Encephalartos hildebrandtii in habitat

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E. hildebrandtii in habitat, eastern Zanzibar.

Figure 1. E. hildebrandtii leaf detail
Figure 2. E. hildebrandtii
Figure 3. E. hildebrandtii

E. hildebrandtii in habitat, the Arabuko-Sokoke forest, Kenya in August 2005.

These plants are threatened as there has been an elephant fence built around the small area of remaining forest, to keep the elephants in, and away from the surrounding farmland. This has resulted in the elephants destroying the large cycads. For some reason they like to strip off the fronds and push over the trunks. As the elephants are now fenced in rather than passing through as they would do naturally, the population of cycads there is at great threat. This is the largest population of Encephalartos hildebrandtii in the world!

Figure 4. E. hildebrandtii
Figure 5. E. hildebrandtii

Contributed by:

Jan Andersson (Figure 1,2&3)
Alex Prendergast (Figure 4&5)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums