Nymphaea thermarum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Nymphaeales Nymphaeaceae

Scientific Name: Nymphaea thermarum Eb.Fisch.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-05-20
Assessor(s): Juffe, D.
Reviewer(s): Magdalena, C. & Smith, K.G.
This species is considered as Extinct in the Wild. It disappeared from this location due to over-exploitation of the hot spring that fed its fragile habitat, and no plant is known to have survived in the wild. Habitat restoration for reintroduction of the species is recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:It is endemic to one single locality Mashyuza, southwest Rwanda, only known in the wild from the type locality, collected in 1987.
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:0
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It disappeared from this location due to over-exploitation of the hot spring that fed this fragile habitat, and no plant is known to have survived in the wild. Repeated searchers of numerous hotsprings in Central Africa failed to find a single population (Fischer pers. comm. 2010). At present all the extant plants are in cultivation at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in United Kingdom and in Bonn Botanic Gardens, Germany.

Before becoming extinct in the wild, Nymphaea thermarum occurred in Mashyuza, southwest Rwanda (Africa).

There are over 50 Nymphaea thermarum plants in the Living Collection at Kew, which is the only place in the world where it is being propagated regularly and in large quantities.
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Damp mud created by the overflow of a freshwater hot spring, where the water has cooled to around 25˚C.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The only population of this species has died out as a consequence of over-exploitation of the aquifer that fed the hot spring that kept the plants moist and at a constant temperature.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is now easily propagated and cultivated at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. The spring water where it is native is still flowing but it sequestered before it reaches the surface. However, with the appropiate conservation actions such as site protection and restoration, and a re-introduction programme, there could be an opportunity to reintroduce Nymphaea thermarum to Rwanda.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.9. Wetlands (inland) - Freshwater Springs and Oases
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.8. Abstraction of ground water (unknown use)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Fischer, E. 1993. Taxonomic results of the BRYOTROP-Expedition to Zaire and Rwanda. Tropical Bryology 8: 13-37.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Magdalena, C. 2009. Nymphaea thermarum - The world's tiniest waterlily doesn't grow in water! Water Gardeners International 4: 4.

Citation: Juffe, D. 2010. Nymphaea thermarum. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T185459A8415931. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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