Encephalartos umbeluziensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos umbeluziensis R.A.Dyer
Common Name(s):
English Umbeluzi Cycad

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered 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): Bösenberg, J.D.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Achenbag, L.
Originally classified as Vulnerable in 2003, but qualifies as Endangered based on small extent of occurrence (336 km²) and area of occupancy, occurrence at <5 locations and and ongoing decline due to habitat loss and removal of plants. Also qualifies as Endangered under criterion C1 due to population size being <2,500 mature individuals and ongoing decline that is estimated to exceed 20% over two generations (capped at 100 years from now).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in a number of localities in Mozambique and Swaziland. The population is restricted to the valley of the Umbeluzi River. Occurs from 50 to 120 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Mozambique; Swaziland
Additional data:
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):50
Upper elevation limit (metres):120
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is thought to number between 1,000 and 1,500 mature individuals.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000-1500
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in the shade of low scrub woodland or in relatively dry savanna and bushveld. To the west the plants are found in valleys and further eastwards towards Mozambique they occur on the floodplains of rivers.
Generation Length (years):35

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal removal of plants from the wild has been recorded, even within reserves.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Populations are protected in the Mlawula Nature Reserve in Swaziland.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
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
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ 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

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

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

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Goode, D. 1989. Cycads of Africa. Struik Winchester, Cape Town.

Goode, D. 2001. Cycads of Africa. D & E Cycads of Africa, Gallo Manor, Johannesburg, South Africa.

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).

Osborne, R. 1990. Focus on Encephalartos umbeluziensis. Encephalartos 21: 3-9.

Citation: Bösenberg, J.D. 2010. Encephalartos umbeluziensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41927A10601142. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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