CONSERVATION GROUPS MOVE TO PROTECT RARE COASTAL MOTH FROM WASHINGTON AND BRITISH COLUMBIA
For immediate release:
February 4, 2010
Sarina Jepsen, Director, Endangered Species Program, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; 503-232-6639 email@example.com
Nicole Rosmarino, Ph.D., Wildlife Program Director, WildEarth Guardians 505-699-7404, firstname.lastname@example.org
Only ten populations of the Sand Verbena Moth remain
SEATTLE, WA– WildEarth Guardians and The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation filed a petition today seeking Endangered Species Act status for the Sand Verbena Moth (Copablepharon fuscum).
Only ten populations of the Sand Verbena Moth are known from coastal areas in Washington and British Columbia. Within its range, this moth depends on dune coastal habitat containing relatively large stands of its host plant, the yellow sand verbena. The Sand Verbena Moth is threatened by rising sea levels and increased storm surges due to climate change, habitat loss from invasive dune grasses displacing its host plant and high recreational use of coastal dunes, among other threats.
"The sand verbena moth is literally on the edge of extinction and urgently needs the legal protections of the Endangered Species Act," stated Dr. Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians. "Mounting threats to the moth and its lifeline, the yellow sand verbena, include recreation, proliferation of exotic weeds, and climate change. The Endangered Species Act can help reign in these threats."
Recognizing the Moth’s imperilment, Canada listed this species as Endangered under its Species At Risk Act in 2005 and released its Recovery Strategy in 2008. In contrast, the Sand Verbena Moth has no status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). This petition therefore requests that the U.S. list this critically imperiled insect as Endangered or Threatened under the ESA.
“It makes sense for the United States to work with Canada to protect this endangered animal,” said Sarina Jepsen, Director of the Endangered Species Program at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “The first step in that process is to follow Canada’s lead and list this species under the Endangered Species Act.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the Petition
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Sand verbena moth by Nick Page.