For Immediate Release, October 7, 2016
Contact: Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190, firstname.lastname@example.org
Four Florida Plants Proposed for Protection Under Endangered Species Act
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— As a result of a 2011 agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity expediting protection decisions for 757 species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed Endangered Species Act protection for four imperiled plants found only in South Florida — Florida pineland crabgrass, Florida prairie clover, pinelands sandmat, and Everglades bully. The plants are part of the irreplaceable landscape of South Florida and are threatened by sea-level rise, urban sprawl and loss of frequent natural fires. They join a growing number of endangered species that occur in pine rocklands, which despite being one of the rarest habitats in the United States is imminently threatened by the planned development of a shopping mall and theme park in south Miami.
“The incredibly unique plants and animals of South Florida are slipping away before our very eyes,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Florida director with the Center. “It’s a relief to know that at least these four plants are finally getting the protection they need to survive and recover.”
Florida pineland crabgrass is also known as Everglades grass or twospike crabgrass, and only occurs in the Everglades in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. The Florida pineland crabgrass was first identified as needing endangered species protection in 1975. The Center petitioned the Service to protect the crabgrass in 2004.
The Florida prairie clover has been waiting on the agency’s candidate list for federal protection since 1999. The Florida prairie clover is a member of the pea family and grows to six feet tall in pine rocklands and coastal uplands.
The pinelands sandmat has been a candidate for listing since 1999. It is also known as the pineland deltoid spurge, rockland spurge, and wedge sandmat. It is a beautiful perennial herd with a red stem and delicate yellow flowers.
The Everglades bully has been a candidate for protection since 2004. It is a shrub that is native to Miami-Dade County and is only found in pine rocklands.
To date 176 plants and animals have received protection as a result of the Center’s 2011 agreement, and another 20 are proposed for protection. Read more about the Center’s 757 agreement and the Center’s 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.