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Encephalartos schmitzii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA CYCADOPSIDA CYCADALES ZAMIACEAE

Scientific Name: Encephalartos schmitzii
Species Authority: Malaisse
Common Name(s):
English Schmitz's Cycad

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Bösenberg, J.D.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Originally listed as Near Threatened, but the available data supports a listing of Vulnerable in terms of overall population numbers and evidence of ongoing decline (at least 10% over three generations, capped to 100 years from now).
History:
2003 Near Threatened (IUCN 2003)
2003 Near Threatened
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: E. schmitzii occurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the extreme south of the Kundelungu plateau in the Shaba province and in Zambia along the Muchinga escarpment in the Luapula and Northern provinces. The distribution broadly follows the catchment of the Luapula River. Occurs at elevations from 1.000 to 1,400 m.

Plants described by Ian Turner, Jean-Pierre Sclavo and Francios Malaisse in 2006 as E. flavistrobilus are know considered a synonym of E. schmitzii. These plants occur at a single locality in the North Western province of Zambia, to the east of Solwezi. Approximate elevation is 1,300 m. The extent of occurrence of that subpopulation is about 30 km².
Countries:
Native:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Zambia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It was originally thought to be a very restricted species in Zambia, where there were several reports of only one plant, but since they have been found in larger numbers across quite a wide range.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species grows in sandy quartzitic soils in Miombo woodlands. The plants form numerous basal suckers.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): E. schmitzii is threatened due to over-collecting for ornamental purposes and as a result of habitat loss caused by bush clearing for agricultural purposes. Too frequent fires may have also driven this cycad's pollinator to extinction.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Populations occur in the buffer area of the North Luangwa Reserve.

Citation: Bösenberg, J.D. 2010. Encephalartos schmitzii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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