Opuntia chaffeyi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Opuntia chaffeyi
Species Authority: Britton & Rose
Taxonomic Notes: Recognized by Britton & Rose (1919), Bravo (1978), Hunt (1999), Hernández et al. (2001) and Hunt et al. (2006) as a good species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-18
Assessor(s): Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. & Goettsch, B.K.
Reviewer(s): Chanson, J.S. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
The known distribution of the species is extremely narrow (extent of occurrence is ca 63 km² and the area of occupancy is ca 12 km²), and it is known from three separate localities which are not severely fragmented. The estimated number of individuals is critically low, only about 15 mature individuals in total. The habitat is expected to decline in the future mostly due to cattle and agricultural development.
2002 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to a small area (ca. 63 km²) in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico. Only three separate localities are known.
Mexico (Zacatecas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species occurs in very low population densities, with no more than five plants at each of the localities, hence the population is potentially not greater than 15 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Grows in the silty flood plain of a dried lake with scarce desert vegetation, mostly Prosopis and Larrea.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The rhizomes of this species are used for medicinal purposes as an anti-inflammatory to treat broken bones.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat destruction mostly by cattle is a major threat. The species is also harvested for medicinal purposes. The area could potentially be impacted by agricultural expansion if bore holes are sunk to get water for irrigation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The establishment of protected areas is needed, as this species grows together with other threatened species. Listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. & Goettsch, B.K. 2013. Opuntia chaffeyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 28 August 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided