Press Release
Service Seeks Comments on Recovery Plan for Endangered Arizona Cactus
Media Contacts

Phoenix – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Service] is seeking public comments on a draft recovery plan for the acuña cactus (Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis), a small, spherical, usually single-stemmed succulent that occurs in valleys and on small knolls and gravel ridges of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, Mexico. The 60-day comment period begins June 1, 2022.

While they are not regulatory, recovery plans provide a framework for the recovery of a species so that Endangered Species Act protection is no longer necessary. The recovery plan establishes delisting criteria, describes actions considered necessary for the recovery of acuña cactus, and estimates the time and cost to implement the recovery actions. This provides a framework for agencies and cooperators to coordinate recovery efforts for the species.

The acuña cactus was listed as endangered in 2013, and is threatened by a variety of causes, including drought and climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
; border, mining, urban development, and livestock activities; invasive plants and altered fire regimes; low numbers and limited distribution; and illegal collection. It’s especially vulnerable because it occurs in eight populations, four of which support fewer than 50 individuals each.

Since the 2013 listing, the Service has worked with partners including the Tohono O’odham Nation, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Desert Botanical Garden, and private landowners to periodically monitor populations.

Members of the public are invited to submit comments through July 31, 2022. Copies of the draft recovery plan are available online at  Species Profile for Acuña Cactus (Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis) ( Public comments may be submitted via email to Alternatively, comments may be submitted via traditional mail to Arizona Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 9828 North 31st Ave #C3, Phoenix AZ 85051-2517.

Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Flowering plants