Discocactus horstii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Discocactus horstii
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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-06-04
Assessor(s): Machado, M., Braun, P., Taylor, N.P. & Zappi, D.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M., Goettsch, B.K. & Chanson, J.S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bilz, M.
This species has a very restricted range; its extent of occurrence is less than 100km2 and its area of occupancy is around 6km2, and it is known from three locations. It declined substantially in the past due to collection for the international horticulture trade as well as quartz extraction, but populations are stable at the moment, as the entire population is under strict protection and included in the Parque Nacional de Grão Mogol. However, the threat of mining could potentially return, which would bring the species to the brink of extinction in a very short time. It is assessed as Vulnerable under criterion D2, as its survival depends on the continuing protection of its sites.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Endangered (EN)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This cactus is found in the Serra do Barão in northern Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is known from three sites that can be considered a single location, as one major threat could affect all of them simultaneously. It grows at altitudes between 800 and 1,200 m asl. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is no more than 100 km2 and the area of occupancy is estimated at 6 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Minas Gerais)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 6
Number of Locations: 1
Lower elevation limit (metres): 800
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is locally abundant, with several thousand mature individuals existing per site. The population was declining in the past due to mining and collection in the 1970s and 80s, but it is now stable as the threats have ceased.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This southeastern campo rupestre (Grão Mogol) element grows in quartz gravel and sand beneath shrubs in campo rupestre.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The plants were collected in the past for ornamental trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This remarkable Brazilian cactus was heavily collected in the 1970's for the European horticultural market (Buining 1974: 70). In the past mining (or digging) for quartz crystals destroyed large parts of the habitat. There is always the potential for mining to restart in the future.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The entire population is located within the Parque Estadual de Grão Mogol with strict protection of the species, the authorities being well aware of the interest in the plant (M. Machado pers. comm. 2010). All species of the genus Discocactus are listed in CITES Appendix I.

Citation: Machado, M., Braun, P., Taylor, N.P. & Zappi, D. 2013. Discocactus horstii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40948A2946290. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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