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Buellia sharpiana Lendemer & R.C. Harris

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Scientific name
Buellia sharpiana
Lendemer & R.C. Harris
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Allen, J., Lendemer, J. & McMullin, T.
Reese Næsborg, R.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/80702844/80702847


Buellia sharpiana is narrowly endemic to an Anakeesta rock formation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where it occurs at one location and occupies a total area of 8 km2. One major negative event, like a large-scale wildfire, could lead to its extirpation or quickly becoming substantially more threatened. Therefore, it is listed as Vulnerable, D2.

Geographic range

This species is only known from two peaks on a single mountain in Great Smoky Mountains National Park of eastern North America, even after a targeted, thorough search of the entire region to locate additional subpopulations (Allen and Lendemer 2016). It only grows on high-elevation, Anakeesta rock outcrops. 

Population and Trends

The population trends of Buellia sharpiana are currently unkown.

Population Trend: unknown

Habitat and Ecology

Buellia sharpiana grows on high-elevation, Anakeesta rock outcrops, an iron-rich rock type with a very narrow distribution.


Subpopulations of this species are known from popular locations in the most visited national park in the United States. Disturbance from visitors could pose a threat to Buellia sharpiana, but further research is needed to determine definitively whether this is the case. Because the species is known from a single ridgeline, it could also be impacted by one event (e.g. wildfire) that would result in the loss of this species. Climate change may pose a threat to this species as well due to its narrow restriction to high-elevation peaks. There is also a risk of specimen collecting for this species.

Conservation Actions

Monitoring the size of the subpopulations in heavily visited areas is essential to establish whether or not visitors are negatively impacting the population size, and if limitation of visitation or access may be warranted. As is the case with all high-elevation endemics, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions globally will reduce the risk of this losing species to climate change.

Use and Trade

Specimen collection is a potential threat to this species.

Source and Citation

Allen, J., Lendemer, J. & McMullin, T. 2020. Buellia sharpiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T80702844A80702847. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T80702844A80702847.en .Downloaded on 30 January 2021

Country occurrence