Othonna euphorbioides

Assessor: Sarah Schumann

Sensitive in 2010
Reason for the sensitivity status
This taxon is sensitive as it is threatened with illegal collection of wild individuals, causing population decline. 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 an usual growth form and is in accessible habitat, making it vulnerable to collecting and population loss. Releasing data on this species can exacerbate threat and vulnerability.
This species is threatened by widespread, unregulated, unsustainable exploitation of wild populations. The localities of remaining populations need to be protected to avoid any further exploitation, which is likely to drive it to extinction.
Exploitation extent
Significant - wild individuals of the species are known to be exploited, collected, traded or utilized in a targeted manner, and utilisation is widespread, affects the majority of wild populations and/or is causing rapid decline of the wild population.
Justification and references

According to the SANBI Red List Assessment, this species is of Least Concern as it is fairly common, widespread and not experiencing significant threat (Helme & von Staden, 2015). This genus is in demand and of interest in international horticultural trade, as indicated by several online marketplace, e-commerce and auction sites. This species has an unusual growth forms that makes it vulnerable to collecting as well as it growing in accessible habitat (Helme, N, personal communication 2022, 25 January). In 2003, this species was traded for commercial purposes via wild collection as captured on the CITES trade database. This species and others of the genus were among those targeted and confiscated during recent criminal prosecutions of illegal plant collecting (Confiscation Lists (2018-2022) 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 this species may be threatened.

Helme, N.A. & von Staden, L. 2015. Othonna euphorbioides Hutch. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1.

Population vulnerability
Population is not vulnerable: size is > 2500 mature individuals, AND the number of known subpopulations is > 5 AND range > 100km2
Justification and references

This taxon is thought to be fairly common and widespread (Helme & von Staden, 2015). It has an estimated population size of more than 2,500 individuals in the wild (Helme, N, personal communication 2022, 25 January).

Helme, N.A. & von Staden, L. 2015. Othonna euphorbioides Hutch. 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.
Justification and references

Whole individuals are recorded in confiscations and live individuals of this species are recorded on the CITES trade database.

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

As this species is vulnerable to collection and exploitation is known to occur, recruitment and recovery may be poor.

(Helme, N, personal communication 2022, 25 January).