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Echium acanthocarpum 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_onStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Lamiales Boraginaceae

Scientific Name: Echium acanthocarpum Svent.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Tajinaste azul de La Gomera
English Blue bugloss
Taxonomic Source(s): Valdés, B. 2011. Boraginaceae. In: Euro+Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Berlin Available at: http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1b(iii)c(iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-01-24
Assessor(s): Bañares Baudet, A., Carqué Álamo, E., Marrero Gómez, M.V., Reyes Betancort, J.A. & Scholz, S.
Reviewer(s): Allen, D.J. & Rivers, M.C.
Justification:
This species is endemic to La Gomera in the Canary Islands. The population is confined to three very small areas (sub-populations). The most recent survey data (Soto Medina 2007) estimated a total number of individuals of 584 (of which c.50% reintroduced and are assumed here to be reproducing), all of which were adult plants. The population trend is uncertain, although one subpopulation has been lost in recent years). The number of mature individuals undergoes extreme fluctuations from year to year, depending on conditions. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is measured at 12 km2, but is increased to 24 km2 to equal the AOO; the actual area of occupancy is <0.1 km2.

The species is assessed as Critically Endangered (CR B1b(iii)c(iv)) on the basis of its restricted extent of occurrence, decline in habitat quality, and the extreme fluctuation in populations.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to La Gomera in the Canary Islands, with three natural isolated subpopulations (Los Roques, El Rejo and Enchereda) known from the central sector of the island (Bañares 1990, Bañares et al. 2001, Carqué Álamo et al. 2003, Gobierno de Canarias 2013). In the last 15 years, the disappearance of some small subpopulations has been observed. A recovery plan has been put in place for the species, and within this framework, the subpopulations at Los Roques and El Rejo have been subject to reinforcement planting, and translocated populations have been established at four localities (Degollada Blanca, Lajugal, Bailadero-Ilala, and La Carbonera; Gobierno de Canarias 2013).

The area of occupancy (AOO) is 24 km2. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is measured at 12 km2, but is increased to 24 km2 to equal the AOO. According to Bañares et al. (2004), the actual area of occupancy is <0.1 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:24Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:24
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):1275
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are three confirmed native subpopulations: El Rejo (145 individuals), Agando (300 individuals), and Encherada (65 individuals) (Bañares et al. 2004); recent surveys have revised these numbers: El Rejo (78 individuals, some the result of reinforcement planting), Agando (447 individuals; probably the result of reinforcement planting and improved survey effort), and Encherada (59 individuals) (Soto Medina 2007). The disappearance of some small subpopulations was observed prior to 2006 (Marrero Gómez et al. 2006). The most recent survey (Soto Medina 2007) estimated a total number of individuals of 584 (of which c.50% reintroduced), all of which were adult plants; it is assumed here that the reintroduced individuals are mature and reproducing, and so are included in the estimate of 584 mature individuals.

This is a short-lived perennial species (c.15 years) and when environmental conditions are suitable (e.g., post-fire, or long drought followed by rain), the number of seedlings and, to a lesser extent, the plants, increases explosively (Marrero-Gómez et al. 2000, Bañares et al. 2004). As a result, it is difficult to infer population trends.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:584Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:YesPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This large shrub grows in thicket dominated by various legume species. The species colonises soil ledges, enclaves or overhangs within cliffs or steep slopes, within the area of laurisilva forest habitat.
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is some ornamental use of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by trampling and grazing pressures from domestic livestock (goats) (Soto Medina 2007), especially during the juvenile phase. Pressure from alien species is another threat. In addition hybridization with Echium aculeatum and E. strictum has been observed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is found in the Garajonay National Park (the population of El Rejo is located entirely within the park, with a small part of another subpopulation also within the park) and in the Majona Natural Park. The species is also included in a Site of Community Interest (SCI). Seeds are stored in various seedbanks. A recovery plan has been put in place for the species. and within this framework, the subpopulations with a new population established and the reinforcement of existing natural populations.

Citation: Bañares Baudet, A., Carqué Álamo, E., Marrero Gómez, M.V., Reyes Betancort, J.A. & Scholz, S. 2017. Echium acanthocarpum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T61655A103368341. . Downloaded on 17 December 2017.
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