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More protection sought for rare poppy found in southern Utah

Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — Federal officials and environmentalists are joining efforts to boost protection for a rare poppy that is only found in southern Utah.

The Spectrum & Daily News reports that the U.S. Forest Service, Utah Valley University and The Nature Conservancy are examining how to manage the dwarf bear-poppy or bearclaw poppy, which has been on the decline for the last 40 years.

The flower was first put on the federally endangered species list in 1979.

Experts say it can only blossom in specific geological conditions. Those conditions, which include gypsum soil, can be found in the St. George area.

The Nature Conservancy established the 800-acre (324-hectare) White Dome Nature Preserve that protects most of habitat occupied by the poppy.

Researchers have been using a drone to study the flowers.

Information from: The Spectrum,