Archived: Cacti (2017 AZE update consultation)

Please note that this 1st phase of the 2017 AZE consultation has now closed. Many thanks to everyone who contributed during July and August. The 2nd phase of the consultation, focusing on the spatial boundaries of the sites, is taking place on a different platform. Please follow this link to access it, and provide feedback using the links to Survey Monkey by the deadline of 12 November. Many thanks.


Please click on the link below to access an Excel spreadsheet listing all the proposed AZE sites triggered by cactus species. Please post any comments or feedback on these proposed sites on this page (rather than on any of the AZE pages for other taxa) by 31 July 2017. Comments indicating that you have looked through the data, but do not have any suggested amendments or more specific feedback, are also welcome. Many thanks in advance – BirdLife, IUCN and ABC


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14 Responses to Archived: Cacti (2017 AZE update consultation)

  1. Jose Luis León says:

    Regarding Cacti, for the entire Baja California peninsula (Mexico) only the islands of Margarita and Magdalena are considered as AZE sites, both have some endemisms but others such as the Cape Region has more species now threathened because the increment of human activities related with tourism.

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comment regarding Baja California. Regarding the Cape Region, we also have Sierra de la Laguna / Mountain of the Lagoon, triggered by Mammillaria schumannii. In going through all of the CR and EN cacti, I could not find any further sites from the area which meet the AZE criteria of Endangerment, Irreplaceability and Discreteness; do you think there are any I have missed?

  2. In relation to the proposed AZE (KBA) sites for the state of Queretaro, Mexico (Echinocereus schmollii, Mammillaria herrerae and Thelocactus hastifer) ideally the whole quadrant 20 ° 30 ‘-21 ° 00 ‘, 99 ° 30 ‘-100 ° 00 ‘ should be protected, considering that the richness of cacti there (2500 km2) is about 60 species.

    If this is not feasible, prioritary subquadrats are: Mesa de Leon (20° 36′-20° 42′, 99° 30′-99° 36′); Altamira (20° 42′-20° 48′, 99° 30′-99° 36′); Bernal (20° 42′-20° 48′, 99° 54′-100° 00′); Higuerillas (20° 54′-21° 00´, 99° 42′-99° 48′) and La Tinaja (20° 54′-21° 00′, 99° 36′-99° 42’). Each subquadrat is about 100 km2 and, for example, Mesa de Leon includes by itself nearly 5o cacti species and very diverse landscapes.

    On the other hand, Mammillaria glochidiata (AZE 29889) is a synonym of Mammillaria crinita, its habitat is the canyons of the Moctezuma River in the limits of Queretaro and Hidalgo States (i.e. Toliman barranca in the municipality of Zimapan, Hidalgo). The protection of these canyons could help to the conservation of some morphological variations of this Mammillaria (Sytlothelae) and other cacti of the same zone. Stylothelae species are abundant in our region and very variable.

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comments on the cacti of Queretaro.
      Our approach in defining sites is not to use quadrants, but to attempt to define areas based on habitats, biological communities, and/or management issues. However a significant proportion of the quadrant you mentioned – including the whole or parts of the priority subquadrants you picked out – are within the draft boundary of the proposed AZE site “Cadereyta Mountains” (into which “Vizarron De Montes” and “Matorral east of Ezequiel Montes” will probably be merged, to form one site). In the second round of consultation we will be seeking input to refine the boundaries, and any comments you have regarding that (including the most appropriate site name) will be gratefully received.
      Regarding Mammillaria glochidiata, we are following the taxonomy of the global IUCN Red List, on which this is currently considered to be a distinct species, but if this changes then the AZE list can be updated accordingly. In the case where a site has only one trigger species, and that trigger species is deemed to no longer be a valid species, the site would cease to be an AZE site.

  3. Christian R. Loaiza S. says:

    I have just reviewed the list of endangered species (cacti) and there is not any species designated for Ecuador, I have been working with cacti for a long time and I have the case of at least eight endemic species in the southern region of Ecuador that are in some category of risk for their survival.

    I would like to participate in this initiative in order to contribute to the conservation of these species, greetings.

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comment. On the global IUCN Red List, we have 35 cacti species native to Ecuador, but none of them are assessed as Critically Endangered or Endangered and therefore none are currently eligible to qualify as AZE trigger species. If an updated assessment were to result in any CR or EN species, they could become eligible if they are restricted to an irreplaceable and discrete site. They could therefore be nominated at that stage. Rather than the periodic updates to the AZE list that have happened to date (2005, 2010, 2017), the intention is that it becomes possible for AZEs (and indeed KBAs more widely) to be nominated at any time in future, from late 2018 on.

  4. In relation to the Cactus Corryocactus ayacuchoensis, I think there is a confusion with the site, already the area Río Mantaro, in the Junin region and this area corresponds to Peru rather than Chile. On the other hand, endemic in most cacti is located to the South of Peru, primarily in Arequipa, where the species Echinopsis pampana, in the province of Arequipa and Caylloma and Islaya islayensis in Islay Mollendo is threatened by population growth in areas where resides and excessive trade them as ornamental species. There are very few individuals that remain in their habitat of origin.

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comment.
      Firstly, apologies for the error in the country recorded for “Rio Mantaro area”; I will correct “Chile” to “Peru”.
      Regarding Echinopsis pampana, this was considered in our long list of potential AZE trigger species but from the information available in its Red List assessment and the point locality records provided by the assessors, it did not seem to be overwhelmingly restricted to one discrete irreplaceable site – I noted it to be found within the Protected Area “Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca”, as well as KBA “Cotahuasi”, and additional records from outside these sites. Is this information correct, or is it now overwhelmingly restricted to one site?
      Regarding Islaya islayensis, the global Red List assessment for this species (under the name Eriosyce islayensis) is Near Threatened, and it is therefore not currently eligible to to qualify as AZE trigger species. If an updated assessment were to result in it being assessed as CR or EN, it could become eligible if it is restricted to an irreplaceable and discrete site. It could therefore be nominated at that stage. Rather than the periodic updates to the AZE list that have happened to date (2005, 2010, 2017), the intention is that it becomes possible for AZEs (and indeed KBAs more widely) to be nominated at any time in future, from late 2018 on.

  5. Jafet M. Nassar says:

    Aruba: Concerning proposed site AZE_26885, which represents the habitat of Melocactus stramineus, I do support this AZE. Aruba’s natural areas are restricted to a single national park (Parke Nacional Arikok), which represents about 17% of the island. Aruba is under growing land conversion pressure, because urbanization projects and hotels construction continue. Maintaining the park and protecting the species from extraction are essential to preserve this endangered species.

    Venezuela: Concerning proposed site AZE_NEW_230, which represents the habitat of Pilosocereus tillianus, I do support this AZE. This island of xerophilous vegetation inmersed in the Venezuelan Andes is home for several endemic species (plants and animals). It is surrounded by urbanized areas under accelerated expansion. No legal protection exists for this arid patch, which makes it quite vulnerable.

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comments on these sites and for providing further background details.

  6. Ana Pin Ferreira says:

    I have reviewed the list of sites, and I see that there are no AZE or KBA sites for Paraguay. In my opinion, a potential area of cactus protection could be the Cordillera de los Altos, which occupies the Cordillera and Paraguari Departments (mainly) in the eastern region of our country. Here are several species of globular cacti very exposed to the collection as ornamental species, such as Frailea alexandri, F. pumila, F. schilinzkyana, Gymnocalycium paraguayense (endemic)*, Parodia nigrispina (endemic)* and P. ottonis. There is also “Cereus lanosus” (endemic), as it is denominated to date in the herbaria, which would be an incorrect denomination of Cereus paraguayensis.

    * EN (Endangered, in national listings)

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comment on the Cordillera de los Altos. Although this certainly sounds like an important area for cactus conservation, AZE sites must meet the criteria outlines here – – they must contain all or >95% of the population of a species assessed as CR or EN in the global IUCN Red List. Of the species you have listed, only Parodia nigrispina meets the latter part (global status EN), and from the information I looked at it seemed that it was not confined to a single discrete site, being found at multiple sites including within two separate KBAs. If this is incorrect or if there is any indication that the vast majority of the population is confined to single site, then please let me know.

  7. Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

    Comment from Pierre Braun via email:

    I checked the list and have some annotations

    Discocactus subterraneo-proliferans : probably extinct !!!, original habitat is destroyed (agriculture), could not be find again since 1984 !!! during many trips into that region, only few plants in cultivation somewhere on the globe 🙁

    Pilosocereus diersianus : severely decreasing, probably soon extinct due to mining in the next years

    Melocactus brederooianus: few scattered habitats, severely decreasing

    Estevesia alex- bragae: intensive agriculture (soy bean), only one habitat, becoming extinct soon

    Coleocephalocereus braunii: only one habitat, severely decreasing, fires , less 500 individuals

    Discocactus cangaensis: only one habitat, new settlements of nearby village, soon extinct, less 500

    Coleocephalocereus uebelmanniorum: only one habitat, decreasing, less 1000

    Cereus estevesii: probably extinct now, could not be find again since 2002, complete area deforested

    Coleocephalocereus diersianus : severely decreasing, only one habitat, less 500

    Cereus saddianus: severely decreasing, agriculture

    Tacinga estevesii: decreasing, mining

    Melocactus braunii: decreasing, only one habitat, less 500

    the following taxa are listed in IUCN with a “higher level”, but according field studies strong tendency to EN and even CR

    Arrojadoa beateae
    Discocactus diersianus
    Melocactus estevesii
    Melocactus lanssensianus
    Pilosocereus mollispinus
    Pilosocereus parvus
    Pierrebraunia brauniorum (habitat is safe, but only few plants, less 500)
    Uebelmannia pectinifera

    The following species are not assessed in IUCN yet, because they were published most recently

    Micranthocereus oliveirae P.J.Braun 2015
    Discocactus fariae-peresii P.J. Braun 2016

    In both cases: only few plants in habitat, only one locality CR; this status was also proposed in the publications of the two new species.

    The following two were missed to become assessed for IUCN. Both are CR, only few plants in habitat

    Pilosocereus hermii P.J. Braun, Esteves & Hofacker 2007
    Pilosocereus pseudosuperfloccosus P.J. BRaun & Esteves 2009

    The following taxa are not assessed yet, all are highly endangered

    Pilosocereus occultiflorus P.J. BRaun & Esteves 1999
    – small habitat, EN

    Pilosocereus estevesii P.J. Braun 1999
    – probably extinct since about 1990, at least CR

    Pilosocereus goianus P.J. Braun 2002
    – strong mining activities, EN

    Pilosocereus rizzoianus P.J. Braun & Esteves 1992
    – very Limited habitats, EN

    Pilosocereus densivillosus P.J. Braun & Esteves 1994
    – very Limited habitats, EN

    Pilosocereus lindanus P.J. Braun & Esteves 1988
    – severely decreasing, EN

    • Janet Scott (IUCN) says:

      Many thanks for your comments on these cacti.

      The background information on the species in your first section is very interesting; it sounds as though you support these being AZE trigger species.

      Regarding the second section, three of the species you listed (Discocactus diersianus, Melocactus lanssensianus and Uebelmannia pectinifera) are currently assessed as EN. However, from the information within their Red List assessments it sounds as though these are not overwhelmingly confined to a single site. If this is incorrect, please do let me know. Regarding the others in that section (currently assessed as DD, LC or VU), these can’t qualify as AZE trigger species unless they are reassessed as CR or EN. If the assessments are out of date then it would of course be great if it were possible to reassess them.

      Likewise, the species which have not yet been assessed can’t qualify as AZE species in the scope of the current project until they have published global Red List assessments. As an additional output of this project the aim is to move from periodic static updates of the AZE list to a more dynamic process, so as and when the species are assessed/reassessed as CR/EN they can then be nominated for AZE status through those channels.

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