Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Known only from south Florida. Found in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties (Barneby 1977). Discovered in the Collier County portion of the Big Cypress National Preserve in 1999 (Bradley and Gann 1999 cited by Halupa 2007). It was also historically known from Palm Beach County where it is presumed extirpated (Chafin 2000).

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Found in pine rocklands, edges of rockland hammocks, coastal uplands, and marl prairie (Chafin 2000).

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 1 - 20

Comments: Approximately 5-8 occurrences extant: 3-5 in Miami-Dade County, 1 in Monroe County, and 1-2 in Collier County. The existing occurrences are very small and most, especially those in Miami-Dade County, may not be viable (Halupa 2007). It has been extirpated from 6 sites (Halupa 2007).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled

Reasons: Restricted to southern Florida. Fewer than ten populations extant and several extirpated. Most of its habitat has been degraded or destroyed. Threatened by fire suppression, invasive non-native plants and an introduced pest scale. Populations mostly very small.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Comments: Its southern Florida habitat has few good sites remaining.

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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Candidate
Date Listed:
Lead Region:   Southeast Region (Region 4) 
Where Listed:


For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Dalea carthagenensis floridana, see its USFWS Species Profile

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Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Comments: The population is probably declining (Bradley and Gann 1999 cited by Halupa 2007). Invasive exotic plants, an introduced invasive scale pest, and fire suppression have degraded most sites for this variety. Fire management is difficult for the populations in the Miami area even though the plants occur on protected lands.

Global Long Term Trend: Decline of 50-70%

Comments: Most of its habitat has been negatively altered or destroyed by human activity. Pine rocklands in Miami-Dade County have been reduced to about 11 percent of their former extent (Kernan and Bradley 1996 cited by Halupa 2007). Of an estimated historical extent of 74,000 hectares (182,780 acres), only 8,140 hectares (20,106 acres) of pine rocklands remained in 1996 (Halupa 2007). Several historical occurrences have been lost, and the plant is no longer known in Palm Beach County, the former northernmost extent of its range (Halupa 2007).

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Very high - high

Comments: Fire suppression and invasive non-native plants are the greatest threats to Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana. Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana does not tolerate shading by hardwoods; with fire suppression, hardwoods eventually invade pine rocklands and shade out understory species like Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Halupa 2007). Non-native plants have altered the intensity, magnitude, timing and frequency of fire that occurs in pine rocklands and coastal strand. Dense growth of non-native plants creates immense fire temperatures and longer burning periods which Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana cannot tolerate (Halupa 2002). Non-native plant threats include Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Burmareed (Neyraudia reynaudiana), Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), and Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) (Halupa 2002; Halupa 2007). Given its narrow range and the small number of individuals that exist, Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana is also extremely vulnerable to natural catastrophic events such as hurricanes and tropical storms; either one of these events could extirpate existing populations (Halupa 2002). Fairchild Tropical Garden reported in 2008 that one site failing due to lobate lac scale (Paratachardina pseudolobata), an introduced invasive scale that attacks wood plants in South Florida. Other threats include off-road-vehicles, illegal mountain biking, and wild hog damage (Halupa 2007; Chafin 2000; Gann et al. 2002).

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