For Immediate Release, September 28, 2016
Contact: Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681, firstname.lastname@example.org
Four Florida Plants Protected Under Endangered Species Act
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— In accordance with a landmark 2011 settlement agreement that required protection decisions for 757 species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced Endangered Species Act protection for four imperiled plants found only in South Florida: the sand flax, Big Pine partridge pea, Blodgett’s silverbush and wedge spurge. The plants have all lost significant pine rocklands habitat due to urban and agricultural development and are now threatened by sea-level rise; all four have been waiting for protection for more than 40 years.
“It’s sad to see that so much of South Florida’s rare and unique landscapes have been gobbled up by poorly planned development,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center. “But it’s reassuring to know that with Endangered Species Act protections, these plants have a much better chance of surviving and recovering.”
The sand flax is a perennial herb with silver, wiry stems and delicate, small yellow flowers. It is found only on seven sites in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in pine rocklands and marl prairies.
The Big Pine partridge pea is a shrub with a woody base and large, buttercup-like petals. It is found only on pine rocklands in Monroe County keys.
The Blodgett’s silverbush is a woody shrub with small, green flowers. It grows in the pine rocklands of Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.
The wedge spurge is a small, perennial herb with slender, silver stems. It is found in pine rocklands and roadsides on Big Pine Key.
To date 156 plants and animals have received protection as a result of the Center’s 2011 agreement, and another 40 are proposed for protection. Read more about the Center’s 757 agreement and sea-level rise campaign.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.