Cycas circinalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Cycadaceae

Scientific Name: Cycas circinalis L.
Cycas circinalis fma. undulata (Hort. ex Gaudich.) J.Schust.
Cycas circinalis L. var. angustifolia Miq.
Cycas undulata Desf. ex Gaudich.
Cycas wallichii Miq.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2acd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Varghese, A., Krishnamurthy, V., Garnesan, R. & Manu, K.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Classified as Endangered based on the amount of habitat (50%) estimated to have been lost in the past 60 years (<2 generations). Populations in Maharashta, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala have declined substantially. The decline is expected to continue as the drivers of decline still exist.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:C. circinalis is now known to be an Indian endemic, restricted to the Western Ghats, in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and may also occur south of Maharashtra.
Countries occurrence:
India (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:12
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species occurs at at least 12 sites.

1. Coonoor, Kotagiri, NE slopes of Niligriis (1,000 m), Tamil Nadu - > 500 individuals (dry deciduous forest, savanna woodland)

2. Mettupalyam hills (500-300 m), Tamil Nadu. <500 individuals (Riparian zone)

3. Pillur Slopes (800-500 m), Tamil Nadu, <500 individuals (Semi evergreen, Savanna woodlands and dry deciduous forests)

4. Annamalais, South Tamil Nadu, >300 (Teak plantations, Moist Deciduous forests)

5. Kalakad Mundanthurai Wild life Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu. >300 (Savanna woodlands, Teak plantations, Semi Evergreen forests)

6. Nilambur North, Malppuram district, Kerala (500-300 m). >1,000 (Semi evergreen, Moist Deciduous, Teak Plantations)

7. Silent Valley National PArk, Palghat, Kerala (500-300 m). >200 (Teak plantations, Moist Deciduous and Riparian)

8. Idukki district, Kerala.

9. Achenkovil forests, South Kerala (300 m), >500 (Teak plantations, Moist deciduous, Semi evergreen and Riparian)

10. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala. >200 (Semi evergreen, moist deciduous and Areca plantations)

11. Melkote Wolf Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka. (500-300 m). <1,500 individuals (Scrub forests)

12 Chamundi hills, Karnataka. >100 individuals. (Scrub forests)

The total population size is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-7000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species typically occurs in fairly dense, seasonally dry scrubby woodlands in hilly areas. Plants are also found in rocky areas (dried stream beds). Many trees in this habitat lose their leaves in the dry season, and C. circinalis is also facultatively deciduous in extremely dry times. Populations may also occur in taller moist forests. It appears to be an adaptable species with colonies extending from rocky hill outcrops down to coastal habitats at sea level.
Generation Length (years):40

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Land clearing is thought to have destroyed more than 50% of the original habitat of C. circinalis. Harvesting of cycad leaves for the urban floricultural market may also have an impact on this species. There is evidently medicinal properties in the leaves and pith of stem. Large and old specimens are ruthlessly hacked down for the extraction of pith. Seeds are harvested and used for food as a regular part of the diet.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of the CITES Appendices. Populations occur in the Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka and the Niligri Biosphere Reserve located in the Western Ghats. The Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) near Palode in Kerala was identified as an alternate centre for ex situ conservation of cycads.

Citation: Varghese, A., Krishnamurthy, V., Garnesan, R. & Manu, K. 2010. Cycas circinalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T42089A10627275. . Downloaded on 16 August 2018.
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