Puerto Rican Butterfly, Rare Virgin Islands Flower One Step Closer to Endangered Species Protection

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— In a legal victory for the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today agreed to decide this summer whether to protect the Puerto Rico harlequin butterfly and Marrón Bacora plant under the Endangered Species Act.

The butterfly is found only in northwest Puerto Rico and was hit hard by recent hurricanes. The Marrón bacora (Solanum conocarpum) is found only on St. John’s, Virgin Islands, and is also threatened by urban sprawl and climate change.

“U.S. islands in the Caribbean are home to some of our nation’s most tenacious plants and animals, but they are barely surviving urban sprawl and increasingly intense hurricanes,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center. “This agreement will help ensure these treasures get the help they need to survive and thrive.”

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Mike Stark, Communications Director,, (520) 623.5252 ext. 315
Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director,, (415) 632-5316
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Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity