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Erebia christi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA LEPIDOPTERA NYMPHALIDAE

Scientific Name: Erebia christi
Species Authority: Rätzer, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Raetzer's Ringlet, Rätzer’s Ringlet

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-29
Assessor(s): van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.
Reviewer(s): Lewis, O. (Butterfly RLA) & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)
Justification:
This endemic and local species is restricted to the border area of Switzerland and Italy. The species is known from seven locations and is reported to be declining in Italy. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.
History:
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species occurs in a very small area in the southern part of the Simplon in Switzerland and Italy. In all, there are five locations known in Switzerland in an area of 10 x 10 km² and only two in Italy. It occurs between 1,600-1,900 m elevation. This is a European endemic species.
Countries:
Native:
Italy; Switzerland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas. A strong decline in distribution or population size of more than 30% has been reported from Italy (data provided by the national partners of Butterfly Conservation Europe). In Switzerland, in the 1980s, road building destroyed some of the largest subpopulations. After that there is no information on the trend in Switzerland.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Rätzer’s Ringlet is found on steep, sunny slopes on acid soil with patches of grassy vegetation and rocks and scattered larch or fir trees. It is one of the rarest European butterflies, with not more than six or seven populations. The butterflies often bask in the sun with their wings wide open. The males congregate regularly on damp ground. The females visit different nectar plants and are especially fond of thyme. They lay their eggs on the dry grass stems of Sheep's Fescue (Festuca ovina). Before completing their development, the caterpillars hibernate twice. Detailed habitat descriptions are not available.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: All butterflies are collected to some extent, but only for the extremely rare species it can be a problem and the trade in Europe is generally at a low level compared to other continents. There is no specific trade information for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is mainly threatened by habitat destruction. The species is popular with collectors, but there is no evidence to determine whether this is contributing to its decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on the Habitats Directive Annexes 2 and 4 and Bern Convention Annex 2. More research is needed on the distribution and ecology of the species. Suitable habitats should be protected and appropriately managed. The effects of conservation actions should be monitored by a Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. In Italy, not all populations are in the European Natura 2000 networking programme areas.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Erebia christi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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