Zamia portoricensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Zamia portoricensis
Species Authority: Urb.
Common Name(s):
Spanish marunguey

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii,v); C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Stevenson, D.W.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Originally classified as Critically Endangered based on criterion B. However, the extent of occurrence (220 km²) indicates it should be Endangered (EN). Qualifies for EN based on an extent of occurrence of 220 km², occurrence at only one location, and under criterion C1 based on a population size of 500 mature individuals and estimated decline of 20% over two generations.
2003 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: One of the Caribbean species of Zamia that is found only in Western Puerto Rico in the region of the Susua State Forest.
Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico (main island))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population size is estimated to be <500.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Zamia portoricensis grows on very dry limestone soils that often contain an element of serpentine. The vegetaion is subtropical moist forest.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In visits to this population every year for the past seven years, neither seeds nor potential pollinating insect have been seen. Older pollen cones do not have the indicator weevil exit holes. Thus, it appears that the pollinator(s) may have been eradicated as a result of the aerial application of pesticides for local agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of the CITES Appendices. Z. portoricensis has become very rare in Puerto Rico in part due to development but also as a result over collection for nursery plants. Although found in protected parks and a National Forest, this has done little to protect the species from collecting and plants can be found in plant stores in New York City labeled as Z. pumila and Z. floridana. However, the species is easily raised from seed and young plants have begun to appear on the market and artificial propagation appears to be in place. Of more concern is the lack of seed set in one of the larger populations.

Citation: Stevenson, D.W. 2010. Zamia portoricensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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