Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Vahl's Boxwood (Buxus vahlii)—Endangered
Higuero de Sierra (Crescentia portoricensis)— Endangered
Palo de Rosa (Ottoschulzia rhodoxylon)— Endangered
Beautiful Goetzea (Goetzea elegans)—Endangered
Primary threats to these species include habitat destruction and modification.
A 1991 agreement between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Puerto Rico initiated research on the distribution, abundance, propagation, and reproductive biology of the four endangered forest plants. New populations of Higuero de Sierra and palo de rosa have been discovered, while propagation has been successful for others, making possible the transfer of plants to the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources for planting in a Commonwealth Forest. Another agreement with the Service helped the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources build greenhouse facilities for endangered plant propagation and prepare to build two more in 1992. The Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources and the Service also worked to protect a Vahl's boxwood population facing damage from the extraction of fill material for residential development. The developer agreed to set back the development limit to avoid affecting the plants. Finally, a Habitat Conservation Plan for the Puerto Rican tree boa and the crested toad includes mechanisms for protection of palo de rosa and other listed plant species.
Recovery activities will continue to include research and propagation. Habitat protection through the development of landowner agreements and land acquisition also is needed.
FY 1992 funds totalling $10,600 will be used to construct two greenhouses at Guánica and Mariaco Commonwealth Forests.
Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources: Listed under local regulations as well as the Endangered Species Act, these four forest plants figure in the Department's evaluation of all development projects. The Department has supported greenhouse construction for plant propagation.
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez: The University's Biology Department has conducted research on the species' life history, and has propagated plants for distribution.
Puerto Rico Conservation Trust: The Trust has planted endangered plants on its properties.
Fairchild Tropical Garden: This Florida partner has successfully propagated several species, planting some at the Garden and returning others to their native environment.
Vahl's boxwood—plan approved 4/28/87.
Higuero de Sierra—plan approved 9/23/91.
Palo de rosa—no approved plan.
Beautiful goetzea—plan approved 4/28/87.