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Endangered Cactus Information

Fishhook Cactus (Sclerocactus wrightiae)

The fishhook cactus is a rare species found in Wayne and Emery counties. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed it as Endangered in October 1979. The recovery plan prepared by the FWS in 1985 reported 13 locations containing an unknown number of cacti.

In August 2005, the FWS reviewed a petition to determine whether there was substantial information warranting the delisting of Wright fishhook cactus. Their review found there was not sufficient supporting documentation to de-list this species. The Service initiated a 5-year review of the cactus under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Endangered Species Act that will consider new information as it becomes available on the species.

BLM has been implementing plans to protect the endangered Sclerocactus and its habitat. Our travel management plan has been a big part of this effort. Also, BLM and OHV volunteers have installed infrastructure including signs, fences etc. that has eliminated disturbances into occupied habitat. BLM has restricted motorized vehicle use to designated roads and trails in all Sclerocactus habitat via land use planning. Numerous roads and trails have been closed in cactus habitat, both physically and administratively; some have been rehabilitated in the vicinity of Factory Butte and Hanksville. Increased law enforcement patrols and outreach from the Richfield and Hanksville BLM offices in the Factory Butte area has been highly effective. 

According to the latest surveys conducted over the past few years over 13,000 cacti were documented from 151(31%) of BLMs 481 known localities. OHV disturbance (within 15cm) was only documented at just 0.4% of cacti. Detailed information gathered through monitoring efforts over the last few years is showing that rider compliance has improved and the risks from OHVs have been greatly reduced. BLM continues to work with FWS on the implementation plan to open the Factory Butte OHV Play Area. It will be vital to the success of future OHV opportunities in this area that riders continue to stay in the designated open area or on designated routes, and don’t go into cactus habitat. 

Winkler Cactus (Pediocactus winkleri Heil)

Pediocactus winkleri was proposed for listing as Endangered in October 1993. However, following several years of survey work by various individuals, it was designated as a Threatened species on August 19, 1998. A draft recovery plan was written by FWS in 1995.

It blooms in early spring from March to early May and may reach one inch above the ground.