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Salvia veneris

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA LAMIALES LABIATAE

Scientific Name: Salvia veneris
Species Authority: Hedge
Common Name(s):
English Kythrean Sage
Synonym(s):
Salvia crassifolia Sibth. & Smith

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(i,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Viney, D.E., Christofides, Y. & Kadis, C.
Reviewer(s): Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority)
Justification:
The area in which the species is found is very small, and that there is a high likelihood of decline in the area, extent and quality of habitat. This species is potentially threatened by any future northward or eastward expansion of the nearby village of Kythrea, which could wipe out the last remaining population. There are a number of other potential threats.
History:
1997 Rare (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to northern Cyprus, this species has an extremely local distribution just west of Kythrea. Although previously it was believed to be restricted to two small sites at the summit of limestone hills, more recent fieldwork in Spring 2004 found it growing in a continuous area of 12 km², mostly on a particular soil type called Kythrea Flysch. A small part of the population also grows on lava intrusions.
Countries:
Native:
Cyprus
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is estimated that there are approximately 4,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A perennial herb found on the summit of limestone hills or in sites composed of alternating beds of greywacke, marl, sandstone and basal conglomerate.

The arrangement of leaves in a basal rosette is unusual for plants in this family, which normally have leaves in pairs on opposite sides of the stem. The unusual leaf arrangement is thought to be an adaptation to the strong grazing pressure by goats.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is potentially threatened by any northward or eastward expansion of the nearby village of Kythrea, which could wipe out the last remaining population. It is also potentially threatened by reafforestation schemes, road construction, military installations and exercises, grazing, burning from the nearby rubbish dump, and dust from nearby limestone quarries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions in Place
Legally: Part of the area in which this species grows lies within the "Lakkovounara State Forest", which is protected by Forest Law from any private interference, while the rest of the area is private or government land. The species is protected by the Bern Convention where it is listed in Appendix 1. Based on the results of a Life Third Countries Project, Salvia veneris has been included 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 by the Government of Cyprus in 2005.

In situ: No measures taken as of yet.

Ex situ: No measures taken as of yet.

Actions Needed
Most importantly, the habitat (particularly that outside the State Forest), as well as the species itself deserves legal protection at the local level. The site should be managed in a way that the species is not endangered by the expansion of the nearby village of Kythrea. Though well-adapted to grazing by goats (and probably not able to compete with faster-growing competitors in the absence of grazing), the site should be managed so that it is not over-grazed. Storage of seeds in seedbanks and ex situ cultivation in botanical gardens

Citation: Viney, D.E., Christofides, Y. & Kadis, C. 2006. Salvia veneris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 August 2014.
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