The Endangered Species Act will now protect two Arizona cactus species.
The acuña cactus of Southern Arizona and the Fickeisen plains cactus of northern Arizona now are under federal protection, according the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The acuña cactus is a small circular plant found in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties and in Sonora, Mexico. USFWS estimated there are only 3,600 acuña cactuses, and they are threatened by drought, climate change, and by native wildlife.
Acuña are also threatened by invasive species and U.S.-Mexico border activities, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Fickeisen plains cactus is about the size of a quarter and retracts below the surface during winter and summer months, according to USFWS. It’s found in Coconino and Mohave counties on the Colorado Plateau. USFWS estimated there are only about 1,000 Fickeisen plains cactuses, because livestock grazing, rodents, small population, drought, and climate change have been threatening its existence.