Copiapoa humilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Copiapoa humilis (Phil.) Hutchison
Copiapoa paposoensis F.Ritter
Echinocactus humilis Phil.
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: Four subspecies are recognized: the nominate, subsp. tenuissima (D.R.Hunt) D.R.Hunt, subsp. tocopillana (F.Ritter) D.R.Hunt and subsp. varispinata (F.Ritter) D.R.Hunt (Hunt et al. 2006). These subspecies are not assessed separately.

Experts recommend a taxonomic revision of this species in particular the inclusion of subsp. tenuissima within this complex. A phylogenetic study of Copiapoa is under way.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2011-05-04
Assessor(s): Guerrero, P., Walter, H.E., Faundez, L. & Saldivia, P.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M., Goettsch, B.K. & Schipper, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Goettsch, B.K.
Copiapoa humilis has a relatively wide range (extent of occurrence 24,000 km2), but it is severely fragmented. A continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and habitat quality has been registered due to road construction. If the population south of Copiapó goes extinct as a result of drought, the extent of occurrence will drastically decrease and require listing of this cactus in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in Chile from Huasco to Tocopilla, in the regions of Atacama and Antofagasta. It grows at elevations of 0 to 1,200 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Chile (Antofagasta, Atacama)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This cactus is widespread where it occurs (Graham 1998), but it is not abundant as it grows in patches and in crevices. Overall the population seems to be stable, with the exception of the southern subpopulation that suffers from droughts. There is no information available on the northernmost subpopulations of Antofagasta.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:C. humilis tends to be found in the coastal mountains rather than where the roads are, it is likely that there are more, currently unknown locations for it (Graham 1998).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is used as an ornamental for specialized collections outside Chile.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats are mining activity within its area of distribution, illegal collection, and to a lesser extent road construction. Goat grazing used to be a threat but this activity is decreasing in the area. The population south of Copiapó is affected by drought.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs within the National Reserve of Paposo.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: The species distribution map has been included.

Citation: Guerrero, P., Walter, H.E., Faundez, L. & Saldivia, P. 2017. Copiapoa humilis (amended version of 2013 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T152880A121493160. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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