Lotus pyranthus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Lotus pyranthus P.Pérez
Common Name(s):
Spanish Pico de Fuego, Cienfuegos, Corazoncillo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-17
Assessor(s): González González, R., Pérez de Paz, P.L., León Arencibia, M.C. & Reyes Betancort, J.A.
Reviewer(s): Peraza Zurita, M.D. & Bilz, M.
Lotus pyranthus is classed as Critically Endangered because of its highly restricted and fragmented distribution. Decreasing trends have been observed in its area of occupancy, extent and quality of its habitat and number of mature individuals. The species has been re-introduced reaching an area of occupancy of 3 km2, but there is no evidence yet of the viability of these introduced subpopulations, so its area of occupancy is even lower and its natural population size is two individuals. Predation has led this species to a critical situation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Lotus pyranthus is endemic to the island of La Palma, the Canary Islands, Spain (González González et al. 2004), where it grows between 1,350 and 1,450 m asl, on the northeastern part of the island. It is distributed throughout three locations: Marcos y Cordero, Lomo de Cuervo y Cabecera del Barranco de Gallegos. Its area of occupancy is 3 km². Only the location of Lomo de Cuervo includes a subpopulation considered natural.
Countries occurrence:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:3
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1350
Upper elevation limit (metres):1450
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Total population size was reported to be seven  individuals, five of these introduced (González González et al. 2004). The locations Lomo de Cuervo and Cabecera del Barranco de Gallego were reported to have one single individual each. No seedling or juvenile individual was found in the sites.

Later, total population size has been reported to be 35-40 individuals, but these individuals have been introduced and they are not considered naturalised for there is no evidence of reproduction (Gobierno de Canarias 2004). Natural population size has been estimated in two individuals (Gobierno de Canarias 2006).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:2
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This shrub grows within humid pine forest communities Loto hillebrandi-Pinetum canariensis, but appearing in open areas along with xerophytic and rupicolous species (González González et al. 2004). Frequent accompanying species are Pinus canariensis, Erica arborea, Myrica faya, Cistus symphytifolius, Teline stenopetala var. sericea, Bystropogon origanifolius, Echium webbi, Aeonium spathulatum, Rumex maderensis, Micromeria herpyllomorpha and Tuberaria guttata.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is used in gardening because of its ornamental value.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Main threats are predation by introduced herbivorous species such as rabbits and game species, and by grazing species such as goats (González González et al. 2004). Its poor reproductive strategy, fires and collection are also threats to the species.

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 of Spain and in the regional catalogue of protected species of the Canary Islands. It is listed as CR B2ab(iii)c(iv); C2a(i) in the Spanish Red List (Moreno 2008).

The taxon is included in the protected area Parque Natural de Las Nieves (SCI). Re-introduction and ex situ cultivation have been carried out. Fences have been established. Seeds are stored in the germplasm bank Banco de Germoplasma de la Viceconsejería de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Canarias.

Research about the reproductive biology of the species should be developed. Grazing should be completely eradicated in its distribution range. More seeds must be collected and stored and population reinforcement measures must be kept in place.

Citation: González González, R., Pérez de Paz, P.L., León Arencibia, M.C. & Reyes Betancort, J.A. 2011. Lotus pyranthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T165236A5994336. . Downloaded on 22 January 2018.
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