Opuntia chaffeyi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Opuntia chaffeyi
Species Authority: Britton & Rose
Taxonomic Source(s): Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Recognized by Britton & Rose (1919), Bravo (1978), Hunt (1999), Hernández et al. (2001) and Hunt et al. (2006) as a good species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-18
Assessor(s): Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. & Goettsch, B.K.
Reviewer(s): Chanson, J.S. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
The known distribution of the species is extremely narrow (extent of occurrence is ca 63 km² and the area of occupancy is ca 12 km²), and it is known from three separate localities which are not severely fragmented. The estimated number of individuals is critically low, only about 15 mature individuals in total. The habitat is expected to decline in the future mostly due to cattle and agricultural development.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to a small area (ca. 63 km²) in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico. Only three separate localities are known.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Zacatecas)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:12
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species occurs in very low population densities, with no more than five plants at each of the localities, hence the population is potentially not greater than 15 mature individuals.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:15

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Grows in the silty flood plain of a dried lake with scarce desert vegetation, mostly Prosopis and Larrea.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The rhizomes of this species are used for medicinal purposes as an anti-inflammatory to treat broken bones.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat destruction mostly by cattle is a major threat. The species is also harvested for medicinal purposes. The area could potentially be impacted by agricultural expansion if bore holes are sunk to get water for irrigation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The establishment of protected areas is needed, as this species grows together with other threatened species. Listed on CITES Appendix II.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:No
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Bravo, H. 1978. Las cactáceas de México. Vol. I. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.

Britton, N.L. and Rose, J.N. 1919. The Cactaceae. Vol I. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.

Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. and Bárcenas, R.T. 2001. Studies on Mexican Cactaceae. II. Opuntia megarrhiza, a poorly known endemic from San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Brittonia 53(4): 28-533.

Hunt, D. 1999. CITES Cactaceae Checklist, 2nd ed. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and International Organization for Succulent Plant Study (IOS).

Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Citation: Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. & Goettsch, B.K. 2013. Opuntia chaffeyi. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T41222A2952609. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided