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Ramalina confertula Krog & Østh.

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Scientific name
Ramalina confertula
Krog & Østh.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Aptroot, A. & Thor, G.
Scheidegger, C.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/70381370/70381417


This macrolichen belongs to a genus with (for fungi) surprisingly many species with narrow distributions. This species is only known from two volcanoes on the small island of Porto Santo.
Described in 1980 and never found anywhere else, but always observed by lichenologists visiting the type locality.

Criterion A: There is not enough information to assess against this criterion.
Criterion B: There is not enough information to assess against this criterion.
Criterion C: There is not enough information to assess against this criterion.
Criterion D: There are less than 250 individuals estimated, this has been calculated using the definition that 1 individual = 1 m² (see Guideline drafts for fungal red-listing 20140415), fulfilling criteria of D1; AOO is less than 20 km² and number of locations is 1.

Geographic range

Only on the small island of Porto Santo, and there only on two volcanoes, viz. Pico de Facho and terra Chã.
Growing together with other endemic macrolichens, such as Anzia centrifuga, Ramalina erosa, R. jamesii, R. nematodes and R. timdaliana.

Population and Trends

Only on the rock of the summit on two volcanoes, area of occupancy has been estimated as less than 20 km², and the area actually inhabited by this species is probably less than a 100 m². About 200 specimens were seen during an assessment in May 2015 (Sparrius et al.2017), but only 10% of the suitable habitat on Porto Santo could be investigated (much of it is on steep cliffs).

Population Trend: stable

Habitat and Ecology

On exposed lava rock at the summit of an old cone at 515 m altitude, and at a another lava cone facing the sea at 375 m altitude.


Direct threats included increased climbing of the summit by tourists will deteriorate the populations and further collecting by lichenologists or naturalists, which should be forbidden.
Indirect threats include climate change, which may change this unique habitat, and even with subtle changes, the chances are high that the species goes extinct soon. It will in any case not be able to successfully colonise another locality, not on its own, and possibly also not with human help, as the conditions are apparently critical.

Conservation Actions

Tourism to the summit of the Pico de Facho should be strictly regulated, either by forbidding access altogether (which will be impossible to control) or rather by opening a small trail and putting an information shield in place alerting the tourist on the unique lichens present, and the harm done to them by trampling.
The known locality at Terra-Chã is along a trail and is susceptible to accidental removing. However, the existence of further localities, in places that are difficult to reach, is likely.
The species should feature on a leaflet with protected plants.

Source and Citation

Aptroot, A. & Thor, G. 2018. Ramalina confertula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T70381370A70381417. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T70381370A70381417.en .Accessed on 3 February 2024

Country occurrence