Encephalartos whitelockii 

Scope: Global
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_onStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos whitelockii
Species Authority: P.J.H.Hurter
Synonym(s):
Encephalartos successibus Vorster

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Kalema, J.
Reviewer(s): Donaldson, J.S. & Luke, Q.R.
Justification:
E. whitelockii was previously classified as Vulnerable based on its small extent of occurrence and area of occupancy and occurrence at a single location. At the time, there was no evidence of decline. However, in May 2007, approval was given for the construction of a hydroelectric plant above the waterfall where the plants occur and construction work began in 2008. The construction has resulted in decline in the population. Although a management plan was developed, the construction and increased access to the site has led to decline which may continue.

The overall impact of the hydroelectric scheme is uncertain, but the construction is expected to directly affect between 30 and 55% of the population. Indirect effects, linked to altered waterflow and changes in mist-based precipitation, are more difficult to predict but could have significant additional effects on the population. Based on current information, the species qualifies as Critically Endangered under criterion B but may also qualify under criterion A in future depending on how the development is managed and whether the development changes the overall ecology of the site.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Kabarole district of the southwestern part of Uganda. Populations occur along the Mpanga river, above and below the Mpanga River Falls, just before it runs into Lake George. Recorded from an altitude of 1,000 to 1,300 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Uganda
Additional data:
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:The population size of E. whitelockii is estimated to be 8,000 mature individuals. Seedlings and small plants are absent from open habitats which may be as a result of too frequent fires, but under forest canopy, prolific regeneration occurs. The recorded sex ratio is 43% female to 57% male.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:8000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species grows on almost sheer granite faces and on rocky slopes, amongst tall grass in savanna. Also occurs in dense evergreen montane forests.
Systems:Terrestrial
Generation Length (years):70

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to the species include:
a) Construction of a small hydro electric power plant on the Mpanga River Falls:
i-Construction of roads and camps in the cycad belt, causing soil erosion and deep gulleys, reducing habitat quality
ii-reduction in population of mature and young individuals as they are knocked down by heavy machinery
iii-reduction in area of occupancy owing to parts being occupied by weir (reservoir), water canal, and power house

b) Local community activities:
i-reports of collection of seed and seedlings for commercial trade may impair the regeneration capacity of the cycad and thus lead to further reduction of its population
ii-cultivation on the slopes of the gorge, clearing the cycads located on the gardens
iii-harvesting of the cycad leaves for building materials
iv-burning of some areas occupied by the cycad for stimulation of grazing pasture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Although the gorge falls within the Queen Elizabeth National Park, 90% of the population occurs outside the park.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable  
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability:Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
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:Yes
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
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 -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.2. Utility & service lines
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

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 -> 2.3.6. Skewed sex ratios
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.8. Other

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.9. Small dams
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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]

Hurter, J. and Claassen, I. 1996. Focus on Encephalartos whitelockii. Encephalartos 48: 4-9.

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

Vorster, P. and Heibloem, P. 1995. Encephalartos successibus (Zamiaceae): a new species from Uganda. South African Journal of Botany 61(6): 347-351.

Whitelock, L.M. 2002. The Cycads. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.


Citation: Kalema, J. 2010. Encephalartos whitelockii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41928A10601803. . Downloaded on 29 July 2016.
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