Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Madeira
Cameron, R., Groh, K., Abreu, C., Cuttelod, A. & Neubert, E.
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Seddon (2008) proposed that the species should be assessed as Endangered (EN) B2ab(iii) (version 3.1), as it is very rare and localised, and was thought to be extinct until survey work in the 1990’s found new sites (Seddon and Oliver, 1996). The area of habitat is at present very small and as such vulnerable to events that destroy habitat such as storms, grazing and forest fires, such as the events in 2010. Urgent surveys are required to establish if this species was impacted by the fires.
The species was previously assessed under the name Leiostyla laevigata, and given the status as Vulnerable D2, based on limited range, but as it lay within the protected area, it was not given a higher status. The revised status as Endangered B2ab(iii) reflects recent changes in habitat, which may have impacted the species.
This species is endemic to the Madeiran islands, it is only found on the summit areas of central Madeira at the extreme end of Ribeira do Santa Lucia and Pico Arreiro (Seddon 2008). This species was relocated after surveys in these valleys in 1994 (Seddon 2008) and has a restricted range of less than 10 km2.
There is no recent data to establish trends, although habitats were stable until recent fires in summit regions in August 2010.
This species occurs in remnant patches of laurisilva forest, with some rocky outcrops. The species was found within leaf-litter on crags and at base of trees.
The area of habitat is at present very small and as such vulnerable to events that destroy habitat such as storms, grazing and forest fires. Over 8500 ha of habitat were lost in the fire in August 2010, and the impact on this species is unknown. Reseeding has commenced in January 2011, however this species, which requires plant cover for feeding and habitat may have been severely impacted by the fires.
Much of its distribution falls within protected areas (Maciço Montanhoso Central da Ilha da Madeira Site of Community Importance). Resurveys are needed at the last known sites to establish if this species is still extant, as recent forest fires and storms may have lead to damage of the laurisilva forest remnants.