Centaurea akamantis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Centaurea akamantis
Species Authority: T.Georgiadis & G.Chatzikyriakou
Common Name(s):
English Akamas Centaury

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Kadis, C. & Christodoulou, S.
Reviewer(s): Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority)
There are only two small fragmented subpopulations covering an area of less than 1 km², and the extent and quality of its habitat is declining. One subpopulation has only 50 individuals, and the other approximately 500. The subpopulations are geographically isolated from each other and if one of them disappears it is unlikely to be recolonized from the other.
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This plant is only found on the Akamas peninsula in the northwestern part of Cyprus.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: One subpopulation has only 50 individuals and the other approximately 500 individuals.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This semi-woody herbaceous plant colonizes steep and humid limestone cliffs in the Avakas and Argaki ton Koufon ("Stream of Snakes") Gorges. C. akamantis is characterized by an extremely long flowering and fruiting period.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Increasing visitor numbers to the Akamas peninsula is contributing to a decline in habitat quality, although the number of mature individuals has remained stable since 1993, when the species was first described. Grazing poses a serious threat, even though it is not permitted in these areas and fines are imposed by the Forestry Department.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Legally: This species is protected by the Bern Convention where it is listed in Appendix I. It is also listed as a priority species in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive. The species is included in the Red Data Book for the threatened plants of Cyprus, to be published in 2005 by the Government of Cyprus. The EU adhesion has had a positive effect on species protection, as management plans are now harmonized with European law.

In situ: The Forestry Department is responsible for the site where Centaurea akamantis grows and has published a plan aimed at protecting the area. Several other strategies to protect the Akamas peninsula have been proposed, including its designation as a Site of Community Interest (SCI) by the Natura 2000 Network and the establishment of a National Park. In 2002 a detailed Actions in Place
EU/World Bank Action Plan was produced for the proposed park. However, it has not been established due to resistance from local communities. This situation demonstrates the difficulty of reconciling the needs of nature conservation and tourist-based economies, especially in the Mediterranean region.

Ex situ: Small numbers of seeds have been collected from the Avakas Gorge and stored in the seed bank at the Department of Botany at the University of Athens. The species has been successfully cultivated at the Cyprus Agricultural Research Institute. However more studies are needed, particularly because it has the potential to be cultivated as an ornamental.

Actions Needed
In situ: The National Park project should be approved by the Cyprus Council of Ministers. The species' habitat should be nominated as a Nature Reserve, which according to the Forest Law, will provide complete and permanent protection to this site and reduce grazing pressure.

Ex situ: Wild seeds of a sufficient genetic range need to be collected and stored in the University of Athens seedbank or other seedbanks. The species would also benefit from cultivation in botanical gardens.

Citation: Kadis, C. & Christodoulou, S. 2006. Centaurea akamantis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 22 May 2015.
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