Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Mammillaria herrerae
Species Authority: Werderm.
Common Name(s):
English Golf ball
Spanish Biznaguita, Bola de hilo
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: Accepted as a valid species by Anderson (2001), Hunt (1999) and Pilbeam (1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ad; B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-18
Assessor(s): Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guadalupe Martínez, J. & Sánchez , E.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M., Goettsch, B.K. & Chanson, J.S.
Contributor(s): Maruri, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Schipper, J.
Mammillaria herrerae is considered Critically Endangered due to its small range (area of occupancy = 0.87km2 and extent of occurrence = 3.4km2, one location) and a continuing decline due to illegal collection. This threat has caused a serious population reduction (>95%) over the last 3 generations (approximately 20 years) based on direct observation which is continuing. The species would greatly benefit from a demography study.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This cactus is endemic to Querétaro, Mexico, where it grows at elevations of ca 1,800 to 2,050 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Querétaro)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2050
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A total of 430 individuals were censused in two areas in Cadereyta (E. Sánchez pers. comm. 2011). In the assessment published in 2002 an estimated population of 50 individuals was reported, however this was done considering the only known subpopulation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species grows on sloping calcareous rock in semi-desert scrub.
Generation Length (years):7-8

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This cactus is highly threatened by illegal collecting. The population of this species has been diminished by an estimated 95% over the past 20 years. The habitat is now well-known to both commercial and amateur collectors. A nearby commercial cactus nursery has almost stripped the site. Local children collect and offer plants to visitors. A very small amount of residential development is in progress in the area.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on CITES Appendix II, but enforcement of the laws in the countries of destination is needed. The species has long been propagated around the world.

The Cadereyta Regional Botanical Garden is undertaking a conservation project including population studies and the reproduction of several germplasm lines. A micropropagation technique has been established with a rate of 8x/4 weeks, with 100% soil adaptation success. It is recommended to include this species in CITES Appendix I, as illegal collection is still a major threat and this would help its conservation (E. Sánchez pers. comm 2011).

This species is legally protected in Mexico by the national list of species at risk of extinction, NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, where it is listed under category “at risk of extinction” (P; SEMARNAT 2010).

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
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
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

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

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, E.F. 2001. The Cactus Family. Timber Press, Portland.

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

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

Pilbeam, J. 1999. Mammillaria. Cirio Publishing Services, Southampton.

SEMARNAT. 2010. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, Protección ambiental-Especies nativas de México de flora y fauna silvestres-Categorías de riesgo y especificaciones para su inclusión, exclusión o cambio-Lista de especies en riesgo. Diario Oficial de la Federación.

Werdermann, E. 1931. M. herrerae Werd und ihre Varietat albiflora Werd. Notizblatt des Botanischen Gartens und Museums zu Berlin-Dahlem. Berlin-Dahlem 277.

Citation: Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guadalupe Martínez, J. & Sánchez , E. 2013. Mammillaria herrerae. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40838A2935827. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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