For Immediate Release, May 29, 2020

Contact:

Ileene Anderson, (323) 654-5943, ianderson@biologicaldiversity.org

Southern California Flower Recovered, No Longer Needs Endangered Species Protection

San Benito Evening Primrose Saved by Habitat Protection

VENTURA, Calif.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed removing the San Benito evening primrose from the federal list of threatened species based on recovery of the plant, which occurs in the central coast range of San Benito, Monterey and Fresno counties.

When the primrose was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1985, it was only found in nine locations and faced severe threats from off-road vehicles and mining. Today the species has been largely protected from off-roading by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and is known to inhabit 79 locations.

“I’m just thrilled that the unique habitats of the beautiful San Benito evening primrose have been protected well enough to allow this recovery,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This plant is another powerful example of the success of the Endangered Species Act, which has saved 99% of the species under its protection. Our landmark conservation law is more important than ever.”

Scientists warned last year that more than a million species around the world are at risk of disappearing in the coming decades.

“The recovery of the evening primrose shows that if we care about species and protect their habitats, we can save them,” said Anderson. “The Endangered Species Act is a powerful weapon against the extinction crisis that’s claiming a terrifying number of plants and animals.”

To protect the primrose, the BLM closed the Serpentine Area of Critical Environmental Concern to off-road vehicles and restricted their use in the Clear Creek Management Area. These protections and the increased occurrences of the plant were key to the proposal to remove it from list of threatened species.

Once delisting is finalized, the evening primrose will become the 48th species to be fully recovered by the Endangered Species Act.

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San Benito evening-primrose (Camissonia benitensis). Photo by David Pereksta, USFWS. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.