Click here to go to the Cycad Specialist Group home page.


.Cycas couttsiana..Cycas panzhihuaensis..Encephalartos lanatus..Dioon caputoi..Encephalartos arenarius.


IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group




Cycad Publications

On this page are listed publications of the Cycad Specialist Group (CSG), as well as other cycad-related publications of interest.

CSG Publications

The most important CSG publication released to date is the Cycad Action Plan. Published in 2003, this 86-page document brings together a collection of data and opinions on one of the world's most threatened plant groups and presents a series of action plans to promote their conservation. The Cycad Action Plan is available in PDF format from the IUCN/SSC website. The full citation for this document is as follows:

Donaldson, J.S. (ed.). 2003. Cycads: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK. ix + 86 pp.

Click the links below to download the entire document or parts thereof.


The CSG finally has a newsletter! The first issue (March 2007) can be viewed by clicking the link below:

The following reports/documents have been submitted to the CSG Chair by the leaders of CSG subgroups:

Ex-situ Conservation Subgroup

Invasive Pests Subgroup

Sustainable Use Nurseries Subgroup

In 2003, CSG Chair, Dr. John Donaldson, produced the following article on cycad reserves for the 5th World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa:

Also in 2003, the CSG provided most of the data and analysis for the CITES Significant Trade Review of Cycads, compiled by TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa. The report is as follows:

The following news release on cycads was issued by the IUCN in 2003:

The following is a report submitted by the CSG Chair, Dr. John Donaldson, to the IUCN in 2004:

The following document consists of two articles written by CSG Chair, Dr. John Donaldson, for the Dec. 2004 Supplement of the Cycad Newsletter (quarterly publication of The Cycad Society: www.cycad.org). The first article is on CITES and cycad conservation, while the second explores whether or not trade in seeds might benefit cycad conservation.

Non-CSG Publications

General Information

Expanded Glossary of Cycad Terms

In 2009, The Cycad Society, Inc. (TCS) developed an expanded glossary of more than 1,200 cycad-related terms (using the Glossary of Terms Encountered in Cycad Systematics provided in Walters & Osborne [2004] as a foundation), as well as a fully illustrated glossary of more than 500 of these terms using cycad-specific examples. Click here for more information.


Etymological Compendium of Cycad Names

Also in 2009, TCS compiled a list of the etymologies (= meanings) of all currently accepted cycad names. Click here to view this etymological compendium.


In 2002, a Cycad Classification Concepts workshop was held at Montgomery Botanical Center in Miami, FL, USA. The primary goal of the workshop was to ensure that cycad taxonomy and classification efforts are scientifically robust and standardized as much as possible. A 300-page volume entitled Cycad Classification: Concepts and Recommendations was published in 2004 from papers presented at this workshop. The full citation for this volume is as follows:

Walters, T. & R. Osborne (eds.). 2004. Cycad Classification: Concepts and Recommendations. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, MA.

Included are contributions from leading researchers from Australia, China, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, and USA. Although not an official CSG publication, this unique volume provides guidelines for the designation of species, species boundaries, and species groupings, thus clarifying what has long been a confused area of research. In support of future cycad studies, a glossary of terms used in cycad systematics, an extensive listing of available resources and contacts, and an updated World List of Cycads complete the volume.

Below is an emended description of Dioon mejiae presented at the CYCAD 2005 conference in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Two new cycad species from Honduras were described in 2008. Reprints are available from the Cycad Society website (www.cycad.org):

The following paper uncovers the true taxonomic history of Ceratozamia fuscoviridis (a.k.a., Ceratozamia sp. 'Molongo').

Two new species of Zamia described from Belize and a taxonomical revision of Belizean cycads were published in 2009:

A new species of Dioon was described from Mexico in 2009:

The following is an illustrated poster and identification key summarizing the vegetative traits that are most useful in identifying the known species of Dioon. It was presented at the CYCAD 2005 conference in Xalapa, Mexico, and is available for sale from the Cycad Society.

The following is a similar illustrated poster and identification key summarizing the vegetative traits useful in identifying the known species of Ceratozamia. It was presented at the CYCAD 2008 conference in Panama City, Panama, and is also available for sale from the Cycad Society.

Phylogenetic Systematics

The following is an article that better elucidates the molecular relationships among extant cycad genera.

The following phylogenetic tree of the cycads is excerpted from Crisp, M.D. & L.G. Cook (2011):

Click the diagram to enlarge it. And click here to read the full paper.



Below is a rare example of a recent ecologic study on cycads.


Below is a new chapter on Central American cycad biogeography published in a book entitled Global Advances in Biogeography:

Endangered Species Listings

Below is an "endangered species" listing for a cycad species in Australia.

Population Viability Assessments & Management Plans

The following is the 2004 cycad management plan for the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Specific locality information has been removed. Thanks go to Ms. Brigitte Church of KZN Wildlife for submitting the plan for inclusion on this page.

The link below represents the 2005 cycad ordinance for the Transvaal region of South Africa.

On 17-21 July 2006, a population and habitat viability assessment (PHVA) workshop was held for Encephalartos latifrons in Bathurst, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The workshop was organized in association with the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Below is the report produced following this workshop:

(Note: The previous file may not open properly in older versions of Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. If this happens, please click the "Get Acrobat Reader" button below to download the most recent version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Below are a couple newsletter articles on the EWT website that pertain to this workshop:

Below is a draft recovery plan for Cycas megacarpa, C. ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, M. lomandroides, M. pauli-guilielmi, and M. platyrhachis in Queensland, Australia.

The link below represents the 2009 cycad management plan for the Northern Territories region of Australia.


Below is a paper on the ethnobotany and conservation status of Dioon mejiae—known locally as ‘tiusinte’—in Honduras:


The following is an article on the ethnobotany of Dioon merolae in Mexico:

The following article provides vernacular (common) names of many cycad species around the world:

The following is a preliminary assessment of the impacts of harvest on the Indian endemic, Cycas circinalis, in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Western Ghats, South India. It was prepared in a collaborative effort by representatives of People and Plants International and Keystone Foundation:

And below is a Cycad Newsletter article written by the same authors and describing their continuing work on Cycas circinalis in India:

The article below discusses the adverse impacts of volatile/hostile governments on cycad conservation:


Note: To read or print PDF documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you may download a free copy from the Adobe website by clicking on the following button: 


Click here to go to the IUCN website....Click here to go to the IUCN Species Survival Commission website.


This website is proudly sponsored by The Cycad Society, Inc. <www.cycad.org>


This page was updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012.