Oil and gas drilling operations chip away at threatened plant habitat in Colorado

DenverBotanicGardens — June 3, 2010 — Denver Botanic Gardens is studying two federally listed species. Before we return to our new Conservation Genetics Lab, we get the pleasure of finding the plants in the wild.

The Dudley Bluffs Twinpod and Bladderpod (Lesquerella congesta and L. obcordata) are both listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Both are found only in the Piceanace Basin in Colorado. This area contains large reserves of oil and gas. Drilling for oil and gas threatens the habitat for these species. To direct conservation efforts, Denver Botanic Gardens’ Research Department is studying how genetic diversity is distributed in and among populations of these rare species.

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