Tylecodon similis

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 Tylecodon genus is in high demand in international trade for ornamental and horticultural purposes with individuals from several species being illegally removed. A small population size makes this species vulnerable to further 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
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 and not endemic to South Africa (Manyama & Kamundi, 2006). 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. Plants of this genus are known to be utilized and this species among others in the genus were among those targeted and confiscated during recent criminal prosecutions of illegal plant collecting (Confiscation Lists (2020-2021) 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 may be targeted and that this species may be at risk to over-exploitation and removal from the wild. 

Manyama, P.A. & Kamundi, D.A. 2006. Tylecodon similis (Toelken) Toelken. 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 species is rare, localized and highly collectable with a likely population size of less than 2000 individuals (Helme, N, personal communication 2022, 25 January).

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.

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

A small population size with threat of exploitation places the persistence of this species at risk. Recruitment and recovery may be poor.