Gymnadenia widderi 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Gymnadenia widderi (Teppner & E.Klein) Teppner & E.Klein
Nigritella widderi Teppner & E. Klein
Nigritella rubra ssp. widderi (Teppner & E. Klein) H. Baumann & R. Lorenz

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-04-11
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M. & Bilz, M.
Gymnadenia widderi is very local and extremely rare where it occurs, known from a few sites in three fragmented areas in Europe: Styria in Austria, Bavaria in Germany and Abruzzo in Italy. The area of occupancy is below 500 kmĀ² and the subpopulations as well as their habitats are declining due to recreational activities, tourism, and inappropriate grazing management. Therefore, Gymnadenia widderi is assessed as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Gymnadenia widderi is a European endemic, currently known from a few sites in Styria in Austria, Bavaria in Germany and Abruzzo in Italy. The species can be found from 1,500 to 2,200 m altitude. (Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Rossi 2002, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2010).

Countries occurrence:
Austria; Germany; Italy (Italy (mainland))
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:56-500
Lower elevation limit (metres):1500
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Gymnadenia widderi is very local and extremely rare, known from a few sites in three areas and forming groups with low density. The population size is unknown and the population is decreasing due to numerous threats. (Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Rossi 2002). In Bavaria, it is found in only two sites in the Alps (Ahlmer 2010).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Gymnadenia widderi can be found in short, calcareous alpine grassland. This species grows in full sunlight and flowers from June to August. (Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Rossi 2002).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no known uses.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Gymnadenia widderi is potentially threatened by recreational activities and tourism. Like all grassland orchids this species requires a specific level of grazing; too little and the species suffers from invasion of more competitive plants; too much and the diversity of the species is lost. (Delforge 1995, GIROS 2009, Rossi 2002).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: All orchid species are included under Annex B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This plant is listed as Endangered in the regional red list of Bavaria (Ahlmer 2010). The following actions are recommended to protect Gymnadenia widderi:
  • Protection of the grassland from recreational activities and trampling.
  • Fencing the vulnerable sites to protect the species.
  • Ensure appropriate levels of grazing.
  • Raise public awareness.
  • Protection of the living individuals through legislation which bans the species from being picked or dug up.
  • Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.
  • Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.
  • Estimate the population size and study their dynamics.

Citation: Rankou, H. 2011. Gymnadenia widderi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176014A7171612. . Downloaded on 18 July 2018.
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