For Immediate Release, November 30, 2022
Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two California Plants Saved From Extinction by Endangered Species Act
Channel Islands Recoveries Mark Another Success for Landmark Law
LOS ANGELES— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed to remove two Channel Islands plants from the endangered species list because they have successfully recovered.
The Channel Island bedstraw and Santa Cruz Island dudleya were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1997 because of grazing, trampling and soil erosion caused by sheep and feral pigs. Following the plants’ protection, sheep and feral pigs were removed from the islands, which benefited not just the two rare plants but the entire ecosystem.
“The Endangered Species Act has saved the lives of 99% of the plants and animals under its care, including these two beautiful California plants,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Recovery can take decades, but the investment is worth it to safeguard the biodiversity we all depend on.”
Island bedstraw is a 3-foot-tall woody shrub with small greenish-white flowers. At the time of listing there were 19 known sites and around 600 individual plants. In recent surveys there were 39 sites and more than 15,700 individuals.
Santa Cruz Island dudleya, also known as Santa Cruz Island liveforever, is a succulent perennial, known from only one population on the westernmost tip of Santa Cruz Island in Santa Barbara County. Since the plant’s listing, the population has fluctuated from 40,000 to 200,000 individuals and has stabilized at 120,000 individuals with an increase in distribution.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a monitoring plan to ensure the plants continue to thrive. This is especially important for the Santa Cruz Island dudleya, whose single population remains vulnerable to sea-level rise caused by climate change.
The Channel Island bedstraw and Santa Cruz Island dudleya will join more than 50 species of plants and animals that have successfully recovered under federal protection, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, humpback whales, Coastal California sunflowers and Channel Islands foxes.
“Nearly 50 years into its legacy, the Endangered Species Act remains the most important tool we have to end extinction and ensure a healthy future for humans and the diversity of life that makes the Earth so vibrant,” Curry said.
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.