Colorado: USFWS to consider Endangered Species Act protection for rare Rocky Mountain monkeyflower

Moisture-dependent plant only known to grow in 7 spots

Monkeyflowers (not the species under consideration for listing) growing at a spring near Clinton Gulch Reservoir, in Summit County, Colorado.

Monkeyflower blossom.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The small and shy Rocky Mountain monkeyflower will be considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency said this week it will take a hard look at the status of the wildflower, which only grows in seven known locations at subalpine elevations in the mountains west of Denver. The flower is threatened by direct human impacts as well as a changing climate that could dry up the seeps and springs that provide habitat on state and federal lands.

According to a 2003 U.S. Forest Service assessment, the species is not at risk from management actions on public lands, but its long-term persistence could depend on adequate management to minimize potential threats. Continue reading

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