Conus mordeirae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Neogastropoda Conidae

Scientific Name: Conus mordeirae Rolán & Trovão in Rolán, 1990

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-10-26
Assessor(s): Tenorio, M.J.
Reviewer(s): Seddon, M. & Monnier, E.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Seddon, M. & Peters, H.
Conus mordeirae is considered to be Critically Endangered as it is found in a single large bay that is being developed as part of a major expansion of tourism. The populations of this species have been observed to be declining, and is also highly restricted in its range, with the highest density of shells found closest to the areas of major development.  There is a small level of exploitation for the shell trade, however most of the shells are taken from historical collections (M. J. Tenorio pers comm 2011). Future conservation actions within the range are required to reduce the impact of the developments on future population trends in this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Cape Verde Islands where it is found only in the Baía da Mordeira in the southwest of the island of Sal (Monteiro et al. 2004). The bay has 11 km of coast.
Countries occurrence:
Cape Verde
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:18
Number of Locations:1
Lower depth limit (metres):5
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This shell is small (35 mm). There are no records of population levels for this species in the literature. The species was once one of most abundant species in the region but decline has been observed in the last 10 years. It is now considered to be rare (M. J. Tenorio pers. comm. 2011).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found at 1 to 5 m depth on rocks (Poppe and Poppe 2011, M. J. Tenorio pers. comm. 2011). Adults of the species typically grow to 35 mm in length.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Shells for sale on the mollusc shell market as reported through specialist websites and dealer catalogues (Rice 2007) with low prices may indicate reasonable abundance of this species, mainly from historical sources, however it is now in steep decline. The shell is not yet highly valued, so only collected by specialist collectors (M. J. Tenorio pers. comm. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Cape Verde islands are experiencing a major increase in tourism. The island of Sal to which this species is restricted is now subject to major development including a five billion Euro construction of 425 hectares at Mordeira Bay, consisting of 5,000 residential units, five-star hotels, two golf courses and a marina ( This development coincides with the location of the species and must be considered the major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is highly restricted in its range and would benefit from further research into abundance and threats before any action plan can be formulated. There are no known conservation measures currently in place for this species.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:High Impact: 9 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Monteiro, A., Tenorio, M.J. and Poppe, G.T. 2004. The Family Conidae, The West African and Mediterranean species of Conus. In: Poppe, G.T and Groh, K. (eds), A Conchological Iconography, pp. 270. ConchBooks, Hackenheim.

Poppe, G. T. and Poppe, P. 1996-2011. Conchology, Inc. Mactan Available at: (Accessed: March 2011).

Rice, T. 2007. A Catalog of Dealers' Prices for Shells: Marine, Land and Freshwater. Sea and Shore Publications.

Citation: Tenorio, M.J. 2012. Conus mordeirae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T192626A2130318. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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