Cupressus goveniana var. abramsiana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Cupressus goveniana Gordon var. abramsiana (C.B.Wolf) Little
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Santa Cruz Cypress
Callitropsis abramsiana (C.B.Wolf) D.P.Little
Cupressus abramsiana C.B.Wolf
Hesperocyparis abramsiana (C.B.Wolf) Bartel
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: This variety is sometimes recognized as a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-22
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Both the estimated number of mature trees in the global population (<300) and the area of occupancy (16 km²) take this variety close to Endangered, or within this category based on continuous decline. However, the extent of occurrence (72 km²) and the continuous decline inferred from the threats affecting a highly fragmented population place it as Critically Endangered under the B criterion.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in California (USA): Santa-Cruz Mountains, three localities in Santa Cruz County, with stands near Bonny Doon, and small stands at Eagle Rock and Boulder Creek [“Brackenbrae”]; also one locality in San Mateo County on the south side of Butano Ridge.
Countries occurrence:
United States (California)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:16
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):490
Upper elevation limit (metres):760
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The largest subpopulation is partly within the protection of the Bonny Doon National Reserve. Other stands near Bonny Doon are found within private real estate, in both these stands and the part of the subpopulation within the national reserve there is protection from fires, which allows pine species (Pinus spp.) to outcompete Cupressus goveniana var. abramsiana. The very small stand at Eagle Rock only has a few individuals surrounded by chaparral so it is a high-risk stand. This is a rare variety with each of the four subpopulations thought to have fewer than 100 mature individuals.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:300Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Boulder Creek subpopulation grows in sterile, sandy, chaparral habitat within a Redwood-Mixed Evergreen Forest mosaic. The Bonny Doon subpopulation grows amongst Knobcone Pine (Pinus attenuata) on sandstone outcrops and with Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) on deeper soils.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No known uses or trade of this variety. It is possibly planted as an ornamental on some private properties in the area.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Fire is a threat to this species: subpopulations are all found in dry forest ecosystems associated with high fire risk chaparral habitats.

Increased human pressures through development has direct impact through forest clearance, and indirect impacts through fire management (prevention and extinguishing), which benefits Pinus spp. and allows these larger conifers to outcompete Cupressus arizonica var. abramsiana.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The largest subpopulation is partly found within the Bonnie Doon National Reserve, however, the remaining subpopulations are outside any protected areas.

Conservation actions should aim to prevent increased pressure from urban development and manage fire risks in a way that does not in the long term disadvantage this taxon.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
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

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
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 -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Farjon, A. 2005. A Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Natureserve. 2012. NatureServe Explorer:An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. Arlington, Virginia Available at:

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Cupressus goveniana var. abramsiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T34000A2839959. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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