The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has issued a final rule (pdf) listing the Kentucky Glade Cress (Leavenworthia exigua var. laciniata) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Kentucky Glade Cress, a small, lilac-colored wildflower, is located in parts of Jefferson and Bullitt counties in Kentucky. The primary threat to the species is the loss and degradation of its habitat, caused by development, roads, utilities, and conversion of its habitat to lawns. The final rule will become effective on June 5, 2014.
The Service also issued a proposed rule (pdf) to list the Georgia Rockcress (Arabis georgiana) as threatened under the ESA. The plant is found in Georgia and Alabama on steep river-bluff rocks covered with light soil. The primary threat to the species is habitat degradation and an influx of invasive exotic species, such as the Japanese honeysuckle. The proposed rule includes the designation of approximately 786 acres of critical habitat for the species in various counties throughout the two states, including in Floyd, Gordon, Harris, Muscogee, Chattahoochee, and Clay counties in Georgia, and in Bibb, Dallas, Elmore, Monroe, Russell, Sumter and Wilcox counties in Alabama. The Service will accept comments on the proposed designation until June 9, 2014.