In the United States, wildlife officials declared a Nevada wildflower endangered at the only place it’s known to exist – on a high-desert ridge where a lithium mine is planned to help meet the growing demand for electric car batteries. The Fish and Wildlife Service has formally listed Tiehm’s buckwheat and its accompanying area of 910 acres for the 6-inch-tall flower with yellow blooms. With an estimated remaining population of only about 16,000 plants, the service concluded that Tiehm’s buckwheat is on the brink of extinction.
Ioneer, the Australian mining company that is planning to dig for lithium where the flower grows, said that it has developed a protection plan which will allow the plant and the project to coexist.
The service’s final listing rule will be published in the Federal Register today.
Federal agencies are prohibited from approving any activity on federal lands that could destroy, modify or adversely affect any listed species’ critical habitat.