Encephalartos aplanatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos aplanatus Vorster

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2acd; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Donaldson, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Victor, J. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Has declined substantially in the last 20 years, especially in Swaziland where it would be classified as Endangered, but larger populations in Mozambique are apparently less impacted. Qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion A based on a decline of 30-40% in three generations, under criterion B due to an estimated extent of occurrence of 295 km² (six locations), and criterion C due to a population size of only 2,000 to 4,000 individuals and ongoing decline. If it became locally extinct in any of the known locations, there would be at most five locations and it would qualify as Endangered under criterion B.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in a small area of northeast Swaziland. Populations are found in the Groenpan area which is to the north of Siteki and also in an area to the south of Siteki. It has also been recorded from adjacent areas in Mozambique. Occurs from 100 to 600 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Mozambique; Swaziland
Additional data:
Number of Locations:6
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Initial estimates were of very small and rapidly declining populations in Swaziland, but J. Hurter (pers. comm.) reported larger subpopulations of at least 2,000 plants in Mozambique.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:2000-4000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:E. aplanatus occurs in deciduous and fairly dry ravine forests.
Generation Length (years):35

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): E. aplanatus is threatened due to the over-collecting of wild specimens, especially in the type locality in Swaziland. Concerns have been expressed about the loss of pollinators from remaining populations but this has not been verified. E. aplanatus shares pollinator species with the nearby populations of E. villosus.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  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

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

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

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Golding, J. (ed.). 2002. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Vorster, P. 1996. Focus on Encephalartos aplanatus. Encephalartos 46: 4-8.

Citation: Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos aplanatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41909A10590441. . Downloaded on 20 August 2018.
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