|Scientific Name:||Leptocereus quadricostatus|
|Species Authority:||(Bello) Britton & Rose|
Cereus quadricostatus Bello
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered D ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||Clubbe, C. & Pollard, B. (RBG, Kew), Smith-Abbott, J., Walker, R. & Woodfield, N. (BVI National Parks Trust)|
|Reviewer/s:||Stuppy, W. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Cacti & Succulent Plant Red List Authority)|
Leptocereus quadricostatus is a large bushy, scrambling cactus, 2–4 m high, originally described as endemic to Puerto Rico (PR) (Britton and Wilson 1923). It was known from only a few individuals in the dry southwest of Puerto Rico (Acevedo pers. comm.). Based on the PR population it was listed as Endangered in the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants (Walter and Gillett 1998). The discovery of a previously unrecorded subpopulation of 20–25 individuals (the dense clumping nature of this cactus makes a precise count impossible) on one of the limestone cays within the Western Salt Pond complex on Anegada, British Virgin Islands (BVI) has added a second global location for this species. However, the total global population remains < 50 individuals qualifying Leptocereus quadricostatus as Critically Endangered under criterion D.
The dry southwest region of Puerto Rico has seen much habitat clearance for residential development in recent years and this subpopulation of Leptocereus quadricostatus may be under pressure. Given the continuing fragmentation and loss of habitat to development in this region of Puerto Rico it would probably meet CR C2a(i), however, we have been unable to verify the degree of loss of L. quadricostatus habitat and so have not included this criterion in the assessment.
The island of Anegada is under extreme pressure for residential and tourism development. This has already resulted in documented habitat fragmentation and loss. However, the population of Leptocereus quadricostatus is located on one of the limestone cays within the Western Salt Pond Ramsar site and there is currently no direct pressure on this habitat. However, this habitat is < 2 m above sea level and so will be threatened by global warming and sea level rises.
|Range Description:||Found on Anegada, British Virgin Islands (BVI) where it is restricted to an area of less than 100 m x 100 m on one of the limestone cays of the Western Salt Ponds. Also found in Puerto Rico (PR) where it is reported from a small area in the dry southwest region of Guánica.
The global population comprises two subpopulations. The Anegada subpopulation has been surveyed and found to comprise 20-25 individual clumps. The dense clumping nature of this species makes a precise determination of number of mature individuals very difficult, but 20-25 is a reliable estimate. Pedro Acevedo (pers. comm.) has told us that the Puerto Rico subpopulation is less than 10 giving a global population size of approximately 35 mature individuals.
Native:Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands, British
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||Found growing on open limestone with very little soil. No study of the breeding biology has been undertaken, but we have seen the Anegada individuals in both flower and fruit.|
Anegada is under severe development pressure resulting in both loss of habitat to residential and tourism infrastructure, and further fragmentation is expected due to upgrading and construction of new roads. However, the location of L. quadricostatus is in an area unlikely to be damaged from this type of development.
The highest point on Anegada is approx. 10 m above sea level. Most of the habitat for L. quadricostatus is <2 m above sea level and so global climate change will reduce the quality and area of habitat available to L. quadricostatus. Natural disasters are a current and on-going threat e.g., hurricanes, coastal inundation and earthquakes.
The current status of the PR subpopulation is unknown, but much of this area has been zoned for residential development that may threaten the surviving plants.
Other major threats are those intrinsic factors inherent in such small populations.
The Anegada subpopulation occurs on a limestone cay within the Western Salt Ponds Ramsar site (declared in 1999) and national legislation is currently being prepared to declare this a Protected Area (National Park). BVI Protected Wildlife legislation is currently being revised and consideration is being given to including named endemic/threatened species of flora and fauna within this Schedule.
There is no information on the legal status of the PR subpopulation.
Leptocereus quadricostatus is listed on CITES Appendix II.
|Citation:||Clubbe, C. & Pollard, B. (RBG, Kew), Smith-Abbott, J., Walker, R. & Woodfield, N. (BVI National Parks Trust) 2003. Leptocereus quadricostatus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 May 2013.|
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