Meconopsis superba 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Papaverales Papaveraceae

Scientific Name: Meconopsis superba King ex Prain
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2013. The Plant List Version 1.1. Available at: (Accessed: July 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2015-11-25
Assessor(s): Bhutan Endemic Flowering Plants Workshop
Reviewer(s): Scott, J.A. & Tallant, J.
Contributor(s): Dema, S., Dhendup, T., Tamang, K., Dorji, K., Dorji, T., Gyeltshen, N., Gyeltshen, N., Katel, O.N., Letro, Namgangla, Tobgay, K., Wangchuk, R., Thinley, T., Wangdi, Y., Wangmo, C., Wangmo, S. & Yangzom, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Meconopsis superba has a very small range (extent of occurrence is 38 km2 and area of occupancy is 20 km2), and although it is very common where it occurs (the Ha La locality comprises over 4,000 mature plants), there is continuing decline in the quality of the habitat and number of mature individuals due to the periodic use of fire to create grazing. A large part of the population occurs within a protected area which may be treated as a single location, whilst the three localities outside are treated as three separate locations (so four to five locations in total). Climate change is also a long-term threat to this species. Based on this information M. superba qualifies for listing as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to western Bhutan occurring in the Ha district (Ha La and Kyu La), on the slope west of Tshabjo La (Laptsa), between Gozhi La and Tshabjo La and above Tsawa campsite. Recorded between 4,100 and 4,250 m.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:20
Number of Locations:4-5
Lower elevation limit (metres):4100
Upper elevation limit (metres):4250
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Although very localized, it is a common species where it occurs. Sample plots (20 x 30 m) at three of the localities produced counts of 84, 69 and 157 individuals. The population size of the subpopulation at Ha La in 2012 comprised 4,657 mature individuals (direct observation of all individuals by N. Gyeltshen pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A monocarpic herb which grows in wet areas on rocks amongst shrubs on scree slopes.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: All species in this genus are grown as ornamentals.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The increasing occurrence of fire is a threat to the species as it removes the important cover which protects the seedlings and young plants from environmental extremes.

There are also concerns about the impact of climate change, however, this is a long-term future threat which is not likely to impact the species over the next three generations (ten years).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in the Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve.

Citation: Bhutan Endemic Flowering Plants Workshop. 2017. Meconopsis superba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T83607412A84447446. . Downloaded on 17 March 2018.
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