Quercus insignis is an endangered oak that occurs in the montane cloud forest, a habitat that is exceptionally biodiverse but also one of the most threatened on earth. While Q. insignis has a historically wide range from Mexico to Panama, its highly selective habitat requirement, isolated and decreasing populations, and multiple threats—that include land-use change, logging, fire, and disease—call for immediate conservation action to prevent the extinction of this ecologically and culturally important species.
This project uses Q. insignis as a flagship species to promote the conservation of montane cloud forest habitat by bringing together a group of local scientists and conservation leaders from Costa Rica to Mexico with a larger network of globally recognized botanic gardens and arboreta.
Project partners are developing and implementing a sustainable and integrative conservation and management plan that will combine:
- Prioritization of conservation areas using spatial modeling at regional and local scales
- Tree planting and capacity building within the Amistosa Biological Corridor in Costa Rica
- Documentation of traditional use and management Q. insignis by local communities to promote its sustainable use
Expected outputs include:
- A clear understanding of the threats to Q. insignis
- Reinforced populations in the wild
- Local capacity building
- A scientifically informed conservation and management plan implemented in partnership with local communities and stakeholders.