|Scientific Name:||Aquilegia nuragica|
|Species Authority:||Arrigoni & Nardi|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v); D ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority)|
This species has been categorized as Critically Endangered because the only site where it is known is extremely small, occupying just a few dozen square metres, and the number of individuals is very low and seem to be declining. Only 10-15 individuals are believed to exist in the unique population, although it is difficult to evaluate actual numbers due to the inaccessibility of the site. The lack of other recorded sites makes it difficult to evaluate the status of the decline, but the species is certainly facing a high extinction risk due to natural factors rather than human impact.
|Range Description:||Aquilegia nuragica is endemic to Sardinia and only found in one area of about 50 m² at Gorropu, near Dorgali.|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||Only 10-15 individuals are believed to exist in the this unique population.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
This perennial herb grows in a gorge along the seasonal Flumineddu river on the nearly vertical limestone cliffs. Occasionally it occurs in the dry, sandy pebble substrate of the riverbed as a result of seeds dispersed from the overhanging cliff. However only a few individuals grow here, because they are regularly washed away during floods.
The genus Aquilegia has about 70 species worldwide. Three of these (A. barbaricina, A. nuragica and A. nugorensis) are endemic to Sardinia. These and two more (A. champagnatii and A. magellensis) are on the Italian Red List. A. nuragica was first described in 1978. It is clearly genetically isolated from the other Sardinian Aquilegia species as well as from the Common Columbine, A. vulgaris, which occurs all over Europe but not on Sardinia.
|Major Threat(s):||The species is certainly facing a high extinction risk due to natural factors rather than human impact. Grazing does not seem to be a problem since the plant is toxic.|
Actions in Place
Legally: Currently there is no legal protection for this species, despite the fact that the regional council of Sardinia proposed a draft law in 2001 concerning protection of plant species on the island, and that A. nuragica is listed in the Annex as an endemic species. However this law is controversial as it may increase collecting interest in the species.
In situ: The site is situated in the Gennargentu National Park, but due to the lack of a management committee, no protective measures are in place.
Ex situ: No measures taken.
The species is mentioned on several tourist websites, which might attract collectors. Detailed information concerning the exact location of the species should be removed in order to keep people away from the site. An action plan urgently needs to be developed and implemented. Cultivation in botanical gardens is recommended.
|Citation:||Camarda, I. 2006. Aquilegia nuragica. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 May 2013.|
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