Encephalartos aemulans 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos aemulans Vorster
Common Name(s):
English Ngotshe Cycad

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v); C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Donaldson, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Agenbag, L. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Listed as Critically Endangered under criterion B because it occurs essentially at one location with continuing decline in the number of individuals, and under criterion C because there are <250 mature plants with >90% in one subpopulation. The A criterion (used in the previous assessment) was not used as the extent of the decline cannot be properly estimated.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is endemic to South Africa and occurs in the KwaZulu-Natal province. It is known from one viable population in the Vryheid district. The plants grow on a hill at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,100 m. Two old male plants were found approximately 10 km away at an altitude of 600 m.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:2
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):1100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:According to Scott-Shaw (1999), there were 150 plants surviving in the wild. Donaldson and co-workers counted <100 (in part of the population) in 1997, but unverified reports put the total at about 250 individuals. Active seedling regeneration is taking place.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:100-250
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The plants prefer south facing sandstone cliffs in short grassland. Plants also occur below the cliffs in humus-rich scree where especially small plants were found in more shady conditions. Mature coning plants are fully exposed. The north and north-east slopes only had a few very old plants and conditions do not seem to favour seedling regeneration. The climate is hot in summer and cold in winter with possible light frost. Rainfall is 600-800 mm per annum with a summer maximum.
Generation Length (years):70

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species' occurrence at a single site means the plants are vulnerable to environmental perturbations. Collecting has been a problem in the past although the bulk of the plants now occur within a private nature reserve. Collecting, however, still remains an issue.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. A large part of the population occurs within a private nature reserve. However the reserve is not secure against poachers and the owner believes that plants are still disappearing.

Citation: Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos aemulans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41765A10533658. . Downloaded on 23 June 2018.
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