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Recovery Plan for the Spring Creek Bladderpod in Tennessee Available


September 6, 2006

Timothy Merritt, (931) 528-6481, Ext. 211
Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the availability of the final recovery plan for the federally listed, endangered Spring Creek bladderpod. This plant species is an annual, restricted to a small area of the Central Basin Section of the Interior Low Plateau in Tennessee. It is currently known from only 21 occurrences. These occurrences principally occur within the floodplains of Spring Creek, Bartons Creek, and Cedar Creek in the vicinity of Lebanon, Tennessee, in Wilson County. The recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order to downlist this species to threatened status and delist it under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

The Spring Creek bladderpod germinates in the fall, overwinters as a small rosette of leaves, and produces small white flowers in the early spring. Soon after the flowers wither, the fruits mature and the plant dies. Its seeds lie dormant until fall, when the cycle begins again. It is found mainly on newly disturbed sites and requires some degree of annual disturbance in order to complete its life cycle. In the present and the recent past, the disturbance occurred as a result of cultivation of annual crops; historically, the disturbance would have been a result of periodic flooding and associated scouring. Flooding helped remove the perennial grasses, herbs, and woody plants that quickly invaded the floodplain.

This species is extremely vulnerable because of its limited range and its specific habitat. The primary threat is the loss of habitat by conversion of land to uses other than cultivation of annual crops. In order for this annual plant to complete its life cycle, it is essential that the sites not be disturbed (plowed or disked) in the fall after the seeds have germinated, and that spring plowing and planting be delayed until the plants have matured in the spring. Because the cultivation of annual crops is becoming increasingly rare and the development pressures are very high in Wilson County, this species is at a high risk for extinction. All the occurrences, except for one, are located on private property.

Need a copy of the Plan? Call 931-528-6481, ext. 211, to request a copy, or send a written request to the address below:

Tennessee Field Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
446 Neal Street
Cookeville, Tennessee 38501

To view the Plan on the web:

1. Visit
2. Click on the icon entitled Spring Creek Bladderpod Recovery Plan.

Questions regarding this plan should be addressed to Timothy Merritt at the Tennessee Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 446 Neal Street, Cookeville, Tennessee 38501; telephone 931/528-6481, Ext. 211; fax 931/528-7075; or email 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 comprised of more than 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 78 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 that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.


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