Newsroom Midwest Region

News Release
October 4, 2011

Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203

Endangered Species Act Protection Not Warranted for Oklahoma Grass Pink Orchid

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it has completed a status review of the Oklahoma grass pink orchid, a plant found in seven states, and concluded it does not require the protection of the Endangered Species Act. 

The status review was undertaken after the Service determined that a petition to list the Oklahoma grass pink orchid as threatened or endangered under the ESA provided substantial information.  The petition was submitted to the Service in May 2008 by Douglas Goldman of the Harvard University Herbaria, asking the Service to list the plant as endangered or threatened due to declining populations. 

The species currently occurs in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.  The Service found that of the 41 existing populations, 26 are on land that is protected, with management focused on maintaining native prairie communities, the orchid’s habitat.

Based on a thorough review of all information and data, and peer review comments, the Service concluded that the species is not in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.
The Oklahoma grass pink orchid occupies moist, loamy prairies, savannas, and sandy woodlands.  

A copy of the 12-month finding on the petition to list the Oklahoma grass pink orchid appears in the October 4, 2011, Federal Register.