The precarious ecological status of Aloe pillansii L. Guthrie in the Richtersveld, northern Namaqualand, northwest corner of the northern Cape Province of South Africa, is examined. There is some concern over the condition of the aloe population occurring on the hill Cornellskop, the type locality. An attempt was made to recognise and analyse the main problems, natural and anthropogenic, threatening the conservation of the unique Cornellskop miniecosystem. During the research project a checklist of plants occurring on the hill was compiled. A map of Cornellskop is included (Figure 1). The general status of the aloe throughout the Richtersveld is dealt with and a map showing the overall distribution as is presently known is appended (Figure 2). The origins of the resident Richtersveld traditional herders is briefly outlined. It is postulated that future conservation of the species and the progressive degradation of the habitat is finely balanced between the restricted severe climatic niche within which the plants have evolved and ever present, progressive, attritional anthropogenic factors.