Fritillaria obliqua 

Scope: Global, Europe & Mediterranean
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Liliales Liliaceae

Scientific Name: Fritillaria obliqua Ker Gawl.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2017. The Plant List. Version 1.1. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2018-01-22
Assessor(s): Delipetrou, P. & Bazos, I.
Reviewer(s): Allen, D.J. & Numa, C.
Fritillaria obliqua is a Greek endemic that has a restricted distribution extent of occurrence (EOO) of 7,559 km2 and an area of occupancy (AOO) of no more than 216 km2. The population is declining and many of the subpopulations have less than the minimum viable population of 250 individuals. Urbanisation, grazing, fires, and collection are the main threats to the species that lead to a continuing decline in extent and quality of the habitat and in the number of mature individuals. It is therefore assessed as Endangered (EN B2ab(ii,iii,v)).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Fritillaria obliqua is endemic to Greece, with subspecies obliqua restricted to Attiki (Mt. Parnitha, Mt. Penteli, in the Schinias-Marathonas area, Tourkovounia Hill, and Agioi Apostoloi, with records from Mt. Merenta and Mt. Ymittos in Attiki not included in the distribution of the subspecies because they are doubtful and the plant has not been confirmed from these localities) and Evvoia Island (Mt. Octhonia, Mt. Olympos, Prasino and Argyro areas). The subspecies tuntasia is found in the western Cyclades Islands of Kythnos, Piperi Islet, Gyaros, Serifos and Folegandros. The plant is also reported from Kea but it may have been confused with Fritillaria graeca.

The extent of occurrence is at most 7,559 km2 and the area of occupancy (AOO) is no more than 216 km2.

Countries occurrence:
Greece (Greece (mainland))
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:216Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:7559
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:48-52
Lower elevation limit (metres):20
Upper elevation limit (metres):800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The following populations are known for subsp. obliqua (Delipetrou and Kalogeropoulos 2015, in prep.):
  • Parnitha Mt. (5  locations): Paliomilesi site (100 individuals), Mola Plateau (no data), Beletsi Peak (at least 350 individuals), Strongyli Peak  (250 individuals), Dekeleia (no data).
  • Penteli Mt. (4 locations): Petroti (no data), Agios Petros (c. 100 individuals), Mikro Agriliki (no data), close to Rapentosa (c.100 individuals). There may be more locations, most probably with less than 100 individuals at each.
  • Schinias-Marathonas area (4 locations, 2-3 subpopulations): Kynosoura Peninsula (c.3,000 individuals and the largest subpopulation, but thee population fluctuates depending on meteorological conditions), Drakonera area (50-100 individuals), Agia Marina area (200-250 individuals), Grammatiko area (50-100 individuals). The population at Kynosoura Peninsula is currently thriving and is secure (I. Bazos pers. comm. 2018).
  • Tourkovounia Hill (3 locations, 1 subpopulation): habitation area G. Papandreou (200 individuals in 2007 but only 70 individuals in 204), Paleo Psychiko area (200 individuals before 1980, six isolated individuals after 2000, 15 individuals in 2014), Filothei area (50 individuals in 2014). The subspecies was described from the area of Tourkovounia Hill in the 19th century at a locality where it is now extinct due to the expansion of urban settlements. This indicates that the subspecies had been much more widespread in Attiki in areas now urbanised.
  • Evvoia - Octhonia Mt (1 location, 1 subpopulation): c.3,000 individuals in 2014 (but some of them are morphologically close to F. obliqua subsp. tuntasia).
  • Evvoia - Olympos Mt  (1 location, 1 subpopulation): 16 individuals in 2014, a large part of the area is occupied by antennae.
  • S Evvoia (6 locations, 1 subpopulation): Argyro (150-300 individuals), Prasino (80-120 individuals), Zarakes (150-200 individuals).
  • Merenta Mountain (1 location, 1 subpopulation): the subspecies was collected there once in the 1980s and there are no recent data on the population, and confusion with Fritillaria graeca is possible in this area; this locality is not considered in this assessment.
The current total population size is certainly lower than 10,000 individuals. Most of the subpopulations include 100-250 individuals and this number is considered lower than the minimum viable population of 250 individuals. Thus > 50% of the total area of occupancy of the plant includes small isolated patches with a small number of plants and the population can be considered as severely fragmented.

The subspecies seems to be a typical element of Mediterranean scrub and was certainly more widespread in Attiki 100 years ago. The area of occupancy and the total population size have been reduced due to land use changes during this period; however this reduction cannot be quantified. Further loss of habitat and area of occupancy are almost certain for the locations of Tourkovounia and Drakonera and probable for the locations of Agia Marina, Grammatiko, Parnitha, and Penteli.

Fritillaria obliqua
subsp. tuntasia has been reported at the following locations:
  • Kythnos (sixteen locations, one subpopulation): the population was counted at 13 locations was estimated at 3,270 mature individuals and 430 rosettes. It is almost certain that the plant occurs at more locations on the island.Serifos (three locations, one subpopulation): west central part (200 individuals), north part (25 individuals), central part (20 individuals). It must be noted that these population sizes may in fact be an underestimation of the total subpopulation size.
  • Gyaros (thee locations, one subpopulation): at total of 90 plants were counted at two of the locations, but the total subpopulation size must be at least 200 individuals.
  • There are no population data for Folegandros Island and Piperi Islet but it is almost certain that these subpopulations are small too, and the identity of records from these islands requires confirmation.
The current total population size is at least 3,270 mature individuals but taking into account the uncounted locations on Kythnos which is the main distribution area of the plant, nor the other islands with no population estimates. The total population might be 6,000 plants. Four of the known subpopulations contain fewer than 250 individuals which is considered the minimum viable population.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10000-16000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Subspecies obliqua occupies soil pockets in rocky or stony sites within phrygana and open coniferous woodland on limestone at an altitudes from 0 to 400(1,000) m Asl (Strid 2016). It grows in Juniperus phoenicea or Euphorbia dendroides shrubland, at the margins or clearings of Pinus halepensis forest or Pistacia lentiscus-Quercus coccifera maquis, in phrygana and garrigue. The species prefers clearings, but it often grows in the shade of high shrubs. Subspecies tuntasia is found in rocky and stony places with phrygana or thin shrub, on various substrates (e.g. limestone, granite) but mainly on schist.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Material under this name is available in the ornamental plant trade. The bulbs offered for trade are often labelled F. obliqua and most probably refer to the typical subspecies. Unfortunately, the websites selling bulbs rarely specify the origin of the plants (whether from seed collected in the wild or from bulbs, nor from where). Bulb collection may be a threat - there is substantial internet trade which is not always licensed.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The subsp. obliqua is impacted by a range of threats; urbanisation, grazing, consumption by the insect Lilioceris lilii, and fire are the primary threats to this subspecies (Delipetrou and Kalogeropoulos 2015, 2016). The quality of the habitat has decreased due to the establishment of wind turbines and antennas (Evvoia) and due to fire (Attiki). The subspecies has suffered habitat loss in the last 50 years due to urbanisation (Athens) and due to the expansion of housing estates (area of Marathonas-Schoinias). Since the 19th century the subspecies has lost even more localities in the area of Athens (Ymittos, Lykavittos, probably Parnitha). Goat grazing is a significant threat at most of the localities, especially at the locations on Evvoia. The impact of Liliioceris lilii is most prominent in Attiki. Taking into account the loss of flowers and fruits due to grazing and consumption, it can be assumed that the reproductive success of the subspecies is lower than the normal.

Lilioceris lilii and grazing by goats also impacts the subspecies tuntasia, resulting in a loss of at least 10% of the reproductive units (ranging from 3 to 45%). Most plants are impacted to some degree by Lilioceris lilii  infestation. Grazing has a heavy impact on the island of Gyaros and at the localities on central Kythnos. Burning of the plant's habitat is a common practice on Kythnos. Urbanisation and cultivation are minor threats, and there are plans for wind turbine development along the ring where this subspecies occurs on Gyaros.

Bulb collection may be a threat - there is substantial internet trade which is not always licensed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Fritillaria obliqua is listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive and it is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). Fritillaria tuntasia is also included in Appendix I of the Bern Convention as a synonym.

Fritillaria obliqua subsp. obliqua is protected in Greece by Presidential Decree 67/81. The locations of Parnitha are included in the National Forest Park of Parnitha and in the Natura 2000 site GR300001; the locations of Kynosoura and Drakonera are included in the Natura 2000 site GR300003. It is included in the Red Data Book (Phitos et al. 1995, 2009).

Fritillaria obliqua subsp. tuntasia is also protected in Greece by Presidential Decree 67/81. The location Kastro tis Orias (Kythnos) is included in the Natura 2000 site GR422010 and the locations at central Serifos are included in the Natura 2000 site GR422009. The subspecies is included in the Red Data Book (Phitos et al. 2009).

Citation: Delipetrou, P. & Bazos, I. 2018. Fritillaria obliqua. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T162277A89334464. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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