Pilosocereus polygonus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Pilosocereus polygonus (Lam.) Byles & G.D.Rowley
Common Name(s):
English Key Tree Cactus
Cactus polygonus Lam.
Pilosocereus robinii (Lem.) Byles & G.D.Rowley
Taxonomic Source(s): Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Research is needed to determine its taxonomic status with respect to the P. royenii complex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2011-07-28
Assessor(s): Taylor, N.P. & Maschinski, J.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Tognelli, M.
Pilosocereus polygonus is listed as Least Concern because it is widely distributed, is relatively abundant in many parts of its range, and is present in many protected areas.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Pilosocereus polygonus is found in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and in the state of Florida in the United States (Hunt et al. 2006). It occurs at elevations between 0.5 and 100 m asl.

Countries occurrence:
Bahamas; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Haiti; United States (Florida)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common and abundant in many parts of its range (e.g., Dominican Republic, Cuba). However, some subpopulations in the Florida Keys are declining (Maschinski and Powell 2011).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits dry shrublands in coastal rocky areas. In South Florida, Pilosocereus polygonus is found in rockland hammocks (Gann et al. 2002).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In the Florida Keys it has been collected as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): According to Gann et al. (2002) the main threats to Pilosocereus polygonus are habitat destruction, poaching and exotic pest plant invasion. In the Caribbean, the main threats are related to habitat destruction from urban developments for tourism. In Florida, and possibly in other areas within its distribution, it is threatened by sea-level rise (J. Maschinski pers. comm. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is present in several protected areas throughout its range. The related but more narrowly circumscribed species, Pilosocereus robinii, is listed as endangered in the U.S (by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), endangered in the state of Florida (by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), and as critically imperilled by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (Gann et al. 2002). The taxon with protected status (Pilosocereus robinii) is considered endemic to one county in southern Florida and does not include the distribution outside of the U.S. described by Hunt et al. (2006) for P. polygonus.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: The species distribution map has been included.

Citation: Taylor, N.P. & Maschinski, J. 2017. Pilosocereus polygonus (amended version of 2013 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T152020A121575769. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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