NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has named the Wright’s Marsh Thistle as a threatened species and will be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The plant is endemic to New Mexico and under the protections, 156.8 acres will be designated as its critical habitat.

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This species of plant can grow up to eight feet tall and has white or pink flowers. The Wright’s Marsh Thistle needs a marshy habitat year round to survive. Officials say the plant is at risk of extinction due to the scarcity, and isolation of its populations. Other factors include the decreased availability of water and other effects on its habitat.

The designated 156.8 acres will be in Chaves, Eddy Guadalupe, Otero and Socorro counties. The plant will officially be listed as endangered on the Federal Register on April 25 and will go into effect 30 days after listing.