Protect Endangered Cactus Species

The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Target: Director of the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Daniel M. Ashe

Goal: Protect the habitat of the endangered acuña cactus

Within the last 20 years, a majority of the population of the endangered acuña cactus species has been lost. While insects and climate change have contributed to the problem, the heavy presence of border patrol in the species’ biggest area of population has made the protection and conversation of the plant even more difficult.

The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (OPCNM) in Arizona is home to the largest population of the acuña cactus. However, its close location to the U.S.-Mexico border makes this area a popular spot for illegal immigration, smuggling, and intensive law enforcement. This makes it difficult for conservationists to protect the habitat the acuña cactus needs to thrive in, as anyone traveling within the area must be escorted by a law enforcement officer.

The strife in the area not only affects the people but the environment. With the loss of the acuña cactus, the ecosystem in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument could be severely affected. Therefore it is important to protect the acuña cactus from facing extinction by protecting its largest environment.

While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently listed the acuña cactus as an endangered species, more must be done to protect the cactus’s largest environment to ensure its survival. With a high presence of government agencies in the area already, we must encourage them to help protect the environment and the species that reside there. We must also urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to further protect the habitat of the acuña cactus so that it may continue to thrive.


Dear Director Ashe,

The endangered acuña cactus has undergone many hardships that have contributed to its declining population. While uncontrollable factors like parasitism and climate are partially responsible, the location of the main population puts extra stress on the plant.

The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is not only home to the largest population of the acuña cactus but is also a main area for illegal smuggling and immigration. Because of the strife in the area, it has a heavy border control presence, which makes it more difficult for conservationists to access the area and help protect the plant.

Because of the problematic location of the acuña cactus’s largest population, ensuring the survival of the endangered species is quite difficult. More must be done to help establish protection for the habitat to ensure the survival of the plant. I urge you to implement protection for the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument area so that endangered species like the acuña cactus can continue to thrive and the ecosystem can be maintained.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fæ via Wikimedia Commons


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