Endangered Species in Santa Cruz County - Plants


Santa Cruz Cypress

Santa Cruz Cypress

Scientific Name: Cupressus abramsiana

Status: E

A member of the coniferous cypress family, the Santa Cruz Cypress is a tree ranging from 3-82 ft. in height. The grey bark is fibrous, thin and broken into vertical strips; scale-like leaves are bright green. Currently the species exists in only five populations along a 15-mile range of the Santa Cruz Mountains; the Bonny Doon population is the largest, supporting more than 3000 individuals.

Habitat: Dry ridges above the fog belt, in patches and within a mosaic of coastal chaparral and mixed green vegetation. Distribution of this species is restricted in part by the limited amount of suitable habitat, especially on soils that tend to be poorly developed, sandy or gravelly in texture, and well-drained.

Threats: Most recent data indicates that there are no imminent threats from habitat alteration or destruction, but the species is somewhat threatened by disruption of natural fire cycles, genetic introgression, disease and insect infestation, competition with alien plants, and the potential for oil and gas drilling.

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Last updated by teeterj on Oct. 24, 2011

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E — Endangered

T — Threatened

CH — Critical Habitat

PE — Taxa proposed for listing as endangered

PT — Taxa proposed for listing as threatened

PCH — Critical habitat which has been proposed

C — Candidate species for which the Fish and Wildlife Service has on file sufficient information on the biological vulnerability and threats to support proposals to list as endangered or threatened