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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Pacific Yew - Taxus brevifolia

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: S4
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/24/2012
    Population Size

    Score0-1 - Moderate to Large: Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >10,000 individuals.


    Range Extent

    Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.


    Area of Occupancy

    Score0 - High: Occurs in >25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).



    Score1 - Minor Declines: Species has experienced declines of 10-30% in population size, range extent and/or occupied area in the recent past (approximately 30 years).



    Score1 - Medium: 11-30% of the populations are being negatively impacted or are likely to be impacted by one or more activities or agents, which are expected to result in decreased populations and/or habitat quality and/or quantity.


    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.


    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).


    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 4 to 6 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Dioecious, evergreen shrub or small tree to 10 m tall with spreading or drooping branches forming an open, conical crown. Bark thin and brown or purplish. Leaves sharp-pointed, yellow-green above, paler beneath, 12–20 mm long, single but borne opposite each other in a single plane. Pollen cones solitary, globose, 2–3 mm long. Seed cones reduced to a single seed surrounded by a red, fleshy, pea-size, berry-like aril ca. 8 mm across. Seed 5–6 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Range Comments
In MT in some northwestern counties and disjunct in Cascade County; AK to CA, ID and MT (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 19

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

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Citation for data on this website:
Pacific Yew — Taxus brevifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program.  Retrieved on February 7, 2016, from