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Recovery Plan for the Endangered Plant Catesbaea melanocarpa Available


News Release in Español

August 18, 2005

Contacts: Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291
Marelisa Rivera, 787-851-7297, ext. 231

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the availability of the recovery plan for the Caribbean plant Catesbaea melanocarpa. The plan details actions and efforts needed to recover this plant and eventually remove it from the list of federally-protected species.

Catesbaea melanocarpa was listed as endangered on March 17, 1999 under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.

Catesbaea melanocarpa (no common name) is endemic to Puerto Rico, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Antigua, and Guadeloupe. In the U.S. Caribbean, it is known from only one individual in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico and approximately 100 individuals in one location in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. All known individuals in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands occur on privately-owned lands. Little is known about the species’ status on the islands of Barbuda, Antigua, and Guadeloupe.

Catesbaea melanocarpa, of the family Rubiaceae, belongs to a genus which consists of 10 or more species of spiny shrubs. It occurs in the subtropical dry forest life zone, the driest life zone in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The species is a small branching shrub which may reach about 10 feet in height with small leaves and spines. Its flowers are white and funnel-like, and its small, black fruit consists of two cells containing five to seven seeds each.

This species is threatened by its limited population and distribution, habitat destruction or modification for residential and tourist development, fire, and catastrophic natural events such as hurricanes.

Copies of the final plan can be obtained by writing to the Boquerón Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 491, Boquerón, Puerto Rico 00622, by calling Ms. Marelisa Rivera at 787-851-7297, ext. 231, or by visiting our recovery plan website at

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which is comprised of 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management offices, and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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