Astragalus agnicidus - Barneby
Humboldt Milkvetch
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Astragalus agnicidus Barneby (TSN 25404)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.132940
Element Code: PDFAB0F080
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Astragalus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Astragalus agnicidus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 17Aug2016
Global Status Last Changed: 17Aug2016
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Previously not seen since 1954, Astragalus agnicidus was rediscovered in 1987. As of 2016, it is known only from two counties in California and about 52 occurrences. Many new populations have been found, but few are ranked "good" or better. Many plants are reported, though numbers are somewhat in question and their long-term viability is unknown. Astragalus agnicidus occurs in forested areas where the canopy has recently been opened. It is threatened by logging treatments such as herbicide application.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S2)

Other Statuses

Comments on USESA: Was previously a candidate, but was removed from candidacy on February 28, 1996 in a notice of review.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R1 - Pacific

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to north coastal California.  Though primarily known from Mendocino County, there are a few occurrences in Humboldt County. 

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 52 mapped occurrences (CNDDB 2016).  Once thought to be extinct, this plant was rediscovered in 1987. By 2005, 50 populations had been located, mostly by foresters surveying pre-timber harvest areas. 

Population Size Comments: Reports, primarily from foresters, indicate there may be as many as 32,000 plants in the wild. Population sizes range from 1 to several thousand, though these larger numbers are somewhat in question.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This species is threatened by grazing and certain logging treatments such as herbicide use. Other threats include encroachment of non-native plants, ORVs, and road maintenance (CNDDB 2016).  Timber harvest is a threat (but plant prefers openings).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: 23 occurrences ranked C or D.  Though many populations are located during pre-project surveys and will be disrupted to some extent, this plant does respond positively to disturbance and actually requires openings to germinate. The decline associated with timber harvest is probably due more to herbicide use than to the actual harvest.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Since this plant colonizes newly opened areas in forests, it is not particularly vulnerable.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Occurs in forested areas in Mendocino and Humboldt counties where canopy has recently been opened.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to north coastal California.  Though primarily known from Mendocino County, there are a few occurrences in Humboldt County. 

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Humboldt (06023), Mendocino (06045)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Lower Eel (18010105)+, South Fork Eel (18010106)+, Big-Navarro-Garcia (18010108)+, Gualala-Salmon (18010109)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Herbaceous perennial with loose hairs. Stems hollow, ascending, straw-colored, to 9 dm tall. Leaves 5-16 cm long with 19-27 leaflets. Stipule gradually tapering to a short point. Racemes densely 15-40 flowered; flowers curved downward; calyx bell-shaped; petals white, banner 9-11 mm long. Pods 11-15 mm long, about 3 mm in diameter, lance-like and crescent-shaped with 2 locules. The Humboldt milk-vetch can be recognized by the high number of flowers in a tight cluster and the abundant hairs.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Mixed, Forest/Woodland, Old field
Habitat Comments: Logged mixed evergreen forest; appears to need open areas.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Aug2016
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Bittman, R.L., L. Oliver; rev. R. Bittman 2005, rev. R. Bittman (2016)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • California Department of Fish and Game. 2000. Natural Diversity Database (RareFind 2), Version 2.1.2, January 25, 2000. Downloaded in 2003.

  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2001. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of California (sixth edition). Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee, David P. Tibor, Convening Editor. California Native Plant Society. Sacramento, CA. x + 388pp.

  • California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). 2016. RareFind Version 5.1.1. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

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