Othonna humilis

Assessor: Sarah Schumann

Sensitive in 2010
Reason for the sensitivity status
This taxon is sensitive as it is not currently known to be threatened with illegal collection of wild individuals but is thought to be collectable and evidence shows that the Othonna genus is in high demand in international trade for ornamental and horticultural purposes with individuals from several species being illegally removed. The species has a small remaining population size with multiple threats, making it highly vulnerable to further population loss. 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 Rare as it is range restricted endemic not experiencing significant threat (von Staden, 2019). Currently this taxon is threatened by habitat loss to cultivation and is collectable but there is no evidence at presence of illegal harvesting (Helme, N, personal communication 2022, 25 January). This genus is in demand and of 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 confiscated during recent criminal prosecutions of illegal plant collecting (Confiscation Lists (2018, 2021) provided by Cape Nature, SANBI Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, SANBI Karoo Desert Botanic Garden, SANParks Sendelingsdrift Botanic Garden and Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment). This suggests that this genus is being targeted and that rare species may be threatened.

von Staden, L. 2019. Othonna humilis Schltr. 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 has an extent of occurrence of 293 km² and is known from a few, scattered records (von Staden, 2019). It occurs generally in localized patches (Helme, N, personal communication 2022, 25 January).

von Staden, L. 2019. Othonna humilis Schltr. 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 known, scattered records of occurrence (von Staden, 2019) with existing threat makes this species vulnerable to population loss. Were exploitation to occur, recruitment and recovery may be poor.

von Staden, L. 2019. Othonna humilis Schltr. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1.