Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Turbinicarpus mandragora
Species Authority: (Frič ex A.Berger) A.D.Zimmerman
Common Name(s):
Spanish Biznaugita
Echinocactus mandragora Frič ex A.Berger
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) and Hunt (1999). Some hobbyists refer to the genus as Gymnocactus. Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and subsp. pailanus (Halda & Panar.) Lüthy.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-19
Assessor(s): Fitz Maurice, B, Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Fitz Maurice, W.A. & Hernández, H.M.
Reviewer(s): Goettsch, B.K. & Superina, M.
Turbinicarpus mandragora is considered Critically Endangered because it is only known from a single, very restricted location of less than 5 km², its population consists of less than 4,000 individuals, and it is suffering a continuous decline as a result of illegal collecting.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This cactus grows south of Parras, Coahuila, Mexico over an area of less than 5 km², at about 1,500 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Coahuila)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 5
Number of Locations: 1
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The current estimated population consists of less than 4,000 individuals.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 4000 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This cactus grows in semi-desert on rocky calcareous hills.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is illegally collected as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by illegal collecting. The habitat has become widely known to collectors although it is difficult to reach.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This cactus is listed on CITES Appendix I, but the laws governing imports in the countries of destination need to be enforced. It has been widely propagated for over 40 years.

The 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 the category “threatened” (A; SEMARNAT 2010). 

The Cadereyta Regional Botanic Gardens has developed a universal technique to reproduce species of the genus Turbinicarpus (including Gymnocactus), with a rate of 5x/4 weeks and 95% soil adaptation success (E. Sánchez pers. comm. 2011).

Citation: Fitz Maurice, B, Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Fitz Maurice, W.A. & Hernández, H.M. 2013. Turbinicarpus mandragora. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40982A2949250. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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