Encephalartos princeps 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos princeps R.A.Dyer
Common Name(s):
English Kei Cycad

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A4acd; B1ab(iii,v); C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Donaldson, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Agenbag, L. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Ongoing decline due to collecting and habitat loss is estimated to exceed 30% over the past 30 years and will continue in the next generation. The area is heavily infested by the invasive plant Lantana camara and control measures may impact on the cycad population. The extent of occurrence is small (1,870 km²), the species is known from six locations and there is continuing decline, hence qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion B. The overall population size is also <10,000 mature individuals which means that it also qualifies for a Vulnerable under criterion C given the rates of decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:E. princeps occurs in the catchment area of the Black Kei, the Great Kei and the Kubusi rivers in the Cathcart, Stutterheim and Komga areas of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Occurs from 200 to 800 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:150
Number of Locations:6
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is thought to number between 3,500 and 5,000 mature individuals and declining.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:3500-5000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:E. princeps occurs mainly on dolerite cliffs and rocky outcrops along river valleys. Plants grow in arid areas in vegetation characterized by thick low succulent shrubland and grass.
Generation Length (years):70

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened due to the illegal collecting of plants in the wild and as a result of habitat destruction due to expanding agricultural activities. In some populations, alien invasive plants (Lantana camara) are invading the habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
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
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ 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

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Lantana camara ]
♦ 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
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

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

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

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: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Kemp, M. 1990. Focus on Encephalartos princeps. Encephalartos 24: 3-7.

Citation: Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos princeps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41922A10598237. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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