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Nassauvia serpens

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA ASTERALES COMPOSITAE

Scientific Name: Nassauvia serpens
Species Authority: d'Urv.
Common Name(s):
English Snakeplant

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-04-16
Assessor(s): Upson, R., McAdam, J.H., Clubbe, C.P. & Lewis, R.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Bilz, M.
Contributor(s): Broughton, D.A.
Justification:

The Snakeplant is a national endemic of the Falkland Islands. It is is rare to frequent in upland stone runs. Records from several sites where grazing is absent or at low levels, provide evidence that stone runs are, at least in part, a retreat habitat and that Nassauvia serpens was once more abundant in the lowlands before livestock were introduced. Although it has a limited extent of occurrence (13,444 km² and an even smaller area of occupancy) the population of this species is inferred to be in a relatively stable state, given that the majority of subpopulations occur in upland stone runs away from immediate grazing pressure and that stone runs are a relatively stable habitat. Hence the species is assessed as Least Concern. However, with its apparent affinity for water courses, future climate changes may impact on the area available for colonization by this species if a drying of the region occurs. Hence ongoing monitoring and periodic reassessment of the status of this species is required.

History:
2003 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: N. serpens is widespread but scarce across the Falkland Islands, occurring in 23 ten km UTM grid squares. Five locations (Big Arch Island, Chartres Horse Paddock, Little Chartres, Narrows Island, Weddell Island) are now known to support populations of N. serpens at lowland or upland sites outside of stone runs.
Countries:
Native:
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: N. serpens is scarce across the Falkland Islands and locally rare to frequent.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: N. serpens grows predominantly within upland inland rock (stone runs), but where grazing is absent or low it can also be found within Fachine scrub, fern beds and dwarf shrub heath. It has an apparent preference for sites near to running water and is found across an altitudinal range of 5-700 m.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Grazing and trampling pressures are the principal threats to N. serpens. Climate change may also be a threat to certain populations if increased periods of drought occur and significantly decrease water availability.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Ex situ Conservation:
Seed from this species is stored in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.

DNA samples are banked and stored at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

A single N. serpens plant is growing at Falkland Conservation's mini botanical garden in Stanley, Falkland Islands.

In situ Conservation:
The species occurs in protected areas.

Research Needed:
  • Research into genetic heterogeneity within and between upland and lowland subpopulations to inform conservation planning.

Citation: Upson, R., McAdam, J.H., Clubbe, C.P. & Lewis, R. 2012. Nassauvia serpens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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