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Flavoparmelia caperata (L.) Hale

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Scientific name
Flavoparmelia caperata
(L.) Hale
Common names
Common green shield
40-mile per hour lichen
Yellow glory
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Allen, J., Beeching, S., Bishop, G., Dal Forno, M., Hodges, M., Lendemer, J., McMullin, T., Paquette, H. & Yahr, R.
Rosentreter, R.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/180096947/180096996


Flavoparmelia caperata is common and abundant in temperate regions worldwide and does not qualify for any threat categories. It is, therefore, listed as Least Concern.

Geographic range

Flavoparmelia caperata occurs in temperate forests worldwide.

Population and Trends

Flavoparmelia caperata is commonly observed in disturbed forests and urban areas, and in some areas of its range the population size of F. caperata is suggested to be increasing due to climate change (Sochting 2004, Ellis et al. 2014), and increased urbanisation world-wide. It is disturbance and moderately (nitrogen) pollution tolerant (Seed et al. 2013), and is abundant and frequent in many different habitats that experience substantial anthropogenic alteration, possibly linked to increased growth in high light situations (Ellis 2019).

Population Trend: increasing

Habitat and Ecology

Flavoparmelia caperata is a bark dwelling species of numerous different trees and shrubs in temperate forests. It rarely also occurs on rocks, a phenomenon that is reportedly more common at the northern part of its range (Hale 1976). It can be found in forested and exposed environments, from sea level to over 3400 m elevation. F. caperata has been used as hummingbird nest material (McCormac and Showman 2009–2010).


Severe air pollution is a threat to this species. Compared to many lichens Flavoparmelia caperata is relatively pollution tolerant (Will-Wolf et al. 2017), though it does show signs of pollution stress in urban and suburban areas (Ali Ahmed et al. 2014). 


Conservation Actions

Flavoparmelia caperata occurs incidentally in some protected areas. The species would benefit from broader awareness and training on the impacts of urbanisation and air pollution on lichens. Long term studies of population and habitat trends are needed to better understand air quality and climate change impacts.

Use and Trade

While Flavoparmelia caperata is not widely utilized by humans, its secondary metabolites do show antibacterial activity (Aydin and Kinalioglu 2013, Dieu et al. 2019). It also shows potential utility for monitoring both indoor and outdoor air pollution (Will-Wolf et al. 2015, Canha et al. 2019), and for monitoring radiocaesium levels after nuclear fallout (Dohi et al. 2015).

Source and Citation

Allen, J., Beeching, S., Bishop, G., Dal Forno, M., Hodges, M., Lendemer, J., McMullin, T., Paquette, H. & Yahr, R. 2020. Flavoparmelia caperata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T180096947A180096996. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T180096947A180096996.en .Accessed on 2 February 2024

Country occurrence