List assessment for Artocarpus annulatus, a crop wild relative thought to be critically endangered

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 152511619) - Artocarpus annulatus - Awarded $6,000 on January 12, 2016

The plant genus, Artocarpus (ca. 70 species) is native to South and Southeast Asia, with a center of diversity in Borneo. The genus contains medium to large tropical tree species, several of which are well-known, including breadfruit (A. altilis), jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), and cempedak (A. integer). However, little is known about many other species, including Artocarpus annulatus, the focus of this project. It was first described in 1975 and is known from only seven collections made between 1960 and 1980. Its known extent of occurrence encompasses less than 2 km2 in Sarawak, Malaysia in the hills of the Padawan limestone area, a region which itself includes less than 435 km2. No IUCN assessment has been attempted, but based on the limited existing data, A. annulatus could be classified as Critically Endangered. More data are required for a formal assessment, a goal of this project. Recent phylogentic research has identified A. annulatus as the only truly wild member of the lineage containing jackfruit, making it a crop wild relative and a high priority for conservation.

This project aims to collect baseline population demographic data for A. annulatus, to prepare an IUCN Red List assessment, characterize its conservation status, and collect basic data on its soil and pollination ecology. Field research will take place in summer 2016 in Sarawak with collaborators from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Sabah Agriculture Park.

Project 152511619 location - Malaysia, Asia