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Naufraga balearica

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA APIALES UMBELLIFERAE

Scientific Name: Naufraga balearica
Species Authority: Constance & Cannon
Common Name(s):
French Naufragée des Baléares

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-06-24
Assessor(s): Moreno Saiz, J.C.
Reviewer(s): de Montmollin, B., Bilz, M. & Lutz, M.L.
Contributor(s): Mus Amezquita, M. & Rita Larrucea, J.
Justification:
The area where it is found is very limited, the population is fragmented, and the number of mature individuals is in decline. Small, isolated subpopulations cover an area of less than 1,000 m², which makes this species very vulnerable to extinction.
History:
2006 Critically Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Critically Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Naufraga balearica occurs only on the island of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands (Spain). Another subpopulation of what is believed to be the same species was discovered in 1981 on the western coast of Corsica (France), between Cargèse and Piana, but this had disappeared by 1983 despite intensive field surveys. Its indigenous status is unclear (Jeanmonod and Gamisans 2007).

It has been estimated that its extent of occurrence is 8 km² (Commission of the European Communities 2009).

 


Countries:
Native:
Spain (Baleares)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is known from less than five localities and the population is severely fragmented. There has been a decline in number of mature individuals of 50% or more in the last years (Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal del MARM 2007).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This herbaceous species is found at the base of coastal cliffs to the north of the island. It usually grows in shady cracks in boulders where a little calcareous soil or clay has accumulated, and needs humid conditions.

This species is the only representative of the genus Naufraga. While the plant can reproduce from seed, it can also form new individuals vegetatively from its lateral shoots. The flowers have been shown to be pollinated by ants, which is very rare in the plant kingdom. By having tiny flowers grouped close together and near the ground means that ants can quickly visit them to seek nectar, and thus transfer pollen from one flower to another.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Naufraga balearica is sensitive to droughts, mainly in spring. Repeated droughts over the last 20 years have resulted in a continuous decline in the numbers of individuals. With climate change, a scenario of a warmer, drier regime puts this species at risk. Some other species living in association with N. balearica are more drought-resistant, thus have benefited from drier conditions and provide increased competition.

Naufraga balearica is also threatened by intensive trampling by goats, although grazing may also reduce the competitive pressure from other species. In the 1980s plants were removed by collectors, which may explain the decline in the original population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions in Place
Legally: This species is listed in Annex I (in danger of extinction) of the Spanish royal decree 439/1990, which grants it protection in its natural habitat. Internationally N. balearica is included in two legal documents: Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and Annexes II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive as a priority species.

In situ: In 1997 within the framework of an EU LIFE project entitled "Conservation of natural habitats and plant species in Corsica", several projects were undertaken which included habitat protection, land acquisition, and restoration work for this species. A reintroduction attempt on Corsica using material from the Geneva Botanic Garden was unsuccessful. On the Balearic Islands, a conservation programme undertaken by the Universitat de les Iles Balears and financed by the MAVA foundation has been launched in 2003.

Ex situ: Material collected from the Balearic Islands is being cultivated in the Botanic Garden of Sóller on Majorca (Spain). Corsican material (all of the same provenance) has been cultivated in the botanic gardens of Geneva, Brest and Porquerolles since 1981, the year when the population on Corsica was discovered.

Actions Needed
Research is needed to understand the reproductive biology and environmental constraints for this species in order to undertake better management. Permanent plots are needed to monitor population numbers over time and the effect of climate change. Research will also help guide re-introduction attempts to Corsica, where ideally Corsican material should be used. In addition, the management and ownership issues of the sites where it either grows or once grew need to be resolved to guarantee the long-term survival of this species.

Citation: Moreno Saiz, J.C. 2013. Naufraga balearica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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