News of a yellow flower has Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office biologists excited! Previously known to exist at only 11 sites, a new population of endangered large-flowered fiddleneck was recently discovered in East Bay Regional Park District’s Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Contra Costa County. The Service was made aware of the discovery after rangeland managers at the preserve confirmed the find with partners in environmental consulting.
“Finding a new population of a listed species is always exciting, but it makes it even more exciting knowing that the species faced extinction not too long ago,” said Sam Sosa, senior biologist in the SFWO’s Sierra Cascades division. “The fiddleneck rebounded from a population size of 26 plants in 2009 to over 55,000 plants last year due to the immense work of our partners.”
In recent years, large-flowered fiddleneck has been the focus of extensive restoration efforts that include closely managing populations that have been reintroduced to areas in its native range. Before this new population was found, there was only one natural population surviving without intense management.
“This newly discovered natural population, now one of only two that we know are still around, creates a foothold in a part of its range that needs help,” added Sosa. “To me, this discovery is the fiddleneck’s way of saying that it wants to survive. The fiddleneck is telling us where it wants to grow. This discovery gives us hope that the fiddleneck will be found in every place where it used to live and that it will be around for future generations.”