Monterey Pine is a critically endangered species due to its fragmented range of rather small populations along the Pacific coast of North America. In fact, there are only five small populations of this tall evergreen conifer, along the California coast and on two small Mexican islands. The ancient distribution of this tree going back hundreds of thousands of years has echoed this fractured and limited range. The greatest species threat is continuing urbanization in the very desirable California Central Coast. Future climate vacillations are not an issue, since the Monterey Pine has endured through much colder and much warmer eras in the last millennia. The cones possess a remarkable trait of serotiny, where cones remain closed and sealed for years, which leads to a massive seed explosion upon the outbreak of wildfire.