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USFWS Seeks Comment on Draft Revised Recovery Plan For Endangered Plant

August 12, 2005

A draft revised plan that describes recovery measures for the running buffalo clover is now available, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is inviting comment. Running buffalo clover, a federally endangered plant, occurs in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia.

The draft is an update of a recovery plan developed in 1989. The draft describes measures to address the primary threat to the plant: habitat alteration due to natural forest succession, and subsequent canopy closure, competition by invasive plant species, catastrophic disturbance such as development or road construction, and possibly the elimination of bison and other large herbivores.

Recovery actions suggested in the draft revised plan include measures to conserve and manage running buffalo clover populations and the habitat on which they depend; define mechanisms that regulate populations; conserve genetic diversity; promote public understanding; and track recovery progress.
Running buffalo clover occurs in 120 populations in three geographical regions: Appalachian (West Virginia and southeastern Ohio), Bluegrass (southwestern Ohio, central Kentucky and Indiana), and the Ozarks (Missouri). Most populations occur within the Appalachian and Bluegrass regions, with the largest population in West Virginia and the most populations in Kentucky. Running buffalo clover was listed as endangered in 1987. At the time of listing only one population was known; in 1989 when the original recovery plan was completed, running buffalo clover was known from 13 populations.

Named for its association with the buffalo which once roamed its range, running buffalo clover is a perennial plant that produces long runners which grow along the surface of the ground. The plant requires periodic disturbance – such as grazing by large animals – in order to survive. The plant produces flowers from late spring to early summer.

A copy of the draft revised recovery plan may be obtained by contacting the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6950 Americana Parkway, Suite H, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-4127, telephone (614) 469-6923, or by visiting the Service’s website at

Comments on the plan will be accepted until October 11, 2005 and should be sent to the above address or emailed to

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