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Rediscovery of Carduncellus matritensis, an endemic and extinct species from the Iberian Peninsula


Carduncellus matritensis is a species known from a single locality, Cerro Negro, in the Community of Madrid. It is one of the 6 extinct endemic species of the Spanish flora. During the year 2021-2022, 3 populations have been rediscovered about 50 km south of the type locality, in the La Sagra region of Toledo province. These three populations are found in the expansive magnesium-rich clays that are very localized in the basin of the Tajo River. It coexists with other typical species of the area such as Cynara tournefortii and Klasea flavescens. The populations are formed by about 150 individuals and present a very fragmented distribution in a degraded habitat. Their conservation status has been categorized as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria.

Carduncellus matritensis: (a) plant, (b) detail of bracts, (c) habitat in Cerro de Magán, (d) habitat in Villaluenga de la Sagra. Photos: E. Luengo (a,c) and A. Susanna (b,d).

In these two papers, the anthropogenic causes of its extinction in Madrid, the reasons for its possible taxonomic problems, its conservation status and possible measures to preserve it are discussed.



Authors: Alfonso Susanna and Roser Vilatersana

Nomenclatural type catalogue