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Saintpaulia ionantha

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA SCROPHULARIALES GESNERIACEAE

Scientific Name: Saintpaulia ionantha
Species Authority: I.Darbysh. & Pócs
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Taxonomic Notes: Ten subspecies and two varieties of the nominate subspecies are curently recognized.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2008-04-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC East African Plants Red List Authority
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Schatz, G.E.
Justification:
Although widespread, the area of occupancy (AOO) is certainly less than 2,000 km² (the estimated AOO of 734 km² is probably close to the actual AOO as the species has been very well collected), the population is fragmented but it is difficult to call this severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline due to loss of habitat; a number of sites have already been lost or severely reduced. But there are still some large subpopulations, hence Saintpaulia ionantha is listed as Near Threatened as it almost qualifies for a threatened listing under criterion B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v). If further population reduction information were available, the species might well trigger a Vulnerable listing under criterion A. However, that is not possible at present.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: A widely distributed species recorded from the coastal forests of southern Kenya and into Tanzania where it is known from the East and West Usambara Mountains, the Udzungwa Mountains, the North and South Nguru Mountains including Kanga Mountain (is supposedly absent from the Ulugurus), and a single collection from down in the Rufiji area (Kiwengoma Forest).
Countries:
Native:
Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species has a scattered distribution across most of the Eastern Arc Mountains and is probably declining in parts of its range
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Found in montane, submontane and coastal forest, usually along streams. Recorded to occur from 70 m up to 1,600 m asl. This taxon forms the basis of the cultivated African Violet industry.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species forms the basis for the African Violet ornamental plant industry.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): At lower elevations there is loss of habitat due to forest clearance for agricultural expansion, logging, burning, etc. Many of the coastal localities are under threat, at least one in Kenya (Mwachi) has gone extinct in recent years.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in many protected areas including Gombelo Forest Reserve, Mpanga Village Forest Reserve, Amani-Sigi Nature Reserve, Nilo Forest Reserve, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Mwanihana Forest Reserve, Kilanga Forest Reserve, Ngua Forest Reserve, Marimba Forest Reserve, Manyangu Forest Reserve, etc.

Citation: IUCN SSC East African Plants Red List Authority 2014. Saintpaulia ionantha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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