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Aloe craibii

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Aloe craibii Gideon F.Sm.
Higher Classification
Monocotyledons
Family
ASPHODELACEAE
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered C2a(i)
Assessment Date
2006/11/14
Assessor(s)
M. Lötter, J.E. Burrows, L. von Staden & D. Raimondo
Justification
Three subpopulations known, the largest of which consists of 50 mature individuals while the others have fewer than 20 mature individuals. There is a continuing decline in habitat quality as a result of invasive alien encroachment. Too frequent fires kill newly recruited seedlings and together with decline in habitat quality is causing a continuing decline in the population.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Mpumalanga
Range
Barberton.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Barberton Montane Grassland
Description
Montane grassland, in well-drained, relatively deep soils on serpentine and sandstone substrates, in full sun on mountain summits, but not on rocky outcrops, 1500-1800 m.
Threats
Condy and Craib (2003) noted that only mature individuals occur at the type locality, and believe that the absence of juveniles is probably the result of too-frequent burning killing young seedlings. However, in Craib (2005) and Smith and Craib (2005), poor recruitment is thought to be due to fire exclusion from the type locality. Too-frequent fires would prevent young seedlings from establishing, but seedlings are also unable to establish in very dense infrequently burnt grasslands. According to John Burrows, the area around Angle Station is very badly infested by invasive alien species, and the species is potentially threatened by them. According to Craib (2005), Black Wattles are spreading along drainage lines into the grassland habitat of the subpopulation at Angle Station. The type locality is also very easily accessible, and with this being a recently described species, it has high novelty value to collectors (a quick internet search (www.google.com) revealed that this species is already well known among succulent enthusiasts. This locality is threatened by collecting, although no current evidence of collecting has been found. The other sites, being unknown, are probably more secure.
Population

According to label information on the Condy and Craib specimen, there are about 50 plants at the type locality. Searches in 2004 confirmed that there are only about 50 mature individuals at the type locality (Smith and Craib 2005). M. Lötter has seen between 10 and 20 mature plants at the other two sites.


Population trend
Decreasing
Citation
Lötter, M., Burrows, J.E., von Staden, L. & Raimondo, D. 2006. Aloe craibii Gideon F.Sm. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/12/06

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Distribution map


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