News Release
Southeast Region


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Final Recovery Plan Available for the Endangered Gentian Pinkroot

March 26, 2012



A gentian pinkroot begins to bloom

Gentian pinkroot. Photo: USFWS.

The final recovery plan for gentian pinkroot (Spigelia gentianoides), a federally listed, endangered plant, is now available.  The plan describes actions considered necessary for the plant's recovery, establishes criteria for reclassifying the species to threatened, and estimates the time and cost for implementing needed recovery actions.

The gentian pinkroot is a small herb found in fire-dependent ecosystems in Florida and Alabama.  There are two varieties.  The variety gentianoides occurs in only five locations within three counties in the Florida panhandle and southern Alabama.  Within the Florida panhandle, the variety gentianoides is found in Jackson and Calhoun Counties, and in south Alabama, gentianoides exists in Geneva County.  The variety alabamensis is found only in Bibb County, Alabama.

Habitat loss and alteration are the primary reasons for the species' decline.  The existing plants of the variety gentianoides are located in longleaf pine-wiregrass and pine-oak-hickory ecosystems.  Much of this habitat has been lost, converted to pine plantations, and managed without fire.  The variety alabamensis is found in open, almost treeless areas within woodlands (glades).  Some of these glades are owned and protected by the Nature Conservancy.  However, this variety is threatened by the potential development of other glades in Bibb County.

The objective of this recovery plan is to provide a framework for the recovery of gentian pinkroot, so that protection under the Endangered Species Act is no longer necessary.  Defining reasonable delisting criteria is not possible at this time given the current low number of populations and individuals, the lack of information about the species' biology, and the magnitude of current threats from development.  Therefore, the recovery plan establishes downlisting criteria for the gentian pinkroot so that it may be reclassified to threatened status.

The most immediate priorities for recovering gentian pinkroot are surveying, monitoring, conducting demographic studies, improving management protocols (including the establishment of fire management regimes), and securing existing populations.

For a copy of the recovery plan, please contact the Panama City Ecological Services Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1601 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Florida 32405, telephone 850-769-0552, ext. 231. To view the plan on the web, visit at or

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Last updated: March 26, 2012