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Posts Tagged "rare plants"

Extinction Countdown

Japan Could Lose 561 Plant Species by the Next Century

Polemonium kiushianum

A massive new study of Japan’s native plants reveals an extinction crisis in the making. The study examined 1,618 threatened Japanese vascular plant species, most of which can be only be found in extremely limited ranges and many of which already face shrinking populations. According to a paper published June 12 in PLoS ONE, the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Flower Power: Collaboration Keeps Rare Plant off the Endangered Species List

Georgia aster

Fifteen years ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) acknowledged that a rare plant called the Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum) deserved and needed protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, a lot of other species also needed protection—some of them much more urgently. As such, the Georgia aster was determined to be a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

From Saved to Stolen: Thief Absconds with Extinct-in-the-Wild Water Lily

Nymphaea thermarum

This is why we can’t have nice species: Last week one of the world’s rarest plants was stolen from public display in London at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. An unknown thief or thieves walked in, pulled or dug up the plant and disappeared with it. The tiny thermal water lily (Nymphaea thermarum) is the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Lawsuit to Remove Plant from Endangered Species List Completely Backfires

Indian Knob

Oh what a difference a few years makes. Just four years ago, the rare California shrub known as the Indian Knob mountain balm (Eriodictyon altissimum) was poised to drop off the endangered species list after the threats to its existence had mostly been abated. This week, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rare Naked Ladies Crocus Infected with Even Rarer Smutty Fungus

Urocystis colchici

Who knew botany and mycology could be so naughty? Naked ladies and smut have come to light in the U.K., but not in the way you might think. Yes, you can get your minds out of the gutter. We’re talking about the rare plant called the naked ladies crocus (Colchicum autumnale) and the even rarer [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Endangered Plants for Sale Online: Are They Legal?

Pritchardia remota

Did you know that it is often legal to buy and sell endangered species of plants through the mail? It’s true. Take, for example, the rare Hawaiian palm tree Pritchardia remota, one of several species collectively known as lou’lu. The tree, like many in its genus, is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Deadly Snakes, Ugly Critters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Other Links from the Brink

Bothriechis guifarroi

A deadly but critically endangered snake, one of the world’s rarest birds and a heavily guarded flower are among the endangered species in the news this week. A New Snake with a Sad Story: A gorgeous but extremely dangerous new snake species has been discovered in Honduras. The new palm pit viper has been named [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing Hawaiian Plant Loved by Tourists but Endangered by Climate Change

silversword

Every year up to two million people visit Haleakalā National Park in Hawaii, the only habitat for the endangered Haleakalā silversword (Argyroxyphium sandwicense macrocephalum), a spectacular and unusual plant that is now threatened by climate change. According to research published January 7 in Global Change Biology, these silverswords have suffered a dramatic population decline in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Dung from Critically Endangered Kakapo Parrots Could Save Endangered Plant

kakapo

A fossilized sample of thousand-year-old parrot dung has revealed a previously unknown ecological relationship that could help save a threatened parasitic plant from extinction. Yup, conservation science is sometimes weird. The plant in question is called Dactylanthus taylorii (aka wood rose or Hades flower). A parasitic plant that only grows on the roots of about [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Last-of-Its-Kind Plant Could Get Federal Protection

There’s just one Franciscan manzanita (Arctostaphylos hookeri franciscana) plant left in the wild, and it could soon get protected status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) this week proposed adding the extremely rare shrub to the ESA in response to a petition from the conservation organizations Wild Equity [...]

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