Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Melocactus pachyacanthus
Species Authority: Buining & Brederoo
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: Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and subsp. viridis N.P.Taylor. Both subspecies were previously assessed in 2002, the nominate was assessed as Endangered and subsp. viridis as Critically Endangered. Neither of these subspecies has been reassessed and hence they are now excluded from the Red List.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-08-08
Assessor(s): Braun, P., Machado, M., Taylor, N.P. & Zappi, D.
Reviewer(s): Chanson, J.S. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Tognelli, M.
This species is assessed as Vulnerable because it has a restricted and fragmented distribution (extent of occurrence is 6,500 km2) and there is continuing decline in its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and extent and quality of habitat. The loss of habitat is mainly due to mining and agriculture.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Endangered (EN)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found near the Rio Salitre and in the region of Irecê, northern Bahia, Brazil. The distribution of the species is very restricted, and is limited to two locations and is severely fragmented. In Caatinga it occurs between 520 - 750 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Bahia)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 520
Upper elevation limit (metres): 750
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In most of the sites where the species is found, the population number is low (10 - 100 individuals). However, there are two sites where the number of individuals are in the thousands. There have been population reductions in the past, mainly due to quarries, including the type locality.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species occurs on Northern Rio São Francisco caatinga element on flat, exposed Bambuí limestone (Taylor and Zappi 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is locally collected for candy, but this is not very significant.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats for this species are loss of habitat and to a lesser extent collection for local use. Loss of habitat is mainly due to mining of limestone and agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix II. It occurs in one protected area (Gruta do Breijoes).

Citation: Braun, P., Machado, M., Taylor, N.P. & Zappi, D. 2013. Melocactus pachyacanthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40919A2943786. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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