Abies hickelii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Abies hickelii
Species Authority: Flous & Gaussen
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name/s:
English Hickel's Fir
Spanish Oyamel, Pinabete
Abies religiosa (Kunth) Schltdl. & Cham. subspecies hickelii (Flous & Gaussen) Strandby, K.I.Chr. & M.Sørensen
Taxonomic Notes: A recent morphological evaluation concluded that A. hickelii could be considered a variety of A. religiosa (Strandby et al. 2009). This taxonomy has not yet been adopted for the IUCN Red List. Following Farjon (2010) two varieties are recognized for Abies hickelii: the typical variety and var. oaxacana (Martínez) Farjon & Silba.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-05-03
Assessor/s: Farjon, A.
Reviewer/s: Thomas, P., Perez de la Rosa, J. & Rushforth, K.
The assessment of the species as a whole follows that of the two varieties: while the extent of occurrence increases with all mapped locations included, the estimated area of occupancy is still well under 500 km², the population is severely fragmented and there is likely to be continuous decline, especially in quality of habitat and number of mature individuals.
1998 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Mexico: Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz.
Mexico (Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations are decreasing and subpopulations are severely fragmented.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Both varieties of this species occur in high mountains of sub-tropical southern Mexico, at elevations between 2,500 m and 3,000 m a.s.l. The soils are of volcanic origin. The climate is cool, moist oceanic, with rain mostly in the winter. There are some pure stands at the highest elevations, but this species is usually mixed with highland pines, e.g. Pinus montezumae, P. pseudostrobus, and P. ayacahuite, and also with Cupressus lusitanica and Quercus spp. Shrubs are e.g. Vaccinium spp., Andromeda spp., Ribes spp. and Fuchsia spp.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging may have some impact on this species, but data to evaluate this quantitatively are lacking. For the 1998 Conifer Specialist Group assessment it was assumed that a 20% decline had occurred over the duration of three generations (about a century). Deforestation in the region is an ongoing process, which affects Abies as a late successional tree more than e.g. Pinus, so it is considered that the decline is continuing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More forest reserves with effective management and policing would be required to protect this species from decline.
Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Abies hickelii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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