Saturday, March 20, 2010

Endangered Plant Species New Jersey

Spring is here!  At least on the calendar, it's here. So, it's an appropriate time to take note of the endangered plants here in New Jersey.

In 1989, the Endangered Plant Species List Act was enacted. The act directed the Division of Parks and Forestry to create the State’s first official list of plant species endangered in New Jersey.

One reason for creation of the list was to more effectively and efficiently incorporate the preservation of New Jersey’s natural diversity into government planning functions. Endangered plants were defined in the act as native species whose survival in the State or nation is in jeopardy, including plant species listed, proposed or under review by the federal government as endangered or threatened in the United States, any additional species known or believed to be rare throughout its worldwide range, and any species having five or fewer extant populations within the State.

The list of Special Plants of New Jersey contains all 339 native New Jersey plant species on the Endangered Plant Species List, as well as information on all other plants currently tracked by the Natural Heritage Database.

One example of an on-going project is annual monitoring and management of the State’s last surviving population of the state and federally endangered American chaffseed (Schwalbea americana), located on a precarious roadside in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. New Jersey’s population of S. americana is now the only population north of North Carolina.

Another plant that has recently received considerable attention is the state endangered and federally threatened sea-beach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus). This species occupies the specialized and dynamic habitat of open sandy beach between the high tide line and the toe of the primary dune, and recently reappeared in NJ after almost a century of absence.

To learn more about the health and threats Endangered Plant Species Populations in New Jersey, you can download the state's report (49 pages, PDF)

Endangered Wildlife and Plants of the World
Vanishing Flora: Endangered Plants Around the World
Saving Endangered Plants and Animals (Science Solves It)
Endangered Plants

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