Hawaiian Bird, Flowers, Tropical Lizards Closer to Protection
Good news this week for the iconic, urgently threatened Hawaiian 'i'iwi, two California flowers, and two lizards (from Florida and the Caribbean). Following petitions from the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the 'i'iwi and San Fernando spineflower for Endangered Species Act protection and announced that the Florida scrub lizard, lesser Virgin Islands skink and Lassics lupine flower may warrant protection.
The 'i'iwi -- or scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper -- is a bright-red bird living high up in Hawaiian forests; the spineflower, once thought extinct, survives in only two Southern California populations. Florida scrub lizards need habitat near pine and oak trees; lesser skinks live in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Lassics lupine is a pink alpine wildflower whose total global range, in Northern California, covers less than 4 acres.
These species are at risk from climate change, development, farming, invasive species and other threats.
Read more on the 'i'iwi in the Honolulu Civil Beat.