Encephalartos kanga 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos kanga Pócs & Q.Luke
Encephalartos sp. ssp. 'kanga'
Taxonomic Notes: This species is closely related to Encephalartos kisambo Faden & Beentje, but is sufficiently different to warrant recognition as a distinct species (Pócs and Luke 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v); C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Eastern Arc Mountains & Coastal Forests CEPF Plant Assessment Project
Reviewer(s): Beentje, H., Gereau, R., Kabuye, C., Kalema, J., Luke, Q., Lyaruu, H., Maunder, M., Mwachala, G., Ndangalasi, H., Njau, F. & Schatz, G. (East African Plants Red List Authority) and Donaldson, J.S. & Bösenberg, J.D.(Cycad Red List Authority)
Encephalartos kanga is a rare species with a highly restricted range (area of occupancy is less than 10 km²) and very small population (less than 50 mature individuals). Access to the area is difficult hence there is no threat of deforestation at present, although part of the southern slope was severely burnt a few years ago. Further fires could result in continuing decline in quality and extant of the habitat. The most serious threat though is its horticultural value and there have been reports of foreign collectors visiting the area on at least two occasions and removing 100-200 seedlings each time (Pócs and Luke 2007). Hence the species is listed as Critically Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Known only from Mount Kanga, an isolated hill of the Nguru Mountains, in the Mvomero district, Morogoro province of Tanzania. Occurs on the southern ridge and south eastern slopes of Mt. Kanga above Kibwende settlement. Occurs at 1,000 to 1.300 m.
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:9Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:9
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):1300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Occurs in a few very small and scattered subpopulations, with less than 50 mature individuals in total.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:49Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species grows on very steep granitic southern rock faces. The habitat is sub-montane dry evergreen and mesic evergreen forest and Xerophyta - Erica heath on steep slopes of Precambrian crystalline (mostly gneissic) bedrock with shallow soil. The vegetation type of this area is Eastern Arc Montane Forests.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):70

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species, like all cycads, is highly sought after by the horticultural trade. As it is a relatively new species, demand for it will be high. Seedlings have already been removed from the population by foreign collectors on at least two occasions.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal collection of seedlings poses the main threat. Further fires could also impact the habitat and thus the population, although fire does not appear to affect the regeneration of the species. The mountain is considered to be sacred by the local people, and given the remoteness of the area, deforestation is not a problem at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in the Kanga Forest Reserve.

Although listed in CITES Appendix I, a concerted effort is needed to give this species strong protection.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
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
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.1. International level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):100
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
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

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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

Pócs, T. and Luke, Q. 2007. A new species of Encephalartos (Zamiaceae) from Tanzania. Journal of East African Natural History 96(2): 193-201.

Citation: Eastern Arc Mountains & Coastal Forests CEPF Plant Assessment Project. 2010. Encephalartos kanga. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41948A10608996. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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