January 19, 2011

Almost Extinct Daisy Taken Off Endangered List

U.S. officials said on Wednesday that the tiny Maguire daisy, which grows in the desert southwest of the U.S., has been plucked from the edge of extinction after a 25-year conservation effort.

The Interior Department said Tuesday that the minuscule member of the sunflower family had dropped to just seven known plants when it was listed as endangered in 1985, but with numbers of the daisy now back up to 163,000 plants in 10 populations in Utah, it will be removed from the endangered species list.

"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," Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Tom Strickland said in a statement.

The Maguire daisy is a perennial plant with white or pink flowers and is roughly the size of a dime.

The daisy joins 20 other mostly animal species that have been removed from the endangered species list, including the brown pelican, the bald eagle, the Arctic peregrine falcon and the American alligator.

The plant will be monitored for 10 years to ensure that it continues to flourish and watch for "potential threat factors."

If officials noticed a decline in the population of the Maguire daisy, they could take steps to put it back on the endangered list.


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