WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Oklahoma grass pink orchid may warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday.
That announcement follows an initial review of a petition seeking to protect the plant under the Endangered Species Act.
In a news release, the Service will undertake a more thorough status review of the Oklahoma grass pink orchid to determine whether to propose adding the species to the federal lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.
On May 28, 2008, the Service received a petition from Dr. Douglas Goldman of the Harvard University Herbaria requesting that the orchid be listed as endangered or threatened. Tuesday's announcement, known as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the species provided in the petition.
The 90-day finding does not mean that the Service has decided it is appropriate to give the Oklahoma grass pink orchid federal protection. Rather, this finding triggers a more thorough, 12-month status review of all the biological information available.
The Oklahoma grass pink orchid occupies moist, loamy prairies, savannas, and sandy woodlands from central Minnesota southward to Texas, including Kansas and Oklahoma.