19 Sep 2019

Rare Samoan alpine tree may be extinct

From , 5:02 am on 19 September 2019

There are fears that a rare alpine plant in Samoa may have gone extinct. 

A recent search for the Vavea Samoense, a tree which can grow up to 16-metres tall, only grows at the top of Upolu's Mauga Le Pu'e, found nothing. 

The president of the Samoa Conservation Society, James Atherton, says the summit has been battered by cyclones and invasive weeds.

The society has spent the past two months surveying Samoa for four critically threatened species, in order to get cuttings and seeds to preserve the species. 

But Mr Atherton told Jamie Tahana there was no luck when it came to finding the Vavaea Samoense. 

Forest on Mount Vaea, Samoa.

Forest on Mount Vaea, Samoa. Photo: Rickard Törnblad