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Mammillaria mathildae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA CARYOPHYLLALES CACTACEAE

Scientific Name: Mammillaria mathildae
Species Authority: Kraehenb. & Krainz
Common Name/s:
Spanish Biznaguita de la Cañada
Taxonomic Notes: Accepted as species by Anderson (2001), Pilbeam (1999) and the assessors, and as a tentative species by Hunt (1999). Lüthy (1995) considers it a subspecies of M. fittkaui.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-10-15
Assessor/s: Fitz Maurice, B, Guadalupe Martínez, J., Sánchez , E. & Fitz Maurice, W.A.
Reviewer/s: Superina, M., Goettsch, B.K. & Chanson, J.S.
Facilitator/s: Wyatt, S.
Justification:
Mammillaria mathildae is listed as Endangered because it has an area of occupancy of less than 2 km2, it is found in five locations, and has experienced declines in its range, area of occupancy, area of habitat, and number of individuals. Continued urbanization is causing deforestation of some of its localities and is the main threat to this species. In order to prevent further declines, protection is needed for the remaining population. There has been an observed population decline of 37% from 2003 to 2006 in the Juriquilla subpopulation.
History:
2002 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Mexico, where it occurs east and north of the Querétaro river, along the outskirts of the city, at elevations of 1,800 to 1,900 m asl. The species is known from seven localities (five locations). The largest population occurs in an area of 0.015 km2. The area of occupancy is a maximum of 2 km2.
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Querétaro)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is rare. Surveys have counted the total population as 493 individuals (García-Rubio pers. comm. 2009), however this figure may not include all known subpopulations. Its population is estimated to be less than 150 individuals in the two main subpopulations (La Cañada and Juriquilla) and less than 15 individuals in the other five subpopulations (García-Rubio pers. comm. 2009).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has very specific habitat requirements. It grows in canyons (cañadas) among volcanic rock uplifts in remnants of tropical deciduous forest with elements of xerophyllous matorral (Garcia-Rubio pers. comm. 2009). Many publications associate this species with the semi-desert that has been created by urbanization and farming, but recent publications contradict this. It cannot tolerate the removal of the canopy trees including Lysiloma microphylla, Bursera fageroides and Ceiba aesculifolia.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by illegal collecting and land development for urbanization around Querétaro. The type locality is a standard stop for cactus tour groups from Europe and is now well-known to both commercial and amateur collectors. A single private landowner owns the land with 30% of the Juriquillas population (133 individuals, 15 x 25 m2). The primary threat is deforestation for urban development. One of the main populations, La Cañada, is in the site of a stone mine which threatens the integrity of its habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The most important action needed for this species is the protection of its known localities from development. Two of the small populations are found in Parque Nacional El Cimatario. The population in Juriquilla is in a private natural protected area; however, housing development surrounding the gullies where the species is found causes increased run-off which dislodges young individuals. It is also listed on CITES Appendix II, but enforcement of the laws in the countries of destination is needed. Most of the localities of the species have been published and are therefore well known to amateur and commercial collectors. Because of the very small population size, any collection represents a serious threat and efforts are needed to reduce collection. 

This species is legally protected in Mexico on the national list of species at risk of extinction, NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, where it is listed as “at risk of extinction” (P; SEMARNAT 2010).

Ex situ conservation efforts of propagation have been undertaken to increase the total population numbers. Individuals have been successfully reintroduced to the Juriquilla population. A micropropagation technique has been established at the Cadereyta Regional Botanical Garden with  a rate of 5x/4 weeks, with 100% soil adaptation success (E. Sánchez pers. comm. 2011).
Citation: Fitz Maurice, B, Guadalupe Martínez, J., Sánchez , E. & Fitz Maurice, W.A. 2013. Mammillaria mathildae. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 April 2014.
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