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Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic

Prioritizing Rare Plants

This project created a prioritized list of rare plant species for conservation actions, with a comprehensive analysis of rarity, threats, trends, legal protection, inclusion in State Wildlife Action Plan revisions, conservation status, habitat, and climate change.

The North Atlantic Region of the United States and Canada boasts diverse habitats, from coasts to mountains, that support endemic and rare plant species. However, recent conservation actions and prioritization efforts in this region have neglected to include plants. We have conducted a conservation assessment for vascular plants that occur in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Using the best scientific data, we have developed a list of vascular plant species of concern for the region. We have refined the list with the input of Natural Heritage and other regional botanists and experts. For each species, we have determined regional conservation responsibility, developed regional ranks, updated global ranks, provided a comprehensive review of climate change analyses, documented known threats, and identified gaps in conservation efforts. This project relied heavily on the knowledge and expertise of the Natural Heritage botanists in the region and the existing element occurrence data, conservation status assessments, and methodology of NatureServe and the Natural Heritage Network. The primary outcome is a prioritized list of rare plant species for conservation actions, with a comprehensive analysis of rarity, threats, trends, legal protection, inclusion in State Wildlife Action Plan revisions, conservation status, habitat, and climate change.

Project Objectives

  • Assess regional responsibility of rare vascular plant species in the North Atlantic LCC Region
  • Assess the regional and global conservation statuses of rare vascular plant species in the North Atlantic LCC Region
  • Develop methodology for regional prioritization of rare plants


Project Photo: Small-whorled (RI) Pogonia.
Credit: Dale Suiter/USFWS

The final report and accompanying Rare Plant Species Prioritization List was completed as of June 2017.

Collaborators

Sean Blaney, Atlantic Canada
Jacques Labrecque, Centre de Données Sur le Patrimoine Naturel du Québec
Don Cameron, Maine Natural Areas Program
Robert Wernerehl, Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
Chris Frye, Maryland Natural Heritage Program
Kathleen Walz, New Jersey Natural Heritage Program
Steve Young, New York Natural Heritage Program
Bill Nichols, New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau
Johnny Townsend, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Bob Popp, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
Bill Brumback, New England Wildflower Society
Bill McAvoy, Delaware Natural Heritage Program
Scott Schuette, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
Nelson DeBarros, Connecticut Natural Diversity Database
Gerry Moore, USDA PLANTS Database
Amanda Treher, NatureServe
Leah Oliver, NatureServe
Anne Frances, NatureServe

$50,000 - North Atlantic LCC

Access the final report and table of species assessed here.

Access the final report and table of species assessed here.