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Acarospora malouina Øvstedal & K. Knudsen

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Scientific name
Acarospora malouina
Øvstedal & K. Knudsen
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Fryday, A.
Lendemer, J.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/176075275/177005677


Acarospora malouina is only known from two locations and its total Area of Occupancy is 8 km2. Livestock grazing and/or climatic changes could quickly lead to the decline and extirpation of this species. Therefore, it is listed as Vulnerable under criterion D2.

Geographic range

Acarospora malouina is known from only two localities c. 7.5 km apart on the north shore of Saunders Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas). This species was first collected and identified as A. gwynnii by R. L. Lewis Smith in 2000. It was discovered at a second site 7.5 km to the east by Fryday in 2015 (Fryday et al. 2019) and shown to be a distinct species by Øvstedal et al. (2018) based on molecular investigation of these collections. Careful examination of ~10,000 collections from southern South America held in the herbarium at Michigan State University did not result in the discovery of any individuals of this species occurring on mainland South America (Fryday and Prather 2001). This thorough investigation supports the conclusion that A. malouina is endemic to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

Population and Trends

The population size and trends for this species are currently unknown. A detailed investigation of the population size and trends for Acarospora malouina is one major research and conservation need for this species.

Population Trend: unknown

Habitat and Ecology

Acarospora malouina occurs on low, siliceous rocks, loosely associated with rockhopper penguin rookeries. In 2015 it was seen only in the immediate vicinity of the rockhopper rookery (-51.308°, -60.12°) and 0.5 km to the east - becoming less frequent and less well-developed further east. It was not seen at all further east along the coast as far as rookery cottage (-51.306°, -60.10°). The extension to the east of the penguin rookery is a consequence of the prevailing strong westerly winds that are a near constant feature of the islands.


Trampling by sheep and cows is a threat to rock-dwelling species (Stenroos and Ahti 1992). An ongoing decrease in summer rainfall and an increase in sunlight as a result of climate change and ozone depletion may negatively impact lichen species throughout the islands (McAdam 2013).

Conservation Actions

This species currently does not have a formal protected status. The two most important conservation actions needed to preserve this species are: 1) protection of the land on which it occurs, and 2) education of local land owners/citizens about the presence of this species in their area. Additionally, further research is needed to ascertain the current status and distribution of this species.

Source and Citation

Fryday, A. 2020. Acarospora malouina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T176075275A177005677. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T176075275A177005677.en .Accessed on 2 February 2024

Country occurrence