'Threatened' Status Sought For Ga. and Ala. Plant
Federal wildlife officials want a plant they say is found only in Georgia and Alabama to be classified as "threatened."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is seeking the designation for the Georgia rockcress. The plant has been a candidate for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 2000.
Wildlife officials also want about 786 acres of river bluff habitat designated as the plant's critical habitat. That land includes parts of six counties in Georgia and parts of seven counties in Alabama.
The wildlife officials say only about 5,000 individual plants still exist. Georgia rockcress generally lives on steep river bluffs with shallow soil on rock or with exposed rock outcroppings.
Habitat degradation and the invasion of exotic species are the greatest threats.