- Strategic Goals
- Environmental Review & Permitting
- Conservation Planning
- Invasive Species
- Native Plant Program
Conservation Planning Branch
CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Native Plant Program
The mission of the Native Plant Program is to protect California native plants from extinction in the wild.
What are Native Plants and Why Do We Care?
California hosts approximately 6,500 species, subspecies, and varieties of plants that occur naturally in the state, and many of these are found nowhere else in the world. Some are adapted to unique habitats or harsh conditions, and some occur in such low numbers or have been so impacted by human influence that they are at risk of permanent extinction from the wild. California’s native plants should be conserved not only because of their beauty and intrinsic value, but also because they are essential components of ecosystems and natural processes, and provide us with valuable renewable materials and other benefits. CDFW administers programs to study, map, conserve and protect California’s native plants and natural communities.
What are the Major Threats to Native Plants?
California is the most populous state in the nation, and the human population continues to rise. An increasing population increases demands on California’s resources such as land and water, which are also needed by California's native plants and animals. Loss of habitat, including habitat fragmentation, is the most important factor that contributes to the decline of many native plant populations. Up to 26 species of plants have likely become extinct in the state, and others have been so severely reduced that they are at risk of extinction. Human activity has also introduced many exotic plant species into the state that can outcompete and choke out native plants, and climate change will impact native plants in the future in ways that are difficult to understand and predict.
Where Can I Find Information on Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants?
220 species, subspecies, and varieties of native plants are designated as rare, threatened, or endangered by state law. Many of these species are the target of conservation and mapping efforts by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and CDFW has created survey protocols for rare, threatened, and endangered plant species and natural communities. CDFW also works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to administer federal Section 6 grants for plant research, and partners with botanic gardens for off-site conservation of plants. Species lists, status reports, and additional information on rare, threatened, and endangered plant species are available from the link below.
What are the California Laws Protecting Native Plants?
Some native plants are protected by California law. Important California laws for native plant protection are the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), the Native Plant Protection Act (NPPA), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCPA), the California Desert Native Plants Act (CDNPA), and California Penal Code Section 384a.
Do I Need a Threatened or Endangered Plant Permit?
The killing or possession of California threatened or endangered plant species is prohibited by CESA, however CDFW may issue permits authorizing “take” or possession of these species under certain circumstances, such as for scientific, educational or management purposes.
For more information on any of the topics above, please contact email@example.com.