Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened
The large extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy based on comprehensive locality sampling and a grid width of 10 km because this is a forest forming species, both place it outside a threatened category. However, exploitation has reduced formerly “extensive pure forests in Durango and southern Chihuahua… to only scattered, open stands over most of its range” (Perry 1991). It is therefore listed as Near Threatened as it nearly meets the criteria A2cd; B2ab(ii,iii,v) for listing as threatened. Although this decline has not ceased there is insufficient data to allocate one of the threatened categories. The change in status since the previous assessment of Least Concern, can therefore be seen as a genuine recent change. Populations have been substantially reduced within the last 25 years due to exploitation, fires and forest clearance. The decline is ongoing. In the Sierra Madre this species is an important constituent of the 'yellow pine' forest, where it occurs in pure stands or mixed with several other species of pine, e.g. Pinus arizonica, Pinus leiophylla, and Pinus engelmannii, or in pine-oak forests. This pine is adapted to grow on shallow, rocky soils, but its better stands are found on deeper soils, where it can successfully compete with most other pines. The soils are mostly derived from volcanic rock. At the highest elevation Pinus durangensis occurs with Abies and/or Cupressus lusitanica, at the lowest with Juniperus deppeana and Pinus oocarpa. Other pines are Pinus montezumae, Pinus teocote and in the southern part of its range Pinus ayacahuite can occur with it. In addition this species is associated with Quercus sideroxyla, Quercus rugosa, Pinus ayacahuite and Pseudotsuga (Garcia and Gonzalez 2003). Durango pine is an important timber tree. It grows straight and tall and is (or was) abundant and wide spread in many areas within its range. Logging from natural stands at the current rate is unsustainable and plantations are now being attempted in the state of Durango. The timber is used for construction such as roof beams, general carpentry, furniture, floors, and plywood. This species is virtually unknown in horticulture.