Mountain-Prairie Region

Photo credit: Dorde Wright Woodruff & NPS - Tom Clark

Species Description:  Wright fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus wrightiae) is a small barrel shaped cactus, with short central spines.  Mature adults produce vessel shaped, cream colored flowers with magenta filaments.  In 1979, the Service listed this cactus as an endangered species (44 FR 58868) based on its limited population size and distribution as well as its known and potential threats from collection, mineral resource exploration and extraction activities, and off road vehicle (ORV) use.

Location:  Wright fishhook cactus is known to occur across portions of Utah's western Emery, southeastern Sevier, central Wayne and a small strip within Garfield Counties.  It has been found on soil formations such as Emery sandstone, Mancos shale, Dakota sandstone, Morrison, Summerville, Curtis, Entrada sandstone, Carmel, Moenkopi, and alluvium.  Vegetation associations include semi-barren sites within desert scrub or open pinyon juniper woodland communities at 4,200 to 7,600 feet in elevation.

Recent Actions:  On August 3, 2005, the Service announced a finding that a petition to remove the Wright fishhook cactus from Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act did not provide substantial biological information to indicate that removal may be warranted (70 FR 44544).

On August 25, 2008, the Service completed a 5-year status review on Wright fishhook cactus. A 5-year review, based on the best scientific and commercial information available, is a periodic process conducted to ensure that the listing classification of a species is accurate. 

Wright's fishhook cactus Factsheet

More information can be found through the Service's ECOS webpage

Last updated: August 16, 2012