Waterberg Cycad

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii I.Verd.
Higher Classification
Gymnosperms
Family
ZAMIACEAE
Common Names
Bergpalm (a), Bergpalmboom (a), Broodboom (a), Mofaka (ns), Waterberg Cycad (e), Waterberg-broodboom (a), Wildedatel (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered A2d; C1
Assessment Date
2009/10/31
Assessor(s)
J.S. Donaldson
Justification
There has been significant collecting over the past 30 years, based on the number of mature plants in private collections. The population is suspected to have declined by >50% (generation length 30 years) and between 900 and 1000 mature individuals are now estimated to remain. Collecting seems to have decreased in the existing nature reserves. The managers of the farms where they occur are concerned about ongoing poaching although conservation officials noted relatively little evidence of illegal collecting during a population census in 2004. There is good reason to regard cycads in this region as at high risk due to large scale poaching of cycads across Limpopo Province.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Limpopo
Range
Waterberg.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Waterberg-Magaliesberg Summit Sourveld, Waterberg Mountain Bushveld
Description
Sandstone hills and rocky ridges in open grassland and savanna.
Threats
E. eugene-maraisii is threatened due to over-collecting for ornamental purposes and this could lead to reproductive failure. There has been significant collecting over the past 30 years based on the number of mature plants in private collections, although this now seems to have decreased in the existing nature reserves. The managers of the farms where they occur are concerned about ongoing poaching although conservation officials noted relatively little evidence of illegal collecting during a population census in 2004.
Population

Subpopulations are small and scattered. Poaching of plants has resulted in individuals being far from one another in certain cases. Nature conservation officials undertook helicopter surveys in 2004 and counted 982 plants in 12 subpopulations. This is regarded as a slight underestimate due to poor visibility at the time of surveying. Based on the number of mature plants in private collections, it is estimated that the wild population has declined by at least 50% over the past 30 years. Although collecting pressure appears to have eased, ongoing population decline is still expected to meet at least 20% within the next 60 years (two generations).


Population trend
Decreasing
Conservation
Protected within a national park, a private nature reserve and a natural heritage site.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii I.Verd.EN C1Raimondo et al. (2009)
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii I.Verd.Vulnerable Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Encephalartos eugene-maraisii I.Verd.Vulnerable Hall et al. (1980)
Bibliography

Donaldson, J.S. 2003. Cycads. Status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland; Cambridge, UK.


Goode, D. 2001. Cycads of Africa Volume I. D&E Cycads of Africa, Gallo Manor.


Grobbelaar, N. 2003. Cycads. With special reference to the southern African species. (2nd ed.). Nat Grobbelaar, Pretoria.


Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.


Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.


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.


Citation
Donaldson, J.S. 2009. Encephalartos eugene-maraisii I.Verd. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/06/16

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Distribution map

© S.P. Fourie


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