Cyanea superba ssp. superba


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cyanea superba ssp. superba
Parent Species:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Bruegmann, M.M. & Caraway, V.
Reviewer(s): Maunder, M. (Plant Conservation Committee) & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Red List Programme Office)
Cyanea superba ssp. superba was endemic to the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It was known only from the northern Waianae Mountains More than 60 plants in two subpopulations were known in the 1970s. The subspecies (and species) then declined down to only one subpopulation containing about five plants. But those too have now finally gone. The major threats to the species and its habitats were alien plants, feral pigs, slugs and fire.
1998 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Regionally extinct:
United States (Hawaiian Is.)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This subspecies was until recently still extant in the wild, as opposed to ssp. regina. It was known from two small subpopulations, totaling fewer than 10 plants, on the Waianae Mts., one on federal property in Kahanahaiki valley and the other on state land in Pahole Gulch. A third subpopulation, previously reported, appears to have been based on a misidentification.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Grew in the understorey of lowland forest (535–700 m).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to the species and its habitats included invasive alien plants, and predation by feral pigs, rats and slugs. Other major threats included wildfires generated by activities in the nearby military firing range. The restricted range of the species also made it very vulnerable to small local disturbances, and hence the last few individuals were easily destroyed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protective measures and planting were being carried out at Pahole as part of a Recovery Plan. The taxon is listed under the US Endangered Species Act. Plants are still extant in botanic gardens.

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

NatureServe. 2003. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 1.8. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. (Accessed: October 20, 2003).

Oldfield, S., Lusty, C. and MacKinven, A. (compilers). 1998. The World List of Threatened Trees. World Conservation Press, Cambridge, UK.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2003. Rare plant database. Unpublished.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region. 1997. Draft recovery plan for Oahu plants. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.

Wagner, W., Herbst, D. and Sohmer, S. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. University of Hawaii Press, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.

Wagner, W., Herbst, D. and Sohmer S. 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Special Publication 91: 1-1918.

Citation: Bruegmann, M.M. & Caraway, V. 2003. Cyanea superba ssp. superba. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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