Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, San Diego Zoo Global holds 2 accessions of Arctostaphylos otayensis in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 8843 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.
Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, San Diego Zoo Global has collected 2 seed accessions of Arctostaphylos otayensis from 2 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 105 maternal plants
Curbing the threat of fire through the removal of invasive plants and the limiting of illegal activities is needed. More ex-situ (seed bank) collections are needed to insure that the breadth of the genetic diversity is conserved. Arctostaphylos species are known to have low germination rates and research into the germination cues for the species would be helpful in guiding any reintroduction actions if needed.
I would classify the status of the species as stable. The population historically declined as a result of some development of roads, utilites, etc. but the threat to the species now is the fact that the range is very small. It would not be surprising for a single fire to cover most of the species' range. This would not result in the immediate extinction of the species but it would be very imperiled while it recovered after such a fire.
Because this species does not have a burl, it is very threatened by an increase in fire frequency. Old plants can not resprout from roots or burl after intense fires. While this makes room for a new generation, the new trees that germinate after a fire will take several years before they are reproducing. If another fire passes through before populations are reproducing it is possible that the population will be unable to survive. An increased fire-frequency is generally a result of invasive non-natives, especially grasses, that quickly increase the dry biomass in an area and can quickly start a fire. A large portion of the populations of this species occur on public lands (BLM). Increased human activity, illegal fires, cigarettes, firearms, off road vehicles are all potential threats to the species.
In 2016, San Diego Zoo Global made two seed collections from different populations on Otay Mountain.
Endemic to a small area in San Diego County, California, there are 18 known occurrences of Arctostaphylos otayensis but many are historic. Threatened by development.
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