Thymus lotocephalus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Lamiales Labiatae

Scientific Name: Thymus lotocephalus G.López & R.Morales
Thymus cephalotos L.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-04-06
Assessor(s): Caldas, F.B.
Reviewer(s): Alves, P. & Bilz, M.
This plant is endemic to the eastern Algarve in Portugal with an extent of occurrence of 1,838 km² and an area of occupancy of 1,600 km². There are some big populations but also a several scattered and isolated populations. The populations are potentially severely fragmented and this fragmentation is continuing due to urban, tourism, and agricultural expansion. Further threats are posed by garbage disposal and natural succession. It is assessed as Near Threatened approaching Criterion B2ab(iii) until further information on what percentage of the populations is fragmented becomes available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This plant is endemic to the eastern Algarve in Portugal (ICN 2006). Its extent of occurrence is 1,838 km² and the area of occupancy is 1,600 km² (Commission of the European Communities 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Portugal (mainland))
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


In the area of Pontal, the largest and most continuous population can be found. In the Ria Formosa Natural Park are some populations of good size and a large number of individuals. There are numerous small scattered populations, that have been isolated for decades in the agricultural mosaic of the Algarve countryside, before the expansion of orange groves (ICN 2006). The populations are severely fragmented and this fragmentation is continuing due to urban and agricultural expansion.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This small shrub is present in open spaces of pine woods and xerophile shrubland  on calcareous soils with clayey loam or sandy acid soils. Other habitats are thermo-Mediterranean shrub habitats and less frequently in coastal dune scrub, and coastal dune woods. It is found in the community Tuberario majoris-Stauracanthetum boivinii (ICN 2006).
This plant grows in the following Habitats Directive listed habitats (Commission of the European Communities 2009):
  • 2260 Cisto-Lavenduletalia dune sclerophyllous scrubs
  • 2270 Wooded dunes with Pinus pinea and/or Pinus pinaster
  • 5330 Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-desert scrub
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This plant can be used as aromatic herb (ICN 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main pressure on the species are posed by urban and tourism expansion, including the creation of new golf courses, that leads to destruction and fragmentation of its habitat. Garbage disposal further degrades the habitat, whereas natural succession increases the competition for the species (ICN 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Thymus lotocephalus is listed as priority species on Annex II of the Habitats Directive. It is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) under the synonym Thymus cephalotos. This plant is legally protected in Portugal. The control of urban and agricultural expansion is recommended, as well as site management to control natural succession (ICN 2006).

Citation: Caldas, F.B. 2011. Thymus lotocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T161974A5522381. . Downloaded on 25 September 2017.
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