Turbinicarpus swobodae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Turbinicarpus swobodae
Species Authority: Diers & Esteves
Common Name(s):
Spanish Biznaugita
Taxonomic Notes: Accepted as a species by Anderson (2001) and provisionally by Hunt (1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-19
Assessor(s): Fitz Maurice, W.A., Fitz Maurice, B & Smith, M.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Turbinicarpus swobodae is listed as Critically Endangered because it has an extremely narrow range of 1 km², it is known from a single location, the population size is of less than 2,000 individuals, and there is a contining decline due to the impacts of illegal collecting.
2002 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: It occurs near Rayones, Nuevo León, Mexico, over a range of 1 km². It grows at an altitude of about 2,000 m asl.
Mexico (Nuevo León)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is estimated that there are less than 2,000 plants.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This cactus grows in semi-desert among steep calcareous rocks.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is grown in cultivation as an ornamental, but it is also collected in the wild.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal collecting is the major threat for this species, although access is difficult (up a steep mountain).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This cactus is listed on CITES Appendix I, but the laws governing imports in the countries of destination need to be enforced. It does not occur in any protected area.

The 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 the category “threatened” (A; SEMARNAT 2010). 

It is widely propagated. The Cadereyta Regional Botanic Gardens has developed a universal technique to reproduce species of the genus Turbinicarpus (including Gymnocactus), with a rate of 5x/4 weeks and 95% soil adaptation success (E. Sánchez pers. comm. 2011).

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).

Citation: Fitz Maurice, W.A., Fitz Maurice, B & Smith, M. 2013. Turbinicarpus swobodae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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