Stemmacantha cynaroides 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Asterales Asteraceae

Scientific Name: Stemmacantha cynaroides (C. Sm.) Dittrich
Common Name(s):
Spanish Cardo de Plata

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(v); C2a(i); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-29
Assessor(s): Marrero Gómez, M.V., Bañares Baudet, A. & Carqué Álamo, E.
Reviewer(s): Bilz, M. & Peraza Zurita, M.D.
Stemmacantha cynaroides is endemic to Tenerife, found in five locations in an area of occupancy of 5 km² and a total number of individuals of 151. Only one of the populations shows an optimal structure, abundance of seedlings and juveniles with 101 individuals. Its disappearance has been observed in various locations in recent times. The main threats are grazing by rabbits and mouflons which prevent many species from reaching adulthood. Parasitism and collection are further threats. It is therefore assessed as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Stemmacantha cynaroides is endemic to the island of Tenerife, the Canary Islands, Spain (Marrero Gómez et al. 2004). It occurs at high altitude, from 2,000 to 2,500 m asl, distributed throughout five locations. Its disappearance has been observed in various locations in recent times, such as in Gangarro, Roques Balancos, Siete Cañadas and La Fortaleza. The area of occupancy is 5 km².

Countries occurrence:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:5
Number of Locations:5
Lower elevation limit (metres):2000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is found on the mountains of Tenerife, occurring in scattered populations of small sizes. So far five populations have been detected, although nearly 90% of individuals are in one location. Total population recorded in Tenerife is 151 individuals. Regressive trends have been reported for its population size (Gobierno de Canarias 2004).

The abundance of rabbits and mouflons prevent many species from reaching adulthood. The only population that exhibits optimal structure, with an abundance of seedlings and juveniles with 101 individuals is in the Mario Corridor, probably due to protective fencing in the area. Introduced herbivores affect localities continuously, especially plundering the floral flower heads which translates into a potential limitation of floral production, decreased production of seeds and a significant mortality of adults. Although a long-living species (possibly over 100 years), survival of their population is dependent to a large extent on seed banks. It is therefore concluded that the subpopulations are severely fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:151
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This herb species develops in areas over 2,000 m in valleys, plains and hillsides where there is sparse scrub coverage and pyroclasts or thepra accumulation. This is a very specific and extreme habitat where few species are able to thrive. It is commonly accompanied by Spartocytisus supranubius, Argyranthemum teneriffae, Tolpis webbii, Echium auberianum or Erysimum scoparium.


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main problem affecting the taxon is predation exerted by rabbits and mouflons. There is also evidential parasitism by certain insects. Collection of this plant, which is now rather controlled, still occurs in the best known and easily accessible populations. Populations in Corral del Niño, Llano de Cuevas Negras and Llano de Maja, are in decline and likely to disappear.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Stemmacantha cynaroides is listed on Annex II of the Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). On the Spanish Red List it is classed as Critically Endangered C2a(ii) (Moreno 2008). It is included as species "En peligro de extinción" in the national and regional catalogues of threatened species.

The full population is within the protected area Parque Nacional de Teide (SCI) (Marrero Gómez et al. 2004). There are seeds in the germplasm bank of the Jardin Botanico Viera y Clavijo and E.T.S. de Ingenieros Agrónomos. A specific recovery programme which provides, among other measures, monitoring of population dynamics, reintroductions and establishment of enclosures, is currently being developed.

Reinforcement of natural populations and benign introduction measures should be kept on place. Plant material has to be stored in germplasm banks.

Citation: Marrero Gómez, M.V., Bañares Baudet, A. & Carqué Álamo, E. 2011. Stemmacantha cynaroides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T162218A5559623. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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