Press Release
Service Announces Availability of Final Recovery Plan for White Fringeless Orchid
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the final recovery plan for the white fringeless orchid, a perennial plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A draft recovery plan was published in the Federal Register in June 2021 and is now being finalized. This plan includes specific criteria for determining when the orchid should be considered for delisting, removing it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. It also lists site-specific actions that will be necessary to meet those criteria and estimates the time and costs required for implementing actions necessary to achieve recovery. The final recovery plan for the white fringeless orchid is now available at the following website:  

The white fringeless orchid was listed as threatened in October 2016. There are currently 52 known populations of the species scattered throughout the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Historically, the species was also known to occur in North Carolina. The white fringeless orchid has been assigned a priority number of 8, indicating the species is facing a moderate degree of threat and has a high recovery potential. The greatest threats to this species are loss or degradation of habitat. Recovery actions will include, but are not limited to, protecting and managing current populations, conducting surveys to identify new populations and assessing occupancy at historically occupied sites, and improving our understanding of the species’ biology and ecology through research and monitoring. The Service also plans to work with partners to promote white fringeless orchid recovery and increase public awareness of the species and its conservation.  

To promote and support the conservation and survival of endangered species and threatened species, and provide a transparent path to achieving recovery, we and our partners develop and implement recovery plans. Recovery plans are unique to each species and serve as central organizing tools that provide important guidance on methods of minimizing threats to listed species, such as restoring and acquiring habitat, removing introduced predators or invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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, conducting surveys, monitoring individual populations, and breeding species in captivity and releasing them into their historical range. Recovery plans identify measurable and objective criteria against which progress toward recovery of a species can be tracked over time. Recovery plans are guidance and not regulatory documents, and no agency or entity is required by the ESA to implement actions in a recovery plan. 

For more information on the white fringeless orchid visit the Service’s Species Profile below or contact Kerri Dikun at 

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Endangered and/or Threatened species