Lotus eremiticus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Lotus eremiticus A.Santos
Common Name(s):
Spanish Picocernícalo, Pico de Cernícalo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v)c(iv); C2a(i)b; D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-17
Assessor(s): Martín Cáceres, K., Mesa Coello, R. & Santos Guerra, A.
Reviewer(s): Bilz, M. & Peraza Zurita, M.D.
Lotus eremiticus is listed as Critically Endangered because its area of occupancy is only 1 km², total population size is six individuals, all included in a single location. The extent of its habitat and the number of mature individuals are declining due to predation by rabbits and lizards, and droughts. Extreme fluctuations in the number of mature individuals have been observed.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This plant is endemic to the island of La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain (Martín Cáceres et al. 2004), where the only known population occurs on the coast of Garafia. Its area of occupancy is 1 km².
Countries occurrence:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):290
Upper elevation limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The only known population so far counts six individuals (Martín Cáceres et al. 2004). The amount of fruits is lower than the number of produced flowers. Population size varies depending on rainfall in successive years. It is possible that the soil seed bank is viable for a long period of time as in years of prolonged drought specimens have disappeared and the population has reappeared afterwards under favourable conditions. The population trend has been inferred to be declining (Gobierno de Canarias 2004).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:YesPopulation severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This taxon is associated with scrublands in thermophile forest zones Mayteno-Juniperion canariensis, mixed with rupicolous vegetation Greenovio-Aeonietea. Accompanying species include Juniperus turbinata ssp. canariensis, Aeonium palmense, Erica arborea, Davallia canariensis, Rhamnus crenulata, Lavandula canariensis, Myrica faya, Cheirolophus sventenii, Adiantum reniforme and Paronychia canariensis.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The most important threat to the species is the presence of rabbits and lizards in its habitat, that pose great pressure on seedlings and adult individuals (Martín Cáceres et al. 2004). Low population size is a threat factor especially in successive years of low rainfall.

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 included as species "En peligro de extinción" in the national catalogue of threatened species and in the catalogue of protected species of the Canary Islands. It is classed as Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v)c(iv); C2a(i); D on the Spanish Red List (Moreno 2008).

The population is included in the protected area Reserva Natural Especial de Guelguén (SCI). The species is cultivated in the botanic gardens La Orotava and Viera y Clavijo. Seeds are stored in the germplasm bank of the environmental department of the government of the Canary Islands (Viceconsejería de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Canarias).

Citation: Martín Cáceres, K., Mesa Coello, R. & Santos Guerra, A. 2011. Lotus eremiticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T165218A5991682. . Downloaded on 22 January 2018.
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