Conservation of Melocactus actinacanthus (Cactaceae)

Luis Roberto Gonzales Torres

Melocactus actinacanthus is a critically endangered cactus in Cuba. The unique known population was strongly reduced by amateur collectors and habitat destruction. In fact, the current population size is less than 50 individuals and it is still decreasing despite being located within a protected area. Clones from one individual were biotechnologically obtained in 1995 but they died after introduction into the wild. The aim of this project is to design and start up a conservation strategy for this species based on its natural reproductive potentialities. To design the methodology of this project, the team has considered and adjusted the suggestions of Maunder & Clubbe (2002). Methods include monitoring, re-enforcement, training and education, both of local people and reserve workers.

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