© 2024 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.
The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

Rare plant only found on the banks of the St. John River is downlisted from endangered to threatened

After 45 years on the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reclassifying a flowering plant known as the Furbish's Lousewort as threatened.

The plant with fernlike leaves and yellow flowers only grows along the banks of the St. John River in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.

Tierra Curry is a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. She says Furbish's Lousewort was faced with extinction due to development threats but its habitat is now largely protected.

"So it's this great story of this place. And that's why extinction is so sad," she says. "When something goes extinct, it means that we've changed a place forever. We took a story that persisted for millennia and changed it. And this area still thrives. The plant is still here. We did something right."

Curry says the plant is an example of the importance of conservation and a reminder of the need to take action against climate change, which is the current threat the Furbish's Lousewort faces for survival.