Laguna Beach Liveforever
Laguna Beach Liveforever
|Listed||October 13, 1998|
|Description||Succulent perennial which has basal rosettes of flat, oblong bright green leaves arising from a woody base; flowers are bright yellow-green.|
|Habitat||In the vicinity of Laguna Beach on steep cliffs in canyons.|
|Threats||Habitat destruction or modification; urbanization; agricultural conversion; invasion of non-native plants; off-road vehicle use; increased erosion; grazing; trampling by humans.|
Laguna Beach liveforever, Dudleya stolonifera, is a succulent perennial member of the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae) and has basal rosettes of flat, oblong, bright green leaves arising from a woody base. Its flowers have bright yellow-green petals that are fused near their base. Laguna Beach liveforever is distinguished by its branching stolons (horizontal stems that root at the nodes) and lateral vegetative branches that arise from the basal rosette.
Laguna Beach liveforever is found only in the vicinity of Laguna Beach in Orange County, California, on steep cliffs in canyons. It is primarily restricted to weathered sandstone rock outcrops on cliffs in microhabitats within coastal sage scrub or chaparral.
This species is known from only six populations, which collectively contain up to 10,000 individuals. Four of the six populations collectively contain over 95% of all known individual plants. Two populations of Laguna Beach liveforever have been reduced by urban development. The westernmost portion and the main portion of the Aliso Gorge population have been eliminated. Approximately half of the Canyon Acres population of Laguna Beach liveforever has been cleared by the landowner.
The range of Laguna Beach liveforever lies entirely within the boundaries of the Central/ Coastal subregion of the state's natural communities conservation planning area. One of the four major populations is within the lands designated as a preserve within the central/coastal subregion. This population is on a State ecological preserve predating the natural communities conservation planning program. The other three major populations, representing about 70% of the individuals of this species, are found on private lands managed by nonparticipating landowners. One minor population is within lands designated as a preserve within the central/coastal subregion.
Habitat destruction or modification adversely affects species native to this area by reducing population densities and contributing to habitat fragmentation. Rapid urbanization and agricultural conversion in Orange and San Diego Counties has already eliminated or reduced populations of this species. The trend of habitat loss and fragmentation is expected to continue as the population of southern California expands. This species is also adversely affected by the invasion of non-native plants, off-road vehicle use, increased erosion, grazing, and trampling by humans.
Approximately 8,000-10,000 individuals of Laguna Beach liveforever are spread among six locations. Urban development and associated edge effects threaten several populations. Although the entire range of this species is within the boundaries of the central/coastal natural communities conservation planning, three of the major populations representing 70% of the species are found on private lands managed by nonparticipating landowners. One population is directly adjacent to residential development in Aliso Canyon (Orange County) and is declining due to increased shading and competition from non-native plants. This population is also threatened by fuel modification, which includes modifying existing habitat to reduce the immediate risk of fire (e.g., thinning vegetation, fire breaks, discing, and mowing).
Conservation and Recovery
On July 29, 1983, Laguna Beach liveforever was included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is a treaty established to prevent international trade that may be detrimental to the survival of plants and animals. Generally, both import and export permits are required from the importing and exporting countries before an Appendix I species may be shipped, and Appendix I species may not be exported for primarily commercial purposes.
In 1991, the State of California established the natural communities conservation planning program to address conservation needs of natural ecosystems throughout the State. The focus of the current planning program is the coastal sage scrub community in southern California, although other vegetation communities are being addressed in an ecosystem approach. Laguna Beach liveforever is currently covered under the multiple species conservation program and the central/coastal subregional natural communities conservation planning/ habitat conservation plan (central/coastal natural communities conservation planning) of Orange County, California, and are being considered for inclusion as covered species under the multiple habitat conservation plan.
The central/coastal natural communities conservation planning of Orange County was approved in July of 1996. Laguna Beach liveforever occurs within the central/coastal natural communities conservation planning. The entire range of this species lies within this subregion, and it is considered a covered species, but only on lands owned or controlled by participating landowners. Three of the four major populations of Laguna Beach live-forever, including about 70% of all individuals and one minor population, are situated on lands managed by nonparticipating landowners within the central/coastal natural communities conservation planning and, therefore, are not under the jurisdiction of the plan.
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office, Division of Endangered Species
Eastside Federal Complex
911 N. E. 11th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97232-4181
Telephone: (503) 231-6121
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 13 October 1998. "Determination of Endangered or Threatened Status for Four Plants From Southwestern California and Baja California, Mexico." Federal Register 63 (197): 54937-54956.