Thymus carnosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Lamiales Labiatae

Scientific Name: Thymus carnosus Boiss.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Tomillo Carnoso

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-11
Assessor(s): Balao, F., Caldas, F.B., Casimiro-Soriguer Solanas, F., Sánchez-Gullón, E. & Talavera Lozano, S.
Reviewer(s): Peraza Zurita, M.D., Porto, M. & Bilz, M.
Thymus carnosus is listed as Vulnerable because of its restricted distribution. Regressive trends have been reported for its area of occupancy, extent and quality of its habitat and population size. It is a species with a coastal distribution, highly affected by anthropogenic pressures as urban expansion and tourism. However, there seems to be no evidence of severe fragmentation and there are more than ten locations. The species is therefore assessed as Near Threatened approaching Criterion B2b(ii,iii,v).


Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This plant is endemic to the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula (Bañares et al. 2010), being present in Spain and Portugal (Euro+Med Plantbase 2006-2010). In Portugal it is found from the south of Lisboa to Vila Real de Santo António (regions of Extremadura, Baixo Alentejo and Algarve). In Spain, it only occurs in the coast of Huelva, from the Odiel river to the Guadiana.

In Spain, it is distributed into five locations, with an area of occupancy of 15 km². Decreasing trends have been observed in its area of occupancy.

In Portugal, range trend magnitude is 61 km² (ICNB 2007). Decreasing trends have been reported for its distribution (Commission of the European Communities 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Spain (Spain (mainland))
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:76-1915
Lower elevation limit (metres):3
Upper elevation limit (metres):15
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Portugal, populations is in decline and the species has already disappeared from a few beaches (ICN 2006). Population size has been estimated in 10,000 individuals (Commission of the European Communities 2009).

In Spain, total population size has been estimated in 198,432 individuals and decreasing population trends have been observed (Bañares et al. 2010). In 2008 the species was re-introduced to the location Isla Cristina, where it was extinct and within the protected area Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In Portugal, it occurs in fixed or semi-fixed coastal dunes and is sensitive to habitat alterations. This species is characteristic of the association Artemisio crithmifoliae-Armerietum pungentis (ICN 2006). In Spain, this shrub also colonizes slopes of coastal dunes. Frequent accompanying species are Retama monosperma, Helichrysum picardii, Ammophila arenaria, Crucianella maritima, Malcolmia littorea and Pancratium maritimum. It is mainly present in coastal stable dune grassland (grey dunes) and grows in Habitats Directive listed habitat 2130 "Fixed coastal dunes with herbaceous vegetation" (Commission of the European Communities 2009).

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Portugal, main threats to the species are pressure from expanding tourism, trampling by pedestrians and by vehicles outside marked roads, and garbage disposal that lead to habitat degradation. Competition with invasive species further affects this plants (ICN 2006).

In Spain, main threats to this species are habitat reduction and degradation due to urbanisation and high presence of visitors during the summer season, when flowering and fructification are occurring (Bañares et al. 2010). Predation by goats has been also reported as a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Thymus carnosus is listed on Annex II of the Habitat Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). It is included as species "En peligro de extinción" in the regional catalogue of threatened wild flora of Andalucía. It is listed as CR B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) in the Spanish Red Databook 2010 (Bañares et al. 2010). It is legally protected in Portugal.

Most of the populations occur within protected areas: Paraje Natural de los Enebrales de Punta Umbría, Paraje Natural Marismas del Río Piedras y Flecha del Rompido, Reserva Natural Laguna de El Portil, Parque Natural de las Marismas del Odiel.

Proposed measures include population monitoring, regulate access to the coast and urban expansion, and expansion of protected areas.

Citation: Balao, F., Caldas, F.B., Casimiro-Soriguer Solanas, F., Sánchez-Gullón, E. & Talavera Lozano, S. 2011. Thymus carnosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T162164A5551116. . Downloaded on 17 October 2017.
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