1 Tahrcountry Musings: Newly Discovered Lichen Named after President Obama

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Newly Discovered Lichen Named after President Obama

A California researcher, Kerry Knudsen from the University of California-Riverside (UCR), has named a new species of Lichen discovered by him after President Barak Obama. The name given is Caloplaca obamae. The researcher says this is intended to show his appreciation for the president's support of science and science education.

The new species is Endemic to Santa Rosa Island, the second largest island off California’s coast. The new discovery is a shot in the arm for public support for preserving public lands as ecological sanctuaries. Cattle ranching had nearly wiped out the species. Fortunately a lawsuit by the National Parks Conservation Association in 1996 put an end to rampant uncontrolled grazing. But for this action the species would not have been discovered. Knudsen says this is a stark reminder that many species are disappearing without ever being known to science.

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