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Cypripedium yunnanense

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA LILIOPSIDA ORCHIDALES ORCHIDACEAE

Scientific Name: Cypripedium yunnanense
Species Authority: Franch.
Common Name(s):
English The Yunnan Cypripedium
Synonym(s):
Cypripedium taibaiense G. Zhou & S.C. Chen
Cypripedium amesianum Schltr.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v)c(iv); C2b ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-09-09
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M.
Justification:

Cypripedium yunnanense is rare and very local with a scattered and restricted distribution to southwest and west Sichuan, northwest Yunnan and southeast Xizang in China.

The trend of the population is decreasing, the species occurs as solitary plants or in small groups, the total number of mature individuals is estimated to be less than 2,500 with extreme fluctuations and the abundance of the species has been significantly reduced during the recent decades due to many threats especially collection, trampling, weak recovery, ecological disturbance, deforestation, tourism, exploitation for horticultural and infrastructure development. The estimated area of occupancy of the species is about 250 km2, the number of mature individuals is low with an estimated continuing decline in the number of mature individuals and the quality of habitats in the three locations. The species therefore qualifies for listing as Endangered (EN).

History:
2004 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Cypripedium yunnanense is endemic to China and confined to southwest and west Sichuan, northwest Yunnan and southeast Xizang. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 550,000 km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated at 250 km². C. yunnanense can be found between 2,700 and 3,800 m altitude.

Sources: Bänziger et al. 2008, Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Li 2005, Li and Zhou 2005, Sing-chi and Zhong-Jian 2005, Singchi et al. 2012.

Countries:
Native:
China (Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

Cypripedium yunnanense is a very rare, uncommon and very local slipper orchid species with a very restricted distribution, which occurs as solitary plants or in very small groups, the abundance of the species has been significantly reduced in recent decades, the population density is low and the trend of the population is decreasing. No precise population count has been made but the total number of mature individuals is estimated to be less than 2,500 with extreme fluctuations and the species often forms more or less loose groups and very small colonies of less than 50 individuals.

Sources: Bänziger et al. 2008, Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Li 2005, Li and Zhou 2005, Sing-chi and Zhong-Jian 2005, Singchi et al. 2012.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Cypripedium yunnanense occurs in a variety of habitats from Pinus forest, open forests, grassy slopes, mossy banks, streams in mixed forest, shrubberies and meadows. The species grows on northern and western slopes in moist well-drained soils, on steep places in humus rich or rocky organic soils, from neutral to slightly acidic limestone substrates. The species prefers shaded to mid-shaded habitats and flowers in May. 

Sources: Bänziger et al. 2008, Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Li 2005, Li and Zhou 2005, Sing-chi and Zhong-Jian 2005, Singchi et al. 2012.

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Cypripedium yunnanense is an ornamental plant used for horticulture, but cultivation is very difficult.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Cypripedium yunnanense is sensitive to changes in the environment and is typically associated with a specific set of habitat conditions, such as rocky high altitude, nutrient availability, steep places, mossy and shaded habitats.

Cypripedium yunnanense is native to high mountain habitats and is easily damaged by early frosts in the spring and direct exposure to sunlight. The species is under numerous anthropogenic threats including the exploitation for horticultural purposes, ruthless collection, trampling,  weak recovery, regional and international trade, ecological disturbance, degradation of the habitat due mainly to tourism, leisure activities, urbanization, infrastructure development, management activities, recreation activities by direct effect (e.g., destruction of plants) and indirect effect (e.g., alteration of habitat).

Cypripedium yunnanense is threatened more generally by climate change, drought, deforestation, random cutting and soil erosion.

In addition, the intrinsic factors of the population are also considered a threat to Cypripedium yunnanense because the distribution of the species is limited to a very small number of sites and low number of mature individuals.

Sources: Bänziger et al. 2008, Cribb 1997, Cribb and Sandison 1998, efloras 2008, eMonocot 2013, Frosch and Cribb 2012, Li 2005, Li and Zhou 2005, Sing-chi and Zhong-Jian 2005, Singchi et al. 2012.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

All orchid species are included under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

However, the following actions are recommended to protect Cypripedium yunnanense:

- Species based management and conservation is essential to ensure to protect the remaining limited number of individuals.

- Knowledge of the optimal growth conditions is required. Such information may help to develop effective ways to restore the natural habitat of the species

- Initiate long term community based conservation to protect the habitat and species.

- Protection of the habitat, especially from collection, trampling and deforestation.

- Fencing the vulnerable sites.

- Management of habitat to reduce competition for resources (i.e., light, water, nutrients).

 - Sympathetic management of isolated populations.

- Monitoring programs are needed to track the status of existing populations with respect to ongoing management practices.

- Learning about the mycorrhizal relationships of this species with the goal of establishing successful protocols for symbiotic ex situ propagation and cultivation.

- Further research on the life cycle and ecology of the species.

- Land protection and habitat diffuse management can be implemented to conserve habitat near or between occurrences.

- Raise public awareness.

- Protection of the living individuals of the species through legislation and legal protection which ban the species not to be picked or dug up.

- Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.

- Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.

- Estimate the population size and study their dynamics. 


Citation: Rankou, H. 2014. Cypripedium yunnanense. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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