Endangered Species
Ecological Services
January 14, 2011

Recovery Success Stories| Maguire Daisy (04:57)

Host: Sarah Leon with Bekee Hotze

Maguire daisy (click to view larger)
Maguire daisy
Photo credit: Michelle Dela Cruz, National Park Service

A Successful Recovery

Today, conservationists involved in the 25-year Maguire daisy (Erigeron maguirei) recovery effort are celebrating. The best scientific information available indicates the perennial herb has recovered to the point that it no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

Mineral exploration, development, and off-road vehicle recreation were listed as major threats to the plant when it was listed as endangered in 1985. Only a handful of individuals were known at the time of listing.

Within a decade, the future began to look brighter for the Maguire daisy. A very similar plant (E. Maguirei var. harrisonii) in Capitol Reef National Park had been considered a separate variety and, although thought to be somewhat rare, it was not included on the list of protected plants. Years later, when botanists determined there was no significant difference between the variants, the Service decided to consider the two groups of plants as the same.

Combining the two varieties into one species dramatically increased the total known population for the endangered plant, and in 1996 the Service was able to change its legal status from endangered to the less critical category of threatened. The current number of known individuals nears 163,000 within 10 populations in southeastern Utah's Emery, Wayne, and Garfield counties.

Since the plant was listed, Federal land management agencies including the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service have worked collaboratively to ensure the long-term protection of the Maguire daisy and its habitat. Cooperative recovery efforts have substantially increased the known number and distribution of Maguire daisy populations range-wide, stabilized populations, addressed threats, and provided adequate protection and management to ensure the plant's long-term persistence.

To further ensure conservation efforts continue post-delisting, an Interagency Rare Plant Team has developed a conservation strategy—a multi-year joint project by the involved partners. Monitoring will continue for a minimum of ten years.

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Last updated: July 15, 2013