U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Southeast Region News Release




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              Vicki M. Boatwright or

October 10, 1995                   Diana M. Hawkins





     LEPANTHES ELTORENSIS AND CRANICHIS RICARTII TECHNICAL/AGENCY

     DRAFT RECOVERY PLAN AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on a proposed plan to recover two endangered orchids endemic to mountain forests in Puerto Rico. They are the Lepanthes eltorensis and the Cranichis ricartii. The orchids were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act on November 29, 1991.

Lepanthes eltorensis is known to exist at elevations greater than 850 meters in five separate sites in the Palo Colorado and Dwarf forests, in the Caribbean National Forest. The orchid has been seen in several species of trees, all of which support abundant mosses and liverwort.

Cranichis ricartii has been discovered at only three locations in the Maricao Forest of western Puerto Rico. It grows in humus of moist serpentine scrub forests of mountain ridges at elevations above 680 meters. Both species are threatened by forest management practices, hurricane damage, and removal by collectors.

The draft recovery plan, which took scientists from state and Federal agencies more than a year to develop, calls for downlisting the species when existing populations and their habitats are considered self-sustaining in their protected areas.

The Service will collect written public comments on the recovery plan for the next 60 days. Copies of the proposed plan can be obtained from the Service by writing to Ms. Marelisa Rivera, Caribbean Field Office, Box 491, Boquer˘n, P.R. 00622 or calling 809-851-7297.

X X X Release #95-89


1995 News Releases

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