Protection of Rare Plants

Loss of habitat is the most significant factor that puts that the Pine Hill Rare Plants at risk. Housing and commercial development have reduced the area in which these rare plants can exist to a small fraction of the original gabbro soils region.

In addition, the suppression of fire, which was once a natural occurrence in the foothills of California, has restricted the natural reproduction of rare and endemic species, and allowed other plants to out-compete them. Decades of fire suppression have also served to increase the risk of a fire that could be devastating to surrounding structures as well as the ecosystem.

Non-native plants (plants which have been introduced to the region from

distant origins) compete with the Pine Hill Rare Plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight, and so constitute to them a threat. Impacts to the native animal species, on which some of the rare plants may depend for survival (for instance as flower pollinators in the Spring), further reduce the chances for survival of these rare plant species.

Concern about these plants became so extreme that in 1996, five of the eight rare plant species of the Pine Hill region were listed as either threatened or endangered by extinction under the Federal Endangered Species Act.