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Eggert’s Sunflower Post-delisting Monitoring Plan Available

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2007


Contacts:

Geoff Call, (931) 528-6481
Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announces the availability of the Post-delisting Monitoring Plan for Eggert’s sunflower (Helianthus eggertii). The sunflower was delisted from threatened due to its recovery, and this plan will help ensure it remains secure from risk of extinction after it no longer has the protections of the Endangered Species Act. Eggert’s sunflower is found in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Presently, there are 287 known Eggert’s sunflower sites that form 73 populations.

In August 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Eggert’s sunflower from its former listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, because recovery efforts led to new populations being identified and other populations being secured. The plant, which is more adaptable than scientists previously realized, was listed as threatened in May 1997. The Service, at the same time, issued a draft Post-delisting Monitoring Plan for this plant (70 FR 48577).

Copies of the final Post-delisting Monitoring Plan for Eggert’s sunflower are available by contacting Geoff Call at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, Tennessee 38501.

Eggert’s sunflower is a member of the Aster family, known by its Latin name as Asteraceae. It has large yellow flowers and grows up to eight feet tall. It prefers rolling-to-flat uplands in full sun or partial shade and is often found in open fields or thickets along wooded borders and with other tall plants and small trees. It persists in, and may even invade, roadsides, power line rights-of-way, or fields that have suitable open habitat.

At the time of listing, there were 34 known Eggert’s sunflower sites. These sites occurred in one county in Alabama, five counties in Kentucky and eight counties in Tennessee. Presently, there are 287 known Eggert’s sunflower sites that form 73 populations:

  • 10 sites form seven populations spanning three counties in Alabama;
  • 33 sites form 18 populations spanning nine counties in Kentucky; and
  • 244 sites form 48 populations spanning 15 counties in Tennessee.

Of these, approximately 126 sites form 27 populations occurring on public lands or on land owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). All sites on federal lands and the site owned by TNC are covered by active management plans that will provide for extended conservation of the species. The recovery goal of 20 secured populations of Eggert’s sunflower has been exceeded.

The Service developed this Post-delisting Monitoring Plan in cooperation with the States of Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The status of Eggert’s sunflower will be monitored annually over a five-year period from 2006 through 2010, usinginformation routinely collected by seven agencies that have entered into long-term management agreements with the Service covering 27 populations of Eggert’s sunflowers. The information will be combined with a total census of these populations during the second and fifth year of the monitoring period.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast or http://www.fws.gov/.



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