Bulbine rhopalophylla

Assessor: Sarah Schumann

Sensitive in 2010
Reason for the sensitivity status
Several others of the genus are known to be targeted, exploited and illegally removed from the wild, causing population decline. Evidence shows that the Bulbine genus is in high demand in international horticultural trade. A few known locations in South Africa with existing threat causing population decline makes this species highly vulnerable to further population loss, were exploitation to also occur. Releasing data on this species can exacerbate threat and vulnerability.
This species is either similar to another sensitive species or belongs to a group containing sensitive species, and is extremely rare in the wild. The localities of wild populations need to be protected to avoid loss to exploitation, which, due to its rarity, could drive the species to extinction within a very short time.
Exploitation extent
Uncertain - No data exists yet showing that this species is exploited in the wild, however it has one or more relatives or look-alike species (found in South Africa or globally) that are known to be utilised. This species has a similar life form or other relevant traits to its exploited relative(s), making it highly likely that it would be exploited for the same purposes.
Justification and references

According to the SANBI Red List Assessment, this species is Vulnerable as it is known from fewer than five locations and is threatened with ongoing habitat loss and degradation in South Africa (van Jaarsveld et al. 2015). This genus is in demand and of popular interest in international horticultural trade, as indicated by several online marketplace, e-commerce and auction sites. Plants of this genus were among those targeted and/or confiscated during recent criminal prosecutions of illegal plant collecting. There have been several recorded confiscations of species of the Bulbine genus from illegal collection (Confiscation List (2019-2021) provided by Cape Nature, SANParks Sendelingsdrift Botanic Garden, and Karoo Desert Botanic Garden and Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden). This suggests that this genus is being targeted and that this species may be at risk.

van Jaarsveld, E.J., Raimondo, D. & Van Wyk, P.C.V. 2015. Bulbine rhopalophylla Dinter. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. 

Population vulnerability
Population is vulnerable: size is <= 2500 mature individuals OR the number of known subpopulations is <= 5 OR range is <= 100km2 OR species at risk of localised extinctions
Justification and references

This taxon is known from fewer than five locations, has an extent of occurrence of 2427 km² across South Africa and Namibia, and is threatened and declining in South Africa which contains 50% of the population (van Jaarsveld et al. 2015).

van Jaarsveld, E.J., Raimondo, D. & Van Wyk, P.C.V. 2015. Bulbine rhopalophylla Dinter. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. 

Targeted demographics
Regeneration potential
This species has a slow population growth rate, or the growth rate varies depending on habitat, and there is a poor chance the wild populations will recover from exploitation OR a collector might feasibly harvest the entire extant population removing the chance of subsequent recruitment.
Justification and references

Few locations and existing threats makes this species vulnerable to further population loss.