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Phlebolobium maclovianum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA CAPPARALES CRUCIFERAE

Scientific Name: Phlebolobium maclovianum
Species Authority: (d'Urv.) O.E.Schultz.
Common Name(s):
English Falkland Rock-cress
Synonym(s):
Brassica macloviana d'Urv.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) 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 endemic Falkland Rock-cress (Phlebolobium maclovianum) is protected by law in the Falkland Islands, however, it is still threatened. There are currently estimated to be fewer than 1,000 individuals in the total population. Subpopulations occur away from direct grazing and generally consist of less than 20 individuals. This species was reported as 'abundant on the sea coast' by Hooker (1847), one of the early botanists to visit the Falklands but is now considered scarce. This provides indirect evidence of a significant population reduction.

There is evidence that grazing has caused this inferred contraction in range and most extant subpopulations are severely fragmented, small and restricted to areas free of livestock.

The species qualifies for listing as Vulnerable under the criteria for extent of occurrence and area of occupancy plus the population size, however, it also qualifies for an Endangered listing under the area of occupancy, hence following the rules the Falkland Rock-cress is listed as Endangered.
History:
2003 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Phlebolobium maclovianum is an endemic species which is widespread but extremely scarce across the Falkland Islands, occurring in 26 ten km UTM grid squares (this includes seven historical records made prior to 1980 that have not yet been followed up). The majority of the subpopulations are small (<20 individuals) and isolated and occur in the west of the archipelago. The largest two subpopulations consist of 100-200 individuals and occur at ungrazed sites.
Countries:
Native:
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are currently estimated to be fewer than 1,000 individuals in the total population. Subpopulations occur away from direct grazing and generally consist of fewer than 20 individuals. This species was reported as 'abundant on the sea coast' by Hooker (1847), one of the early botanists to visit the Falklands but is now considered scarce. This provides indirect evidence of a significant population reduction. Most individuals appear to occur in small and relatively isolated subpopulations.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Ranging in altitude from sea level to 300 m, Phlebolobium maclovianum occurs on rocky outcrops, ledges of sheltered coastal cliffs or within upland small-fern beds in association with rock outcrops. Occurrences on ungrazed islands suggest a broader habitat range, with records of subpopulations within coastal acid grassland, Tussac, Native Boxwood scrub, neutral grassland and coastal dwarf shrub heath. All data on maximum vegetation height for the various sites suggests a minimum of 0.5 m at grazed sites, possibly reflecting a less accessible refuge site.

Little is known about the ecology of this species.

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Sold locally as garden plant, using plants propagated from sustainably collected seed.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The distribution of this species suggests that grazing has been the major cause of decline in this species and is likely to continue to be a threat; most extant populations are restricted to areas free of livestock. Genetic erosion through small, fragmented subpopulations is also likely to be a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Ex situ Conservation:

A 2008 seed collection from Weddell Island is held at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.

Plants have been propagated from seed at Stanley Nurseries for local sale as garden plants.


In situ Conservation:

Falkland Rock-cress is listed on the Falkland Islands Conservation of Wildlife and Nature Ordinance (Falkland Islands Government 1999).

Important Plant Areas have been identified which cover all the currently known 'best' sites for the Falkland Rock-cress (Upson 2012).

Subpopulations are known from Middle Island, an ungrazed nature reserve owned by Falklands Conservation.


Conservation Needed:

  • Collection of leaf material from across range for DNA banking and genetic studies.
  • Continue expanding the range of educational and awareness-raising activities.


Research Needed:

  • Continue searches for new subpopulations and re-location of historical records.
  • Set up long term demographic monitoring of subpopulations in order to gather information on vegetative growth, reproduction, recruitment and mortality at a range of sites.
  • With such fragmented subpopulations it would be useful to investigate the level of inbreeding at each site in order to inform conservation planning.



Citation: Upson, R., McAdam, J.H., Clubbe, C.P. & Lewis, R. 2012. Phlebolobium maclovianum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 October 2014.
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