FWS undertakes 5-year review on 13 Southeastern plants, including the Key tree cactus
74 Fed. Reg. 16230 / Vol. 74, No. 67 / Thursday, April 9, 2009 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Status Reviews of 13 Southeastern Plant Species
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) are initiating 5-year status reviews of 13 species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We conduct these reviews to ensure that the classification of species as threatened or endangered on the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants is accurate. A 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct these reviews, we must receive your comments or information on or before June 8, 2009.
The Key Tree-cactus Pilosocereus robinii produces large white flowers and a purplish-red fruit. It is a member of the rare and declining tropical hammock communities on Upper and Lower Matecumbe, and Long and Big Pine keys. Populations formerly found on Key West and Windley and Boca Chica keys are believed to be extirpated. As early as 1917, this cactus was on the edge of being extinct as a result of habitat destruction. The Key tree-cactus was listed as endangered because of severe population declines caused by destruction of its habitat for commercial and residential development. Info from FWS and photo from Center for Plant Conservation