The actions required to conserve the world's diversity of succulent plants are many and varied. The review undertaken by the IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group in order to prepare this document indicates some of the main activities which should be undertaken immediately. These can be divided into various broad categories. Some are straightforward and relatively inexpensive: for example, provision of information to conservation decision makers. Others are more complex, involving, for example, long-term development of protected area systems. As far as possible organisations have been identified for the action proposals listed below. The Specialist Group will work with these organisations to develop detailed funding proposals for essential conservation action. The SSC Group will also work with I OS to bring to the attention of national governments the need for effective conservation legislation, the development of effective scientific and management authorities to enforce national and CITES legislation, the need for protected areas, and other conservation initiatives to protect the world's diversity of succulent plants. It is our hope that researchers and students, funding agencies, conservation organisations, specialist groups, societies, collectors and growers will all find this document, and especially the Action Proposals, helpful while playing their part in plant conservation.
1) Provision of information. This Action Plan brings together certain data for the first time. Information compiled for this report on the conservation status of species has been incorporated into the Plants Database maintained at WCMC. Provision needs to be made for the regular updating of species data by the Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group in association with WCMC. It is also a priority to assign the new IUCN categories of threat to those species of conservation concern indicated in this Action Plan.
It is particularly important that information on the conservation status of species coupled with data on priority habitats for succulent species conservation should be maintained and made available to national protected area agencies for use in designing protected area systems.
Appendices of CITES. Recent information, including the results of various field projects and nursery surveys, indicates that the following changes should be made to the CITES Appendices. The SSC group will help the relevant national CITES management authorities to develop proposals accordingly.
a) Addition of Beaucarnea to Appendix II of CITES. All nine species in the genus are threatened, mainly due to collection by the horticultural trade. Over-collection of seed and seedlings is also damaging wild populations. A proposal should be developed to add the genus to Appendix II of CITES.
Contact: UAT and Dr. Luis S. Hernández b) Addition of other taxa to Appendix II: Adenia (Madagascan species), Adenium, Brachystelma, Cyphostemma, Commiphora (Madagascan species.), Fockea, Ha worthia, Kedrostris, Molina, Odosicyos, Operculicarya, Raphionacme, Trocliomcropsis, Xerosicyos, Zygosicyos.
c) Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I: Ceropegia spp. — Madagascan spp. only; Micranthocereus (Brazilian endemic genus) plants in trade are likely to be field-collected. M. auriazureus, the most heavily traded species recorded in CITES statistics, is very rare in the wild. M. dolichospermaticus is another species adversely impacted by trade.
3) Review of CITES listings for Succulents. A
review of the appropriateness of current CITES listings for succulent plants is required using the CITES appendices amendment criteria approved in 1994. This should take into account information on conservation status in the wild, availability in trade, and extent of commercial propagation of both those plants currently listed on the Appendices and others threatened by international trade. The views of conservation organisations, commercial growers, and botanic gardens should be solicited.
Contact: IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent
Astrophytum cactus nursery, Kurashiki, Japan.
Pile of collected cacti, Terlingua, Texas.
4) Implementation of nursery registration. All countries with succulent plant nurseries should be encouraged to implement the resolution adopted at the Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 1995, to CITES: Guidelines for the registration of nurseries exporting artificially propagated specimens of Appendix I species.
Contact: Appropriate CITES management authority
5) Regular review of CITES trade data for succulents. As part of the ongoing Significant Plant trade process, regular analysis of the national reported trade in cacti and other succulents should be undertaken by the IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent Specialist Group in association with WCMC and TRAFFIC International. Studies should determine the impact of trade on succulents and their suitability for CITES listing.
Contact: IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent
An annual report on international illegal trade in cacti and other succulents should be compiled and distributed to national authorities and relevant interest groups. This will provide information on seizures and prosecutions and results of investigations into availability of recently described and illegally obtained rare cacti.
Contact: TRAFFIC International
7) Training for CITES staff. It is important that CITES Scientific and Management Authorities and customs agencies, in countries which have significant trade in cacti and succulents, should be trained to implement the trade controls and to recognise appropriate illegal material and to deal with this trade. In-country training should be carried out in association with CITES field projects. Transfer training should also be encouraged, with personnel from exporting countries seconded to CITES Authorities of importing countries.
Contact: CITES Secretariat
Ex situ conservation
The following are priorities and strategies for future actions needing im plementation with regard conservation of succulents:
a) Analyse existing ex situ collections and develop and enhance databases to track them. This can involve more institutions and people than are presently served in botanic garden databases, such as private collections and commercial nurseries. Development of such databases on a national or regional level should be considered a high priority as well as the improvement of software documentation systems for collections and protocols for the exchange data between them.
b) Develop a strategy for the use of ex situ collections of cacti and succulents for conservation; that is, to highlight priority species, then overlay these with ex situ collections enabling a clear identification of particular conservation needs.
Develop means of exchanging data on cultivation techniques and requirements to help promote«" situ survival and propagation of rare and threatened species.
d) Develop educational programs at gardens for the general public highlighting the need to conserve cacti and succulents.
Conduct a study to determine how flooding the market with artificially propagated plant material would affect the pressures on the wild populations. f) Develop a marketing strategy to sell artificially propagated rare succulents.
Educate collectors about the conservation of wild populations and urge them to buy only artificially propagated plants.
Develop more Species Recovery Programmes involving material available ex situ to act as models for other conservation action, e.g. species reintroduction programmes.
Tour group, Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona.
Increase awareness of CITES and its provisions for the holders of cacti and succulent collections and promote such collections as resources for the implementation of this Convention. A CITES Handbook for Botanic Gardens has been published by BGCI (Akeroyd et al. 1994) and should be distributed widely.
j) Initiate research programmes to study the genetic variability of ex situ collections of particularly rare and endangered taxa. Liaise with research institutions, universities, and NGOs.
The following are preliminary ideas. Further development of the proposals in co-operation with suggested implementing agencies is needed.
9) Herbaria surveys of Agavaceae, sensu lato.
Survey of herbaria holdings of all genera (with priority given to Agave), to determine the extent of documentation of the taxa. Specimens have been added to various herbaria since the collections and herbaria searches of Gentry from the 1950s to the late 1970s. Surveys would reveal those taxa which are rare or are rare in the records, reveal distributional information and gaps in knowledge of a taxon's distribution, and would help to clarify nomenclatural problems. A review of herbaria holdings may shed light on the status of missing significant specimens, especially type specimens.
Contact: DES, HNT and MEXU with Jardín Botánico de lnstituto de Biología, Mexico City
10) Compile and provide a database of scientists and herbaria actively researching groups within
Agavaceae. The initial steps in preparing this list (which could be linked with the review of herbaria holdings) would involve reviewing Index Herbariorum (Holmgren et al. 1990), consulting with the most recent edition of the International Register of Specialists and Current Research in Plant Systematics (Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation), and consultation of recent editions of the IOS Repertorium, Bibliography Section. This database will assist in the development of field survey and documentation projects and subsequent management or recovery plans for rare taxa.
11) Field survey and careful documentation of the Agavaceae, with Agave, Manfreda, Polianthes, and Furcraea as priorities. This is critical to the assessment of the conservation status of any taxon. Following a review of herbaria holdings, it will become more clear as to which taxa and what areas need to be searched. Documentation of all Agavaceae, in particular Agave, Furcraea, and Yucca should be carefully undertaken and
Aloe ferox leaves which have been removed for extraction of aloe sap for commercial use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
include photos, concise and descriptive notes (including inflorescence size and shape), and floral measurements. Specimens should be processed in such a way as to minimise loss of character. Many specimens, with the exception of those prepared by Gentry and a few other botanists, are poorly prepared and provide little information, thereby contributing little towards one's understanding of the taxonomic group. In addition, since many collections of Agave occurred from the 1930s to the early 1970s, more recent collections, including areas where specimens were previously collected, should be made. For example, Manfreda potoslna is known from three collections, all of which were made between 1908 and 1936. Its current status is unknown. Significant land utilisation activities or over-collection during the last SO or 60 years have probably impacted Agavaceae populations, and an assessment of their current status is required. Priorities for field survey are: Bahamas, Guatemala, certain states of Mexico - see regional priorities below.
Contact: Research institutions such as universities and botanic gardens
12) Identification of areas of highest diversity in Agavaceae, including protected areas, and documentation of the rare Agavaceae taxa found within these areas. Action plans, which include appropriate management and conservation strategies for the rare taxa and their habitats should be developed within these identified areas.
Contact: IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent
13) Review and conduct research on reproductive processes and isolating mechanisms in Agave which will lead towards better understanding of the speciation process in this group. A more flexible approach towards applying the general definition of a species rather than the more strict biological species approach is required for such groups as Agave where vegetative reproduction, hybridisation, and polyploidy play very important roles in the speciation process. Such an understanding may prevent problematic groups of taxonomic and systematic interest (other than Fl hybrids) from "falling through the cracks" and thus not receiving recognition or protection. Cultivation, selection and migration of so-called species since remote antiquity need to be addressed in evaluating the integrity of species as some important fibre and pulque "species" may be remnants of selected and cultivated plants dating from pre-Conquest.
14) Development of an ex situ conservation program for Agavaceae. Botanic gardens provide an especially effective setting for the study and conservation of the Agavaceae. Important ex situ collections of the family include those maintained by the Botanic Garden at UNAM, Mexico and the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix. A review of existing botanical garden holdings is of critical importance as recommended in Action 8a. Such a review should determine the number of specimens held for a given taxon, whether they are from different populations, and whether they are documented. In addition, a review of propagation schemes is essential. The ex situ conservation programme should emphasise the importance of botanic garden collections for taxonomic and genetic research and the protection of crop genetic resources. Funding should be sought for ex situ conservation activities in botanical gardens in a given region where rare Agavaceae occur, as part of a regionally integrated programme. For example, in Puebla, two botanic gardens exist and can be involved in the ex situ conservation of Agave peacockii, A. trianeularis, A. stricta, Beaucarnea gracilis, B. stricta, and Beschorneria caldcóla.
Contact: Asociación Mexicana de Jardines
15) Development of a strategic conservation plan.
In drawing up a conservation plan for the group, first priority should be given to the centres of diversity of Aloaceae, especially those in the southern and eastern Cape of Africa where many species are under threat. A prerequisite for this project would be an analysis of the distribution of aloaceous species in relation to the current southern African protected areas. Education on the need for habitat conservation and restrictions on collecting should be an important component.
Contact: IUCN/SSC Cactus and Succulent
16) Medical research on Aloaceae. Surveys of the ethnobotanical uses of alooid species should be conducted.
17) Fencing Aloe bowiea. This species is one of the most threatened of all the southern African Aloe spp. Immediate conservation action, such as fencing off the remaining populations, is required. Alternatively, five specimens should be re-located to in situ and/or ex situ safe sites.
Contact: Appropriate protected area managers Crassulaceae
18) Botanical exploration for this family in the following regions: Central and South America, the Near East, southern Central Asia (Himalayas), East Africa, and Madagascar. Revisions of Madagascar! species of Kalanchoe and Bryophylhim are urgently needed.
Contact: Research institutions
Regional action proposals
19) Modification of species legislation. The following species should be added to Annex 1 of 'Ordren sobre protección de especies de la flora vascular silvestre de la Comunidad Autonoma de Canarias': Aeonium saundersii, Aichryson pachycaulon, Carallumaburchardii, Euphorbia bourgeauana, and E. mellifera.
20) Development of the proposed National Park on Gran Canaria. The development of the proposed National Park on Gran Canaria is urgently needed to protect Euphorbia communities and eroded volcanic landscapes which are threatened by land speculation and urbanisation.
21) Review conservation status of theatened plants in this region and evaluate all species with the new categories of threat, in cooperation with the IUCN/SSC Mediterranean Island Plant (see Delanoë et al. 1996) and European Plant Specialist Groups.
22) Protect succulent habitat on the Atlantic coastal area of Morocco near Agadir and to the south. Species include Euphorbia officinanrm, E. echinus, Caralluma burchardii, C. europaea, and Kleinia anteuphorbium. Work must be done to alleviate threats to these plants which include industrial and tourism development, agriculture, and overgrazing.
23) Development of protected areas. It is important that when Somalia is in a position to develop a protected area system, sites rich in succulent plant species arc incorporated. These species are uniquely adapted to the climatic and soil conditions and may be important in habitat restoration. Although further botanical survey is a priority for parts of the country, including the Cal Madow hills of the north-east, there is sufficient information available from earlier surveys on which to base site selection. Ideally a Biosphere Reserve with strictly protected botanical sites within it should be created within the north-east mountain region. Technical assistance will be required and the generation of local support for conservation initiatives.
24) Taxonomic work in Asclepiadaceae.
25) Checklist of southern African succulents. A
definitive checklist of southern African succulents needs to be compiled. This list should clearly define what is meant by succulent and should include information on synonymy, distribution, type of succulent (leaf, stem, caudiciform, etc.), plant use, conservation status, and key literature. Arnold and De Wet (1993) provide a starting point for such a list, but much of the information in that volume is inaccurate and out-of-date. An important step which would greatly assist this and many of the other projects listed below, is the computerisation of all specimen labels in southern Africa herbaria.
Contact: National Botanical Institute (NBI) and other herbaria in South Africa; National Herbaria in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe; systematists/taxonomists working on succulent groups; the Succulent Society of South Africa; and the Aloe, Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe
26) Production of a Red Data Book. A detailed Red Data Book on southern African succulents needs to be compiled which has accurate information on population numbers and sizes and good documentation of the threats to the species including quantitative estimates of population declines. An inventory of all taxa considered to be threatened in southern Africa was recently published (Hilton-Taylor 1996b). Any new or corrected information should be sent to C. Hilton-Taylor at the address given in Annex 17.
Contact: NBI, provincial and national conservation agencies, professional and amateur botanists
27) Review of in situ succulent plant protection. There is a need to determine which species and the number of their populations are effectively protected in the existing protected area network. Distribution data for all the succulent taxa should be analysed using iterative procedures as1 described by Rebelo (1994) to obtain the optimal reserve configuration for preserving the maximum diversity of southern African succulents. This configuration needs to be compared to the existing protected area network and gaps in the network identified. All the high priority areas, particularly major sites of succulent diversity, need to be declared conservation areas. A number of gaps in the protected area network have already been identified (see chapters in Huntley 1989 and 1994). Hilton-Taylor and Le Roux (1989) have indicated a number of areas in the Succulent Karoo which need to be set aside for the protection of succulents, however, few of these recommendations have been acted on.
Contact: Conservation agencies, NGOs, herbaria
28) In situ succulent plant conservation in
Zimbabwe. Kimberley (1991) has outlined an ambitious plan to select thirty habitats in Zimbabwe for botanical reserve purposes. The findings of Timberlake and Muller (1994) should be incorporated into this plan. Kimberley (1991) estimated that the plan would cost approximately five million Zimbabwean dollars (equivalent at that time to one million U.S. dollars) extended over a ten year period. This plan would also have the added economic benefits of creating employment for at least sixty, if not more, people. The proposed plan for Zimbabwe should be emulated in other southern African countries.
Contact: The NBI and other southern African botanical institutions are in the best position to carry out the analysis, but the purchase and setting aside of land is the responsibility of national governments and government conservation agencies with the aid and support of NGOs such as the Succulent Society, Wildlife Society, and World Wide Fund for Nature.
29) Participation in protected area planning. In
South Africa during the proposed redistribution of land to those people with historical claims on certain areas it will be important to demonstrate the tangible benefits of conservation to the community concerned through education, workshops, etc., especially aspects such as economic benefits and job opportunities, so as to ensure full public participation. Archer (1993) for example, describes the participation process followed in negotiations between pastoralists and conservationists in the recently established Richtersveld National Park, home to many endemic species of succulent plants.
30) Conservation on private land. Alternatives to publicly owned or legally designated conservation areas are urgently required in situations where formal protected area status is inappropriate. Farmers should be made aware of the importance of conservation and they should be encouraged to leave parcels of natural land for the protection of as wide as possible a variety of genetic diversity. In South Africa, landowners may on a voluntary basis register part of their land as a Natural Heritage Site with the Department of Environment Affairs, so as to protect important natural sites (Fuggle and Rabie 1992). The landowner may receive some management advice for the site, but retains full rights over the property, and as the registration has no legal status, it falls away when the landowner dies or when the property is sold. Another alternative is for a landowner to join a conservancy where the owners of several properties have combined resources for the improved conservation of the natural areas remaining on their land (Fuggle and Rabie 1992). These conservancies also do not have any legal status. Both of these schemes, however, offer no financial benefits to the landowners concerned and a system of financial assistance or tax incentives for conservation efforts should possibly be introduced. There are many examples of such 'stewardship' schemes world-wide.
Contact: Government departments, conservation agencies, NGOs, landowners, and public participation
31) Survey of ex situ succulent plant conservation.
Which species, how many, and the sources of all the material, are in cultivation in botanical gardens in southern Africa and elsewhere in the world needs to be documented. In addition to botanical gardens, the species in large privately owned collections particularly of certain succulent genera, also need to be recorded. All botanical gardens and individuals with important collections should be encouraged to register as holders of an IOS Generic Reserve Collection.
Contact: Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), NBI, all botanical gardens in southern Africa, Succulent Society of South Africa, National Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe, IOS
32) Improving CITES implementation. In terms of regulating international trade in succulent species from southern Africa, it may be necessary to propose the listing of additional taxa on the CITES Appendices. This will be determined from the results of trade surveys conducted by TRAFFIC. Such surveys will have to be conducted at fairly regular intervals to monitor trends. A number of additional aspects concerning CITES also need to be attended to: (a) non-member states within southern Africa should be encouraged to join; (b) CITES regulations need to be correctly and efficiently enforced by each state and especially by the different provinces within South Africa; (c) inspectors need to be given adequate training and literature to help them in the identification of CITES listed material; (d) there should be separate Management and Scientific CITES Authorities for each country; and (e) the fate of confiscated material should be clearly defined in a policy document.
Contact: CITES Secretariat, TRAFFIC, government conservation agencies, botanical research institutes
33) Development of national legislation. The deficiencies in national and provincial conservation legislation as outlined in the Southern African Regional Account need to be addressed as a matter of top priority. For example, (a) Botswana urgently needs legislation to protect its flora; (b) government funding for the PPC in Lesotho is totally inadequate and staffing is insufficient; (c) the list of protected plants in Namibia is in need of revision (M. Strobach, pers. comm.); (d) now that South Africa is divided into nine provinces, each will have to draw up its own conservation legislation, providing a good opportunity to update and tighten up the ordinances and to ensure even standards and treatment across the country; and (e) penalties imposed for offences are in most cases far too low to act as a deterrent and should be substantially increased to match those for offences relating to animals.
Contact: National governments, conservation agencies, botanical research institutes, environmental lawyers
A koker boom (Aloe dichotoma) forest which could easily become a major tourist attraction.
34) Law enforcement. The provision of appropriate conservation legislation must also ensure adequate law enforcement. South African legislation for the protection of plants in general and succulent plant species in particular is generally satisfactory, but in many cases the enforcement falls far short of what is desirable. This is not a reflection of the actual abilities of the law enforcers, but on their small numbers and the vast areas they have to police (Cowling and Olivier 1992). The main reason for this, according to Kimberley (1991), is the lack of personnel, and especially the absence of any active and full-time inspectorate, which is largely attributed to the shortage of sufficient financial support.
Contact: National governments, conservation agencies, honorary conservation officers
35) National Biodiversity Action Plans.
Government funding for flora conservation in every southern African country is inadequate. This issue should be addressed by countries when compiling national plans in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity. Namibia is probably the first southern African country to have started this process (G. Maggs, pers. comm.).
Contact: National governments, conservation agencies, botanical research institutes
36) Education and public awareness. As most land in southern Africa is privately or communally owned an extensive and intensive environmental education and awareness campaign using all the media is required to educate the general public about our floral wealth and especially those species at risk (see Smith 1994). The campaign needs to instil in the population of each country, particularly people in the rural areas and developers, a corporate responsibility to protect and safeguard its floral heritage for future generations. The Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe could serve as a role model for such an education campaign. The CAMPFIRE project was started by the Zimbabwean conservation authorities in 1982 as a result of the increasing conflict between people and wildlife and the realisation that much of the land was better used for conservation than for conventional economically and ecologically unsound agricultural purposes (Holt-Biddle 1994). Similar pilot schemes have been started in Botswana and Namibia, but they have not had the same measure of success as CAMPFIRE (Holt-Biddle 1994).
Contact: National governments, conservation agencies, education authorities, traditional leaders, universities and other educational institutions, NGOs
Awareness of the floral wealth also needs to be extended to those people in authority, especially those directly responsible for the conservation of the flora. Ever since the concept of conservation gained popularity and momentum in southern Africa, the emphasis has largely been on the fauna (Huntley 1978; Kimberley 1991). The lack of care and expertise about the flora has been such that those in authority often do not know one protected, specially protected, or endangered plant species from another.
Contact: National governments conservation agencies, the NBI and other botanical institutes, educational institutions, NGOs like the succulent societies, the media
37) Promotion of the financial value of succulents.
There is a growing realisation in southern Africa that sustainable and imaginative use of natural resources can be used to generate considerable income, especially through the concept of ecotourism (Cowling 1993). Unique areas of succulent diversity could be used to generate income, especially if promoted as tourist attractions. Millions of visitors to Arizona in the USA for example, pay to see the representative succulent plant communities (organ pipe cactus, giant Saguaro cactus, and Joshua trees) which are protected in the Sonoran Desert. The kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma) forests of the Northern Cape and Namibia, Euphorbia thickets of the Eastern Cape, Sesamothamnus lugardii populations in Botswana, and Lithops colonies in Namibia are prime examples of such resources which could easily be promoted.
Contact: Conservation agencies, NGOs, local authorities, and tourism organisations such as SATOUR
38) Development of succulent plant nurseries. To help prevent the removal of succulent plants from the wild, attempts are required to establish sufficient nurseries to meet the demand for plants. Such nurseries would not only supply plants and seeds for the horticultural trade but also plants used for traditional medicinal purposes. Such nurseries should operate according to the guidelines set out in the IOS Code of Conduct (Oldfield 1990). Rural communities in particular, should be helped and encouraged to set up such nurseries, e.g. in the Richtersveld or in Lesotho for Aloe polyphylla (see Talukdar 1983). These nurseries would not only benefit the local community financially but would hopefully educate people about the value of the plants thereby engendering a conservation ethic.
Contact: Conservation agencies, NGOs, traditional leaders and their rural communities, commercial nurseries, traditional healers, TRAFFIC, the NBI and other botanical institutes
39) In situ monitoring of threatened species. Long-term monitoring studies in situ of selected threatened succulent species and their habitats are required to gain further insights into the conservation requirements of endangered species. Such studies could be modelled along the lines of those conducted on cacti in Mexico by Can Te, A.C. in collaboration with CITES. Haworthia and Euphorbia are two prime genera which have many suitable candidates for such a monitoring programme.
Contact: CITES, conservation agencies, Succulent Society of South Africa, National Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe, the NBI, university botany departments
40) Rescue operations for threatened succulents.
As part of the ex situ conservation measures, a coordinated approach is required across southern Africa for the rescue of succulent plants, especially threatened species, from areas intended for development. These rescued plants should be grown in cultivation with the view to reintroduction to another suitable and safe site or moved immediately. The Botanical Society of South Africa has a 'Search and Rescue' group run under the auspices of their Flora Conservation Committee. This group, however, is purely Western Cape based and deals mainly with in situ problems of habitat conservation, although some plants have been removed from the wild and taken to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for cultivation. 'Operation Wildflower' is another such group, which in recent years has only operated in the Transvaal. This group focuses mainly on indigenous succulents (aloes) and bulbs, which are removed from areas slated for development and cultivated in private gardens. While these local efforts are praiseworthy, national or possibly regional, well co-ordinated approaches to the problem are required, especially if effective reintroduction programmes are to be started. The Centers of Plant Conservation in the USA could possibly serve as a role model for such a programme (Falk 1992).
Contact: Conservation agencies, botanical gardens (especially the NBI), Botanical Society of South Africa, Succulent Society of South Africa, Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe, other NGOs
41) Incorporation of succulent plant expertise in the IUCN/SSC Specialist Group for Madagascan plants. There is an urgent need for conservation activities relating to the plants of Madagascar to be more effectively co-ordinated through the creation of a specialist group of experts from Madagascar and elsewhere, which includes expertise on the succulent flora.
Contact: SSC Plants Programme
42) Analysis of the distribution of succulent species in relation to the current and proposed protected areas. GIS mapping of the known distribution of succulent species by genera should be completed, based on the botanical literature and the results of the CITES field project, to highlight the centres of diversity for each succulent genus. Compare centres of diversity for each genus and the protected area network. Recommend for expansion the protected area coverage of the main centres of diversity for succulent plant species. A GIS project based on orchid, palm and legume data is already underway under the auspices of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A technician has been employed in Paris to enter locality data for this project. Support should be provided for similar data to be accessed for the succulent flora.
Contact: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
43) Detailed assessment of the conservation needs of the xerophytic vegetation of south-west Madagascar. A comprehensive survey should be conducted of the spiny thicket vegetation of south-west Madagascar to determine the best remaining sites for conservation purposes. Site selection can be based on representative examples of the vegetation structurally defined, succulent species richness, and presence of rare and/or threatened endemics.
Contact: WWF-Madagascar/ ZSS
44) Cap Sainte Marie Special Reserve. This reserve is important for the protection of the endemic and threatened Euphorbia cap-saintemariensis and for other succulents such as Aloe millotii, Alluaudia comosa, and Alluaudiopsis fiherensis. While some information on the species present is available, a full botanical inventory should be carried out. The reserve is also scenicallv attractive and, although no visitor resources exist at present, it is potentially an important site for ecotourism. Reassessment of the boundaries, exclusion of seriously degraded and botanically less important areas and fencing to exclude livestock from the core area is necessary. The development of ecotourism and area management plans should be encouraged.
45) Development of a 'Ttilear botanical garden'.
Development of a botanic garden with natural vegetation protected as a reserve in the vicinity of Tulear.
Contact: University of Tulear
46) Assessment of Strict Nature Reserves.
Assessment of the condition and realistic prospects for medium- to long-term protection of succulent plants at Reserve naturelle integrale de Tsimanampetsotsa and Reserve naturelle integrale d'Andohahela (parcel 2).
Contact: Missouri Botanic Garden
47) Detailed survey of the western escarpment of the Central Plateau. The area between the Mangoky and Manambaho Rivers is in need of a detailed survey to assess the conservation status and conservation needs of the succulent flora.
Echinocereus chisoensis, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Vulnerable.
48) Creation of new protected areas. Protection of the priority sites for succulent plant conservation identified above is urgently required. A feasibility study should be carried out to determine the best form of protection, site boundaries, management requirements, willingness of local people to support protected areas and the costings involved. Funding proposals should be developed for the creation of reserves where the agreement in principle of all interested parties has been reached.
49) Development of plant conservation legislation.
Contact: Government offices, lobbying groups
50) Improvements in nursery monitoring. It is important to have closer monitoring of plant collection and production for export in the commercial nurseries. There are currently around six such establishments. Details of stock plants and their origin, levels of production, and trade by species should be maintained. Procedures for the monitoring of nurseries by regular inspection and review of documentation should be established. Training for a member of staff with responsibility for control of plant exports should be arranged.
Contact: Department des Eaux et Forêts (DEF)
51) Development of a CITES Scientific Authority for plants in Madagascar.
52) Popular guide to the succulent plant species of Madagascar for local use. This will promote local interest in conservation in plants and can be used in school education.
53) Ex situ conservation at Parc botanique et zoologique de Tsimbazaza. The park is now equipped with nursery facilities suitable for propagation on a large scale. The garden needs to produce a strategy for the ex situ conservation of succulent plants. Cultivation of rare species should concentrate on high altitude plants from central Madagascar and garden staff should be encouraged to look at the natural localities of the plants in cultivation to ensure that horticultural practices are appropriate. There has been a renovation programme focused on the rockery which displays the succulent flora of Madagascar. Construction is almost complete; planting will require further work for several more years. There is an urgent need for explanatory signs and leaflets on the genera, their natural habitats, and cultivation notes; and training in the ecological requirements of native species, practical conservation, and display of succulents.
54) Construction of a database of the existing succulent collection at Toliara. An important collection of natural source succulents is maintained at the privately owned Arboretum d'Antsoky. The scientific value of this collection should be evaluated and, if appropriate, funding provided for a technician to develop a database on site. This could be linked to Action 8a.
55) Survey of endangered species. Survey and inventory of endangered succulent species as a basis for selection of reserves. Tea companies, owners of vast tracts of land rich in succulents, could also be involved as they are in a position to set aside small areas as reserves.
Contact: President of the Cactus and Succulent Society of India
56) Sustainable use management plan. Many species are collected for local and commercial use and are threatened by over-collection. Attention should be given to educating users about sustainable collection methods.
United States of America
57) Implementation of published recovery plans.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) oversees and publishes status reports of recovery plans. See Chapter 2 - National Legislation for details. Although the onus is on the USFWS, outside individuals and institutions can help with implementation.
Inserting an electronic chip in Ariocarpus bravoanus.
Reading an electronic chip.
58) Peyote salvage operations in southern Texas.
Peyote populations in south Texas are of considerable importance to members of the Native American Church, who obtain plants to use as their sacrament. Most of the land is privately owned, so often neither Native Americans or Peyoteros (those who have permits to collect peyote) are allowed onto the land where the plants grow. Consequently available populations are being badly overcollected. Another serious threat to the peyote in south Texas is the root plough which is used by land owners to remove the natural plants before sowing exotic plants for grazing. If land owners could be persuaded to permit peyoteros to collect the peyote plants prior to ploughing, these cacti could be transplanted to another site to be grown for traditional use. The development of nursery seed grown peyote stock for local use should also be investigated.
Budget: Funding would provide for the lease of land for growing the cacti and to hire peyoteros to collect them. A pilot project should be carried out and funded for $5000 - 10,000.
59) Long-term monitoring of Echinocereus chisoensis. This taxon is considered threatened in the USA. It grows only in Big Bend National Park, Texas, but there may be additional populations outside the park boundaries in Texas and similar plants are known in Mexico. Survey is needed to determine the range of this species. Permanent monitoring sites should also be established to study the long-term dynamics of the known populations, especially those protected within the Park.
Budget: Annual cost would be $2000 - 3000.
60) Establishment of permanent monitoring sites for species of Sclerocactus and Pediocactus in the
USA. These genera contain some of the rarest cacti in the USA. Permanent monitoring sites should be established to study the population dynamics of these plants, as well as to determine the effects of activities such as collecting, mining and construction. Some of this work should be done in co-operation with Native Americans, for several species are located on Indian reservations.
Budget: The estimated cost of such work is $3000 -5000 per year.
61) Search for Astrophytum asterias populations.
This species is known from a single locality in Texas, but almost certainly it was once widespread throughout the shrubland of south Texas and into north-eastern Mexico. It is known to occur east of the Sierra Madre Oriental and south of Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas in Mexico and is likely to occur elsewhere. Much of the land where it grows, or has grown, is being developed for agriculture. A survey of distribution and conservation status is required.
Budget: The estimated annual cost would be
62) Support for succulent conservation work by institutions working with the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC). Various cacti and other succulents are currently being propagated and studied by member institutions of CPC; however, their funding is limited, and financial support for their important field work, as well as conservation of germplasm, is much needed. More publicity is needed about CPC's program and how botanic gardens and specialists can participate in this.
63) Assistance in the development of conservation education. The public must be informed of the present threats to many plant species in the wild. Some US institutions have plans to develop extensive programmes. For example, the Desert Botanical Garden has developed plans for a Conservation Trail by which the public will be informed of the purpose of conservation and how it mav be accomplished. Outside funding to encourage such programmes is required.
64) Survey of Agavaceae. This work is needed in Arizona and Texas.
Contact: Desert Botanical Garden
Epithelantha micromeris, Cuesta La Muralla, Mexico.
65) Cooperative Mexican-American conservation studies along the US-Mexico border. Much of the area south of the Rio Grande, especially that area to the south of west Texas is poorly known. Several rare cacti may occur in this area but extensive field work is necessary to determine ranges of some of these plants, such as peyote (Lophophora williamsii), Ariocarpus fissuratus, Echinocereus chisoensis, and Sclerocactus (Neolloydia) mariposensis.
66) A survey of the genus Ferocactus in trade. A
study should be conducted to compile data from the range states in Mexico and the USA and the major importing countries of Europe and Japan. A sizeable trade exists in seed-grown Ferocactus and the study must distinguish between wild and nursery-grown plants.
67) Epithelantha micromeris. A population survey of this species is needed to determine the status of this species in the wild in Texas and Mexico. It can be grown easily and seedraised plants are generally seen in European nurseries. Wild-collected plants are, however, also available in trade and the impact of international trade on wild populations needs to be assessed.
68) Permanent marking of rare plants. Illegal collecting continues to be a significant threat to some species of cacti in Mexico and the USA. It would be helpful to mark individual plants in some of these seriously threatened populations, not only to enable authorities to determine the origin of confiscated plants, but also to assist researchers in locating the plants in the field. Some of the most popular plants are small and nearly invisible, and permanent markers would greatly facilitate continuing studies of these populations. Electronic chips could be inserted into the body of the cactus without injury to the plant.
Budget: Equipment and supplies would cost $5000
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