The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced that it will remove the Johnston’s frankenia (Frankenia johnstonii) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants under the Endangered Species Act. Johnson frankenia is a perennial shrub endemic to Starr, Webb and Zapata Counties in Texas and the northeastern part of the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Tamaulipas. The shrub may be found in very salty soils in open, rocky, gypseous hillsides or saline flats.
USFWS listed the species in 1984, when there were five known populations of this perennial shrub within the United States. All of the documented United States populations occurred on private lands, encompassing a 35-miles radius. Today, the total number of United States populations number in the high 60s, covering approximately 2,031 square miles.
USFWS attributes recovery primarily to the significant increase in the number of documented occurrences of the species and a shift in south Texas land management practices away from cattleranching and toward wildlife habitat enhancement and hunting as a result of fluctuating cattle markets and frequent droughts.