Gasteria polita

Assessor: Sarah Schumann

Sensitive in 2010
No
Family
Asphodelaceae
Reason for the sensitivity status
This species is known to be harvested to a small extent from the wild for the specialist horticultural trade that has not been noticed to affect the majority of the population. Several others of the genus are known to be targeted, exploited and illegally removed from the wild, causing population decline. Evidence shows that the Gasteria genus is in high demand in international horticultural trade. Few known subpopulations makes this species vulnerable to population loss. Releasing data on this species can exacerbate threat and vulnerability.
This species is extremely rare in the wild and is known to be exploited, utilised or traded. The localities of remaining populations need to be protected to avoid any further exploitation, which is likely to drive it to extinction.
Exploitation extent
Small or insignificant - wild individuals of the species are known to be exploited, collected, traded or utilized in a targeted manner, but utilisation is localised and/or affects only a small proportion of the wild population.
Justification and references

According to the SANBI Red List Assessment, this species is Rare as it is a localized, habitat specialist that is not threatened (van Jaarsveld & Raimondo, 2017). This genus is currently in demand and of popular interest in international horticultural trade, as indicated by several online marketplace, e-commerce and auction sites. Several species of the Gasteria genus were among those targeted and confiscated during recent criminal prosecutions of illegal plant collecting (Confiscation Lists (2021) provided by SANParks Sendelingsdrift Botanic Garden and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden). This species is known to be harvested to a small extent from the wild for the specialist horticultural trade that has not been noticed to affect the majority of the population. 

van Jaarsveld, E.J. & Raimondo, D. 2017. Gasteria polita Van Jaarsv. 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 166 km² (van Jaarsveld & Raimondo, 2017). This species is known from 3 subpopulations (Personal communication, S. Molteno, 5 August 2022).

van Jaarsveld, E.J. & Raimondo, D. 2017. Gasteria polita Van Jaarsv. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1.

Targeted demographics
Mature (breeding) individuals are killed, significantly weakened or are permanently removed from the wild, OR immature individuals are targeted and this significantly impacts mature (breeding) individuals.
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

Range restriction and few known subpopulations makes this species vulnerable to population loss. Were exploitation to continue or increase, recruitment and recovery may be poor.

 

Reference file