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Brachystephanus giganteus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA SCROPHULARIALES ACANTHACEAE

Scientific Name: Brachystephanus giganteus
Species Authority: Champl.
Taxonomic Notes: Synonym = Oreacanthus mannii Benth.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3c; B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-03-25
Assessor(s): Darbyshire, I.
Reviewer(s): Onana, J.-M.
Justification:
A species of the gregarious, mass-flowering herbaceous community of upland forest, it is more restricted in altitudinal range than Acanthopale decempedalis. It appears locally common on Mt Cameroon but is scarce elsewhere, being restricted to Mwanenguba and on Mt Kupe in the current checklist area. Both are pre-1980 collections, and this species was not recorded during extensive inventory work at these sites in the 1990s, perhaps because these surveys did not coincide with mass-flowering years. The assessment of this taxon made in Cheek et al. (2004: 139), based on its habitat loss exceeding 30% in c. 30 years, is maintained here since no new data are available apart from the Lebialem record that does not change the assessment. The species is recorded from ten locations with a minimum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) of 64 km² using 4 km² cells (the area of occupancy (AOO) at Mt Cameroon and Mt Oku is probably more extensive), an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 11,958 km² and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of the habitat hence it also qualifies for listing as Vulnerable under criterion B.
History:
2004 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from Equatorial Guinea (Bioko (2 coll.)), Cameroon (SW Region: Kupe-Bakossi (2 coll.); Rumpi Hills (1 coll.); Mt Cameroon (13 coll.); Lebialem-Bamboutos (1 coll.).  NW Region: Bamenda Highlands (Mt Oku (3 coll.), Bafut Ngemba (1 coll.))). Area of occupancy (AOO) was estimated using 4 km2 grid cells.
Countries:
Native:
Cameroon; Equatorial Guinea (Bioko)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population size is not known but is in decline.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Grows in closed canopy montane forest; (1,300-) 2,000-2,600 m alt.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats: much of the submontane and montane forest in SW Region remains relatively undisturbed, but clearance for agriculture has been widespread in the Bamenda Highlands, threatening these populations. Furthermore, the cyclical mass-flowering habit of this species may make it susceptible to short-term stochastic change, for example local fire events or landslides which could decimate seedling populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Management suggestions: current population sizes in terms of both number of individuals and area of occupancy should be assessed as this is not clear from the specimen data. A better understanding of the flowering cycle of this community should be gained, including population fluctuations between cycles. Bamenda Highlands populations outside protected areas may provide valuable information on how immature populations respond to increased anthropogenic pressures. In addition, a survey of this taxon should be carried out during the next mass-flowering year on Mt Kupe and Mwanenguba. Occurs in a few protected areas, e.g. Mt Cameroon.

Citation: Darbyshire, I. 2014. Brachystephanus giganteus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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