Ribes sardoum 

Scope: Global, Europe & Mediterranean
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Saxifragales Grossulariaceae

Scientific Name: Ribes sardoum Martelli
Common Name(s):
English Sardinian Currant
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2017. The Plant List. Version 1.1. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Some scientists consider this species part of a larger family, the Saxifragaceae, in which saxifrage- and currant-like species are grouped together. Others prefer to split such large groups up, preferring to work with more clearly defined smaller families (e.g. the currant family Grossulariaceae).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i,ii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-10-18
Assessor(s): Bacchetta, G., Congiu, A., Fenu, G. & Mattana, E.
Reviewer(s): de Montmollin, B., Abeli, T. & Bilz, M.
Contributor(s): Camarda, I.
Listed as Critically Endangered because the population only covers an irregular area of around 300 m². The number of mature individuals is around 50 and is declining. This decline is due to low seed viability and grazing by goats and sheep.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Ribes sardoum has been recorded from just one site in Sardinia in the Nuoro Province, occurring in a small southeast facing valley at about 900 m altitude. The extent of occurrence is 300 m²-1 km² and the area of occupancy is 1 km² (Bacchetta et al. in: Rossi et al. 2008).

This species was probably originally distributed throughout the boreal zone, and moved to warmer areas as the climate changed. It is now considered a relict species as it is no longer found anywhere else. Its closest relatives occur in China, Japan, and North America.
Countries occurrence:
Italy (Sardegna)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:0.0003-1
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:1Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):900
Upper elevation limit (metres):900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The only growing site for this species is Prados (Oliena) in the Nuoro Province, Sardinia (locus classicus). In 2008, the whole population was estimated in less than 50 individuals, all in one subpopulation (Bacchetta et al. in: Rossi et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:50Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This small woody shrub grows on limestone substrates (Bacchetta et al in: Rossi et al 2008). It has a very low fertility due to the early dropping of ovaries (Valsecchi 1977, 1981).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This decline is due to low seed viability and grazing by goats and sheep. But despite the grazing pressure, the extent of occurrence seems not to have significantly decreased since R. sardoum was first recorded at the end of the eighteenth century. However, the lack of historical reference data makes it difficult to evaluate the present population dynamics. Nevertheless the species is seriously endangered by extinction, mainly due to the low seed vitality for reasons not yet clearly understood.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions in Place
Listed as priority species on Annex II of the Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention).
Legally: Currently there is no legal protection for this species, despite the fact that the regional council of Sardinia proposed a draft law in 2001 concerning protection of plant species on the island, and R. sardoum is listed in the Annex as an endemic species. However, this law is controversial as it may increase collecting interest in the species listed. The United Kingdom has included this species in its national legislation [Statutory Instrument 1996 No. 2677. The Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976 (Amendment) Order 1996].

In situ: The local population is now committed to protect the site from fire and grazing.

Ex situ: R. sardoum has been cultivated in the Botanic Garden of Florence.

Actions Needed
The survival of this species in the wild requires developing serious management plans to protect the species from over-grazing, fire, and plant collection. The species should also be cultivated ex situ with the goal of eventually reinforcing the existing population, and perhaps undertaking introductions into similar habitats.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Commission of the European Communities. 2009. Composite Report on the Conservation Status of Habitat Types and Species as required under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive. Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. Brussels.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2017).

Montmollin, B. de and Strahm, W. (eds). 2005. The Top 50 Mediterranean Island Plants: Wild plants at the brink of extinction, and what is needed to save them. IUCN SSC Mediterranean Islands Plant Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Rossi, G., Gentili, R., Abeli, T., Gargano, D., Foggi, B., Raimondo, F.M. and Blasi, C. 2008. Flora da conservare - Iniziativa per l’implementazione in Italia delle categorie e dei criteri IUCN (2001) per la redazione di nuove Liste Rosse. Informatore Botanico Italiano 40(Supplemento 1).

Valsecchi, F. 1977. Biologia, posizione sistematica ed ecologia di Ribes sardoum Martelli e Ribes multiflorum Kit. ssp. sandalioticum Arrigoni. Webbia 31: 279-294.

Valsecchi, F. 1981. Le piante endemiche della Sardegna: 96: Ribes sardoum Martelli. Bollettino della Societa Sarda di Scienze Naturali 20: 301-305.

Walter, K.S. and Gillett, H.J. (eds). 1998. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. Compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. IUCN – The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Citation: Bacchetta, G., Congiu, A., Fenu, G. & Mattana, E. 2011. Ribes sardoum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T61675A12520985. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided