Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos pterogonus
Species Authority: R.A.Dyer & I.Verd.
Common Name(s):
English Toothed-cone Cycad

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iv,v); C1+2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Donaldson, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Agenbag, L. & Bösenberg, J.D.
Although more plants are thought to exist than previously estimated in 2003, and the decline over the past 60 years is difficult to quantify, the species still qualifies for Critically Endangered status based on its limited distribution (extent of occurrence is 35 km² and area of occupancy is less than 10 km²), existence at a single locality (based on current taxonomy) and ongoing decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2003 Critically Endangered (CR)
1998 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to Mount Mruwere (Monte Urueri) in the Manica province of Mozambique. It has also been reported from the adjacent Mount Dengalenga (Montes Dengarenga) and possibly from other adjacent hills. Recorded to occur from 700 up to 1,000 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size was originally estimated to be ten mature individuals based on information from collectors. Although several collectors in South Africa claim that the species is extinct in the wild, Capela (2006) states that there are at least 246 mature plants, 112 smaller plants and 300-400 seedlings that survived out of the initial 1,000 seedlings that were re-introduced. Another population on a nearby inselberg may also belong to E. pterogonus.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10-246
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species grows on mountains with granite outcrops and plants are found in or near forested areas.
Generation Length (years):70

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been severely affected by over-collecting for ornamental purposes. The small range and low numbers of this species means it could be affected by reproductive failure.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Marginal  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
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:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly: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
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.8. Other

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

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

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Capela, P. 2006. Speculations on the Encephalartos species of Mozambique. Pedro Capela.

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.

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

Jones, D.L. 2002. Cycads of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Citation: Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos pterogonus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41897A10574244. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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