Cupressus goveniana 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Cupressus goveniana
Species Authority: Gordon
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Gowen Cypress, North Coast Cypress, Mendocino Cypress, Dwarf Cypress, Pygmy Cypress, Santa Cruz Cypress
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: See under varieties for synonyms.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-22
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
The assessment of the species as a whole is driven by that of the nominate variety (var. goveniana) as it has the greatest extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) as well as numbers of mature individuals. This variety was assessed as Endangered under the B criterion. The area of occupancy for the species is estimated as 180 km2, with severe fragmentation. The continuing decline in area of occupancy, extent of habitat and number of mature individuals lead to this species being assessed as EN B2ab(ii,iii,v).
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Vulnerable (VU)
1998 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the California (USA): Mendocino, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Monterey Counties.
Countries occurrence:
United States (California)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 180
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 5500
Number of Locations: 8
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population of this species probably consists of fewer than 2,300 mature individuals, perhaps unless the dwarfed individuals with seed cones on the Mendocino “white plains” are also counted as such.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2300 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in chaparral, 'pine barrens', and open pine woodland with Pinus attenuata, P. contorta, P. muricata, P. ponderosa, P. radiata, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Arctostaphylos, Quercus, and Rhododendron, often in groves of up to 1000 trees or more; on sandstone outcrops, white or yellow sandy slopes, and leached, virtually sterile sandy 'hardpan', where it becomes dwarfed. The altitudinal range is from near sea level to 1200 m a.s.l. The climate is of the Mediterranean type with dry, hot summers, but in a narrow coastal strip cooled by frequent fog, and winter rain.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Although introduced by C. T. Hartweg to England in 1848, this species soon turned out to be tender in NW Europe and its cultivation outside collections ceased. In southern Europe it is grown more widely in gardens and parks and a few cultivars are known, some with doubtful affinity to this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Urbanization, agriculture (conversion of wild land to pasture), and changes in fire regimes are threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some (parts of) subpopulations are within protected areas.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

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
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Farjon, A. 2005. A Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Cupressus goveniana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42219A2962566. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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