Tephrocactus bonnieae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Tephrocactus bonnieae (D.J.Ferguson & R.Kiesling) Stuppy
Puna bonnieae D.J.Ferguson & R.Kiesling
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: Without doubt a 'good' species. However, originally described in the genus Puna, a recent study (Stuppy 2001) has shown that the taxon undoubtedly belongs to the genus Tephrocactus (not Opuntia as indicated in the CITES Checklist).

Basionym: Puna bonnieae D.J. Ferguson & R. Kiesling, Cact. Succ. J. (US) 69: 290 (1997). Type: Argentina, Catamarca, Dept. Tinogasta, near Loro Huasi, November 20, 1994, R. Kiesling 8710 (SI, holotype).

Synonyms = Maihueniopsis bonnieae (D. J. Ferguson & R. Kiesling) E.F. Anderson, Cact. Succ. J. (US) 71(6): 325 (1999); Opuntia bonnieae (Ferguson & Kiesling) Halda & Janeba, Cactaceae etc. 9 (4): 160. 1999.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-09-22
Assessor(s): Demaio, P., Kiesling, R., Trevisson, M. & Perea, M.
Reviewer(s): Goettsch, B.K. & Superina, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Goettsch, B.K.
Tephrocactus bonniae is listed as Endangered because it has a very restricted range (extent of occurrence approximately 20km2) and it certainly has less than five locations. The population is sacked by collectors, hence a continuing decline of mature individuals is inferred. In 2002 the species was categorized as Endangered by criterion D, however considering the plants are buried underground for most of the year it is difficult to estimate the population size. With new information on the geographic range of the species (i.e. the discovery of new subpopulations), the assessors consider the species to be better assessed under criteria B1 and B2.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Argentina, where it occurs in Catamarca at elevations of 2,500 to 3,300 m asl. The extent of occurrence is about 20 km². The range may extend to the tops of the hills or even higher up the mountains south of the present location, but this needs verification.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina (Catamarca)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:20
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):2500
Upper elevation limit (metres):3300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is scarce.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species grows in puna scrub.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is used as an ornamental and is sought after by cactus enthusiasts.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This cactus is threatened by illegal collecting. However, the type locality is no longer on the main route (a new road was made and the old one abandoned), and the other places where  T. bonnieae was found again are unknown to others (R. Kiesling pers. comm. 2010). It is also difficult to find the plants because of their geophytic habit.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is not found in any protected area. It is listed on CITES Appendix II. However, the laws governing international trade in this species need to be enforced in the countries of destination.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.7. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.1. International level

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
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

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Ferguson, D.J. and Kiesling. R. 1997. Puna bonnieae (Cactaceae), a new species from Argentina. Cactus and Succulent Journal (US) 69: 287– 293.

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

Stuppy, W. 2001. A new combination in Tephrocactus Lem. (Cactaceae). Kew Bulletin 56:1003-1005.

Citation: Demaio, P., Kiesling, R., Trevisson, M. & Perea, M. 2013. Tephrocactus bonnieae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40822A2934465. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
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