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Lotus maculatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA FABALES LEGUMINOSAE

Scientific Name: Lotus maculatus
Species Authority: Breitf.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Pico de El Sauzal, Pico de Paloma

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v); C2a(i); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-04
Assessor(s): Marrero Gómez, M.V. & Mesa Coello, R.
Reviewer(s): Peraza Zurita, M.D. & Bilz, M.
Justification:
Lotus maculatus is listed as Critically Endangered due to its highly restricted distribution, being found in one single location, with an area of occupancy (AOO) of 1 km². Negative trends have been identified for the quality of its habitat and its population size, which has been found to be lower than 50 individuals. Predation, grazing and other human-generated impacts on the species and its habitat have led to a critical situation for its conservation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Lotus maculatus is endemic to the island of Tenerife, the Canary Islands, Spain (Marrero Gómez and Mesa Coello 2004). It grows between 20 and 30 m asl on the northern part of the island. Its presence was reported in three subpopulations: Punta del Puertito (El Sauzal), Roque de Dentro and Roque de la Playa (Anaga). The latter population has been refound in 2007 (Mesa 2007), after being thought extinct (Bañares et al. 2004, Buord and Lesouëf 2006). Its AOO is 1 km².
Countries:
Native:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its total population size has been reported to present a decreasing trend (Gobierno de Canarias 2004). In 1994, 49 individuals were counted; 10 individuals in 2003 (Marrero Gómez and Mesa Coello 2004) and 16 specimens in 2004. The presence of seedlings and juvenile individuals is very low.
More recently, 35 individuals have been recorded, from which 28 were mature reproductive individuals (Mesa 2007). It seems that fluctuations in population size occur depending on the year.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It grows in halophile shrublands under direct influence of the sea (Buord and Lesouëf 2006). Common accompanying species are Schizogyne sericea, Salsola divaricata, Limonium pectinatum, Astydamia latifolia, Frankenia ericifolia, Scilla haemorrhoidalis and Crithmum maritimum (Marrero Gómez and Mesa Coello 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It has been used in gardening because of its ornamental value.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Main threats are trampling by fishermen and hikers, works in the area, collection, predation by rabbits and competition with nitrophile species, increased by the accumulation of seagull excrements (Gobierno de Canarias 2004, Marrero Gómez and Mesa Coello 2004). Grazing was the main threat affecting the species in the past, almost leading to its extinction, but it is reported to be eradicated in the only currently known location.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). It is classed species "En peligro de extinción" in the national catalogue of threatened species and in the catalogue for the Canary Islands. It is listed CR B2ab(iii,v); C2a(i); D in the Spanish Red List 2008 (Moreno 2008).

The only known location occurs within the protected area Paisaje Protegido Costa de Acentejo (Marrero Gómez and Mesa Coello 2004). Seeds are stored in the germplasm bank Banco de Germoplasma del Servicio de Biodiversidad de la Viceconsejería de Medio Ambiente. Ex situ cultivation and micropropagation has been developed as well as population monitoring. Herbivorous species presence in the area is being controlled. Re-introduction works were developed, but were unsuccessful.

Potential predators should be eradicated. Natural populations must be reinforced and transferred to more suitable areas if necessary. Illegal collection must be controlled and habitat restoration measures should be established. A species re-introduction plan should be implemented in Roque de Tierra if the absence of the taxon is completely confirmed.

Citation: Marrero Gómez, M.V. & Mesa Coello, R. 2013. Lotus maculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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