The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comments on a draft recovery plan for the beardless chinchweed (Pectis imberbis), an endangered herbaceous plant native to the sky islands of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. The 60-day comment period began January 19, 2023.
Recovery plans are not regulatory but provide a framework for the recovery of a species with criteria and actions necessary for its recovery, or delisting, under the Endangered Species Act. They also establish a framework for agencies and cooperators to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. The draft recovery plan will be reviewed by peer and partner reviewers simultaneous with the public comment period.
The beardless chinchweed is a flowering perennial plant of the sunflower family and occurs in the semi-desert grasslands, oak savannas, and oak woodlands at elevations of 3,800 to 5,700 feet in southern Arizona and Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico. Most populations have low numbers of individuals and distribution has become limited, primarily due to the loss and degradation of habitat from nonnative plant invasion and alteration of the fire regime, drought and , and various human activities.
Since the 2021 listing, the Service has worked with partners to assess beardless chinchweed populations and survey for additional populations. In addition, research is under way that will increase our knowledge of the species biology, life history, and restoration techniques. This draft recovery plan was informed by botanists and ecologists from state and federal government agencies, as well as university and private scientists.
The Service prepared a separate draft Recovery Implementation Strategy, which includes specific activities necessary to implement recovery actions. Primary partners engaged in implementing recovery actions include the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegida.
Members of the public are invited to submit comments through March 20, 2023. Copies of the draft recovery plan are available online at the species profile page for beardless chinchweed. Public comments may be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.