Goodyera macrophylla 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Goodyera macrophylla Lowe
Epipactis macrophylla (Lowe) A. A. Eaton
Orchiodes macrophyllum (Lowe) Kuntze
Peramium macrophyllum (Lowe) Soó

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-04-01
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fernandes, F., Carvalho, J.A., Fay, M. & Bilz, M.
Goodyera macrophylla is endemic to Madeira, is very local and extremely rare with a small distribution area in seven subpopulations in the central and northern parts of Madeira. The population size is estimated to have less than 50 mature individuals, the extent of occurrence is 188 km² and the area of occupancy is 36 km². The range of the species is very narrow and threatened by trampling, collapse of terrain, landslides, and invasive species. Due to the low number of mature individuals, Goodyera macrophylla is assessed as Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Goodyera macrophylla is endemic to Madeira, Portugal. The species is known from a few ravines in central and northern parts of the islands. Its extent of occurrence is 188 km² and the area of occupancy is 36 km². The species can be found between 300 and 1,400 m altitude (Commission of the European Communities 2009, Delforge 1995, Press and Short 1994).

Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Madeira)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:36
Number of Locations:7
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Goodyera macrophylla is very local and extremely rare. The total number of subpopulations is seven, the number of individuals per subpopulation ranges from 2 to 1500 individuals and there are also reports of some isolated individuals. Subpopulations show extreme fluctuations in the total number of individuals (F. Fernandes unpublished data). The subpopulations show a very low number of flowering plants and the total population size estimated to number fewer than 50 mature individuals.

The trend of the population is stable and a few plants are preserved in Ribeiro Frio Botanic Gardens (Commission of the European Communities 2009, Delforge 1995, Press and Short 1994).

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10-50
Extreme fluctuations:YesPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Goodyera macrophylla requires a specific habitat: cliffs and ravines but also flat areas in evergreen forest in the trade-wind cloud forest zone. This orchid grows in the Habitats Directive listed habitat 9360 "Macaronesian laurel forests (Laurus, Ocotea)" (Commission of the European Communities 2009). Goodyera macrophylla prefers damp to wet acidic substrates and grows mostly in mid-shade. The flowering in this species is very sporadic, extremely rare and apparently may not take place for 10 to 15 years. However, when it does occur it is from August to October (Delforge 1995, Press and Short 1994).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no known uses.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The main threats to this species are trampling, collapse of terrain, landslides and invasion by a species. It could also be affected by tourism and plant collection. (Commission of the European Communities 2009, Delforge 1995, Press and Short 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Goodyera macrophylla is listed on Annex II of the Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). All orchids are included under Annex B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This species habitat is protected by regional and EU legislation (Habitats Directive) and its range is completely included in the Natural Park of Madeira. Conservation measures that protect this species habitat from collapsing and landslides are in place. The species is legally protected from collection. 

The following actions are recommended to protect Goodyera macrophylla;

  • Fencing the vulnerable sites to protect the species from trampling.
  • Control of invasive species.
  • Raise public awareness.
  • Ex situ conservation: Artificial propagation, re-introduction, seed collections.
  • Monitoring and surveillance of the existing populations and sites.
  • Estimate the population size and study their dynamics (Delforge 1995, Press and Short 1994).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.2. Invasive/problematic species control
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):100
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
10. Geological events -> 10.3. Avalanches/landslides
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 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

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Commission of the European Communities. 2009. Composite Report on the Conservation Status of Habitat Types and Species as required under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive. Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. Brussels.

Delforge, P. 1995. Orchids of Britain and Europe. Delachaux et Niestlé SA, Lausanne.

Fernandes, F. and Pinheiro de Carvalho, M.A.A. 2003. Pollination of Madeiran Indigenous Orchids. II Symposium of Island Ecosystems, Centre for Macaronesian Studies, Funchal.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Jardim, R., Fernandes, F.M. and Carvalho, J.A. 2006. Flora Vascular. In: B.F. Faria (ed.), Fauna e Flora da Madeira. Espécies Endémicas Ameaçadas: Vertebrados e Flora Vascular, Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais, Governo Regional da Madeira.

Press, J.R. and Short, M.J. (eds.). 1994. Flora of Madeira. HMSO, The Natural History Museum, London.

The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2010. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Available at:

Citation: Rankou, H. 2011. Goodyera macrophylla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T162070A5527443. . Downloaded on 18 July 2018.
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