The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
The conservation of Erigeron rhizomatus is fully sponsored.
Sheila Murray and Kristin Haskins contributed to this Plant Profile.
Zuni fleabane is a rare regional endemic with three known, yet widely scattered population centers in western New Mexico and northeastern Arizona. Zuni fleabane is distinct from other Erigerons by its rhizomatus habit, nearly hairless seeds, and very few hairs on the stems and leaves. The distribution of Erigeron rhizomatus is associated with the distribution of uranium deposits in west-central New Mexico. Many of the sites for this plant occur at historical or current uranium mining claims.
Distribution & Occurrence
- New Mexico
On steep, easily eroded sandstone slopes and clay banks, usually in close association with the Chinle and Baca Formations (often seleniferous), at 2190-2400 meters.
|There are three metapopulations in widely separate mountain ranges with a total of 39 local populations. All populations appeared to be healthy and reproductive when located or revisited (Sivinski and Tonne 1999, 2004; Christie 2004).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
The distribution of Erigeron rhizomatus is associated with the distribution of uranium deposits in west-central New Mexico (New Mexico Rare Plants, 1999).
potential uranium mines
road construction and resulting erosion
cattle grazing (trampling, not grazing).
habitat modifications and destruction associated with oil and gas development.
There is a memorandum that the species should be considered for delisting in 1994 or 1995 based on the finding of additional populations since the species was listed. Although additional populations of Zuni fleabane have been found since the recovery plan was finalized, the delisting criteria focuses on threats, especially uranium mining, and identifies the need for land use management within Zuni fleabane habitat to protect and conserve the species. Management plans are identified as being reliant upon information obtained through the study of Zuni fleabane habitat characteristics, ecology, and biology. No biological factors are identified as being threats to this species (USFWS, 2005).
The Bureau of Land Management established an Area of Critical Environmental Concern on the single local population within its jurisdiction in the Datil/Sawtooth Mountains metapopulation. This Area of Critical Environmental Concern withdraws minerals from claim for as long as this special management area designation is upheld by Bureau of Land Management land use planning. No similar efforts to provide special management for occupied Zuni fleabane habitat have been made by the U.S. Forest Service (USFWS, 2005).
The Navajo Nation recommends a 200 ft buffer zone in any development to avoid disturbance. This buffer may be more or less, depending on slope, size and nature of the project (Roth, 2001).
A survey and status report of potential habitat and populations occurring on the Navajo Nation was completed in 2004 (Christie 2004, http://nnhp.navajofishandwildlife.org/). Erigeron rhizomatus is protected on the Navajo Nation and is listed as endangered on the Navajo Endangered Species List (Navajo Division of Natural Resources, Department of Fish & Wildlife. 2008. Navajo Endangered Species List. Window Rock, AZ. http://nnhp.navajofishandwildlife.org/)
additional surveys on private land
Brookins, D.G.; Moon, J.L.; Riese, W.C. 1977. Trace elements as possible prospecting tools for uranium in the southern San Juan Basin, New Mexico. In: Geological Society, editor. Geological Society Guidebook, 28th Field Conference, San Juan Basin III. Geo