New Mexico Rare Plant Conservation Strategy
The New Mexico Rare Plant Conservation Strategy was developed by the Forestry Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) in coordination with the Rare Plant Conservation Partnership (NMRPCP), which includes state, federal, and tribal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and interested citizens. The Strategy aims to achieve results through a collaborative approach that is based on the best available science, close coordination, data sharing, and taking strategic action.
The Strategy is focused on 235 rare and endangered plant species in New Mexico, including 109 species that only occur in New Mexico and nowhere else in the world. These species are distributed among 135 Important Plant Areas (IPAs) across the state.
The overall goal of the New Mexico Rare Plant Conservation Strategy is to protect and conserve New Mexico’s rare and endangered plant species and their habitats through collaborative partnerships between stakeholders and interested parties to aid and improve the conservation and management of rare plant species and to avoid federal listing.
Specific goals include:
- Inventory, monitor, and research of Strategy Species to inform management and regulatory decisions
- Protect, manage, and restore Strategy Species and their habitats
- Improve data management, accuracy, storage, and dissemination
- Develop ex-situ conservation and recovery strategies and implement where appropriate
- Improve laws, regulations, and policies
- Increase collaboration, education, and outreach
- Improve funding, infrastructure, and rare plant programs
The Strategy is a call to action, highlighting conservation steps that federal, state, and local agencies, private groups, academic institutions, and others can take to assist with meeting the seven goals.
The New Mexico Rare Plant Conservation Scorecard (Scorecard) provides an analysis of the current conservation status of the 235 Strategy rare plants including threats, degree of protection, and actions needed to conserve species (management actions, inventories, monitoring, taxonomic work, etc.). The primary use of the Scorecard is to help managers and researchers identify and prioritize target species for protection, conservation and management actions, including surveys, monitoring, and filling of data gaps. In addition, the scorecard can be used to quickly identify documented and potential threats and assess the status of rare plant species. The Scorecard can be sorted in a variety of ways to help establish a target list, including sorting by land ownership, agency status, conservation ranks, threats, ecoregion, or conservation actions needed. More information on the Scorecard can be found in the New Mexico Rare Plant Conservation Strategy.
Important Plant Areas (IPAs) are specific places across New Mexico that support either a high diversity of sensitive plant species or are the last remaining locations of New Mexico’s most endangered plants. New Mexico has identified 133 IPAs with IPA-Biodiversity Ranks that can be used to identify high priority areas for management actions. More information on IPAs can be found in the New Mexico Rare Plant Conservation Strategy. GIS shape files and associated species lists will be made available to land managers and conservation partners on request to the Forestry Division. Using IPAs as the template, the long-range goal is to identify and develop Conservation Opportunity Areas that integrate biodiversity value with management and conservation options.