Benthamia monophylla 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Benthamia monophylla Schltr.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2016-10-04
Assessor(s): Contu, S., Hermans, C., Hermans, J., Cribb, P., Du Puy, D., Williams, E. & Rajaovelona, L.R.
Reviewer(s): Andriantiana, J., Rabakonandrianina, E., Rabehevitra, A.D., Ramandimbisoa, B., Razafindrahaja, V. & Ravololomanana, N.
Contributor(s): Bosser, J.M. & Budden, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hargreaves, S.
Benthamia monophylla is endemic to Madagascar and is restricted to ericaceous vegetation at high altitudes. There are five locations for this species and a decline in the area, extent and quality of this species habitat of ericaceous vegetation due to cattle grazing and fire. The minimum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) based on herbarium specimen data is 32 km2. However due to the specific habitat requirements of this species, the small distribution of ericaceous vegetation and the threats the habitat faces it is inferred that the AOO is close to the thresholds for Vulnerable in criterion B2. The species is therefore assessed as Near Threatened, almost meeting the values needed for B2ab(iii). The species needs to be monitored to ensure that it doesn't fall into a higher threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Benthamia monophylla is endemic to Madagascar. It occurs in the Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa and Toliara provinces, from 1,800–2,600 m (Hermans et al. 2007). The species is known from six herbarium specimens collected from 1922–2014 from three localities, Marojejy National Park, Andringitra National Park and Andohahela National Park. However it has been recently observed in the Itremo National Park and Antoetra in Fianarantsoa province (L. Rajaovelona pers. obs. 2010, J. Andriantiana pers. obs. 2016).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:32
Number of Locations:3
Lower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no detailed population information available for this species. On one seed collection from Andringitra National Park in 2014 it was noted that 19 plants were sampled for seed conservation.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is a terrestrial orchid with a single leaf, which grows in montane ericaceous shrubland, high altitude moss, lichen-rich forest and rocky crevices (Hermans et al. 2007). The species occurs in the Madagascar ericoid thickets ecoregion (Olson et al. 2001).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no known uses for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is restricted to high altitude ericoid thickets. This vegetation type is only found on the upper slopes of Madagascar's main mountains and there has been a notable degradation of the natural vegetation of this ecoregion over the past century (Crowley 2001). The major threat is conversion to highland cattle pasture and regular fires to stimulate young grass growth (Crowley 2001). Andringitra and Marojejy mountains have the best preserved montane habitats, but cattle grazing is still present at Andringitra (Crowley 2001). Research on the effects of climate change in Madagascar discovered that ericoid thickets are one of the most vulnerable vegetation types, with future predicted losses of species and land cover (Brown et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Most of the known localities for this species are within four protected areas; Andringitra National Park, Andohahela National Park, Itremo National Park and Marojejy National Park. There is one seed collection of this species conserved at Silo National des Graines Forestières in Madagascar and duplicated to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK. Further ex situ conservation is recommended. This species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES 2016). Surveys for this species at all known sites are recommended to study the current population size and trends.

Citation: Contu, S., Hermans, C., Hermans, J., Cribb, P., Du Puy, D., Williams, E. & Rajaovelona, L.R. 2018. Benthamia monophylla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T44393380A69785668. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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