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Microcycas calocoma

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA CYCADOPSIDA CYCADALES ZAMIACEAE

Scientific Name: Microcycas calocoma
Species Authority: (Miq.) A.DC.
Synonym(s):
Zamia calocoma Miq.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Bösenberg, J.D.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Originally classified as Critically Endangered based on its small distribution and ongoing decline. New data from Cuba suggests that there are more localities (=subpopulations) than previously thought and more plants. Based on these criteria, the species would qualify as Endangered (B1ab; C1). However, the status of Critically Endangered has been retained based on estimates of decline for the better known populations, which are estimated to be >80%
History:
2003 Critically Endangered (IUCN 2003)
2003 Critically Endangered
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Western Cuba. From the area of San Diego de los Banos through the Santa Catalina area to the vicinity of San Andreas.
Countries:
Native:
Cuba
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Del Risco et al. (1984) studied plants at five localities and they estimated that there were 10-25 plants per locality. In 1996/7, Pena et al, studied plants at 17 sites and their study included 540 plants. Julio Lazcano undertook a Masters research project at Vinales National Park and counted 1,200 individuals in his study. Lazcano estimated that there were 1,540 documented plants in Cuba and that the figure could be as high as 4,000. The population at Corcho is well known and has 13 plants and has shown a 90% decline in the last 50 years. A 90% reduction is also predicted for the next 30 years.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Populations are scattered in both lowland and montane sites, the latter being in very rough terrain. The plants grow in three types of soils, Jurassic alkaline limestone, more-or-less sandy acidic soils underlaid with slate, and siliceous clays with a pH between 5.4 and 6.9. The habitats vary from grasslands to, more commonly, pine or semi-deciduous forests and conditions range from full sun to deep shade.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The plants are affected by habitat destruction (moderate) and over collecting of plants from the wild. Reproductive failure (pollinator extinction) is a concern, although this still needs to be verified.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Plants are protected in the Vinales Nationl Park and are also found in the "Mil Cumbres" protected area. The National Botanical Garden of Cuba has 156 live specimens in their collection.

Bibliography [top]

Hill, K.D. and Stevenson, D.W. 1998-2006. The Cycad Pages. Available at: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.gov.au/PlantNet/cycad/.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Lazcano, J. 2003. Email message.

Osborne, R. and Santana, R.M. 1995. Focus on Microcycas calocoma (Miq.) A. DC. Encephalartos 42: 4-11.


Citation: Bösenberg, J.D. 2010. Microcycas calocoma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 August 2014.
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