Capá rosa (Callicarpa ampla) is an evergreen shrub that can reach a height of 45 feet. Its leaves are simple and opposite, with elevated veins on the leaf underside.
Currently, all known individuals of capá rosa are limited to the Palo Colorado Forest (Cyrilla racemiflora) in the Luquillo Mountain Range, in northeast Puerto Rico.
Originally, the capá rosa was collected and described in several low mountain forests in Puerto Rico and the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, the species has not been seen in St. Thomas in the last few decades; it is considered extinct there. In Puerto Rico, today the capá rosa is only found in several locations in the Luquillo Mountain Range in the municipalities of Naguabo and Rio Grande.
Given the very limited distribution of the species, it is vulnerable to destruction or modification of its habitat. Hurricanes regularly affect the Luquillo Mountain Range, causing considerable damage to the forest.
Capá rosa was included in the Federal list of endangered species on April 22, 1992. Such action requires federal agencies to consult with U.S. Fish and Wildlife before carrying out any activity that might endanger the existence of this species or result in the alteration or destruction of its essential habitat. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also considering developing a program for spreading the species with the purpose of reintroducing species individuals in the future.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1992. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: Determination of endangered status for Callicarpa ampla, Ilex sintenisii, Styrax portoricensis, Ternstroemia luquilensis, and Ternstroemia subsessilis. Federal Register, 57:14785.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Calliparca ampla, Ilex sintenisii, Styrax portoricensis, Ternstroemia luquilensis, and Ternstroemia subsessilis Recovery Plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia, 26 pp.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: August 27, 2014.
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