KOB.com Web Staff

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there’s good news for a species of New Mexico cactus. Officials say the Kuenzler hedgehog cactus has been down-listed from endangered to threatened.

The hedgehog cactus is native to southern New Mexico.

When it was first listed, only 200 of the plants were known to exist. Conservationists blamed the cacti’s small population, road and real estate development, livestock grazing, drought and fire as reasons why the species was endangered.

Now there’s somewhere between 11,000 and 20,000.

“Recognition that the species is better off today was only possible because of our partners’ extensive, long-term recovery efforts,” Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Amy Lueders said.

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