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Cupressus guadalupensis var. guadalupensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Cupressus guadalupensis var. guadalupensis
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Guadalupe Cypress
Spanish Ciprés
Synonym(s):
Hesperocyparis guadalupensis (S.Watson) Bartel
Taxonomic Notes: By some considered a species distinct from Cupressus forbesii, which occurs on the mainland (both California); on the IUCN Red List the latter is considered a variety of C. guadalupensis. A recently proposed split of Cupressus L. has led to the new name under Hesperocyparis; this taxonomy is not accepted here either.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A1ace ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-05-04
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Justification:
The decline of the population of mature trees caused by feral goats and fires, and possibly drought, has by all accounts been severe and is likely to have exceeded 70% from the situation about 100 years ago (three generations is about 90 years), when goats became established on the island. The goats have now gone, and regeneration is beginning. However, other threats such as fire and drought still remain and could wipe out the fragile remainder of the population.
History:
2000 Critically Endangered
1998 Critically Endangered (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Critically Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to Guadalupe Island, Baja California Norte, Mexico.
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Guadalupe I.)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The current number of mature trees has been reported differently, but depending on how one defines a mature tree, it seems likely that only between 100 and 200 trees were left at the time the goats were finally eradicated in 2005. Regeneration had started to take effect within enclosures from about 2002 (Junak et al. 2003), and also outside these fenced areas since 2005/6.
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This variety's habitat and ecology is generally similar to that of the species (i.e. found in chapparal), but on Guadeloupe Island it is often associated with Pinus radiata var. binata; the climate is substantially cooler in summer than on the mainland due to frequent fog. Recorded from 800 up to 1,280 m asl.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Some plants originating from seed collected on Guadalupe Island appear to be in cultivation in the USA (California).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The situation with this variety is extremely critical due to overgrazing by feral goats. The population may not exceed 200 mature trees in two small, separate stands. Recent fires have destroyed many trees. The devastation of the vegetation, caused by more than a century of overgrazing and browsing by goats, may have lowered the water table in the two locations where the cypresses occur. No permanent residents live on the island, which is visited only occasionally.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The goats are now finally reported to have been eradicated on the island in 2005. This is a major step towards recovery of the population of C. guadalupensis var. guadalupensis. Previously, a few limited areas had been fenced (excluded) in which many of the cypresses occur, enabling regeneration to start.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Cupressus guadalupensis var. guadalupensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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