|Scientific Name:||Encephalartos middelburgensis Vorster|
Encephalartos eugene-maraissii ssp. middelburgensis Lavranos & D.L.Goode
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered A2acd; C1 ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Agenbag, L. & Bösenberg, J.D.|
E. middelburgensis has declined continuously over at least the past 40 years and populations are still declining due to poaching and disease. Based on numbers of plants in collections, rate of decline, and a limited number of repeat photographs, decline is estimated as >80% over the past 50 years.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||This species is confined to the Witbank and Middelburg districts in the upper catchment areas of the Olifants River, which include the Wilge and Klein Olifants Rivers, in the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga of South Africa. Occurs at 1,100 to 1,400 m asl.|
Native:South Africa (Gauteng, Mpumalanga)
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The population is small and thought to number only 120 mature individuals.|
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||This species occurs in open grassland and sheltered valleys.|
|Generation Length (years):||70|
The discovery of the taxon in the Middelburg district triggered off a serious collector threat during the 1960s. The general accessibility of sites and the proximity of the distribution region to the Pretoria/Witwatersrand urban complex resulted in an extremely heavy exploitation during those years when cycad-collecting became a fashion (Fourie 1984). Although legislation has curbed the activities of collectors, the exploitation by individuals of the taxon is still ongoing today.
The development of semi-intensive agricultural areas within and around the distribution range of the taxon must have had a tremendous effect on the stability of the taxon, especially with the increased burning of the habitat and grazing practices (Fourie 1984). The taxon is extremely vulnerable to fire and not stimulated as is the case with Encephalartos lanatus (Fourie 1984).
Individual plants have become isolated and there is consequent reproductive failure (Fourie 1984).
The taxon is listed as Specially Protected in the provincial conservation Ordinances and is included on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Within Gauteng, individuals of the taxon occur within private nature reserves. The distribution range of the taxon falls within the boundaries of NEGI (North Eastern Gauteng Initiative) - a conservancy initiative.
Plants occur in the Loskopdam Nature Reserve, the Ezemvelo Nature Reserve (D. MacFadyen pers. comm.) and the Rhenosterpoort Private Nature Reserve.
Fourie, S.P. 1984. Flora Conservation Plan: Encephalartos lanatus. Transvaal Nature Conservation Division. Internal report.
Grobbelaar, N. 2002. CYCADS - with special reference to the southern African species. Privately published by Nat Grobbelaar, Pretoria, South Africa.
IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).
Robbertse, P.J., Vorster, P. and van der Westhuizen, S. 1989. Encephalartos middelburgensis (Zamiaceae): a new species from the Transvaal. South African Journal of Botany 55(1): 122-126.
|Citation:||Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos middelburgensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41893A10572037.Downloaded on 16 January 2018.|
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