Coleocephalocereus purpureus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Coleocephalocereus purpureus
Species Authority: (Buining & Brederoo) F.Ritter
Buiningia purpurea Buining & Brederoo
Taxonomic Source(s): Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-08-10
Assessor(s): Taylor, N.P., Machado, M. & Braun, P.
Reviewer(s): Chanson, J.S. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Goettsch, B.K.
This species only grows on outcrops and there is a high demand from the quarrying industry for these rock and mining is already happening in the area. Based on this, a decline of over 90% of the population in the next 30 years is projected if mining activities continue at the present rate (the species has a generation length of 10 years), hence it is listed as Critically Endangered. Attempts at legally protecting the species' rocky habitat from exploitation have so far failed.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found at elevations of 250-300 m asl near the Rio Jequitinhonha, north-eastern Minas Gerais, Brazil. The range of this species deserves further investigation, but it is clearly much more restricted than that of its sister species, C. aureus. It is currently known only from a single locality and from three recently discovered subpopulations within a few kilometres of it. The area of occupancy is estimated by experts to be less than 5km2.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Minas Gerais)
Number of Locations: 1
Lower elevation limit (metres): 250
Upper elevation limit (metres): 300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is not abundant, and the population size is less than 1,000 individuals.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species grows in south-eastern caatinga (inselberg) element, on gneissic inselbergs and rocks.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 10

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is used as an ornamental in specialized collections.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat for this species is quarrying of the rock where it grows. It is also adversely affected by collection, deforestation, invasive species, fire and cattle trampling.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species does not occur in any protected areas. Protection of its habitat is strongly recommended.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection

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
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ 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

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

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

Bibliography [top]

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

Taylor, N.P. 1991. The genus Melocactus in Central and South America. Bradleya 9: 1–80.

Taylor, N.P. and Zappi, D.C. 2004. Cacti of Eastern Brazil. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Uebelmann, W.J. 1996. Horst & Uebelmann Feldnummernliste. W. J. Uebelmann, Zufikon, Switzerland. pp. 204.

Citation: Taylor, N.P., Machado, M. & Braun, P. 2013. Coleocephalocereus purpureus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40913A2943088. . Downloaded on 02 December 2015.
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