Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Mammillaria microhelia
Species Authority: Werderm.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Biznaguita
Taxonomic Source(s): Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Accepted as a valid species by Anderson (2001), Hunt (1999) and Pilbeam (1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-18
Assessor(s): Sánchez , E. & Guadalupe Martínez, J.
Reviewer(s): Goettsch, B.K., Superina, M. & Chanson, J.S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Schipper, J.
Mammillaria microhelia is considered to be Endangered due to its limited range (extent of occurrence is less than 1,000 km2), its occurrence in less than five locations, and an ongoing decline due to habitat degradation (grazing) and possibly decline of mature individuals caused by illegal overcollecting.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mammillaria microhelia is found over a range of less than 1,000 km² in the central part of the state of Querétaro, Mexico, at elevations of 2,000 to 2,600 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Querétaro)
Number of Locations: 5
Lower elevation limit (metres): 2000
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The estimated population size of this species is estimated to be less than 500 mature individuals.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 499 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This cactus grows amongst volcanic rock in semi-desert (matorral) and submontane deciduous forest with Quercus depressipes, Q. eduardi, Q. grisea and Q. potosina.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This cactus is collected in the wild and used as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal collecting, deforestation of deciduous forests, and grazing (trampling) all impact the species and are causing a population decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix II, but enforcement of the laws in the countries of destination is needed. The small decline in number of mature individuals does not constitute a major threat at present but needs to be monitored. Research is needed in order to better establish the population size and trend. It is necessary to conserve the remaining habitat where this species' is found.

The subpopulation found in Tequisqueapan occurs within a ranch of fierce cattle which gives some protection to the species because the access is difficult (E. Sánchez pers. comm. 2011).

A micropropagation technique has been developed at the Cadereyta Regional Botanical Garden with a rate of 4x/4 weeks, with 100% soil adaptation success (E. Sánchez pers. comm. 2011).

This species is legally protected in Mexico by the national list of species at risk of extinction, NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, where it is listed under category “subject to special protection” (Pr; SEMARNAT 2010).

Citation: Sánchez , E. & Guadalupe Martínez, J. 2013. Mammillaria microhelia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40842A2936350. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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