Chatham Island Christmas Tree
The Chatham Island Christmas Tree, Brachyglottis huntii, is listed as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This attractive tree is endemic to the Chatham Islands of New Zealand.
This species was formerly more common on the two islands it inhabits and various factors are thought to have caused the population declines. One major threat to its survival is large-scale habitat destruction for agriculture, and large areas have been damaged due to trampling and grazing by domestic cattle, sheep and pigs. Additionally, there have been reports of spontaneous die back of seemingly healthy trees which may indicate soil disease such as Verticillium wilt.
The Chatham Island Christmas Tree is protected where it occurs in the Pitt Island Scenic Reserve. More research is needed to understand the spontaneous die back of several individuals, before appropriate conservation measures can be implemented to protect this iconic tree.