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Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic

This project will create 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 propose to conduct a conservation assessment for vascular plants that occur in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Using the best scientific data, we will develop a list of vascular plant species of concern for the region. We will refine the list with the input of Natural Heritage and other regional botanists and experts. For each species, we will determine regional conservation responsibility, develop regional ranks, update global ranks, provide a comprehensive review of climate change analyses, document known threats, and identify gaps in conservation efforts. This project heavily relies 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 will be 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

Collaborators (confirmed)

Sean Blaney, Atlantic Canada
Guy Jolicoeur, 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
Chris Ludwig, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Bob Popp, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
Bill Brumback, New England Wildflower Society

Collaborators (pending): Rhode Island, Delaware, and Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Programs

$50,000 - North Atlantic LCC

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