Femeniasia balearica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Femeniasia balearica
Species Authority: (J.J.Rodr.) Susanna
Centaurea balearica J.J.Rodr.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Mus, M. & Rita Larrucea, J.
Reviewer(s): Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority)
The area where this species is found covers less than 100 km², the extent and/or quality of habitat is declining, its populations are extremely fragmented, and the total number of individuals is declining. F. balearica covers a very small area and less than 2,200 mature individuals are found in six subpopulations.
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to the Balearic Islands, Femeniasia balearica now occurs only in six sites in the north of the island of Minorca.
Spain (Baleares)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Less than 2,200 individuals are found in six subpopulations.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This woody perennial shrub or small tree is a typical seashore species that grows in dry sunny places on sandy soils.

This woody perennial reproduces from seed. Its spines protect it from herbivores and trampling, but unfortunately not from motor vehicles. In some specialist literature the genus Femeniasia is considered to be synonymous with Centaurea. This means that some lists of protected species cite this plant under the name of C. balearica, demonstrating both the practical as well as legal problems that changes of nomenclature can cause.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by building and road construction, although these activities may also create opportunities for colonization. This species is often removed from beach paths because of its spines. Several individuals disappeared when a land owner planted pines (Pinus halepensis) in one of its subpopulations. It has been observed that in some years the activities of wood-eating beetles (Oxythrea funesta and Tropinota hirta) seem to reduce seed germination.

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 that guarantees it protection in its natural habitat. Internationally, Femeniasia balearica is included in Appendix I of the Bern Convention and as a priority species in Annexes II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive (in both cases under the name Centaurea balearica). In the context of the Birds Directive, the European Union protects the habitat of this species as an Important Bird Area.

In situ: A re-establishment plan for F. balearica is currently being drafted at the University of the Balearic Islands.

Ex situ: Seeds are being stored and individuals are cultivated at the Botanical Garden of Sóller (Majorca).

Actions Needed
Research is needed to understand this species' population dynamics (births and deaths per year or per generation) and the effect of competition and herbivory on young plant survival. The re-establishment plan that is being drafted needs to be completed and implemented. It is extremely important that motorized vehicles be prohibited from driving in the area containing this species.

Citation: Mus, M. & Rita Larrucea, J. 2006. Femeniasia balearica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 March 2015.
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