• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Canoparmelia austroamericana Adler

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Scientific name
Canoparmelia austroamericana
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Proposed by
Renato García
Comments etc.
Renato García, Andrea Michlig

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Although there is no population data, most of the records are from protected areas, so we consider that the species may remain stable within them. However, there is enough bibliography that support that part of the estimated area of occupancy of C. austroamericana, has undergone an important deforestation of native forests as a consequence of land-use changes for more than a century, and populations outside protected areas could be declining.

Geographic range

Recorded in Argentina and Chile. In Argentina, it is cited for Buenos Aires, Santiago del Estero, and Chaco Provinces. In Chile it is known for Región Metropolitana of Santiago. Although its distribution range is large, it is not commonly found in the region.

Quilhot et al. (1998) mentioned this species for the Region I of Chile, but the precise place where it was found is not given, the altitude at which it presumably was found (4000 m) is very different from the remaining occurrences reported for the species, and they claim to find it on rocks. Therefore, this record is not included in this assessment as we consider that it has been confused with another species since the species is corticolous and it has not been reported at altitudes higher than 400-500 m.

Population and Trends

Although there is no population data, most of the records are from protected areas, so we consider that the species may remain stable within them. However, there is enough bibliography that support that part of the estimated area of occupancy of C. austroamericana, in Argentina has undergone an important deforestation of native forests as a consequence of land-use changes for more than a century, and populations outside protected areas could be declining.

Population Trend:

Habitat and Ecology

Corticolous and lignicolous, in native forests in the northern and center region of Argentina and center region of Chile.

Subtropical/Tropical Dry ForestSubtropical/Tropical Dry Shrubland


The area of occupancy of C. austroamericana, is coincident in Argentina with the Gran Chaco Argentino, which has undergone an important deforestation of native forests as a consequence of land-use changes. For more than a century, this ecoregion has been subjected to the degradation and sustained loss of its natural heritage, due to the extractive and unplanned use of its natural resources, being the main scenario of the current expansion of the agricultural frontier, which is advancing over its natural environments (Herrera & Martinez Ortiz 2005). As a consequence of high deforestation rates, which are among the highest in the world between 2000 and 2010 (Piquer-Rodriguez et al. 2015), the Gran Chaco Argentino is currently among the most heavily fragmented worldwide (Torrella & Adámoli 2005: Nori et al 2016 and literature cited therein).


The Inner Mediterranean Thorn Forest is an open forest which is distributed in the flat or gently sloping sectors of the intermediate depression of the Valparaíso, Metropolitan, and O’Higgins regions (Looser 1962, Luebert & Pliscoff 2006). Originally this forest covered an area of 3.425 km2, of which only 38.4% (1.316 km2) persists, although without representation within the units of the National System of State Protected Wildlife Areas, SNASPE (Luebert & Pliscoff 2006). Predation of seeds and seedlings by wild allochthonous animals (rabbits) and domestic animals (cattle and goats) have also contributed to the degradation and restructuring of the thorn forest (Fuentes et al. 1989, Gutiérrez et al. 2007). These forests are under severe pressure from logging and intentional fire (Looser 1962). In addition to this, the presence of debris and rubbish in the study sites indicates that native tree population could face severe recruitment limitations due to the mechanical damage that seedlings would putatively experience simply by being crushed by such materials. The presence of weeds could pose an additional threat to recruitment of the trees studied here due to competition for recruitment sites, while the presence of rabbits and livestock could contribute to recruitment limitation by preying on tree seedlings (Valdivia & Romero 2013).

Residential & commercial development

In the Latin American context, controversies derived from the advance of the urbanization frontier (not always planned) over rural or natural environments are increasingly frequent (Schmidt, 2016).

In Chile, it is important to mention that land use change from forested land to other productive systems is not the only factor responsible for the transformation of native forest. The growth of cities between 1997 and 2007 was 4.4 thousand ha per year (FAO 2010). This figure, added to the concentration of urban population in central Chile (e.g. 40% in the Metropolitan Region), generates great indirect pressure on the natural ecosystems around cities (Bergh & Promis, 2011).

In Argentina, the metropolitan areas are the site of an intense process of territorial restructuring and dispute over land for real estate development, production, infrastructure, and services. The urban frontier is advancing towards peri-urban and rural areas, exerting strong pressure on previously “marginal” territories, and leading to profound alterations in their ecosystemic characteristics. The consequences of unplanned metropolitan growth - both of private projects and their counterpart, the settlement of popular sectors on polluted, low-lying and floodable land - and without a regional OAT policy are becoming increasingly tragic and frequent (Guevara, 2014; Merlinsky, 2013a; Pintos and Narodowsky, 2012).

Housing & urban areasIntentional use: large scale (species being assessed is the target) [harvest]Unintentional effects: large scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Increase in fire frequency/intensity

Conservation Actions

There are localities where there is no protection, being places close to urban areas. In Argentina, there are no regulations that specifically protect this species. However, it presents protection for being inside reserves areas. Among them, there are National Parks (Chaco National Park; Copo National Park) and a provincial park (Isla Martín García), although part of its distribution range is not under protection, and it is threatened by the advance of the agricultural frontier. The concern to protect the native forests in this country led to the enactment of the National Law N° 26,331 (2007), known as the “Forest Law” (Piquer-Rodríguez et al. 2015; Nanni et al. 2020), the main forest policy instrument for its protection (Aguiar et al. 2018). However, there were marked losses of forests with high conservation value prior to its implementation and there are also strong inconsistencies between the conservation categories assigned to the same patch of forest between neighboring provinces (Piquer-Rodriguez et al. 2015). More worryingly is that, despite being one of the most threatened ecosystems in Argentina, GCA forests are poorly represented in the national protected areas system (Torrella & Adámoli 2005; Brown et al. 2012; Frate et al. 2015).

In Chile it was locally assessed with the IUCN criteria as an endangered species. This assessment was based on criterion B (criteria A, C, D, and E were considered for the Classification Committee as DD), stating that it is present in no more than 5 localities (part of them within a National Reserve), with deteriorated habitats and with an increasing fires frequency near to its populations. The threats for the species in Chile’s assessment were not described or listed, so their effects were stated as not applicable. The habitat for the species in Chile was not described there.

Site/area protection

Research needed

It is necessary updated distribution studies in areas where its presence is probable, genetic studies and populations.

Population size, distribution & trendsHabitat trends

Use and Trade



Adler, M. T. 1987. A new species of the genus Canoparmelia from Argentina. Mycotaxon 28: 251-254.

Adler, M. T. 2013. Líquenes parmelioides (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) del Parque Nacional Copo (provincia de Santiago del Estero, Argentina). Boletín de la Sociedad Argentina de Botánica 48(3-4): 387-406.

García, R. A. & V. G. Rosato. 2015. Líquenes (Ascomycota liquenizados) de la Reserva Natural “Isla Martín García”. Nuevos registros para la provincia de Buenos Aires y para Argentina. Lilloa 52(1): 31-39.

Michlig, A. 2014. Canoparmelia y Crespoa (Parmeliaceae, Ascomycota) en el nordeste de Argentina; Canoparmelia caroliniana y C. cryptochlorophaea nuevas citas para Argentina. Boletín de la Sociedad Argentina de Botánica 49 (2): 161-172.

Quilhot, W., I. Pereira, G. Guzmán, R. Rodríguez & T. Serey. 1998. Categorías de conservación de líquenes nativos de Chile. Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural 47: 9-22.

Rodríguez, M. P. & A. Michlig. 2021. Macrolichens from Chaco National Park (Chaco Province, Argentina). Rodriguésia 72:  e00692019.

Vargas, R. (2019-2020). 16° Proceso de Clasificación de Especies (2019-2020). Canoparmelia austroamericana Adler. Ministerio del Medio Ambiente; Santiago, Chile. Available at: https://clasificacionespecies.mma.gob.cl/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Canoparmelia_austroamericana_16RCE_PAC.pdf

Schmidt, M. A. (2016). Expansión de la frontera urbana y áreas de protección ambiental en la región metropolitana de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Valdivia, C. E., & Romero, C. R. (2013). En la senda de la extinción: el caso del algarrobo Prosopis chilensis (Fabaceae) y el bosque espinoso en la Región Metropolitana de Chile central. Gayana. Botánica, 70(1), 57-65.

Looser, G. 1962. La importancia del algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis) en la vegetación de la provincia de Santiago, Chile. Revista de la Universidad Católica de Chile 47: 103-116.

Luebert, F. & P. Pliscoff. 2006. Sinopsis bioclimática y vegetacional de Chile. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, Chile. 316 pp.

Fuentes, E.R., R. Avilés & A. Segura. 1989. Landscape change under indirect effects of human use: the Savanna of central Chile. Landscape Ecology 2: 73-80.

Gutiérrez, J.R., M. Holmgren, M. Manrique & F.A. Squeo. 2007. Reduced herbivore pressure under rainy ENSO conditions could facilitate dryland reforestation. Journal of Arid Environments 68: 322-330.
FAO 2015. Evaluación de los Recursos Forestales Mundiales 2015 – Informe Nacional ; Year of publication. pp. 99.

Bergh, G., & Promis, A. (2011). Conservación de los bosques nativos de Chile–Un análisis al informe FAO sobre la evaluación de los recursos forestales nacionales. Revista Bosque Nativo, 48, 9-11.

Merlinsky, M. G. (2013). Política, derechos y justicia ambiental. El conflicto del Riachuelo. Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Guevara, T. (2014). Transformaciones territoriales en la Región Metropolitana de Buenos Aires y reconfiguración del régimen de acumulación en la década neo-desarrollista. Quid 16 (4), 115-136.

Pintos, P. y Narodowski, P. (Coords.). (2012). La privatopía sacrílega. Efectos del urbanismo privado en humedales de la cuenca baja del río Luján. Buenos Aires: Imago Mundi.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted