Ep. 33 - Hart's-Tongue Fern - Restoring an Endangered Species

“Richer than millionaires! Happier than Kings! Envied by multitudes! May be said of hobnobbers with Hart’s-tongues.”

So said one enthusiast of the Hart’s-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium var. americanum) long ago, and we think you’ll agree. This species is exceptional in many ways; its appearance (it doesn’t look like your typical fern), its uncommon habitat, and it’s rarity all add to the Hart’s-tongue fern’s mystique.

This month, the guys hit the road, traveling to central NY and hitting the trail with Mike Serviss, a conservation biologist working with New York State Parks. Among his many duties, Mike is researching the most successful ways to restore this picky plant to its habitat, and he’s also a fantastic science communicator.

Join us as Mike helps us peel back the mystery of what’s involved in restoring an endangered species.


Download the Episode Transcript

Episode Notes:

The American Hart's-tongue fern is listed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service as federally threatened. This is one of only a handful of New York plants protected under the Endangered Species Act. A significant portion of the known plants in the US are found only in New York.

This episode was sponsored by Gumleaf Boots, USA, makers of high-quality, handmade rubber boots. Thanks to Jack from Gumleaf for reaching out to us and letting us test out a pair of these fine boots!

This episode was recorded at Clark Reservation State Park in Jamesville, NY on September 22, 2018.

It is part of our ongoing relationship with New York State Parks and their Environmental Field Team. Special thanks to Mike Serviss for his time and expertise and to Whitney Carleton-DeGeorge, Stewardship Specialist, for putting us in touch with Mike.

Listen to the previous episodes in this partnership:

Photo by Linda Swartz / USDA

Thank you to listener Joe Stormer for graciously transcribing this episode.

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