VERO BEACH, Florida – Federal wildlife officials have proposed listing a small fern found only in two Florida counties as an endangered species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Wednesday to add the Florida bristle fern to the endangered species list. The fern is only found in Miami-Dade and Sumter counties in moist, shady areas of exposed limestone. It lacks roots and looks like mosses and liverworts.
Officials say habitat loss or changes due to urban development, agriculture or canals and drainage are the biggest threats to the fern’s survival. If the fern is listed as endangered, the wildlife service will work with partner agencies to conserve its habitat.
Public comment on the proposed listing is open through Dec. 8.