For Immediate Release, May 23, 2013
Contact: Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681
Kentucky Flower Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection With 2,000 Acres of Protected Habitat
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— In accordance with a settlement agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to protect Kentucky glade cress under the Endangered Species Act, along with 2,053 acres of critical habitat. The small flower with lilac or white petals is found only in Bullitt and Jefferson counties.
“Protection for this little Kentucky wildflower was sure a long time coming — 38 years, to be exact,” said Tierra Curry, conservation biologist at the Center. “But it’s wonderful that Kentucky glade cress will now get the safeguards it needs to flourish.”
Today’s proposal is the result of a 2011 agreement between the Center and the Fish and Wildlife Service to speed endangered species protection decisions for 757 animals and plants around the country that are in danger of becoming extinct. So far 56 of those species have been fully protected, and another 97 have been proposed for protection under the agreement, including this flower.
Kentucky glade cress was first identified as being in need of federal protection in 1975. In 2009 the Service placed it on the official candidate waiting list for Endangered Species Act protection and assigned it a high-priority number due to imminent threats to its habitat. Kentucky glade cress is threatened by habitat loss due to development and conversion of natural habitat to lawns and by grazing and off-road vehicle riding.
“Losing plants and animals to extinction makes us all poorer. The Endangered Species Act has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the plants and animals under its care. Protection for the Kentucky glade cress will ensure that this lovely flower will be around for future generations to enjoy,” said Curry.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Endangered Species Act.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.