Less is More for Herb?

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reducing the acreage previously proposed as critical habitat for the conservation of the small flowering herb Navarretia fossalis, commonly known as the spreading Navarretia, which grows near ponds fed by seasonal rains along the coast of southern California and northern Mexico.

     In 2005 the agency proposed designating 19,000 acres of habitat, but has since determined that only 7,000 acres should be designated as critical habitat. The Fisheries Service attributes the reduction to improved mapping methodology which removed the land under buildings and other built areas, and the exclusion of land with topography not suitable for the Navarretia.

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