Encephalartos trispinosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos trispinosus (Hook.) R.A.Dyer
Common Name(s):
English Bushman's River Cycad
Encephalartos horridus (Jacq.) Lehm. ssp. trispinosus Hook.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd; C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Donaldson, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Agenbag, L. & Bösenberg, J.D.
There has been at least a 30% decline in populations due to habitat alteration and collecting since the 1950s based on repeat photographs and monitoring of populations. Therefore qualifies for listing as Vulnerable based on decline criteria and population size.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Subpopulations are found in the Great Fish, the Bushman's and the Kowie River valleys in the Albany, Bathurst, Fort Beaufort and Peddie districts. Occurs from 100 up to 600 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:100
Number of Locations:8
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:A very difficult species to assess as it is low growing and often occurs in dense thickets of spiny vegetation.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:3500-10000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:E. trispinosus grows in arid low succulent shrubland on rocky ridges and slopes. They are found in the shade or in full sun on rocky outcrops.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): E. trispinosus is threatened by illegal collection of wild specimens from their habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Populations are protected in the Great Fish River Reserve Complex, the Kap River Nature Reserve and the Water's Meeting Nature Reserve.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  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
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. 1993. Focus on Encephalartos trispinosus. Encephalartos 33: 4-12.

Citation: Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos trispinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41926A10600535. . Downloaded on 19 August 2018.
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