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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.”

Read more.

Media Contacts:

Endangered Species: James Quirk, Media Specialist, jquirk@biologicaldiversity.org, (971) 717-6411
Climate: Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director, psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316
Public Lands, National Monuments and Borderlands:
Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist – mkreinhart@biologicaldiversity.org, (602) 320-7309
Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Arctic: Steve Jones, Media Specialist – sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866
Pesticides, Toxics, Air Pollution, Industrial Agriculture and Environmental Health: Andy Parker, Media Specialist – aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569
Population, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Endangered Species Condoms: Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist –  jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 345-5726

Mike Stark, Communications Director, mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623.5252 ext. 315
Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director, psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316
Russ McSpadden, Creative Media Specialist – Media Photos, rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity