Monday, December 14, 2009
San Francisco plant thought extinct for nearly 70 years found near Golden Gate
Posted: 12/14/2009 01:36:27 PM PST
Updated: 12/14/2009 01:45:20 PM PST
SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco native plant thought extinct by botanists has been discovered near the Golden Gate Bridge.
The last, wild Franciscan Manzanita was believed to have perished in the 1940s when the city cemeteries where it grew were moved south to allow for neighborhood expansion.
But when construction crews recently cleared eucalyptus trees in the city's Presidio area, it exposed the only specimen known to exist in the wild.
Botanist Daniel Gluesenkamp spotted the manzanita shrub as he drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. He later visited the site to confirm his sighting — the first in nearly 70 years.
The Wild Equity Institute has filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the plant under the Endangered Species Act.