Pediocactus despainii - Welsh & Goodrich
San Rafael Cactus
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pediocactus despainii Welsh & Goodrich (TSN 195361)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147621
Element Code: PDCAC0E090
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Cactus Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Caryophyllales Cactaceae Pediocactus
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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: Pediocactus despainii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Nov2015
Global Status Last Changed: 07Oct1987
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from about 21 occurrences. Off-road vehicles and livestock trampling are serious threats. In addition, about half of this species' small range is covered by leases for oil and gas exploration and mining claims for gypsum and other minerals.
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 Utah (S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (16Sep1987)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R6 - Rocky Mountain

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to central Utah, occurring in Wayne and Emery Counties.

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 21 extant occurrences in Emery County (reported from Wayne County). Some sites are close to each other and connected by suitable habitat, so they might be part of one population (T. Switek, pers. comm., 2015). 

Population Size Comments: Surveys over portions of Pediocactus despainii known distribution have documented a population of approximately 4,300 individuals (Clark 2007 cited by USFWS 2007). Based upon estimates of available habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (England 1997) currently estimates the P despainii population at about 20,000 individuals (USFWS 2007).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threatened by collecting, loss of individuals and habitat degradation associated with ORV and livestock trampling (USFWS 2007). About half of the population is in areas covered by oil and gas leases and/or mining claims for gypsum. However, at present, mineral exploration and subsequent mining is a minor threat (USFWS 2007). Other threats include climate change, and invasive exotic plant species (USFWS 2007).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Population trend is decreasing (Butterworth and Porter 2013).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The fragile habitat makes the species vulnerable to disturbances. It is reported to have low fruit/seed output (USFWS 2007).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to central Utah, occurring in Wayne and Emery Counties.

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 UT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
UT Emery (49015), Wayne (49055)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Price (14060007)+*, San Rafael (14060009)+, Muddy (14070002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small, spiny succulent. Stems can swell to up to 6 dm in height, but during dry or cold weather the plants may not appear above ground at all; the species is easily overlooked except in the spring, when bronze-tinted, yellow to peach-colored flowers are in bloom.
Duration: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
Reproduction Comments: Members of Pediocactus produce dry, dull-colored fruit which are presumed not to be dispersed by birds or rodents, but rather wind or water. Little variation exists within populations. These populations can be separated by distances of several miles even when there is suitable habitat. Further, dispersal within populations appears to be staggered throughout the growing season from shortly after seeds are produced in June, to fall. This dispersal strategy may be disadvantageous for the genus, however, populations in the genus when left undisturbed seem to be healthy with all age classes represented (Heil et al. 1981).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Desert pavements of cobble or pebble in pinyon-juniper woodlands, 1500-1800 m (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2003). Hills, benches and flats, of open, semi-arid grassland with scattered junipers and pinyon pines.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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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: 24Nov2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Roth, E., rev. D. Atwood, rev. K. Maybury & B. Franklin (1996), rev. A. Tomaino (2013), rev. A. Treher (2015)

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
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  • Butterworth, C., and J.M. Porter. 2013. Pediocactus despainii. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Online. Available: http://www.iucnredlist.org (accessed 11 July 2013).

  • Butterworth, C.A., J.H. Cota-Sanchez, and R.S. Wallace. 2002. Molecular systematics of tribe Cacteae (Cactaceae: Cactoideae): A phylogeny based on rpl16 intron sequence variation. Systematic Botany 27:257-270.

  • Dodge, R. 2011. March 3 last update. National Collection Plant Profile: Pediocactus despainii. Center for Plant Conservation. Online. Available: www.centerforplantconservation.org/ASP/CPC_ViewProfile.asp?CPCNum=3129 (Accessed 2013).

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 4, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1. Oxford University Press, New York. 559 pp.

  • Heil, K., B. Armstrong and D. Schleser. 1981. A review of the genus Pediocactus. Cactus and Succulent Journal 53:17-39.

  • 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.

  • Porter, J. M., M. S. Kinney, and K. D. Heil. 2000. Relationships between Sclerocactus and Toumeya (Cactaceae) based on chloroplast trnL-trnF sequences. Haseltonia 7: 8-23.

  • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1987. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Determination of endangered status for Pediocactus despainii (San Rafael cactus). Federal Register 52(179): 34914-34917.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2007. Recovery outline for San Rafael Cactus (Pediocactus despainii) and Winkler Cactus (Pediocactus winkleri). Accessed online on May 9, 2011 at: http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=Q2QA#status

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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