Prairie flower one step closer to endangered species protection


Following a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday determined that the Oklahoma Grasspink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus) may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. This is the eighth decision the agency has issued since the center filed suit Feb. 17 to force protection for 93 species.

The Grasspink once occurred across 17 states from Minnesota to Texas and across to Florida, but is now believed to survive in only eight: Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

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flickr/ZephyrusNYC

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Gulf Coast irises studied for tolerance to oil spill and dispersants


A geneticist at the University of Georgia has received a $175,000 grant to assess the effects of crude oil and dispersants on plant populations in the Gulf Coast region. The grant will allow Mike Arnold and two postdoctoral researchers to gather baseline information about the spill’s immediate effects on coastal iris populations in and around bayous and marshes.

Read more here.

flickr/Tie Guy II

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