WASHINGTON — Highlighting a 25-year conservation effort involving a number of federal agencies, the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Tuesday, Jan. 18, announced the Maguire daisy will be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
The population of the daisy was known to number seven plants when it was listed as endangered in 1985 but now numbers 163,000 plants within 10 populations in southeastern Utah’s Emery, Wayne and Garfield Counties. It is the 21st species to be delisted due to recovery
A member of the sunflower family, the Maguire daisy (Erigeron maguirei) is a perennial herb with a branched woody base. Its stems and spatulate-shaped leaves are densely spreading and hairy. Its flowers are dime sized with white or pink petals. Bits of sand commonly cling to the hairs of the leaves and stems
“The delisting of the Maguire daisy shows that the Endangered Species Act is an effective tool not only to save species from the brink of extinction but also to recover them to healthy populations,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland. “Working in partnership with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and other partners, we can ensure irreplaceable plants and animals such as the Maguire daisy and the habitat they depend upon are preserved for future generations.”
The best scientific information available indicates the Maguire daisy no longer meets the ESA definition of threatened or endangered. An endangered species is one considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species is one that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.
The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others.
Approximately 99 percent of Maguire daisies occur on federal lands, and now most of these lands have substantial protective measures in place.
Native plants are important for their ecological, economic, and aesthetic values. Plants play an important role in development of crops that resist disease, insects, and drought. At least 25 percent of prescription drugs contain ingredients derived from plant compounds, including medicine to treat cancer, heart disease, juvenile leukemia, and malaria, and to assist in organ transplants. Plants are also used to develop natural pesticides.
Other U.S. and U.S. territorial species that have, to date, recovered enough to be removed from listing under the ESA, and the dates of their delistings, are as follows:
• Brown pelican (Atlantic coast population 1985, rest of the range in 2009);
• Virginia northern flying squirrel (2008);
• Bald Eagle (2007);
• Eggert’s sunflower (2005);
• Tinian Monarch (2004);
• Columbian white-tailed deer (Douglas County Population, 2003);
• Hoover’s woolly-star (2003);
• Robbins’ cinquefoil (2002);
• Aleutian Canada goose (2001);
• American peregrine falcon (1999);
• eastern gray kangaroo (1995);
• western gray kangaroo (1995);
• red kangaroo (1995);
• Arctic peregrine falcon (1994);
• gray whale (eastern North Pacific (California) population, 1994);
• American alligator (1987);
• Palau ground dove (1985);
• Palau fantail flycatcher (1985);
• Palau owl (1985).
A copy of the final rule and other information about the Maguire daisy is available online at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/plants/maguiredaisy/, or by contacting Utah Field Office at 2369 West Orton Circle, West Valley City, Utah 84119 (telephone 801/ 975–3330; facsimile 801/975-3331. The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on January 19, 2011.
Listen to an audio podcast on the Maguire daisy at: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/ep-07.html
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Service’s Endangered Species program, go to http://www.fws.gov/endangered/.