The most serious threats to succulent populations in the USA are collectors, off-road vehicles, urban development, agricultural development, the effects of mining and road construction, and the removal of forests or other natural vegetation. Those regions most seriously threatened are desert areas near major urban centres in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. One such example is the Mohave Desert of California in which off-road vehicles have destroyed extensive areas of native vegetation. The
Sonoran Desert development of natural gas lines in New Mexico has also impacted several populations of Sclerocactus and Echinocereus. The construction of dams, such as the Glen Canyon dam in Arizona, has also led to the loss of some important desert habitat. Several large local populations of S. papyracanthus have been destroyed by urban growth in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The rapid growth of desert communities, such as Palm Springs, California, has also destroyed large areas of the Sonoran Desert in that state. Agricultural development in desert regions of Arizona and California have also heavily impacted desert plants. Livestock grazing and the accompanying trampling by hooves has resulted in some localised damage to succulents in the south-west. Collectors have impacted many small populations of species in Sclerocactus and Pediocactus, especially in the states of Arizona and New Mexico.
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