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Environmentalists Heading To Court To Protect Disappearing Florida Plants

The endangered Florida prairie clover is one of eight rare plants added to the endangered species list several years ago. The clover had been a candidate for protection for more than 20 years. Conservationists now want the government to designate critical habitat to better protect it.
University of South Florida
The endangered Florida prairie clover is one of eight rare plants added to the endangered species list several years ago. The clover had been a candidate for protection for more than 20 years. Conservationists now want the government to designate critical habitat to better protect it.

The Center for Biological Diversity took steps to sue federal wildlife managers this week for failing to protect endangered Florida plants.

The plants are among the earth’s rarest and include the Everglades bully, Florida prairie clover and six others.

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Conservationists have been trying to protect some of the plants for nearly two decades. They were finally added to the endangered species list in 2017 and 2018, after the Center for Biological Diversity sued.

The center is now taking the government back to court because wildlife managers failed to designate critical habitat for the plants.

“Habitat loss is the biggest cause of extinction,” said attorney Jaclyn Lopez, the center's Florida director. “We’re not going to be able to save these remarkable native plants without protecting the places they live.”

Most of the plants grow in pine rockland and only in South Florida.

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Jenny Staletovich has been a journalist working in Florida for nearly 20 years.