Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Euphorbia suffulta Bruyns
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
EUPHORBIACEAE
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii)
Assessment Date
2019/11/09
Assessor(s)
D. Raimondo
Justification
Euphorbia suffulta has a restricted range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 3495 km². It is known from five locations, but is likely to be more common as its range is botanically poorly explored. It is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, and is also potentially vulnerable to prolonged droughts.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Range
This species is endemic to the Great Karoo, where it occurs in a small area between Merweville and Klaarstroom.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Nama Karoo, Succulent Karoo
Description
It occurs on stony gentle slopes, often inside other bushes.
Threats
There is ongoing degradation of this species' habitat as a result of livestock overgrazing and the increased intensity and duration of droughts. For example, rainfall has been extremely low (50% of the expected average) for four years between 2016 and 2019. Furthermore, its entire known range falls within an area earmarked for shale gas fracking, which could potentially have a severe impact on this species in future. A Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment submitted to South Africa's Department of Environment Affairs in 2016 cautioned against the authorisation of shale gas fracking, based on the very high infrastructure costs associated with fracking as well as multiple secondary negative impacts both to biodiversity and other economic activities in the region. Furthermore, subsequent geological studies have found that gas deposits are not as substantial as originally suspected due to the very old age of the Karoo shale formations, and the effect of widespread dolerite intrusions that resulted in much of the gas being lost. At present, future development scenarios are too uncertain to estimate the potential extent of the impact on the population but it is unlikely that shale gas fracking will proceed in the near future.
Population

This species is known from only a few records, but it is likely to be more common as it is easily overlooked when it grows sheltered under larger shrubs, and its range is botanically poorly explored. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat degradation.


Population trend
Decreasing
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Euphorbia suffulta BruynsLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Bibliography

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.


Snijman, D.A. 2013. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 2: The extra Cape flora. Strelitzia 30. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.


Citation
Raimondo, D. 2019. Euphorbia suffulta Bruyns. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/07/10

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Distribution map


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