Ranunculus sphaerospermus now grows in
three regions: the Upper Galilee, Kinarot Valley and the Golan Heights, at six
sites for which there is confirmed knowledge, but it may possibly be found on
about 10 sites. In the Upper Galilee, R. sphaerospermus is known from the Dalton area, Mount
Pu'a, and Shfanim Pond. In the Kinarot Valley, it has disappeared from Tiberias
and from the Dganya area and is known only from the northern part of the lake.
In the Golan Heights, it was found in the Hispin Pond and in En Umm a-Sharshih during
a Rotem seminar on June 9, 2010. The species is extinct from the Hula Valley since
water in pools and water reservoirs.
For the genus –
see Ranunculus ophioglossifolius.
The group of
submersed Ranunculus species that has dissected-filiform leaves
and white flowers is considered by some researchers as a separate genus – Batrachium,
although there is no consensus regarding this matter, while others regard this
group as a sub-genus of this name. In Israel, in addition to R. sphaerospermus the following species belong to this
group: R. peltatus, R. saniculifolius and R. trychophyllus. Some consider the
last two species as subspecies of R. peltatus, ssp. sphaerospermus
and ssp. trichophyllus.
The distribution of Ranunculus sphaerospermus in Israel is on a
declining trend regarding both the number of regions and the number of sites.
All sites in the Hula Valley have disappeared as well as most of the sites
around the Sea of Galilee.
There is no doubt that the drainage of
the Hula Marshes and changes in the Sea of Galilee basin are the reason for the
extinction of these populations.
R. sphaerospermus is protected by law, and grows in the Mount Meron Nature
There is no information about the status
of R. sphaerospermus in most of its global
range, but in the Red Book of Bulgaria, it is listed as an endangered species
Reservoir and the ponds in the Dalton Heights should be declared nature
reserves, in order to continue and sustain the Ranunculus sphaerospermus populations as well
as other unique species growing there.
Ranunculus sphaerospermus is found in the
Balkan countries (including Greece), Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the
Himalayan region – Kashmir, Punjab, Nepal and Tibet.
sphaerospermus is an aquatic submersed plant of ponds and
reservoirs, extremely rare in Israel. The number of its sites is decreasing and
its populations are not protected in reserves despite its legal status as “a
Current Occupancy Map
|Classification||On the endangered species list|
|IUCN category||DD EW EX LC CR EN VU NT|