Species at Risk Act Consultation on Amending Terrestrial Species

Species at Risk Act Consultation on Amending Terrestrial Species
Consultation on Amending
the List of Species under the
Species at Risk Act
Terrestrial Species
November 2010
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Cover photo credits:
Whitebark Pine, © Peter Achuff
Chestnut-collared Longspur, © Nick Saunders
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, © Johanna James-Heinz
Title page photo credits:
Background photo:
Bicknell’s Thrush habitat, © Dan Busby
Foreground, large photo:
Chestnut-collared Longspur, © Nick Saunders
Small photos, left to right:
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, © Johanna James-Heinz
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle, © Michael Runtz
Virginia Mallow, © Melinda Thompson Black
Bicknell’s Thrush, © Dan Busby
Available also on the Internet.
ISSN: 1710-3029
ISBN: 978-1-100-52505-1
Cat. no.: En1-36/2010
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2010
Consultation on Amending
the List of Species under the
Species at Risk Act
Terrestrial Species
November 2010
Please submit your comments by
February 4, 2011, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations
and by
February 4, 2012, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.
For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see
www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/sar/listing/table_1210_e.cfm.
Please email your comments to the Species at Risk Public Registry at:
[email protected]
Comments may also be mailed to:
Director General
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
For more information on the Species at Risk Act, please visit the Species at Risk Public Registry at:
www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ADDITION OF SPECIES TO THE SPECIES AT RISK ACT...............................................2
The Species at Risk Act and the List of Wildlife Species at Risk............................................................... 2
COSEWIC and the assessment process for identifying species at risk . ................................................. 2
Terms used to define the degree of risk to a species............................................................................... 2
Terrestrial and aquatic species eligible for Schedule 1 amendments................................................... 2
Public comments solicited on the proposed amendment of Schedule 1 ........................................... 3
THE SPECIES AT RISK ACT LISTING PROCESS AND CONSULTATION ..........................................................3
The purpose of consultations on amendments to the List....................................................................... 3
Legislative context of the consultations: the Minister’s recommendation to the Governor
in Council................................................................................................................................................ 3
Figure 1: The species listing process under SARA ................................................................................. 4
The Minister of the Environment’s response to the COSEWIC assessment:
the response statement........................................................................................................................ 5
Normal and extended consultation periods . .......................................................................................... 5
Who is consulted and how . ....................................................................................................................... 5
Role and impact of public consultations in the listing process............................................................... 6
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ADDITION OF A SPECIES TO SCHEDULE 1..............................................................7
Protection for listed Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species................................................ 7
Recovery strategies and action plans for Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species .......... 7
Protection for listed species of Special Concern . ................................................................................... 8
Management plans for species of Special Concern .............................................................................. 8
THE LIST OF SPECIES PROPOSED FOR INCLUSION OR RECLASSIFICATION ON
SCHEDULE 1 ...............................................................................................9
Status of the recently assessed species and consultation paths .......................................................... 9
Providing comments.................................................................................................................................... 9
Table 1:
Terrestrial species recently assessed by COSEWIC eligible for addition to
Schedule 1 or reclassification................................................................................................ 10
Table 2: Terrestrial species recently reassessed by COSEWIC (species status confirmation)....... 11
THE COSEWIC SUMMARIES OF TERRESTRIAL SPECIES ELIGIBLE FOR ADDITION OR
RECLASSIFICATION ON SCHEDULE 1................................................................. 12
INDEXES................................................................................................... 72
Species by Common Name...................................................................................................................... 72
Species by Scientific Name....................................................................................................................... 73
Species by Province and Territory of Occurrence.................................................................................. 74
GLOSSARY................................................................................................. 75
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
ADDITION OF SPECIES TO THE SPECIES AT RISK ACT
The Species at Risk Act and the List
of Wildlife Species at Risk
The Government of Canada is committed to
preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at
risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing
that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government
of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the
species provided for under SARA, also called the List
of Wildlife Species at Risk. Endangered or Threatened
species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of
SARA’s prohibitions and recovery planning. Special
Concern species benefit from its management
planning. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233
to 470 wildlife species at risk.
The complete list of species currently on
Schedule 1 can be viewed at:
www.sararegistry.gc.ca/species/schedules_e.cfm?id=1
Species become eligible for addition to Schedule 1
once they have been assessed as being at risk by the
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in
Canada (COSEWIC). The decision to add a species
to Schedule 1 is made by the Governor in Council
following a recommendation from the Minister of the
Environment. The Governor in Council is the formal
executive body that gives legal effect to Cabinet
decisions that are to have the force of law.
COSEWIC and the assessment process
for identifying species at risk
COSEWIC is recognized under SARA as the
authority for assessing the status of wildlife species at
risk. COSEWIC comprises experts on wildlife species
at risk. Its members have backgrounds in the fields
of biology, ecology, genetics, Aboriginal traditional
knowledge and other relevant fields. They come from
various communities, including academia, Aboriginal
organizations, government and non-government
organizations.
COSEWIC gives priority to those species more
likely to become extinct, and then commissions
a status report for the evaluation of the species’
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status. To be accepted, status reports must be peerreviewed and approved by a subcommittee of species
specialists. In special circumstances, assessments
can be done on an emergency basis. When the status
report is complete, COSEWIC meets to examine it
and discuss the species. COSEWIC then determines
whether the species is at risk, and if so, then assesses
the level of risk and assigns a conservation status.
Terms used to define the degree of risk
to a species
The conservation status defines the degree of
risk to a species. The terms used under SARA are
Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened and Special
Concern. Extirpated species are wildlife species that
no longer occur in the wild in Canada but still exist
elsewhere. Endangered species are wildlife species
that are likely to soon become extirpated or extinct.
Threatened species are likely to become endangered
if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading
to their extirpation or extinction. The term Special
Concern is used for wildlife species that may become
threatened or endangered due to a combination of
biological characteristics and threats. Once COSEWIC
has assessed a species as Extirpated, Endangered,
Threatened or Special Concern, it is eligible for
inclusion on Schedule 1.
For more information on COSEWIC, visit:
www.cosewic.gc.ca
On September 3, 2010, COSEWIC sent to the
Minister of the Environment its newest assessments
of species at risk. Environment Canada is now
consulting on changes to Schedule 1 to reflect these
new designations for these terrestrial species. To
see the list of the terrestrial species and their status,
please refer to tables 1 and 2.
Terrestrial and aquatic species eligible
for Schedule 1 amendments
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is conducting
separate consultations for the aquatic species. For
more information on the consultations for aquatic
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
species, visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada
website at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
Comments received by these deadlines will be
considered in the development of the listing proposal.
The Minister of the Environment is conducting the
consultations for all other species at risk.
Please email your comments to the SARA Public
Registry at:
[email protected]
Approximately 51% of the recent assessments
for terrestrial species at risk occur in national parks
or other lands administered by Parks Canada; Parks
Canada shares responsibility for these species with
Environment Canada.
Public comments solicited on the
proposed amendment of Schedule 1
The conservation of wildlife is a joint legal
responsibility: one that is shared among the
governments of Canada. But biodiversity will not be
conserved by governments that act alone. The best
way to secure the survival of species at risk and
their habitats is through the active participation of all
those concerned. SARA recognizes this, and that all
Aboriginal Peoples and Canadians have a role to play
in preventing the disappearance of wildlife species from
our lands. The Government of Canada is inviting and
encouraging you to become involved. One way you
can do so is by sharing your comments concerning the
addition or reclassification of these terrestrial species.
Your comments are considered in relation to the
potential impacts of listing, and they are then used to
draft the Minister’s proposed listing recommendations
for each of these species. To ensure that your
comments are considered early in the process, they
should be submitted before the following deadlines.
For terrestrial species undergoing normal
consultations, comments should be submitted by
February 4, 2011.
For terrestrial species undergoing extended
consultations, comments should be submitted by
February 4, 2012.
To find out which consultation paths these species
will undergo (extended or normal), please see
www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/sar/listing/
table_1210_e.cfm.
By regular mail, please address your comments to:
Director General
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
The Species at Risk Act Listing
Process and Consultation
The addition of a wildlife species at risk to
Schedule 1 of SARA strengthens and enhances
the federal government’s capacity to provide for its
protection and conservation. To be effective, the
listing process must be transparent and open. The
species listing process under SARA is summarized in
Figure 1.
The purpose of consultations on
amendments to the List
When COSEWIC assesses a wildlife species, it
does so solely on the basis of the best available
information relevant to the biological status of the
species. COSEWIC then submits the assessment
to the Minister of the Environment, who considers
it when making the listing recommendation to the
Governor in Council. These consultations are to
provide the Minister with a better understanding of
the potential social and economic impacts of the
proposed change to the List of Wildlife Species at
Risk, and of the value that is placed on biodiversity.
Legislative context of the consultations:
the Minister’s recommendation to the
Governor in Council
The comments collected during the consultations
are used to inform the Minister’s recommendations
to the Governor in Council for listing species at risk.
The Minister must recommend one of three courses
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Figure 1:
The species listing process under SARA
SARA separates the scientific assessment process from the listing decision. This
approach ensures that scientists can provide fully independent recommendations,
and that decisions affecting Canadians are made by elected officials who can be
held accountable for those decisions.
COSEWIC uses the best biological information on a species deemed to be in some danger
of disappearing from Canada to assess the risk status of that species. It reviews research
information on population and habitat status, trends and threats; uses community and Aboriginal
traditional knowledge; and applies assessment criteria based on international standards.
COSEWIC assesses the species as Extinct, Extirpated, Endangered,
Threatened, Special Concern, Data Deficient or Not at Risk.
COSEWIC sends its assessment and supporting evidence (i.e. rationale and status reports) for
species classified as at risk (Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern) to the Minister
of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council once per year. The
COSEWIC assessment and the reasons for it are also posted on the SARA Public Registry.
The Minister of the Environment has 90 days in which to
publish Response Statements on the Public Registry.
These statements indicate how the Minister intends
to respond to each COSEWIC assessment and, to
the extent possible, provide timelines for action.
Certain species may require extended consultation.
The Minister of the Environment
forwards COSEWIC assessments
to the Governor in Council.
The Governor in Council, within nine months of receiving the assessment,
may, on the recommendation of the Minister, by Order:
a) accept the assessment and add the species to the SARA List, reclassify it or remove it accordingly;
b) decide not to add the species to the SARA List; or
c) refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.
If the Governor in Council does not make a decision within nine months of receiving the COSEWIC
assessment, the Minister shall by order amend the List according to COSEWIC’s assessment.
Once a species is added to Schedule 1, it benefits from the legal protection afforded and SARA’s
recovery or management planning.
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
of action. These are for the Governor in Council:
to accept the species assessment and modify
Schedule 1 accordingly; not to add the species to
Schedule 1; or to refer the species assessment back
to COSEWIC for its further consideration (Figure 1).
The Minister of the Environment’s response
to the COSEWIC assessment: the response
statement
After COSEWIC has completed its assessment
of a species, it provides it to the Minister of the
Environment. The Minister of the Environment then
has 90 days to post a response on the SARA Public
Registry, providing information on the scope of
any consultations and the timelines for action, to
the extent possible. This is known as the response
statement. It identifies how long the consultations
will be (whether they are “normal” or “extended”) by
stating when the Minister will forward the assessment
to the Governor in Council. Consultations for a group
of species are launched with the posting of their
response statements.
Normal and extended consultation periods
Normal consultations meet the consultation needs
for the listing of most species at risk. They take
about three months to complete, while extended
consultations usually take fifteen months.
The extent of consultations needs to be
proportional both to the expected impact of a listing
decision or the time that may be required to consult
appropriately. Under some circumstances, the
Schedule 1 listing of a species could have significant
and widespread impacts on the activities of some
groups of people. It is essential that such stakeholders
be informed of the pending decision and, to the extent
possible, its potential consequences. They also need
to be provided with the opportunity to express their
opinions and share ideas on how best to approach
the protection and recovery of the species. A longer
period may also be required to consult appropriately
with some groups. For example, consultations can
take longer for groups that meet infrequently but that
must be engaged on several occasions. For such
reasons, extended consultations may be undertaken.
For both normal and extended consultations, once
they are complete, the Minister of the Environment
forwards the species assessments to the Governor
in Council for the government’s formal receipt of the
assessment. The Governor in Council then has nine
months to come to a listing decision. Thus, listing
decisions for species in normal consultations are
usually made about one year after the publication
of their response statements. Listing decisions for
species in extended consultations are usually made
about two years after the response statements are
published.
The consultation paths (normal or extended) for the
terrestrial species listed in Table 1 will be announced
when the Minister publishes the response statements.
These will be posted by December 2, 2010, on the
SARA Public Registry at:
www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/sar/listing/
table_1210_e.cfm
No consultations will be undertaken for species
listed in Table 2, as for these species no change is
being proposed.
Who is consulted and how
It is most important to consult with those who
would be most affected by the proposed changes.
There is protection that is immediately in place
when a species that is Extirpated, Endangered or
Threatened is added to Schedule 1. It prohibits killing
or harming the species or destroying a residence.
For terrestrial species this applies to migratory birds
protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act,
1994 (which already provides similar protection for
the migratory birds and their nests). The immediate
protection also applies to other terrestrial species
where they are on federal land (for more details, see
below, “Protection for listed Extirpated, Endangered
and Threatened species”). This immediate
protection does not apply to species of Special
Concern. Therefore, to decide who should be
consulted directly, the type of species, its proposed
conservation status, and where it is found are taken
into consideration. The first priority is then placed on
engaging those who may be affected by the impacts
of the automatic protections.
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Aboriginal Peoples known to have species
at risk on their lands, for which changes to
Schedule 1 are being considered, will be contacted.
Their engagement is of particular significance,
acknowledging their role in the management of the
extensive traditional territories and the reserve and
settlement lands.
A Wildlife Management Board is a group that has
been established under a land claims agreement and
is authorized by the agreement to perform functions
in respect of wildlife species. Some eligible species
at risk are found on lands where existing land claims
agreements apply that give specific authority to
a Wildlife Management Board. In such cases, the
Minister of the Environment will consult with the
relevant Board.
Role and impact of public consultations
in the listing process
The results of the public consultations are of great
significance to the process of listing species at risk.
Environment Canada carefully reviews the comments
it receives to gain a better understanding of the
benefits and costs of changing the List.
So that it can be accessed by Aboriginal Peoples
and all Canadians, this document is distributed to
known stakeholders and posted on the SARA Public
Registry; however, more extensive consultations
may also be done through regional or community
meetings or through a more targeted approach.
The comments are then used to inform the
Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS). The
RIAS is a report that summarizes the impact of a
proposed regulatory change. It includes a description
of the proposed change and an analysis of its
expected impact, which includes consideration of
information from public consultations. In developing
the RIAS, the Government of Canada recognizes that
Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of our
national identity and history and that wildlife in all
its forms has value in and of itself. The Government
of Canada also recognizes that the absence of
full scientific certainty is not a reason to postpone
decisions to protect the environment.
Environment Canada will also send notice of this
consultation to identified concerned groups and
individuals who have made their interests known.
These include, but are not limited to, industries,
resource users, landowners and environmental nongovernmental organizations.
A draft Order (see Glossary) is then prepared,
providing notice that a decision is being taken by the
Governor in Council. The draft Order proposing to list
all or some of the species under consideration is then
published, along with the RIAS, in the Canada Gazette,
Part I, for a comment period of 30 days.
In most cases, Environment Canada is not in a
position to examine the potential impacts of recovery
actions when species are being considered for listing.
The reason is that recovery actions for terrestrial
species are not usually automatic upon listing; in
fact, usually these actions are not yet defined, so
their impact cannot be fully understood. Once they
are defined, efforts are made to minimize adverse
social and economic impacts of listing and maximize
the benefits. SARA requires recovery measures be
prepared in consultation with those considered to be
directly affected by them.
The Minister of the Environment will take into
consideration comments and any additional
information received following publication of the draft
Order and the RIAS in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
The Minister then makes a listing recommendation
for each species to the Governor in Council. The
Governor in Council next decides either to accept
the species assessment and amend Schedule 1
accordingly; or not to add the species to Schedule 1;
or to refer the species assessment back to COSEWIC
for further information or consideration. The final
decision is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II,
and on the SARA Public Registry. If the Governor in
Council has decided to list a species, it is at this point
that it becomes legally included on Schedule 1.
In addition to the public, Environment Canada
consults on listing with the governments of the
provinces and territories responsible for the
conservation and management of these wildlife
species. Environment Canada also consults with
other federal departments and agencies.
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Significance of the Addition of
a Species to Schedule 1
The protection that comes into effect following the
addition of a species to Schedule 1 depends upon a
number of factors. These include the species’ status
under SARA, the type of species and where it occurs.
Protection for listed Extirpated,
Endangered and Threatened species
Responsibility for the conservation of wildlife is
shared among the governments of Canada. SARA
establishes legal protection of individuals and
their residences as soon as a species is listed as
Threatened, Endangered or Extirpated, if they are
considered federal species or if they are found on
federal land.
Federal species includes migratory birds, as
defined by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994,
and aquatic species. Federal land means land that
belongs to the federal government and the internal
waters and territorial sea of Canada. It also means
land set apart for the use and benefit of a band under
the Indian Act (such as reserves). In the territories, the
protection for species at risk on federal lands applies
only where they are on lands under the authority of
the Minister of the Environment or the Parks Canada
Agency.
Protection under SARA makes it an offence to
kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual
of a species listed as Extirpated, Endangered or
Threatened, or to damage or destroy the residence
of one or more individuals of an Endangered or
Threatened species. The Act also makes it an offence
to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual
of a species that is Extirpated, Endangered or
Threatened.
Species at risk that are neither aquatic nor
protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act,
1994, nor on federal lands, do not receive immediate
protection upon listing under SARA. Instead, in most
cases, the protection of terrestrial species on nonfederal lands is the responsibility of the provinces and
territories where they are found. The application of
SARA’s protections to a species at risk on non-federal
lands requires that the Governor in Council make
an order defining those lands. This can only occur
when the Minister is of the opinion that the laws of
the province or territory do not effectively protect the
species. To put such an order in place, the Minister
would then need to recommend the order be made
to the Governor in Council. If the Governor in Council
agreed to make the order, the prohibitions of SARA
would then apply to the provincial or territorial lands
specified by the order. The federal government would
consult with the province or territory concerned
before making such an order.
The Minister of the Environment or the Minister
of Fisheries and Oceans may authorize exceptions
to the prohibitions under SARA. These ministers
can enter into agreements or issue permits only for
one of three reasons: for research, for conservation
activities or if the effects to the species are
incidental to the activity. Research must relate to
the conservation of a species and be conducted
by qualified scientists. Conservation activities must
benefit a listed species or be required to enhance its
chances of survival. All activities, including those that
incidentally affect a listed species, must also meet
certain conditions. First, it must be established that
all reasonable alternatives have been considered
and the best solution has been adopted. It must
also be established that all feasible measures will
be taken to minimize the impact of the activity, and
finally that the survival or recovery of the species
will not be jeopardized. Having issued a permit or
agreement, the Minister of the Environment or the
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans must then include
an explanation of why it was issued on the SARA
Public Registry.
Recovery strategies and action plans for
Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened
species
Recovery planning results in the development of
recovery strategies and action plans for Extirpated,
Endangered or Threatened species. It involves the
different levels of government responsible for the
management of the species, depending on what type
of species it is and where it occurs. These include
federal, provincial and territorial governments as well
as Wildlife Management Boards. Recovery strategies
and action plans are also prepared in cooperation
with directly affected Aboriginal organizations.
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Landowners and other stakeholders directly affected
by the recovery strategy are consulted.
Recovery strategies must be prepared for all
Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species.
They include measures to mitigate the known threats
to the species and its habitat and set the population
and distribution objectives. Other objectives can
be included, such as stewardship (to establish
protection for an existing population) or education
(to increase public awareness). Recovery strategies
must include a statement of the time frame for
the development of one or more action plans. To
the extent possible, recovery strategies must also
identify the critical habitat of the species. If there is
not enough information available to identify critical
habitat, the recovery strategy includes a schedule of
studies required for its identification. This schedule
outlines what must be done to obtain the necessary
information and by when it needs to be done. In such
cases critical habitat is identified in a subsequent
action plan.
Proposed recovery strategies for newly listed
species are posted on the SARA Public Registry
to provide for public review and comment. For
Endangered species, proposed recovery strategies
are posted within one year of their addition to
Schedule 1, and for Threatened or Extirpated species
within two years.
Action plans state the measures necessary to
implement the recovery strategy. These include
measures to address threats and achieve the
8
population and distribution objectives. Action plans
also complete the identification of the critical habitat
where necessary, and to the extent possible state
measures that are proposed to protect it.
Protection for listed species of Special
Concern
While SARA’s immediate protection for species
listed as Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened do
not apply to species listed as Special Concern, any
existing protections and prohibitions, such as those
provided by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
or the Canada National Parks Act, continue to be in
force.
Management plans for species of Special
Concern
For species of Special Concern, management
plans are to be prepared and made available on
the SARA Public Registry within three years of their
addition to Schedule 1, allowing for public review and
comment. Management plans include appropriate
conservation measures for the species and for
its habitat. They are prepared in cooperation with
the jurisdictions responsible for the management
of the species, including directly affected Wildlife
Management Boards and Aboriginal organizations.
Landowners, lessees and others directly affected by a
management plan will also be consulted.
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
THE LIST OF SPECIES PROPOSED FOR INCLUSION OR
RECLASSIFICATION ON SCHEDULE 1
Status of the recently assessed species
and consultation paths
In September 2010, COSEWIC submitted
36 assessments of species at risk to the Minister of
the Environment for species that are newly eligible to
be added to Schedule 1 of SARA. Eighteen of these
are terrestrial species. COSEWIC also reviewed the
classification of species already on Schedule 1, in
some cases changing their status. Four terrestrial
species are now being considered for down-listing
on SARA (to a lower risk status) and three terrestrial
species are now being considered for up-listing
on SARA (to a higher risk status). In all, there are
25 terrestrial species that are eligible to be added
to Schedule 1 or to have their current status on
Schedule 1 changed (Table 1).
COSEWIC also submitted the reviews of species
already on Schedule 1, confirming their classification.
Twenty-two of these reviews were for terrestrial
species. These species are not included in the
consultations because there is no regulatory change
being proposed (Table 2).
For more information on the consultations for
aquatic species, visit the Fisheries and Oceans
Canada website at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
Providing comments
The involvement of Canadians is integral to
the process, as it is to the ultimate protection of
Canadian wildlife. Your comments matter and are
given serious consideration. Environment Canada
reviews all comments it receives by the deadlines
provided below.
Comments for terrestrial species undergoing
normal consultations must be received by
February 4, 2011.
Comments for terrestrial species undergoing
extended consultations must be received by
February 4, 2012.
Most species will be undergoing normal
consultations. For the final consultation paths,
please see:
www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/sar/listing/
table_1210_e.cfm
after December 2, 2010.
For more details on submitting comments, see
page 3, “Public comments solicited on the proposed
amendment of Schedule 1.”
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Table 1:
Terrestrial species recently assessed by COSEWIC eligible for addition
to Schedule 1 or reclassification
Taxon
Species
Scientific name
Range
Newly Assessed Species (18)
Endangered (13)
Arthropods
Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle
Sanfilippodytes bertae
AB
Arthropods
Bogbean Buckmoth
Hemileuca sp.
ON
Arthropods
Laura's Clubtail
Stylurus laurae
ON
Arthropods
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle
Cicindela patruela
ON QC
Arthropods
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
Bombus affinis
ON QC
Arthropods
Wallis' Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle
Cicindela parowana wallisi
BC
Lichens
Pale-bellied Frost Lichen
Physconia subpallida
ON
Lichens
Vole Ears
Erioderma mollissimum
NB NS NL
Vascular Plants
Coast Manroot
Marah oreganus
BC
Vascular Plants
Four-leaved Milkweed
Asclepias quadrifolia
ON
Vascular Plants
Victoria's Owl-clover
Castilleja victoriae
BC
Vascular Plants
Virginia Mallow
Sida hermaphrodita
ON
Vascular Plants
Whitebark Pine
Pinus albicaulis
BC AB
Birds
Bicknell's Thrush
Catharus bicknelli
QC NB NS
Birds
Bobolink
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
BC AB SK MB ON
QC NB PE NS NL
Birds
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Calcarius ornatus
AB SK MB
Threatened (3)
Special Concern (2)
Lichens
Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen
Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis
BC
Molluscs
Threaded Vertigo
Nearctula sp.
BC
Melanerpes lewis
BC
Up-lists (3)
from Special Concern to Threatened (1)
Birds
Lewis's Woodpecker
from Threatened to Endangered (2)
Amphibians
Fowler’s Toad
Anaxyrus fowleri
ON
Reptiles
Queensnake
Regina septemvittata
ON
Down-lists (4)
from Threatened to Special Concern (3)
Vascular Plants
Redroot
Lachnanthes caroliniana
NS
Vascular Plants
Tubercled Spike-rush
Eleocharis tuberculosa
NS
Vascular Plants
Western Blue Flag
Iris missouriensis
AB
Vulpes velox
AB SK
from Endangered to Threatened (1)
Mammals
10
Swift Fox
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Table 2:
Terrestrial species recently reassessed by COSEWIC
(species status confirmation)
Taxon
Species
Scientific name
Range
Status confirmation (22)
Extirpated (4)
Arthropods
Frosted Elfin
Callophrys irus
ON
Arthropods
Island Marble
Euchloe ausonides insulanus
BC
Arthropods
Karner Blue
Lycaeides melissa samuelis
ON
Birds
Greater Prairie-Chicken
Tympanuchus cupido
AB SK MB ON
Birds
Acadian Flycatcher
Empidonax virescens
ON
Birds
Eskimo Curlew
Numenius borealis
YK NT NU AB SK
MB ON QC NB PE
NS NL
Birds
Mountain Plover
Charadrius montanus
AB SK
Birds
Whooping Crane
Grus americana
NT AB SK MB
Mosses
Rigid Apple Moss
Bartramia stricta
BC
Reptiles
Sharp-tailed Snake
Contia tenuis
BC
Vascular Plants
Cucumber Tree
Magnolia acuminata
ON
Vascular Plants
Eastern Mountain Avens
Geum peckii
NS
Vascular Plants
Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia humifusa
ON
Vascular Plants
Pink Milkwort
Polygala incarnata
ON
Vascular Plants
Virginia Goat's-rue
Tephrosia virginiana
ON
Birds
Sprague’s Pipit
Anthus spragueii
AB SK MB
Vascular Plants
Dense Blazing Star
Liatris spicata
ON
Endangered (11)
Threatened (2)
Special Concern (5)
Amphibians
Great Plains Toad
Anaxyrus cognatus
AB SK MB
Arthropods
Monarch
Danaus plexippus
BC AB SK MB ON
QC NB PE NS
Birds
Flammulated Owl
Otus flammeolus
BC
Birds
Savannah Sparrow princeps
subspecies
Passerculus sandwichensis
princeps
NS
Birds
Yellow Rail
Coturnicops noveboracensis
NT BC AB SK MB
ON QC NB
11
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
THE COSEWIC SUMMARIES OF TERRESTRIAL SPECIES ELIGIBLE FOR
ADDITION OR RECLASSIFICATION ON SCHEDULE 1
The following section presents a brief summary of the reasons for the COSEWIC status designation of
individual species, and their biology, threats, distribution and other information. For a more comprehensive
explanation of the conservation status of an individual species, please refer to the COSEWIC status report for
that species, also available on the SARA Public Registry at:
www.sararegistry.gc.ca
or contact:
COSEWIC Secretariat
c/o Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle
or river bends. Its habitat is declining due to trampling
by livestock and lowering of the water table due to
withdrawals for irrigation.
Species Information
Taxon
Arthropods
Distribution
Photo: © Robert E. Roughley
Sanfilippodytes bertae
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle (Sanfilippodytes
bertae), Roughley and Larson 2000, Coleoptera:
Dytiscidae) is described from the springs and
seepages in the arid grasslands of southern Alberta.
There are no known subspecies or forms. The adult
appearance is typical of the genus except in elytral
markings. Adult specimens are less than 3 mm in
length, rather broadly oval in shape (length:width =
1.84 to 1.94). The head and pronotum are dark brown
and the elytra are yellowish brown without yellowish
spots or markings.
Scientific name
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Alberta
Reason for Designation
Despite extensive searches, this Canadian endemic
species is known from only two locations in southern
Alberta, one of which has been destroyed. It is limited
to springs and seepage areas along steep cliff edges
12
The historical distribution of Bert’s Predaceous
Diving Beetle includes 2 and possibly 3 localities: 1)
the northwest bank of the Oldman River immediately
upstream of the Highway 2 crossing west of Fort
MacLeod, Alberta; 2) Fort MacLeod itself; and 3) the
newly discovered locality near Head-Smashed-In
Buffalo Jump. Localities #1 and 2 may represent the
same locality and therefore the same population;
however, this remains unclear. The only record since
1984 and the only extant population is location 3.
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Habitat
Biology
The habitat of Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle is
limited to springs and seepage areas in the watershed
region of the Oldman River in southern Alberta. With
respect to localities 1 and 2, a key element of the
spring and seepage habitat was that it flowed out of
the river banks at about the level of the high water
(vernal flood) mark. Field surveys of springs and seeps
in the region surrounding the first sampling locales
recovered one specimen from the output point source
of a spring near Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
The habitat at this spring was characterized by a
faint trickle of water exiting a crevice approximately
half-way down a rocky cliff. The cliff dropped below
the normal landscape of smooth hills with high winds
and low vegetation by approximately 5 m. The spring
exited the cliff wall approximately half way down the
cliff face. The crevice where the spring exited the rock
contained wet mosses and algae. Small undisturbed
remnants of the above-described spring and seep
habitat are very scarce in southern Alberta and many
have been destroyed by cattle.
The life history characteristics of Bert’s Predaceous
Diving Beetle remain a mystery. All predaceous water
beetle larvae and adults are predaceous, principally
eating invertebrates, probably enchytraeid worms and
aquatic larvae of flies (Diptera). There is no evidence
to suggest that the life cycle is anything but annual
and likely involves vernal breeding and oviposition
with larval development during the summer, followed
by a brief terrestrial pupation. The over-wintering
stage is the adult. Dispersal is probably minimal
(despite presence of fully formed flight wings).
Population sizes and trends
Extensive spring, summer and fall sampling efforts
over a period of 18 days (approx.180 hours) in 2008
resulted in only two specimens being recovered from
a new location near Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Examination of specimens in 42 collections and
extensive field work prior to this had revealed only
2 localities.
Global geographic locations of Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle (Map courtesy of
Ottomm Education).
13
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Only 42 specimens of this species were known
previously (collected in 1984) from potentially two
locales near Fort MacLeod. These specimens
provided the material for the original description of
the species. During the course of field research, no
further specimens were collected at the type locality,
near Fort MacLeod, Alberta despite repeated intensive
search efforts in and around the Fort MacLeod area to
locate this habitat. However, two additional specimens
were collected at another locale near Head-SmashedIn Buffalo Jump (the oasis). The population size of
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle is unknown, but as
with most species, a minimum population of several
hundred individuals would likely be required to sustain
a viable population. The data at hand is insufficient to
speculate about fluctuation of these populations.
Limiting factors and threats
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle appears to
require a very specific habitat within springs and
seepages in an undisturbed area with mosses over
fine particulate soil (necessary for pupation) and the
appropriate fine-grained substrate of sand and other
fine particulates. The most serious threats to these
fragile point sources of habitat are lowering water
levels in the Oldman River Basin and aggregation
of livestock at these fragile habitats. Other potential
threats along the Oldman River Basin (along with
the associated coulees, springs and seeps) include:
high water withdrawals and demands for agricultural
irrigation; increasing water demands resulting from
a booming economy and subsequent rapid growth;
impoundments which would drown the habitat;
municipal and industrial development including oil
and gas; increasing demands for water for use in
industry and domestic use; groundwater withdrawals;
ranching practices; feedlots; human recreation and
climate change. On top of the anthropogenic forces
14
affecting the habitats of Bert’s Predaceous Diving
Beetle, the required habitat is inherently sensitive.
The Oldman River watershed lies within the Prairie
Parkland Natural Ecozone. This ecozone includes flat
and gently rolling hills covered mostly by dry mixed
grasslands in southern Alberta. Since European
settlement in this Ecozone, it has become one of the
most developed agricultural areas in the world. Of
the Ecozone’s total land area of 47 million hectares,
3% of the natural environment is believed to remain
intact with 70% classified as cropland and 27% as
rangeland and pasture.
Special significance of the species
Springs and seepages are biologically, chemically
and physically complex and fragile. Bert’s Predaceous
Diving Beetle is indicative of the remaining, reasonably
uncompromised, spring and seepage habitat found
in southern Alberta. Springs and seeps are important
because their arthropod fauna includes a limited
number of species and diverse and specialized
organisms, including groundwater, stream and waterfilm specialists. Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle might
act as an indicator of occurrence of other unusual or
significant species. It should be considered rare or at
risk throughout its range due its highly specific and
geographically isolated habitat requirements and the
current scarcity of these available habitats.
Existing protection or other designations
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle is currently not
globally or regionally listed. A new locality for Bert’s
Predaceous Diving Beetle is immediately south of
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World
Heritage site. Almost certainly this locality shares the
groundwater system with the UNESCO site. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Bicknell’s Thrush
Species Information
Scientific name
Catharus bicknelli
Taxon
Birds
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
Canadian Range
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
Reason for Designation
This species has one of the most restricted
breeding ranges among the forest birds of North
America. It inhabits the forests of montane and cool
coastal zones, as well as high elevation regenerating
forests over 600m in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia and the northeastern United States. It winters
in the Greater Antilles, where the bulk of its population
appears to be in the Dominican Republic. Despite
the difficulty of adequately monitoring the species,
all the available indices on trends point to significant
declines in population and area of occupancy.
Preliminary results from the Maritimes Breeding
Bird Atlas project suggest a 40% decline in the area
occupied over the last three generations, while the
High Elevation Landbirds Program suggests more
dramatic declines in the same regions. Recent surveys
in Quebec also indicate declines in some locations.
While reasons for the decline are unclear, habitat loss
on the wintering grounds, management practices
such as pre-commercial thinning in regenerating
forests and climate change are leading to a reduction
of suitable high-elevation habitat.
Distribution
The Bicknell’s Thrush has one of the most
restricted breeding ranges among the forest birds
of North America and has a fragmented breeding
distribution. It is limited to high elevations of the
mountain ranges of the northeastern United States
and southeastern Canada, as well as to some coastal
and lowland areas in Canada. The species may have
disappeared from some sites previously occupied,
mostly at the periphery of its range.
The Bicknell’s Thrush winters in the Greater
Antilles, where the bulk of its population appears to be
in the Dominican Republic. The species also occurs
in smaller numbers in southwestern and eastern Haiti
and in the Sierra Maestra of southeastern Cuba.
Habitat
The Bicknell’s Thrush is a habitat specialist,
generally associated with undisturbed dense habitat
or disturbed areas undergoing vigorous succession
(mid-successional) of Balsam Fir-dominated habitat
and high stem densities (>10,000–15,000 stems/ha).
Three breeding habitat types have been identified:
montane/high-elevation forests, coastal lowlands and
highland-industrial forests. In montane/high-elevation
Photo: © Dan Busby
Photo: © Dan Busby
The Bicknell’s Thrush is the smallest of the northern
Catharus thrushes. Both males and females have
distinctive warm brown feathers on the back, with a
chestnut-brown tint on the upper tail feathers and on
the primaries when the wings are folded. It is similar to
the other northern Catharus thrushes, particularly the
Gray-cheeked Thrush.
15
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
areas, the Bicknell’s Thrush selects undisturbed
habitats and regenerating forests disturbed by fir
waves, windthrows, ice and snow damage, fire, and
insect outbreaks (e.g. spruce budworm infestation)
and characterized by standing dead conifers and
dense regrowth of Balsam Fir. The species also uses
chronically disturbed, stunted-tree stands. In coastal
areas it selects dense spruce-fir stands maintained by
cool sea breezes and a high precipitation regime. In
highland-industrial forests, the Bicknell’s Thrush may
be found in dense coniferous or sometimes dense
mixed second-growth regenerating stands.
Biology
The Bicknell’s Thrush has an unusual breeding
system defined by multiple male and female partners.
A single male may sire nestlings in different nests in
a single season and may or may not provide food
to those broods. Males are not territorial and homeranges usually overlap. Male home-ranges may
overlap two female home-ranges, which are usually
discrete.
The Bicknell’s Thrush has a highly skewed sexratio; 1 female: 1.49 to 3.0 males. Survivorship of
summer-resident adults has been estimated at
0.65 ± 0.04 (± SE) in Vermont, and at 0.28 ± 0.11 for
females and 0.63 ± 0.07 for males in Quebec. On the
breeding grounds, predation may be a key limiting
factor for Bicknell’s Thrush productivity. The longevity
record for the Bicknell’s Thrush is 11 years while the
annual mean age varies between 1.73 and 2.44 years.
Generation time is estimated to be 2 to 3 years.
abundance in occupied sites did not differ significantly
during this time.
Limiting factors and threats
On the breeding grounds, management practices,
such as pre-commercial thinning, decrease breeding
habitat in the medium term by significantly reducing
Balsam Fir stem density. Increasing temperatures
resulting from climate change are facilitating the
progression in altitude of the Hardwood-Balsam Fir/
Spruce-Mountain forest ecotone, thus reducing the
amount of breeding habitat for the Bicknell’s Thrush.
The rapid expansion of communication towers,
“green-energy”/ wind turbines and recreational
projects in the Bicknell’s Thrush breeding range also
contributes to habitat loss and fragmentation.
On the wintering grounds major habitat losses have
occurred on Hispaniola Island (Haiti and Dominican
Republic), which is the stronghold of the species’
wintering range. The conversion of those lands for
human uses is likely the main driving factor of the
species decline. There is no indication that this
phenomenon is slowing down.
Population sizes and trends
The current population estimate for the Bicknell’s
Thrush in Canada is between 40,570 and 49,258
birds. Results from the second Maritime Breeding
Bird Atlas show a greater than 40% decline in the
distribution of the species over the last 10 years.
Data from the High Elevation Landbird Program
also show significant declines of 20.2%/year and
18.9%/year in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia,
respectively, between 2002 and 2008, which amounts
to population losses of over 70%. Similarly, data form
the Mont Gosford Monitoring Program in Quebec
show a significant decrease in occupancy rates
between 2001 and 2007 at survey sites, although
16
Global distribution of Bicknell’s Thrush showing breeding
and winter ranges (Canada, United States, West Indies).
Source: “Birds of North America Online” http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Special significance of the species
Finding Bicknell’s Thrush is a challenge for
birdwatchers and ornithologists because of their
remote high elevation and impenetrable forest habitat.
This species also qualifies as a potential, long-term
indicator of the health of subalpine forest habitats and
its avian populations.
Existing protection or other designations
The Bicknell’s Thrush is protected in Canada under
the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and in
the U.S. under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 1918.
COSEWIC assessed this species as Special Concern
in April 1999 and it is federally listed as Special
Concern under Schedule 3 of the Species at Risk Act.
It is designated as Vulnerable in Quebec, May Be at
Risk in New Brunswick and Vulnerable in Nova Scotia.
In the United States, the species is on the Audubon
Watchlist (Red) as well as the USFWS Birds of
Conservation Concern (National concern). It is a
Special Concern species and a Species of Greatest
Conservation Need (SGCN) in New York, Vermont,
New Hampshire, and Maine. Partners in Flight (PIF)
has identified the species as the highest conservation
priority among neotropical migrants in the Northeast.
It appears on the World Conservation Union Red List
(Vulnerable). ■
17
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Bobolink
breeding season and juvenile plumage are similar to
that of the female. No subspecies of the Bobolink are
currently recognized.
Photo: © Photos.com 2010
Distribution
Scientific name
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Taxon
Birds
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
Canadian Range
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba,
Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward
Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador
Reason for Designation
Over 25% of the global population of this
grassland bird species breeds in Canada, which is
the northern portion of its range. The species has
suffered severe population declines since the late
1960s and the declines have continued over the last
10 years, particularly in the core of its range in Eastern
Canada. The species is threatened by incidental
mortality from agricultural operations, habitat loss and
fragmentation, pesticide exposure and bird control at
wintering roosts.
Species Information
The Bobolink is a medium-sized passerine. Males
are black below and lighter above, while females
are light beige streaked with brown and could be
mistaken for some species of sparrow. The Bobolink
has a conical bill, rigid, sharply pointed tail feathers
and long hind toenails. Male plumage outside the
18
The breeding range of the Bobolink in North
America includes the southern part of all Canadian
provinces from British Columbia to Newfoundland and
Labrador and south to the northwestern, north-central
and northeastern U.S. The species is not present in
the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The
Bobolink winters in southern South America, east of
the Andes in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.
Habitat
The Bobolink originally nested in the tall-grass
prairie of the mid-western U.S. and south central
Canada. Most of this prairie was converted to
agricultural land over a century ago, and at the same
time the forests of eastern North America were
cleared to hayfields and meadows that provided
habitat for the birds. Since the conversion of the
prairie to cropland and the clearing of the eastern
forests, the Bobolink has nested in forage crops (e.g.,
hayfields and pastures dominated by a variety of
species, such as clover, Timothy, Kentucky Bluegrass,
and broadleaved plants). The Bobolink also occurs
in various grassland habitats including wet prairie,
graminoid peatlands and abandoned fields dominated
by tall grasses, remnants of uncultivated virgin
prairie (tall-grass prairie), no-till cropland, small-grain
fields, restored surface mining sites and irrigated
fields in arid regions. It is generally not abundant
in short-grass prairie, Alfalfa fields, or in row crop
monocultures (e.g., corn, soybean, wheat), although
its use of Alfalfa may vary with region.
Biology
The Bobolink is a semi-colonial species that is
often polygamous, depending on the region and
habitat conditions. The first adults arrive from their
wintering grounds in mid-May. Upon arrival on the
breeding grounds, the males establish their territories,
performing courtship flights and songs. Females
construct the nests, which are always built on the
ground, usually at the base of large forbs. Each clutch
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Canadian breeding range of the Bobolink.
Source: April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
typically contains 3-7 eggs. The nestlings are fed by
both parents for 10-11 days and fledglings are fed for
at least one week. The Bobolink has an average life
span of five years.
Population sizes and trends
In Canada, the Bobolink population is estimated
at between 1.8 and 2.2 million breeding birds. North
American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the
period 1968 to 2008 indicate a significant decline
of 5.2% per year in Canada or a loss of 88% of the
population during the last 40 years. Over the most
recent 10-year period (1998 to 2008), the BBS data
show a significant decline of 4.6% per year, which
corresponds to a population decline of 38% over this
period.
Limiting factors and threats
The main causes of the decline in Bobolink
populations have been identified as: 1) incidental
mortality from agricultural operations such as
haying that destroy nests and kill adults, 2) habitat
loss caused by the conversion of forage crops
to intensive grain crops and other row crops, 3)
habitat fragmentation, which promotes higher rates
of predation on nests located near edges and 4)
pesticide use on breeding and wintering grounds,
which may cause both direct and indirect mortality.
Special significance of the species
Given its generally high abundance in forage crops
and the large quantity of insect pests on which it
feeds, the Bobolink may be beneficial to agriculture
on the breeding grounds.
Existing protection or other designations
In Canada, the Bobolink, its nest and eggs are
protected under the Migratory Birds Convention
Act, 1994. It is ranked as globally secure (G5) by
NatureServe (2009). ■
19
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Bogbean Buckmoth
and 32-36 mm for females. They have a distinctive
black and white colouration with an eyespot on each
wing.
Photo: © Allan Harris
Distribution
Scientific name
Hemileuca sp.
Taxon
Arthropods
Bogbean Buckmoth populations are known only
from Ontario and New York. All four Canadian sites
are in eastern Ontario: two near Richmond south
of Ottawa and two other sites approximately 50 km
farther west near White Lake. Each pair of sites is
considered to represent a different location with
different potential threats. The actual area occupied
by this species in Canada is less than 3 km2.
Habitat
Canadian Range
Ontario
In Canada, Bogbean Buckmoth is found in open,
calcareous, graminoid and low shrub fens. Larvae
are most abundant in patches of Twig Rush or Wire
Sedge with shallow pools with Bogbean, its primary
host. Adjacent Sphagnum hummocks with shrubs and
stunted tamarack or cedar provide suitable pupation
sites.
Reason for Designation
Biology
This very rare moth is only known from New York
and Ontario. In Ontario, it is found in two widely
separated fens. It is susceptible to the effects of
exotic invasive plants, especially European Common
Reed, that are crowding out its preferred foodplant,
the Bogbean, and of potential flooding or drying of
habitat resulting from manipulation of water levels at
the main site.
The Bogbean Buckmoth is a dayflying silk
moth with one generation per year. Adult Bogbean
Buckmoths emerge in late September and typically
oviposit on Sweet Gale, Bog Birch, and other shrubs.
Up to several hundred eggs are laid in a spiral ring
on the stem. Eggs hatch in late May to early June
and first instars communally feed primarily on Bog
Cranberry for about 12 days before switching to
Bogbean. Later instar larvae also eat Bog Birch,
willows, and other shrubs, perhaps switching to the
alternate hosts when the Bogbean is exhausted. In
Ontario, adult Bogbean Buckmoths typically emerge
in the third week of September. Females emerge from
the pupa with fully developed eggs, attract males by
emitting a pheromone, mate only once, and oviposit
all eggs the same day. Adults do not feed.
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Species Information
Buckmoths (Hemileuca) are a relatively wellstudied and diverse genus of silk moths. Although the
taxonomic rank of Bogbean Buckmoth in Canada is
unclear, it is the only species of Hemileuca in Eastern
Canada, it is a highly distinctive day-flying moth and
is ecologically distinct from the buckmoth found in the
prairies which has a different primary plant host and
prefers drier habitats.
Adult Bogbean Buckmoths are medium-sized
moths with forewing lengths of 26-32 mm for males
20
The Bogbean Buckmoths might be capable of
flying up to several kilometres but are not strong
fliers and seldom leave fen habitats. Isolation of
populations is increased by the short-lived adult
stage.
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Distribution of Bogbean Buckmoth in Canada.
Source: Modified from November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report
Population sizes and trends
Limiting factors and threats
There are no estimates for global abundance, but
an annual average total of 2500 to 10,000 individuals
are estimated for Ontario and New York combined. The
most recent Canadian survey in 2008 observed a total
of 169 larvae at the four sites and estimated a total
abundance of approximately 6200 larvae in suitable
habitat. This represents approximately 3000 adult
buckmoths.
All Canadian Bogbean Buckmoth populations
may be substantially threatened by a combination
of habitat changes, water level fluctuations, land
development, and possibly pest control programs.
Habitat degradation due to invasive alien plant
species is likely the most significant and imminent
threat. In particular, European Common Reed and
Narrow-leaved Cattail have invaded Canadian sites
and may crowd out host plants and change the open
aspect of the fens. Water level control at the White
Lake location could substantially impact the habitat.
Bogbean Buckmoth is thought to have experienced
a large (25-90%) historic global decline associated
with habitat loss, particularly in the United States.
Population sizes vary widely from year to year, which
makes determination of long-term trends difficult,
particularly at Canadian sites where they have
been monitored only intermittently. Since 1979, the
number of Bogbean Buckmoth larvae observed at the
Richmond site has ranged from as low as one larva to
thousands.
Given its habitat specificity, disjunct distribution
of fen habitat, and distance from other populations
in the United States, it is highly unlikely that localized
extirpations in Ontario would be recolonized from
New York. Genetic exchange between Canadian
and US populations probably does not occur and
is even unlikely between the two pairs of Canadian
populations.
Special significance of the species
Bogbean Buckmoth shares its specialized habitat
with a number of other rare species including
the globally rare Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid.
Buckmoths are popular with naturalists and
entomologists, in part due to their diurnal habits,
relatively large size, and striking colouration.
Existing protection or other designations
NatureServe lists the Bogbean Buckmoth as
critically imperiled globally but of uncertain taxonomy.
It is listed as endangered in New York. ■
21
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Chestnut-collared Longspur
Distribution
Photo: © Nick Saunders
Chestnut-collared Longspurs breed in the shortand mixed-grass prairie regions of the northern
Great Plains (prairies) of Canada and the United
States. During the non-breeding season, they occur
in the southern United States (western Oklahoma to
southeastern Arizona) and northern Mexico.
Scientific name
Calcarius ornatus
Taxon
Birds
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
Canadian Range
Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
Habitat
A native prairie grassland specialist, the Chestnutcollared Longspur typically breeds in recently grazed
or mowed, arid, short- or mixed-grass prairie. The
species prefers short vegetation (< 20-30 cm high),
but will breed in tall-grass prairie if it is grazed or
mowed. Areas with low sward densities and minimal
litter depth are preferred. The topography preferred
by this species is level to rolling uplands (mixedgrass and short-grass) and moist lowlands. Optimal
grassland habitat in Canada for the Chestnut-collared
Longspur is being fragmented by energy sector
activity and other development and is being converted
to agricultural use. The remaining fragmented
Reason for Designation
This species is a native prairie grassland specialist
that occurs in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The species has suffered severe population declines
since the late 1960s, and the results of several
surveys suggest that the declines have continued over
the last decades albeit at a slower rate. The species
is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation from
road development associated with the energy sector.
Species Information
The Chestnut-collared Longspur is a medium-sized
songbird. It is the smaller of two breeding prairie
grassland longspur species and can be distinguished
by the black triangular patch in the centre of the
tail, white lesser coverts and extensive white on the
outer tail coverts. Chestnut-collared Longspurs have
a sweet warbling song, which is initially high and
clear but ends in lower, buzzy notes. Males have a
distinctive aerial display, which occurs lower to the
ground than is the case in the McCown’s Longspur.
22
Global distribution of Chestnut-collared Longspur showing
breeding and winter ranges (North America).
Source: “Birds of North America Online” http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna
maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
grassland is often ungrazed (idle) and therefore
unsuitable for breeding.
Biology
Chestnut-collared Longspurs are monogamous
and have small, often clumped territories. Following
arrival on the breeding areas, males (which arrive
before females) establish breeding territories generally
by early to mid-May (Alberta). Females excavate and
build a nest in the ground and lay 3-5 eggs which
are then incubated for 10-12.5 days by the female;
the male guards the nest and is active in predator
defence. Both parents feed the young, which fledge
after 10 days, following which they are fed by the male
for a further two weeks; immature birds form flocks by
late June. Generation time is likely two to three years.
Nest predation accounts for a high degree of egg and
nestling mortality.
Population sizes and trends
Nearly one-quarter of the continental Chestnutcollared Longspur population occurs in Canada,
where the population is estimated at 600,000
birds. Over the long-term, analyses using data
from Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS, 1968-2008) and
Christmas Bird Counts (CBC, 1967-2008) show losses
of 90% and 93% of the population, respectively. On
the short-term, analyses from a variety of surveys
indicate population losses ranging from 35% to
63% over the last 10 years, although surveys in high
quality habitat (Grassland Bird Monitoring (GBM)
program) suggest a population increase. Analysis
of the variance surrounding the best trend estimate
(combined BBS/GBM analysis) suggests that the
probability that the Chestnut-collared Longspur
population in Canada has declined by at least 30% or
more over the last 10 years is 81%.
Limiting factors and threats
The greatest threat to the Chestnut-collared
Longspur has been the loss and fragmentation of
native prairie grassland. The remaining patches
may offer suboptimal breeding conditions for the
longspurs. Given their area sensitivity, grassland
patches of a few hectares are likely too small for the
species to persist. Additionally, idling of pastureland
and habitat fragmentation and disturbance from oil
and gas developments may impact Chestnut-collared
Longspur populations.
Special significance of the species
The Chestnut-collared Longspur is symbolic of
native prairie grasslands in the Great Plains of the
United States and southern Prairies of Canada. Elders
from the Blackfoot First Nation (Nitsitapii) called the
Chestnut-collared Longspur Aapinakoisisttsii (little
morning bird); other sources suggest the Chestnutcollared Longspur is called Iskiokae (black breast).
Existing protection or other status
designations
The Chestnut-collared Longspur and its eggs
and young are protected under the Migratory
Birds Convention Act, 1994. In 2008, the species
was listed as Near Threatened by IUCN because
of its moderately rapid population decline.
Breeding populations in South Dakota, Alberta and
Saskatchewan and non-breeding populations in
Louisiana and Oklahoma are ranked as ‘apparently
secure’ or ‘secure’ by NatureServe. All other provincial
and national rankings in Canada list breeding and
non-breeding populations of the Chestnut-sided
Longspur as ‘vulnerable’, ‘imperiled’ or ‘critically
imperiled’. ■
23
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Coast Manroot
Photo: © Matt Fairbarns
elongate central inflorescence stalk arising from the
angles between the leaf stalk and stem (leaf axil).
Single, stalked female flowers, with a swollen base,
are also formed at the leaf axils. Ovaries develop into
a prickly fruit that contains several large, smooth,
heavy seeds.
Scientific name
Marah oreganus
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
British Columbia
Reason for Designation
A long-lived perennial vine occurring at only three
widely separated locations in southeastern Vancouver
Island and adjacent Gulf Islands. Fewer than
20 mature plants remain with no evidence of seedling
production. Losses of habitat, populations and mature
individuals are projected in its Canadian range. Main
threats are development of the few known sites, alien
species and chance events affecting the handful of
remaining individuals.
Species Information
Coast Manroot (Marah oreganus) is a large climbing
perennial of the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae) that
grows from an enlarged woody root and produces
annual trailing stems with branched tendrils. The
alternate stem leaves are about 20 cm long, stalked
and irregularly palmately lobed. Plants produce
separate whitish male and female flowers on the
same plant. Male flowers are stalked, bell-shaped,
with generally 5 floral parts and arranged along an
24
Distribution
Coast Manroot occurs from southern British
Columbia to central California, mostly west of the
Cascade Mountains. In Canada, it only occurs in a
small area extending from southeast Vancouver Island
to Pender Island in the Southern Gulf Islands. The
species ranges over 77 km2 but the few sites where it
occurs cover <12 km2.
Habitat
In British Columbia, habitat for Coast Manroot is
correlated with the distribution of Garry Oak, which
often occurs in the vicinity. The extant and historic
populations occur on rocky, south-facing slopes, in
roadside thickets or at the margins of wooded areas.
They are found at low elevations near the coast of
southeastern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf
Islands, often within 30 m of the water’s edge.
Biology
This perennial herb develops one or more aerial
stems yearly from an enlarged woody root. No asexual
reproduction occurs. Seed germination involves a
rapid downward elongation of the fused underground
seed leaves (cotyledons) and the development of an
underground perennial storage tube. This pattern of
germination and seedling establishment is distinctive
for species of the genus Marah and for a few other
dicotyledonous plants. It is considered a complex
adaptation that helps ensure fast and successful
seedling establishment in seasonally arid areas,
described as having a “Mediterranean” climate.
Population sizes and trends
In 2006, the Canadian population consisted
of 18 mature individuals at three locations. The
population at a fourth location is considered
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Canadian distribution of Coast Manroot.
Source: Modified from November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report
extirpated as no plants have been observed since
1964. No data on historic numbers are available from
which to derive trends in population size.
Limiting factors and threats
The primary threats to Coast Manroot are habitat
loss due to development, recreational activities and
invasive species. One population has disappeared
due to trampling; other populations are very small and
are also affected by high levels of trampling.
Existing protection or other status
designations
Coast Manroot is not protected by any species
at risk legislation in Canada. Based on NatureServe
rankings, it is globally secure (G5) but critically
imperiled (S1) in B.C. The species does not occur in
any protected areas. ■
Special significance of the species
British Columbia populations of Coast Manroot
have a high conservation value because they
represent the entire Canadian population of a very
narrowly distributed species. Various parts of Coast
Manroot have been used for medicinal purposes by
Aboriginal Peoples.
25
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Four-leaved Milkweed
pinkish-white flowers. The species is insect-pollinated
and probably self-incompatible. The fruit develops
into a long, narrow, erect seed pod. Seeds have a
dense tuft of long, silky, white hairs at the top to
create buoyancy in aid of wind dispersal.
Photo: © Sean Blaney
Distribution
Scientific name
Asclepias quadrifolia
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario
Reason for Designation
Only two small extant populations are known in
Canada at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, each with
very low numbers of individuals. Historic populations
within the Niagara Falls region are believed extirpated.
Extant populations are in very rare limestone deciduous
woodland communities where plants are at risk from
shading by invasive Common Buckthorn shrubs and
from native shrubs and trees expanding in the absence
of ground fires. Residential development is a potential
threat at the largest site. Future development on this
site remains a reasonable possibility.
Species Information
Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) is an
erect herbaceous perennial of the milkweed family
(Asclepiadaceae). A single unbranched stem, 30 to 80
cm tall, arises from a tough, perennial root crown. Two
pairs of the opposite leaves near the top of mature
plants appear four-whorled, giving the species its
name. Flowers are in one to four clusters of 10 to 25
26
Four-leaved Milkweed occurs in the eastern United
States in two disjunct regions, separated by a 150
to 400 km wide zone of almost complete absence
in the Mississippi River Valley. The western region
of occurrence extends from eastern Oklahoma and
western Arkansas north to western Illinois and eastern
Iowa. The eastern region extends from the southern
Appalachian Mountains north to eastern Indiana and
southern New Hampshire. The species just extends
into Canada in southern Ontario at the eastern end
of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County, and the
western end in the vicinity of Niagara Falls, where it is
believed extirpated.
Habitat
Four-leaved Milkweed occurs in dry to mesic,
relatively open deciduous forest often on rocky
soils and steep slopes. It has a tendency to occur
on calcareous soils, especially over limestone
bedrock, but soil pH tolerance over the North
American range is from slightly acidic to strongly
basic. Four-leaved Milkweed in Missouri grows
and reproduces better at forest edges than forest
interiors due to energy limitation in deep shade.
In Ontario, it occurs in open, dry-mesic woodland
on fairly shallow soils on the plateau, rim or slopes
of steep limestone escarpments. Prince Edward
County sites are dominated by Bur Oak, Shagbark
Hickory and Ironwood, with Eastern Red-Cedar,
Chinquapin Oak, Sugar Maple, Basswood and White
Ash. Niagara region occurrences would have been in
similar habitats dominated by Red, White, Black and
Chinquapin Oaks with Pignut and Shagbark Hickories
and other deciduous trees.
Biology
Four-leaved Milkweed reproduces only from seed.
Soil seed banking is likely only short-term (1-5 years).
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Canadian occurrences of Four-leaved Milkweed (Ontario). Numbers correspond to
populations in Table 3. Grey dots (1, 2, 5) are historic locations and black dots (3, 4)
are extant locations.
Source: April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
Field experiments indicate at least 5 to 10 years are
required to reach maturity, with younger or resourcepoor plants functioning as unisexual males. Flowering
occurs from late May through June. As with most
milkweeds, the species is likely largely or entirely selfincompatible. Milkweeds have a remarkably complex,
insect-mediated pollination system and flowers
produce copious nectar. Known pollinators include
certain bees and butterflies such as skippers and the
Pearl Crescent butterfly. Pollen dispersal distances
are unusually high, with pollination over distances
exceeding 1 km common in North Carolina. Plants
develop only one, two or rarely three seed pods,
averaging 35 seeds each. Mature seed pods open in
autumn to release their seeds. Seed dispersal beyond
50-150 m is likely rare. The energetic requirements
for flower and seed production have been extensively
studied in Four-leaved Milkweed and the related forest
species Poke Milkweed.
Population sizes and trends
Between 96 and 178 mature individuals are
known from two extant populations: 1) between
80 and 136 mature plants over about 20 ha at
McMahon Bluff and 2) between 16 and 42 mature
plants over about 0.25 ha at Macauley Mountain.
Seedlings are present at both sites.
Along the Niagara River, populations have
declined since 1956 to the point where they are
probably extirpated, based on repeated surveys
of former occurrences. Historic Bay of Quinte
area sites are probably also extirpated. Other
undocumented population losses probably occurred
with habitat loss since European settlement. There is
no information on recent trends in extant Canadian
populations, although limited observations do not
suggest any declines since 2006-2007. Continued
encroachment of the exotic Common Buckthorn and
native shrubs seems likely to reduce the population
at both sites over time.
27
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Limiting factors and threats
Four-leaved Milkweed was likely always rare
and local in Ontario, but massive habitat loss and
fragmentation since European settlement now limits
the species’ future prospects. The habitat in which
the species occurs falls into the Bur Oak – Shagbark
Hickory – Big Bluestem community ranked critically
imperiled for Ontario.
Major threats to Four-leaved Milkweed are:
1) habitat conversion – a developer proposing
development on over 73% of the Canadian population
has now (August 2009) sold the McMahon Bluff
property, but future development of the site remains
a threat; 2) habitat degradation (excessive shading)
caused by the exotic Common Buckthorn and by
native shrubs and trees, associated with loss of presettlement fire regime; 3) the invasive exotic herb
Pale Swallow-wort, although not yet at known sites,
is rapidly expanding in the vicinity of known sites
and presents a significant threat within the next 10
to 30 years. Potential threats of unknown or lesser
magnitude are: the small, isolated population and
small area of occupancy at the Macauley Mountain
site leading to inbreeding and risk of stochastic
28
loss and ATV use at the McMahon Bluff site, which
is presently not a problem but could become
problematic if intensified.
Special significance of the species
Four-leaved Milkweed is biogeographically
interesting as one of a small suite of species with
a strong southern affiliation occurring at both the
eastern and western ends of Lake Ontario. It occurs in
a critically imperiled habitat with two other nationally
imperiled species [the sedges Carex mesochorea and
Carex bicknellii]. As a disjunct at its northern limit, it
may harbour unusual genetic variation for the species.
Existing protection or other status
designations
Four-leaved Milkweed is globally secure but
critically imperiled in Canada and Ontario. The
species is potentially extirpated in Delaware, critically
imperiled in Rhode Island and Kansas, imperiled in
New Hampshire and sensitive in Iowa and Vermont. It
has a state-level Threatened status in New Hampshire
and Rhode Island and is not ranked or secure in
20 other American states. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Fowler’s Toad
single, dark, pectoral spot. The male’s call is a rather
shrill scream. Tadpoles are up to 27 mm in total length
and are mottled grey and black. Fowler’s Toads have
a distinctive smell, reminiscent of unroasted peanuts.
Until recently, the species was assigned to the
genus Bufo.
Photo: © David Green
Distribution
Scientific name
Anaxyrus fowleri
Taxon
Amphibians
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario
Reason for Designation
This species only occurs on sandy beaches in
three disjunct areas along the north shore of Lake
Erie. It has disappeared from numerous historic sites
on the Lake Erie shore and continues to decline in
abundance and number of populations with further
habitat loss and degradation due to invasive species
(Common Reed, Zebra Mussels) and anthropogenic
activities including shoreline development, beach
cleaning, construction of breakwalls, bulldozing of
beaches, vehicle use on beaches and agricultural
and industrial contaminants. In addition, a Population
Viability Analysis (PVA) model suggests that over
the last decade, the probability of extirpation within
20 years has increased substantially.
Although Fowler’s Toads inhabit much of North
America east of the Great Plains and south of the
Great Lakes, they occur in Canada only along the
northern shore of Lake Erie in extreme southern
Ontario. The species is now restricted to Rondeau
Provincial Park, Long Point, and the shore from Low
Point to Fort Erie (Niagara). It is considered extirpated
from numerous historic sites. The Canadian Extent of
Occurrence, exclusive of uninhabitable shoreline and
open water of Lake Erie, is approximately 1,200 km2.
Area of inhabited shore line is estimated at no more
than 65 km2.
Habitat
Fowler’s Toads occur along the Lake Erie shoreline
where there are well-drained sandy soils or sand
dunes, sandy beaches, sandy deciduous woodland,
and rocky, poorly vegetated areas. Eggs and tadpoles
need sparsely vegetated ponds, sandy bottomed
pools, shallow rocky shoals or rocky pools. These
habitats are unstable and are subject to the lake’s
naturally dynamic processes of erosion and sand
deposition, storms and fluctuating water levels. The
complex life cycle of the toad requires both aquatic and
terrestrial habitats. Fowler’s Toad habitats are in general
decline, principally due to shoreline development,
beach stabilization, vehicular traffic and recreational
Photo: © Ryan M. Bolton
Species Information
Adult Fowler’s Toads, Anaxyrus fowleri, are 50 to
80 mm in snout-vent length, with females growing
larger than males. The dorsum is grey or buff, with
small warts and tubercles. The belly is white with a
29
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Canadian records of Fowler’s Toad.
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
use at Niagara, and the spread of the invasive Common
Reed, Phragmites australis australis, at Long Point and
Rondeau Provincial Park. Much of the range of Fowler’s
Toad in Canada is Crown Land, including provincial
parks and national wildlife areas at Rondeau Provincial
Park and Long Point, although 91% of the shoreline in
Niagara is privately owned.
Biology
Adult male Fowler’s Toads congregate to call
at aquatic breeding sites in late spring, to attract
females. The larval period takes 40 to 60 days
and newly metamorphosed toadlets emerge in
midsummer. First-year growth is rapid and most
individuals attain adult size in one year. Fowler’s Toads
appear to have a potential life span of 3 to 5 years,
but annual mortality is high at all life stages.
Fowler’s Toads are insectivores specializing on
ants and beetles. Snakes, particularly gartersnakes,
Thamnophis spp., are the toad’s main predators and
are undeterred by the toads’ noxious skin secretions.
Fowler’s Toads otherwise avoid predation chiefly by
digging beneath the surface of the soil.
Fowler’s Toads can be found nightly sitting in
shallow water or on wet sand along the beach.
30
Generally sedentary, most individuals move no more
than a few metres along the shoreline throughout the
year. However, a few individuals have moved over
10 km in a year.
Fowler’s Toads are known to hybridize with
American Toads, Anaxyrus americanus, at Long Point,
yet introgression appears to be limited.
Population sizes and trends
The total abundance of adult Fowler’s Toads
in Canada cannot be determined with precision,
primarily due to stochastic fluctuations in population
size. The best estimate is an effective population size
of under 5,000 adult toads. Rescue effect between
populations, or from U.S. populations on the south
shore of Lake Erie, is highly unlikely.
A population viability analysis, using the program
VORTEX, and based on current distribution
and estimates of abundance and demographic
characteristics of Fowler’s Toads in Canada, indicates
a greater than 20% probability of extirpation of
Fowler’s Toads from Canada within 20 years,
and nearly 100% probability of extirpation within
100 years, under all scenarios.
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Limiting factors and threats
Fowler’s Toad is threatened principally by loss and
degradation of its shoreline beach and dune habitat.
Threats include: shore development and artificial
coastline stabilization including construction of break
walls, roads, parking lots, piers and groynes; intensive
mechanical beach maintenance activities such as
grading, grooming and clearing of algae using beach
grooming machines or bulldozers; intensive human
recreational use of beaches and dunes, including
vehicular traffic; loss and degradation of habitats
due to invasive species, particularly Zebra Mussels
(Dreissena polymorpha) and Common Reed, and
agricultural and industrial contaminants.
Special significance of the species
Perhaps the greatest significance of this species is
that it has been the subject of the longest (>30 years)
population and demographic study of a Canadian
amphibian. This research has elucidated much of
the nature of demographic, intrinsic, and extrinsic
factors on population fluctuations and abundance in
an anuran species. In addition, the impacts of humans
on the species are now becoming understood. Adult
Fowler’s Toads are important small insectivores,
specializing in ants and beetles, whereas their
tadpoles are significant detritivores in small ponds,
rocky pools and embayments.
Existing protection or other status
designations
The majority of Fowler’s Toad habitat in the
Rondeau Provincial Park and Long Point areas is
located within protected areas where there is no
direct threat from industrial or urban development.
However, there is little direct legal protection for the
species along the Niagara shoreline outside of James
N. Allan Provincial Park. Currently, Fowler’s Toad is
listed as Threatened under Schedule 1 of the federal
Species at Risk Act and under Ontario’s Endangered
Species Act 2007. It is also listed as a “specially
protected amphibian” under Ontario’s Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Act. The species is not listed as
a species of concern in the United States nor in any of
the states adjacent to Ontario. ■
31
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Distribution
Photo: © Allan Harris
Laura’s Clubtail
Scientific name
Stylurus laurae
Taxon
Arthropods
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario
Reason for Designation
This attractive dragonfly of eastern North America
is known from only two locations in unusual fastmoving sandy streams in southwestern Ontario. The
species has a very small range in Canada and there is
evidence of continuing decline of habitat.
The range of Laura’s Clubtail includes Ontario and
17 states in the eastern US. The global maximum
extent of occurrence encompasses about 1.5 million
km2. The known Canadian range of Laura’s Clubtail
consists of Big Creek and Big Otter Creek in southern
Ontario. The species was first discovered in Canada in
1999. The maximum extent of occurrence in Canada
encompasses 256 km2, but it occupies an area of
less than 22 km2 (using a 1 km X 1 km grid) or 60 km2
(using a 2 km X 2 km grid).
Habitat
Larvae typically inhabit small to medium sized
unpolluted streams with sand or silt substrate.
Streams usually have overhanging trees and shrubs.
Adults disperse to riparian forest after emerging and
typically perch by hanging from vegetation, 0.5 to
6 m above the water. Males are seldom seen and
apparently spend most of their time high in trees.
Logging and land clearing for agriculture in the late
1800s caused extensive soil erosion but in the early
1900s, reforestation efforts were implemented and
forest cover increased to present levels. Although
terrestrial habitat may have improved, aquatic habitat
appears to be declining with trends toward increased
pollution with chloride, nitrate and phosphorous,
this made more serious by concentration due to
continuing water removal for irrigation. Irrigation
Species Information
Laura’s Clubtail Stylurus laurae is a member of
the family Gomphidae, the clubtail dragonflies, and
the order Odonata, the dragonflies and damselflies.
Laura’s Clubtail is a relatively large member of the
genus, with a total length of 60-64 mm. The front of
the thorax has two divergent pale stripes that do not
connect with the collar. The collar is broken with a
dark line. The abdomen is dark laterally with a narrow
yellow middorsal stripe that breaks into dashes at the
tip of the abdomen which is moderately clubbed in
males, less so in the females.
Distribution of Laura’s Clubtail in Canada.
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
32
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
and other water uses within the watershed can
significantly reduce stream flow within both
creeks, particularly during dry summers, increasing
oxygen demand and reducing habitat. Dams in the
watersheds of Big and Big Otter creeks have likely
already caused loss of riffle habitat in reservoirs,
higher water temperatures, and altered erosion and
sedimentation.
Threats and limiting factors
Biology
Special significance of the species
Adults fly between mid July and mid August in
Ontario. Mating habits have not been described.
Larvae spend most of their time buried just below the
surface of the sediment, breathing through the tip of
the abdomen raised above the sediments.
Laura’s Clubtail is too uncommon and obscure
through most of its range to be known by most
people, but dragonflies in general are increasingly
popular as indicated by increasing numbers of field
guides and organized dragonfly count events. It is
also an indicator species of good water quality.
The duration of the larval stage is unknown, but
is probably two or more years. Before the final molt,
larvae crawl onto the sandy riverbank. Newly emerged
adults disperse inland to avoid predation until the
exoskeleton hardens and they are able to fly swiftly.
Adults are probably generalist and opportunist
predators, feeding on small flying insects. Larvae
ambush prey from the sediments using their
prehensile labium.
Predators on adults include birds, frogs and larger
dragonflies. Larvae are eaten by waterbirds, fish,
turtles, larger dragonfly larvae, and other predatory
insects.
Aquatic habitat degradation through pollution,
water removal for irrigation and invasive species
(especially Round Goby) are the most significant
threats to Laura’s Clubtail. Accidental deaths through
vehicle collisions and impoundment of running waters
by dams are potential threats at Canadian locations.
Existing protection or other designations
Laura’s Clubtail is ranked globally as apparently
secure. It is ranked as critically imperilled in Canada
and apparently secure in the US, but is not protected
by species at risk legislation in either country. At
the state/provincial level, it is ranked as critically
imperilled in Ontario and critically imperilled to
vulnerable in eight of the 17 states in which it occurs.
No known Canadian sites are within provincial or
federal parks. River habitats in Canada are protected
under the federal Fisheries Act with respect to fish
habitat. ■
Population sizes and trends
Laura’s Clubtail was first discovered in Canada
in 1999 and is known to occur at two locations. An
accurate estimation of population size is not available.
No population trend information is available.
33
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Distribution
Photo: © United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Scientific name
Melanerpes lewis
Taxon
Birds
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
The Lewis’s Woodpecker occurs only in western
North America, where its breeding distribution is
approximately the same as the range of Ponderosa
Pine. In Canada, it occurs only in valleys of the
southern interior of British Columbia, where it
currently breeds as far north as the Fraser Basin (near
the confluence of the Fraser and Chilcotin Rivers).
Within this range, its distribution is patchy, with birds
concentrated in areas with suitable habitat.
Habitat
Lewis’s Woodpeckers require open habitat with
scattered or edge trees. Large open areas are
necessary for foraging. Trees are used as hawking
perches and for nesting. Large-diameter trees, either
living, with partial decay, or dead, with more advanced
decay, are especially valuable for nest sites. A diverse
ground cover of low shrubs, grasses and herbaceous
plants that produce berries or provide habitat for
insects is an important habitat component. Three
Canadian Range
British Columbia
Reason for Designation
In Canada, this woodpecker breeds only in British
Columbia. Its population is small, with fewer than
1000 individuals, and there is evidence of ongoing
declines in parts of its Canadian range where it has
been monitored over time. The global population
(Canada and the USA) is also showing significant
declines. Threats include habitat loss and degradation
from increasing urban and agriculture development,
and fire suppression. Recent surveys have shown
the species to be far less numerous than previously
believed.
Species Information
The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a medium sized
(26‑28 cm) woodpecker with dark green upperparts
(back of head, back, wings and tail), a silvery grey
collar, maroon face and pink breast and belly. Sexes
are similar in appearance, with the male being slightly
brighter than the female. Juveniles are darker than
adults and either lack or have subdued grey, maroon
and pink in their plumage.
34
Breeding
Year-round
Wintering
Global distribution of Lewis’s Woodpecker showing
breeding, winter and year-round ranges (North America).
Source: “Birds of North America Online” http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna
maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
distinct habitats are used by the species: open forest
or grassland with scattered trees, riparian forests
adjacent to open areas, and burns.
Biology
Most Lewis’s Woodpeckers in Canada are
migratory, returning to their breeding habitats in early
May. They raise a single brood each season and
show strong nest site fidelity. The average clutch
size in British Columbia is 4.8 eggs. Both adults tend
the nest. The diet during the nesting period is mainly
free-living insects. Wild and cultivated fruits are also
consumed depending on availability.
Adults and juveniles form pre-migrant flocks in late
August through early September. They typically depart
British Columbia in late September, although a few
individuals stay in the southern Okanagan Valley if the
weather conditions and food supply are favourable.
Population sizes and trends
The Canadian breeding population is estimated
at 630-920 mature individuals based on surveys
conducted through most of the range in 2006 and
2007. The only information on potential change in
abundance over time comes from the East Kootenay
Trench, where approximately one quarter of the
Canadian population occurs. Surveys conducted in
this area in 1997/98 and again in 2007 show a 22%
reduction in the number of nests recorded during this
period.
Limiting factors and threats
Habitat loss and degradation are considered to
be the greatest threats to Lewis’s Woodpeckers.
Urbanization, increasingly industrialized agricultural
practices and forestry practices have all contributed
to habitat loss and degradation. Removal of trees
for firewood, human safety or aesthetic reasons
reduces habitat quality by eliminating nest trees, a
critical habitat feature for this species. Many decades
of fire suppression in Ponderosa Pine forests has
resulted in infilling by Douglas-fir and reduction of
open pine forests which are suitable for this species.
Competition from the introduced European Starling
may be a threat to Lewis’s Woodpeckers in areas
where European Starling populations are high
and nest sites are scarce. Accidental mortality of
breeding adults through collision with vehicles may
affect populations around highway corridors, many
of which are in prime Lewis’s Woodpecker valley
bottom habitat.
Special significance of the species
The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a unique woodpecker
in behaviour and appearance. It is sought after
by recreational birders and is an indicator species
for fire-maintained Ponderosa Pine ecosystems.
Woodpeckers are also culturally significant to First
Nations people.
Existing protection or other status
designations
The Lewis’s Woodpecker and its eggs and active
nests are protected from direct persecution under the
Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (Canada) and
the British Columbia Wildlife Act of 1982 in British
Columbia. COSEWIC designated this species as
Special Concern in November 2001, and it is currently
designated as Special Concern, under Schedule 1
of the Canadian Species at Risk Act. Guidelines for
habitat conservation are also provided to the forest
harvesting industry under the British Columbia
Forest and Range Practices Act Identified Wildlife
Management Strategy (2004). These guidelines
provide suggestions for maintaining trees suitable for
nesting through establishment of wildlife tree retention
areas in suitable sites scattered across a landscapelevel planning area. ■
35
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Distribution
Photo: © Michael Runtz
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle
Scientific name
Cicindela patruela
Taxon
Arthropods
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario, Quebec
The historic range of Northern Barrens Tiger
Beetle includes Ontario, Quebec, and 24 states in
the north-central and eastern US. Its occurrence is
discontinuous and very local throughout its range. In
Canada, it is historically known from three locations in
Ontario and Quebec. It is believed extirpated at one
of these sites, possibly extant at another and currently
definitely known at only one. The only confirmed
extant site in Canada is at Pinery Provincial Park.
Habitat
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle occurs along
dry, sandy trails, little-used roads, and other small
openings in oak-pine savannahs and mixed woods.
Larvae use similar habitat, typically off to the side of
paths in more consolidated soil and sparse ground
cover of bracken fern, blueberries, grasses, mosses
and lichens. Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle is often
restricted to small areas within large patches of
seemingly suitable habitat.
Reason for Designation
This showy metallic green beetle inhabits sandy,
open forest habitat dominated by pine and/or oak
trees. Found in northeastern and north-central North
America, it is globally imperiled reaching its northern
limit in southern Ontario where it is currently found at
only two localities. The species has disappeared from
one well known historic site. Habitat loss resulting
from natural succession and increased pedestrian
traffic are significant threats.
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle (previously known
as Patterned Green Tiger Beetle) is a member of the
family Carabidae, order Coleoptera. Three subspecies
of Cicindela patruela have been described, of which
only the nominate subspecies patruela is found in
Canada. This subspecies is recognized by its dull
metallic green colour with a complete white middle
band on the wing covers. It is 12-14.5 mm long.
36
Photo: © Michael Runtz
Species Information
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Barrens Tiger Beetle observed at one of the subsites
at Pinery Provincial Park appear to have declined
over the past 15 years and trends at the other nearby
subsite are unknown. Information on population
numbers is considered insufficient for assessment
purposes.
Limiting factors and threats
Global distribution of Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle.
Source: Modified from November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report
Biology
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle has a 2-year life
cycle. New adults typically emerge in early fall to
feed, overwinter in burrows, and emerge the following
spring to mate and lay eggs. Post-breeding adults
may persist through most of the summer. Eggs hatch
in early summer and each larva digs a burrow. Larvae
become second or third instars by the autumn,
overwinter underground, then continue through the
second spring and summer as third instars before
pupating in late summer.
Adult Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle are active
during warm, sunny weather, consuming a wide range
of small invertebrates, particularly ants. Larvae are
also predators, lying in ambush at the top of their
burrows and grabbing passing prey. The adult beetles
are preyed upon by robber flies and a variety of
generalist predators.
Population sizes and trends
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle numbers are low
globally for such a widespread insect, and the species
appears to be declining throughout much of its range.
It is apparently extirpated at one of the three known
Canadian occurrences. The total population size at
Pinery Provincial Park is estimated at only 400-1000
individuals including both larvae and adults, but this
is only a very general estimate. Numbers of Northern
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle is at the northern
limit of its range and has restricted habitat
preferences. It is considered moderately to extremely
threatened in its global range primarily due to habitat
loss and degradation. In Canada, it is threatened
by habitat degradation due to natural succession
of savannah and woodland habitat to more shaded
conditions, particularly as a consequence of lack of
natural fire.
Special significance of the species
Tiger beetles have long been the study of
amateur and professional entomologists and are
important models for the study of ecology and
evolution. Although Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle
is too uncommon and obscure through most of its
range to be known by most people, tiger beetles are
increasingly popular for wildlife viewing as evidenced
by the recent publication of a number of field guides.
They are the first group of beetles to become part of
the trend toward insect viewing which has grown to
some extent out of birdwatching. This species and
other tiger beetles serve as useful environmental
indicators as part of the National General Status
Ranking Process.
Existing protection or other status
designations
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle is ranked globally
and in the US as vulnerable. It is not ranked nationally
in Canada, but is critically imperiled in Ontario and
presumed extirpated in Quebec, and is imperiled or
vulnerable in all the states from which it is known. It
listed as Special Concern in Minnesota, Wisconsin
and Michigan, and Endangered in Maryland. The only
extant Canadian population is within Pinery Provincial
Park where management provides an opportunity for,
but not assurance of, protection of this insect and
its habitat. ■
37
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen
lower surface bearing scattered small white spots
(pseudocyphellae).
Photo: © Margaret Symon
Distribution
Scientific name
Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis
Taxon
Lichens
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Canadian Range
British Columbia
Reason for Designation
This foliose, tree-inhabiting lichen is endemic to
old-growth rainforests of western North America. In
Canada, it is limited to coastal or near-coastal areas
of southern British Columbia. Recent discoveries of
additional records have only slightly expanded the
known range of occurrence, and the lichen remains
threatened by ongoing loss of old growth forests
through clear-cut logging. The low dispersal ability of
its heavy propagules contributes to its rarity, as does
its restriction to nutrient hotspots, such as dripzones
under old Yellow-cedars, toe slope positions,
and sheltered seaside forests. It tends to occur
discontinuously and on very few trees in the stands
where it is established.
Species Information
The Oldgrowth Specklebelly lichen
(Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis Imsh.) is a distinctive
macrolichen characterized by large, draping, curtainlike lobes, a pale greenish-blue upper surface, a green
algal photobiont (accompanied by a cyanobacterial
photobiont in the form of internal cephalodia),
ragged, lobulate to isidiate lobe margins, and a pale
38
Oldgrowth Specklebelly is endemic to western
North America, where it grows in humid coastal
regions from southeast Alaska (58°N) to Oregon
(43°N). In the northern portions of its range, it is
restricted to within a few kilometres of the ocean,
though in southern Canada it extends somewhat
farther inland. In Washington and Oregon it is mostly
absent from the immediate coast, occurring instead
along the windward slopes of the Cascades.
Habitat
In Canada, Oldgrowth Specklebelly colonizes the
branches and trunks of conifers in ecologically stable
lowland to mid-elevation oldgrowth forests, especially
in localized nutrient hotspots. Nutrient hotspots tend
to develop in three situations: (1) within the drip zones
of large old Yellow-cedar trees, usually on hillsides;
(2) in the (nutrient receiving) toe-slope position at the
base of hillsides, particularly in localities underlain by
calcareous bedrock; and (3) in well ventilated seaside
trees in coves sheltered from storm winds. The first
habitat type appears to be of greater importance
in the northern portion of the range, where climatic
conditions suitable to Oldgrowth Specklebelly
overlap with the highly acidic Coastal Crystalline
Belt. Farther south, in southern British Columbia and
adjacent portions of the U.S. northwest, toe-position
localities assume greater importance. Here large old
Yellow-cedar trees carry soil nutrients into the forest
canopy, and so create the elevated nutrient conditions
required for successful establishment by Oldgrowth
Specklebelly.
Biology
Oldgrowth Specklebelly is an asexual species
in which reproduction depends on the propagation
and dissemination of thallus fragments, largely in the
form of marginal lobules – probably an adaptation
for rapid colonization of nutrient-enriched conifer
branches prone to heavy overgrowth by mosses.
Because marginal lobules are relatively heavy,
they can be expected to disperse over only short
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Known distribution of Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen in Canada.
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
distances from the host lichen. Presumably this
helps to explain this species’ highly discontinuous
occurrence, which is further enforced by its specific
requirement for nutrient-enriched microsites. Rates
of dispersal to new host trees are thus very slow in
Oldgrowth Specklebelly, apparently operating at a
time scale of hundreds of years even within a single
stand. Deep shade is detrimental to this species, as is
exposure to full sunlight; only in open, humid, stable
forest ecosystems does Oldgrowth Specklebelly
encounter environmental conditions suitable both for
establishment and growth. Oldgrowth stands are thus
critical to the long-term persistence of this species.
Population sizes and trends
Oldgrowth Specklebelly has been documented
in Canada from 51 localities. At least five of
these localities, however, no longer support this
species, while its status at another six localities
is unknown. Recent thallus counts across the
remaining 41 localities yielded 2277 thalli. At a
majority of these localities, moreover, Oldgrowth
Specklebelly colonizes only one or a few host trees.
Its absence from apparently suitable old growth
forests elsewhere is presumably owing to inefficient
dispersal. This is especially the case in northern
portions of the range, where it is restricted mostly to
the dripzones of Yellow-cedar. South of about 51° N,
it seems to be somewhat more broadly distributed,
relying both on Yellow-cedar and on old growth
forests occurring in nutrient-receiving toe-position
sites. Both habitat types are in rapid decline owing to
resource extraction.
Limiting factors and threats
Oldgrowth Specklebelly is confined in Canada
to coastal temperate rainforests older than about
200 to 300 years. Here it is further restricted to the
branches and trunks of conifers growing in nutrient
hotspots, especially nutrient-receiving toe-positions
and the dripzones of large old Yellow-cedar trees.
Because such habitats types are necessarily
39
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
restricted to very old forest ecosystems, it is clear
that oldgrowth is critical to the long-term survival of
Oldgrowth Specklebelly. Hence any human activity
or natural process that results in a loss or significant
reduction in oldgrowth constitutes a major threat to
this species. On northern Vancouver Island, nearly
half of the original oldgrowth forest land base within
the horizontal and elevational range of Oldgrowth
Specklebelly has been harvested, most of it within
the past 25 years. In a rainforest region where wildfire
is rare, industrial-scale forestry thus stands as by far
the most important cause of decline in Oldgrowth
Specklebelly – both as a result of habitat loss per se,
and, in the long term, of ongoing fragmentation of the
remaining oldgrowth islands.
Special significance of the species
Oldgrowth Specklebelly is an indicator of longterm environmental continuity in the oldest coastal
temperate rainforests of western North America.
40
Existing protection or other designations
Five of the 51 Canadian localities from which
Oldgrowth Specklebelly has been documented to
date are situated in permanently designated protected
areas (National or Provincial Parks). This species
has recently been confirmed as extant at only two of
these five localities since 2003. Eighteen additional
localities receive partial, unlegislated protection within
Wildlife Tree Retention Areas, Oldgrowth Management
Areas, and Riparian Reserve Zones. Four localities
(and a possible fifth locality) are known to have
been extirpated by forest harvest, and the remaining
24 localities are on public lands that are potentially
available for forest harvest. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Photo: © Natalie Cleavitt
Pale-bellied Frost Lichen
Scientific name
Physconia subpallida
Taxon
Lichens
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario
Reason for Designation
This lichen is an eastern North American endemic
that, in Canada, is restricted to 2 known locations in
southern Ontario. The lichen grows as an epiphyte
on hardwoods and requires bark with high pH and
high moisture holding capacity. Only 45 individuals
are known, growing on 16 trees. The lichen appears
to have suffered a dramatic population decline
throughout its range since the early 1900s; in Canada
4 historical sites have been lost. The major threat to
the lichen is air pollution and timber harvest.
Physconia subpallida is an eastern North American
endemic. It is the only eastern North American
member of the genus that is commonly fertile, has
lobules, and has a pale undersurface. These unique
characters increase the importance of this species to
understanding the genus as a whole. Two distinct forms
of this lichen are known. One form is commonly fertile
with flattened appressed lobules and the other form
is generally sterile with cylindrical erect lobules. This
presents a opportunity to investigate the development
of apothecia and study the expression of the same
morphological structures in a single fungal genome.
As a lichen that appears to be extremely sensitive to
air pollution, Physconia subpallida may be a valuable
indicator of forest health and air quality in southern
Ontario.
Distribution
Physconia subpallida is an eastern North American
endemic occurring only in the United States and
Canada. It is known, at least historically, from
Massachusetts and New Hampshire west to southern
Ontario, Michigan, and eastern Iowa south to central
Illinois, Ohio, and Virginia. It is also disjunct in the
Ozarks region of eastern Oklahoma and northwestern
Arkansas. In Canada, P. subpallida is restricted to
southern Ontario where it is at the northern edge of its
range. There are only two known locations.
Wildlife species description and
significance
Physconia subpallida is a rosette forming foliose
lichen that can be strikingly white in the field. There
are several distinctive characters that separate it
from other eastern North American Physconia lichens
including: 1) absence of common means of asexual
production in lichens (isidia and soredia), 2) presence
of fruiting bodies (apothecia) and/or lobules, and 3) a
pale undersurface with spreading attachment structures
(rhizines) in distinct clusters.
North American distribution of Pale-bellied Frost Lichen.
Source: Modified from November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report
41
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Habitat
This lichen mainly grows as an epiphyte on
hardwood trees, but has also been collected from
fence rails and rocks, including limestone. The host
trees P. subpallida is known to occur on include:
Fraxinus sp. (Ash), Juglans nigra (Black Walnut),
Ostrya virginiana (Hop-hornbeam), and Ulmus sp.
(Elm; including Ulmus americana). At the two known
extant sites in Canada the lichen is restricted to Ostrya
virginiana. The lichen seems to require a substratum
with relatively high pH and moisture holding capacity.
Biology
Physconia subpallida can reproduce via sexually
and asexually produced spores. It may also be able to
reproduce asexually via dispersal of lobules. However,
the lichen lacks common means of asexual production
in lichens (isidia and soredia), and it is possible that
the larger lobules are not as easily dispersed as these
more common, smaller propagules.
Population sizes and trends
The vast majority of collections from throughout
the range of the lichen were made before 1973 with
four recent collections from Canada and two from the
USA. In Canada, there are a total of two extant and
approximately four historical (last documented over
100 years ago) populations, and the lichen appears to
have suffered a dramatic decline in populations since
42
the early 1900s. None of the historical populations
documented in southern Ontario is thought to occur
today. One of the extant populations (Billa Lake in
Lanark County) appears to have remained stable
since its discovery in 2004 although more time and
additional survey work are needed to determine the
stability of this population. A comparison of recent
collections with older herbarium collections indicates
that both the frequency of apothecia and the size of
thalli have decreased over time.
Threats and limiting factors
Habitat availability for this lichen in southern
Ontario has been negatively affected, over the
past century, primarily by air pollution as well as by
changes in land use and forest composition. The
two extant Canadian populations are both currently
unprotected on provincial lands that are open to
logging operations. Improvements in air quality have
significantly decreased sulfate deposition and so this
rare lichen may be able to expand its populations in
the long-term.
Existing protection or other designations
There is currently no legal protection for Physconia
subpallida. The lichen has previously been assigned
a provincial conservation status rank of S1 (critically
imperiled) in Ontario and a global conservation status
rank of G3 (uncommon worldwide). ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Queensnake
pale yellow or cream with four dark brown to black
longitudinal stripes, often becoming mottled with age.
Photo: © Gary Allen
Distribution
Scientific Name
Regina septemvittata
Taxon
Reptiles
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario
The Queensnake is relatively widespread in
eastern North America, ranging from southeastern
Pennsylvania, western New York and southwestern
Ontario, west to southeastern Wisconsin and south to
the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle to eastern
Mississippi. The Canadian range is highly localized
and sporadic and is restricted to southwestern
Ontario. The Queensnake occurs west of the Niagara
Escarpment, from the northern portion of the Bruce
Peninsula, south to Lake Erie and west to Essex
County.
Habitat
Queensnakes are most commonly associated with
rocky streams and rivers, but are also occasionally
found in marsh, pond, and lake shore habitats. This
highly aquatic species is usually found within 3 m
of the shoreline and only at sites where there is an
abundance of crayfish, its primary food source.
This species has a restricted and shrinking
distribution in southwest Ontario. It consists of
scattered small populations which are isolated due
to habitat fragmentation and the species’ limited
dispersal capacity. Over the last decade, the number
of extant locations has declined and the species’
riparian and riverine habitat has continued to be lost
and degraded. The species is limited by its extremely
specialized diet and threatened by decline in its prey
of freshly moulted juvenile crayfish. Other threats
include persecution and effects of invasive Zebra
Mussels and Common Reed.
Species information
The Queensnake is a slender, medium sized, semiaquatic snake. Its average snout-vent length is about
40-50 cm, with total length averaging 40 to 60 cm to a
maximum of about 90 cm. The dorsal colour is brown
or dark olive with three narrow black stripes running
down the midline and along each side. The belly is
Photo: © Gary Allen
Reason for Designation
Biology
Queensnakes feed almost exclusively on freshly
moulted crayfish. In Ontario, they are generally active
from late April to late September and likely hibernate
communally. In parts of the U.S., female Queensnakes
reach sexual maturity in 3 years, and males in 2 years.
Mating can occur in either spring or early autumn. The
Queensnake is viviparous, with 5 to 23 young usually
being born in late August or September.
43
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Limiting factors and threats
Loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat
and decline in prey abundance represent the most
significant threats to Queensnakes in Ontario.
The narrow fringe of riparian habitat necessary for
Queensnakes’ survival has been greatly reduced in
both quality and quantity. Urbanization surrounding
riparian habitat has decreased water quality and
increased fortification of banks, water diversion and
removal, spread of exotic vegetation, and threats
from human presence. In agricultural areas, livestock
with free access to riverbanks, farming to the edge
of waterways, and clearing of vegetation and debris
along shorelines have further degraded shoreline and
aquatic habitats and added silt and contamination
from increased erosion. Natural and artificially induced
plant succession (non-native species), most notably
of large woody vegetation and invasive Phragmites,
has also reduced habitat quality and abundance at
historic Queensnake sites. Additionally, direct human
persecution and accidental mortality through human
recreational activities further contribute to losses.
Global Range of the Queensnake (Canada and
United States).
Source: April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report, courtesy of the Natural
Heritage Information Centre
Population sizes and trends
Only one Ontario population has been surveyed
thoroughly enough to estimate population size.
Thus overall abundance in the province is difficult to
estimate. Of the approximately 29 known populations
(Element Occurrences or EOs) in Ontario, 14 have
been reconfirmed since 1990, and 15 are “historic”
(no confirmed records in past 20 years) or extirpated.
Targeted recent efforts to locate Queensnakes at 14
of these 15 sites have failed to find any specimens.
No snakes have been observed at nine EOs in over
30 years and these nine populations are considered
extirpated. One additional EO has no sightings
recorded since 1997 despite repeated surveys from
2002 to 2010. Thus, significant losses appear to have
occurred in many parts of the known Canadian range
of this species. Queensnakes have been found at four
previously unknown sites since 2000, but these are
unlikely to represent newly established populations.
44
The Queensnake’s specialized diet makes
it exceptionally vulnerable to declines in prey
(crayfish) populations. Any factors that negatively
impact crayfish will similarly affect Queensnakes.
In many areas, the larger non-native Rusty Crayfish
(Orconectes rusticus) is displacing native crayfish,
though the impact of this introduced crayfish on
Queensnakes is currently unknown. Similarly,
occupation of Queensnake habitat by Zebra Mussels
(Dreissena polymorpha), Round Goby (Neogobius
melanostomus), Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and
invasive, non-native vegetation may threaten some
populations.
Special significance of the species
The Queensnake reaches the northern limit of its
range in southern Ontario, and therefore snakes in this
region may have genetic characteristics distinct from
more centrally located populations. In the few Ontario
watersheds where the Queensnake occurs, the
species may serve as an indicator of environmental
quality because its aquatic habits and specialized
diet may make it particularly susceptible to water
and prey contamination. In addition, its crayfish prey
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
is vulnerable to contamination and increased silt in
the water, and declines in crayfish numbers will be
reflected in the viability of Queensnake populations.
The highly specialized feeding behaviour of the
Queensnake make it an interesting species from
ecological and evolutionary perspectives.
Existing protection or other designations
The Queensnake is legally protected under the
Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act as a
specially protected reptile, which prohibits the
collection, hunting, possession or sale of reptiles
except under authority of a licence. As a provincially
Threatened species, it is protected under the Ontario
Endangered Species Act (2007) and its habitat
will be legally regulated. Because the majority of
Queensnake habitat in Ontario occurs within the
floodplains of streams and rivers, the habitat is
afforded some protection from development through
the Conservation Authorities Act. The Provincial
Policy Statement (PPS) issued under Section 3 of
the Planning Act states that development and site
alteration will not be permitted in the significant
habitat of endangered and threatened species.
Additionally, the Fisheries Act prohibits harmful
alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat,
and therefore could provide indirect protection for
aquatic Queensnake habitat as well. In 2002, the
Queensnake was designated as Threatened by the
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in
Canada (COSEWIC). The species is currently listed on
Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA),
which protects its habitat on federal lands. ■
45
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Photo: © Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
– Alex Wilson
Redroot
Scientific Name
Lachnanthes caroliniana
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Canadian Range
Nova Scotia
Reason for Designation
rhizomes, usually visible at or near the soil surface,
and its red sap. Redroot has an erect, unbranched
stem 15 to 40 cm tall (to 100+ cm in the southern
part of its range), and is white-wooly when young,
becoming tawny-hoary with age. The leaves are
mostly basal and iris-like in shape and arrangement.
Inflorescences are tight, flat-topped clusters of
flowers having 6 dull yellow petal-like tepals. Under
the most recent taxonomic treatment, Redroot is
the only species in the genus Lachnanthes and the
only Canadian and North American member of its
predominantly tropical family. Despite a variety of
synonyms having been applied to Redroot, there has
never been any dispute regarding its taxonomic rank
or its status as a distinct species.
Distribution
Redroot is fairly common within about 120 km of
the Atlantic coast from eastern Louisiana to North
Carolina and in southern New Jersey. It is rare in every
other jurisdiction in which it occurs, from Virginia to
Long Island, New York and in Nova Scotia. In Canada,
Redroot is known from eight connected lakes in
southern Nova Scotia. Its Extent of Occurrence is
117 km2 but it occupies less than 1.24 km2 of actual
habitat.
A highly disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain species
restricted in Canada mainly to two connected,
extensive, lakeshore populations in southern Nova
Scotia. Comprehensive new surveys and other
information indicate that the risk of extinction for
this species is less than previously thought. Its
lakeshore habitat has been subject to slow but
steady loss and decline in quality due to cottage
and residential development for 30 to 40 years.
Losses are likely to continue through the foreseeable
future with new development and intensification of
existing development, but the proportion of habitat
currently developed is still low and the species’ locally
widespread occurrence and asexual reproduction
mitigates the threat of extirpation in the short term.
Species information
Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana) is an herbaceous
perennial within the monocot family Haemodoraceae.
Its common name comes from the bright orange-red
46
Canadian distribution of Redroot.
Source: Modified from November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Habitat
Limiting factors and threats
Redroot is a species of wet, acidic, nutrient-poor
habitats, occurring primarily within the seasonally
inundated shoreline zone of lake and pond shores in
the northern part of its range. In the southern portion
of its range, it also occurs in wet depressions within
mesic pine forests and savannas and is frequent
within these habitats in anthropogenically disturbed
areas such as trails, ruts and ditches. In Nova Scotia,
it is found on lakeshores on boulder, cobble, gravel,
sand and peat substrates where seasonal flooding,
wave action and ice-scour limit the establishment
of more competitive species. Redroot tends to be
most abundant on windward (west and south-facing)
shores where wave action and ice scour are greatest.
Although it can occur in areas remaining shallowly
inundated throughout most years, flowering occurs
primarily toward the landward limit of its shoreline
distribution.
Shoreline development is the major anthropogenic
threat. Approximately 95% of the 690 buildings
around lakes supporting Redroot have been built
in the past 40 years. Several hundred cottages and
homes likely have Redroot on their properties with
more built annually. Where Redroot and shoreline
development coincide, there is most often some but
not complete loss of habitat and populations. No
more than about 6% of available shoreline on lakes
where Redroot is present has been developed at
present but about 89% of that shoreline is in private
hands. Shoreline development is unlikely to eliminate
the species entirely but ongoing losses through
new development and intensification of existing
development are likely to continue through the
foreseeable future.
Population sizes and trends
Redroot population estimates could vary
considerably depending on the percentage of
infertile plants, making up about 99.9% of the total
population, that are considered to be sufficiently
mature to be reproductive, both asexually and
sexually. Relative size of fertile and infertile plants
suggests some portion of infertile plants are likely
mature. In 2007, the estimated number of fertile plants
was 1,000 to 1,100 whereas the total number of
stems was roughly estimated at 675,000 to 750,000
in two extensive populations. However, perhaps
only about 80% + (~ 540,000 to 600,000) might be
considered sufficiently mature so as to be able to
reproduce asexually and sexually. Population trends
cannot be directly assessed, but based on habitat
trends, populations are likely to have been slowly
and continuously declining for more than the past
three generations (15 years) as a result of cottage and
residential development, which is likely to continue
through the foreseeable future. Neither previous nor
near-future losses are likely to exceed 30% of the total
population.
With about 99.9% of plants infertile, a low rate
of flowering and seed production, different from the
southern part of the range, may be a natural limiting
factor. This does not appear to limit persistence at
known sites but could explain the limited Nova Scotia
distribution and extensive unoccupied but apparently
suitable habitat both near known populations and
further south in Nova Scotia.
Special significance of the species
Redroot is biogeographically interesting, even
among the many Atlantic Coastal Plain disjuncts
in southern Nova Scotia, because of its strongly
southern distribution in its American range. Being
highly disjunct at the extreme northern limits of the
species’ distribution, the Canadian population could
be significant for the genetic diversity of the species.
Aboriginal peoples, including Mi’kmaq in Nova
Scotia, have used the plant as a dye and medicine
and Redroot extracts have been shown to have a
phototoxic effect on microorganisms. Redroot’s
unusual biochemistry has also been investigated
and further work could reveal useful economically
valuable properties. Redroot has also been noted
as a waterfowl food source, but due to its rarity it is
probably not important in that regard in Canada.
47
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Existing protection or other designations
Redroot is rare in ten of 17 provinces and states
in which it occurs and has an additional province
or state status designation in seven of those
jurisdictions. Redroot was assessed by COSEWIC
as Threatened in May 2000, and is protected as a
48
Threatened species under the federal Species at
Risk Act and the Nova Scotia Endangered Species
Act. Alteration of its shoreline habitat is regulated by
the province, although lack of public knowledge and
compliance and lack of resources for government
enforcement limits the extent to which regulations
actually protect Redroot. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
Distribution
Photo: © Johanna James-Heinz
This species ranges from southern Ontario and
southwestern Quebec in the north, south to Georgia
and west to the Dakotas. In the southern parts of its
range it occurs primarily at high elevations.
Scientific Name
Bombus affinis
Taxon
Arthropods
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario, Quebec
Reason for Designation
This species, which has a distinctive colour pattern,
was once commonly found throughout southern
Ontario. Active searches throughout its Canadian
range have detected only one small population over
the past seven years which suggests a decline of at
least 99% over the past 30 years. It is threatened by
disease, pesticides, and habitat fragmentation, each
of which could cause extirpation in the near future.
Species information
The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (bourdon à tache
rousse) (Bombus affinis) is one of five North American
members of the subgenus Bombus. It is a medium
to large-sized bumble bee with several distinguishing
characters. Males and workers have a second
abdominal segment that is half reddish-brown and
half yellow. Queens can be difficult to distinguish from
some other species.
Habitat
The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee has been recorded
from diverse habitats including mixed farmland, sand
dunes, marshes, urban and wooded areas. It has
been recorded feeding from a variety of plant genera
for pollen and nectar. It usually nests underground in
abandoned rodent burrows.
Biology
This species, like all bumble bees, has an annual
life cycle. Mated queens emerge from diapause in the
spring and look for potential nest sites. The queen
then forages and lays eggs to produce a brood of
workers. Workers hatch and take over nest care
and foraging. Towards late summer, males and new
queens are produced. These reproductive individuals
leave the colony and mate. Mated new queens go into
hibernation while all other castes perish. Like other
bumble bees, Rusty-patched Bumble Bee individuals
have warning colouration and females will sting when
touched.
Population sizes and trends
In the 1970s, the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee was
relatively common compared to other bumble bee
species. Dramatic declines were noticed by the mid1990s in Canada and in the USA. In Canada, only
three specimens were observed (one in 2005 and two
in 2009) despite extensive targeted searches from
2005-2009.
Limiting factors and threats
The reason for the sudden decline of this previously
common species throughout its large range is
unknown. It has been hypothesized that the species
suffered from introduced diseases from managed
bumble bees used for greenhouse pollination.
49
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee records from 1899 to 2000 in Canada (Ontario and Quebec).
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
Additionally, habitat loss and the widespread
use of a new group of pesticides likely pose
substantial threats.
Special significance of the species
The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee is in flight for
a longer period than are most other Bumble Bees
and it visits numerous plant genera in many habitat
types. Thus, it is likely an important pollinator of both
agricultural crops and native flowering plants. The loss
of this species may result in increased vulnerability of
native mammals, birds and other organisms which rely
50
on pollinated plants for food and shelter. This species
has also been used in the past for scientific study
as it is easily reared in captivity and has become an
important reference species for research in physiology
and sociobiology.
Existing protection or other designations
The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee is listed on the
Xerces Society’s red-list of pollinator insects as
‘Imperiled’. No practical or legal protection exists in
Canada or the USA. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Species information
Photo: © Lu Carbyn
Swift Fox
Scientific Name
Vulpes velox
Taxon
Mammals
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
Canadian Range
Alberta, Saskatchewan
Reason for Designation
This species was extirpated from Canada in the
1930s. Following reintroduction programs in Alberta
and Saskatchewan initiated in 1983, they have reestablished populations in these areas and in northern
Montana. Population numbers and distribution have
increased since that time, with the current estimate
in Canada having doubled to 647 since the last
COSEWIC assessment in 2000. Connectivity between
populations has also improved during this time,
particularly through northern Montana. Since 2001,
population numbers and distribution have remained
stable and habitat for this species within Canada
appears to be saturated. Most improvement in overall
population status can be attributed to populations
in Montana, which are still demonstrating increasing
trends in numbers and distribution. Deteriorating
habitat in Canada and the threat of disease (as seen in
other canids) could threaten the continued recovery of
this species.
Standing 30–32 cm at the shoulder with a body
mass of 1.6–3.0 kg, the Swift Fox (Vulpes velox) is
North America’s smallest canid. Males are slightly
larger than females. The fur is long and dense in
winter. The upper parts are generally dark buffy-grey,
the sides, legs, and beneath the tail are orange-tan,
and the undersides are buff to pure white. In summer,
the fur is shorter and more rufous. Swift Foxes have
black patches on either side of their muzzles and
black-tipped tails.
Distribution
The historic range of Swift Foxes extended from
central Alberta, south to central Texas, and from
North Dakota, west to central Colorado. In Canada,
they originally occurred from the Pembina Hills in
Manitoba, across southern Saskatchewan, and west
to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.
Having disappeared from Canada by the 1930s their
current presence on the Canadian prairies is a result
of a reintroduction program initiated in 1983. Most
Swift Foxes currently occur in the southernmost
portion of the prairies near the Alberta-Saskatchewan
border, in and around Grasslands National Park in
south-central Saskatchewan.
Habitat
Swift Foxes generally inhabit short- or mixed-grass
prairie on level terrain or gently rolling hills. They
usually select areas with short, sparse vegetation
and topographic features like canyons, steep hills,
or coulees. The quality of Swift Fox habitat is related
to prey availability (particularly fossorial mammals)
and predator abundance. They prefer relatively dry
areas, and avoid cropland, fragmented habitats, and
those with large elevation changes. Swift Fox range
encompasses some of the most modified landscapes
in North America, and conversion of native prairie to
agriculture has been implicated as a primary reason
for the historical range contraction of this species.
Current estimates indicate that only 25–30% of
original Canadian grassland habitat remains, and
that at least 70% of native Canadian prairie has been
converted for agricultural use. Energy development
and associated road networks are currently the
dominant agent of land use change.
51
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Current Swift Fox distribution in Canada and northern Montana.
Source: November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report, courtesy of Parks Canada
Biology
Population sizes and trends
Swift Foxes are opportunistic foragers that eat
mammals, birds, insects, plants, and carrion, as well
as bird eggs. Diet reflects the diversity and abundance
of local prey species, and is highly seasonal. Swift
Foxes either dig their own dens or modify those of
other species. They are one of the most burrowdependent canids, using dens throughout the year
as refugia from predators, protection from extreme
weather, shelter to prevent excess water loss, periodic
resting cover, and as places to raise young. In
Canada, Swift Foxes begin breeding in mid-February,
and after a 51-day gestation, females have litters of
2–6 kits. Kits disperse between 9.5 and 18 months
of age over distances typically less than 15 km from
the natal area. Swift Foxes that survive their first year
usually live for 3–7 years. They are territorial, with
home ranges averaging 32 km2 in size – larger than
they are within core Swift Fox range, reflecting the
more marginal habitat at the range periphery. Coyotes
(Canis latrans) are the primary predator, followed by
Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and American
Badgers (Taxidea taxus).
The most recent population estimates in Canada
indicate there are approximately 647 Swift Foxes in
Canada, divided between the Alberta-Saskatchewan
border (Border) population (513) and the Grasslands
National Park (GNP) population (134). Over time, the
populations from these two original reintroduction
sites have become one meta-population, together
with northern Montana, with evidence of longdistance dispersal throughout. Overall, Swift Fox
populations in Canada increased by 130% between
1996 to 2006, although these estimates are overly
precise because there are no confidence limits
associated with these data. Swift Fox population
density in Canada (Border and GNP populations
only) is about 5.5 foxes/100 km2, and the sex ratio is
52 males:48 females.
52
Limiting Factors and Threats
The primary well-documented natural factor limiting
Swift Fox abundance and distribution in Canada is
predation by Coyotes and Golden Eagles. Habitat
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
loss, degradation and disturbance from development
activities is a growing concern within Swift Fox
range. Although there is no evidence to date that
disease has caused significant Swift Fox mortality,
the potential exists, in light of high seroprevalence to
several diseases, the small and connected population,
and the well-recorded incidence of disease having
suddenly decimated other endangered canid
populations. Competition with Coyotes and Red
Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are an additional potential
limiting factor. Other threats to Swift Foxes in Canada
include poisoning, trapping, and vehicle collisions.
Special significance of the species
Existing protection or other designations
Globally, the Swift Fox is ranked as Least Concern
by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
[IUCN] Red List of Threatened Species. In May 2000,
COSEWIC assessed the Swift Fox as Endangered.
Currently, the Swift Fox is listed on Schedule 1 of
the Species at Risk Act. Provincially, Swift Foxes are
listed as Endangered under the Alberta Wildlife Act
and Regulation and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Habitat
Protection Act. About 45% of Swift Fox captures
during the 2005–2006 census were located within one
Swift Fox home range on federal lands under various
levels of protection. ■
Able to run at speeds of up to 60 km/h, Swift Foxes
are one of the fastest animals in North America. As
meso-predators, they are important to the biodiversity
of the Canadian prairies. Swift Foxes also play a vital
role in the spirituality of some of Canada’s First Nation
cultures.
53
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Distribution
Photo: © Kristina Ovaska
Threaded Vertigo
Scientific Name
Nearctula sp.
Taxon
Molluscs
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Canadian Range
British Columbia
Reason for Designation
This minute terrestrial snail species is at the
northern extent of its range, and found in lowland
areas around the Strait of Georgia and on southern
Vancouver Island. Most individuals live on the bark of
Bigleaf Maple trees and appear to have poor capacity
for dispersal between trees and sites. Removal of
trees and habitat degradation due to urban expansion,
roads and associated infrastructure, forestry, and
agriculture are the main threats.
Species information
The Threaded Vertigo is a minute land snail with
a high, rather cylindrical shell. The shell is about
2.4–3.3 mm high, dull, dark brown, and somewhat
coarsely marked with fine, parallel growth lines. Within
the opening of the adult shell, there are four white
denticles (tooth-like protuberances); the immature
shell lacks denticles. The Threaded Vertigo is currently
without a formal scientific name due to its convoluted
nomenclatural history, but the validity of the species is
not in question.
54
The global range of the species extends from
southwestern British Columbia through western
Washington State and Oregon to west-central
California. In Canada, the species occurs on
southern Vancouver Island, Saturna Island, and
the Sunshine Coast on mainland British Columbia.
There are 24 recent (since 1984) distribution records.
On Vancouver Island, clusters of sites occur within
the Capital Regional District (Victoria area), but the
species is known from only scattered sites along the
east coast, northward to just south of Courtenay.
In the Strait of Georgia, the species is known from
one site on Saturna Island. On the Sunshine Coast
(B.C. mainland), it occurs at several places between
Gibsons and Egmont.
Habitat
In British Columbia, the snails occur in moist
deciduous and mixed-wood forests at low elevations,
usually below 200 m. They are often associated with
Bigleaf Maples and an understory of ferns and shrubs
characteristic of moist, rich sites. Older riparian
forests containing groves of large maples appear to
be particularly suitable. The snails are largely arboreal
and encountered most frequently on trunks of
maples, where they occur within crevices of grooved
bark or moss mats. They are occasionally found
on other deciduous trees, on fern fronds, or on the
ground within the leaf litter. The snails have a patchy
distribution both within and among forest stands, and
aggregations occur on some trees while others are
devoid of snails.
Biology
Little is known about the biology of the Threaded
Vertigo, and hence information has to be extrapolated
from similar, related species. Like most land snails,
the Threaded Vertigo is hermaphroditic (possesses
both male and female reproductive organs), but the
extent of cross-fertilization is not known. In similar
species, eggs are laid singly. The lifespan is probably
short, two years or less. The snails hibernate in winter
and probably aestivate during dry periods in summer.
Movements and active dispersal are limited, but
passive transport on falling leaves during windstorms
is plausible. The snails have been found in small
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Canadian distribution of the Threaded Vertigo in southwestern British
Columbia.
Source: April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
groves of trees near roadsides and busy recreational
trails, suggesting that they can tolerate some habitat
disturbance, provided suitable moist microhabitats
remain available.
Population sizes and trends
Few data are available on population sizes or
trends. On occupied trees, 1–12 snails were found
during searches of the lower 2 m of the trunk during
field verification surveys on Vancouver Island and the
Sunshine Coast. The snails appear to occur at much
lower densities within the litter layer. Surveys in 2008
showed that the species has persisted at many sites
over several years, but the size and viability of local
populations are unknown.
Limiting factors and threats
The distribution of the species coincides with
densely populated and highly modified parts of British
Columbia. Much of the land conversion is historical in
these lowland coastal areas, but human developments
continue to encroach on remaining natural areas
concomitant with an expanding population. Housing
developments, road building and other associated
infrastructure, agriculture, and forestry are shrinking
and fragmenting habitats. Most records for this
species are from parks or federal lands protected
from land conversion, but potential habitats on private
lands throughout most of the species’ range continue
to diminish. Populations in protected areas are not
necessarily secure due to habitat degradation from
intensive recreational or other uses, and invasion by
introduced plants and animals.
Special significance of the species
The species is of no known socio-economic or
cultural significance. It contributes to the biodiversity
of the rich, extraordinary arboreal communities
supported by Bigleaf Maples. At suitable moist sites,
epiphytic mosses, liverworts, lichens, ferns, and
other vascular plants drape large old maples, in turn
providing habitat for a variety of fungi, invertebrates,
and other organisms. The ecological roles and
services of the different components of these arboreal
communities, including the Threaded Vertigo, are yet
to be elucidated.
Existing protection or other designations
The Threaded Vertigo was designated Special
Concern by COSEWIC in April 2010. ■
55
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Tubercled Spike-rush
numerous, petal-less flowers containing both a pistil
and stamens; each flower is concealed by a single
scale. Many fertile stems can be produced from a
single clump.
Distribution
Taxon
Vascular plants
Habitat
Photo: © Ruth Newell
Scientific Name
Eleocharis tuberculosa
Tubercled Spike-rush is endemic to the Atlantic
coastal plain. It is most common in the southern
portion of its range, along the coastal plain from
Texas to New Jersey. It is rare in the northeast USA,
and in Canada is only known from five populations
on six lakes in southwestern Nova Scotia. Its range
in Canada covers an area of only 873 km². The
populations, however, only occupy an area of habitat
covering less than 1 km2.
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Canadian Range
Nova Scotia
Reason for Designation
In Canada, this sedge is known to exist only
along peaty and sandy shorelines at six lakes in
southwestern Nova Scotia. The use of all-terrain
vehicles along the shores of the two larger lakes,
where most of the Canadian population occurs, has
degraded portions of the species’ habitat. Cottage
development and related impacts (water quality and
habitat disturbances) are currently limited threats
that have the potential to increase in the future.
More intensive surveys of lakeshore habitats indicate
that the species is somewhat more abundant than
previously documented.
Species information
Tubercled Spike-rush (Eleocharis tuberculosa)
is a perennial species of sedge. It is named for the
prominent tubercle that adorns its fruit, distinguishing
it from other similar species. The species grows in
dense tufts or clumps, with stalks up to 40 cm tall,
each with a pair of blade-less basal leaves. The
inflorescence is reduced to a single terminal spike of
56
In the Canadian portion of its range, Tubercled
Spike-rush is restricted to open, peaty or sandy
substrates and floating peat mats along lakeshores.
It occurs within the shoreline zone that is annually
flooded in spring and is frequently flooded during
wet years in late summer and autumn, making
detection difficult in some years. It is a relatively weak
competitor, and requires periodic disturbance from
flooding and ice scour to prevent more competitive
species from crowding it out of available lakeshore
habitat.
Biology
The species is a perennial, potentially fairly
long-lived, although there is no direct evidence on
longevity. It produces abundant seed in Nova Scotia,
but no tests of seed viability or field observations of
reproduction by seed are known. It appears not to
reproduce vegetatively beyond expanding the size
of its tight clumps, meaning that the clumps function
as individuals for the purposes of assessment.
It has been observed spreading within a lake via
fragmentation and drifting of the peat mats on which
it occurs. Waterfowl could be important in longerdistance dispersal. Evidence from other spike-rush
species of fluctuating wetlands and other Atlantic
Coastal Plain shoreline species suggests longer-term
seed banking may be significant to its persistence
at a site, but the importance of seed banking vs.
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Canadian range of Tubercled Spike-rush, indicated by dots.
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
vegetative survival during extended periods of high
water is not known.
Population sizes and trends
Total numbers are not well defined. The Barrington
Lake population was estimated in 2008 at 150,000 to
200,000. Great Pubnico Lake has a large and widely
distributed population of “many thousands” over
its 10 km length. The three other populations are
much smaller, with best estimates of between 50 and
2,000+ individuals. Localized monitoring at Barrington
Lake suggested declines since 2004 because of ATV
disturbance but it is not clear what proportion of the
Canadian population the apparent declines might
represent or even whether declines are occurring
across the whole Barrington Lake population. Plants
were not found at the Western Lake subpopulation
(only 4 plants known previously) in 2008, where the
shoreline was flooded because of beaver damming.
The Little Ten Mile population discovered in 2009 was
also inundated because of beavers. Beaver-induced
flooding could have neutral or positive impacts on
the longer term if the water level is later reduced,
since the species is noted as requiring water level
fluctuation and is likely well adapted to it, but the
length of time mature plants or the seed bank can
survive inundation is not known.
Limiting factors and threats
The peat substrate that E. tuberculosa depends
upon is fragile and sensitive to human activity. ATV
use appears to pose some threat to the largest
population at Barrington Lake. Shoreline development
is ongoing at Barrington Lake and to a lesser extent
at Great Pubnico Lake. It likely contributes to
increased ATV traffic within shoreline populations of
Tubercled Spike-rush, but its direct impacts have
been minor and localized to this point relative to the
whole Canadian population. Shoreline development is
anticipated to remain a relatively small threat through
the next 10 years.
57
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Special significance of the species
Eleocharis tuberculosa is biogeographically
interesting, as one of a suite of Atlantic Coastal Plain
endemics with disjunct populations in Nova Scotia. As
a highly disjunct occurrence at the extreme northern
limit of its range, the Nova Scotia populations may
harbour significant genetic diversity for the species.
Existing protection or other designations
COSEWIC assessed Eleocharis tuberculosa as
Threatened in May 2000; currently, it is listed as
58
Threatened on Schedule 1 by the Canadian Species
at Risk Act and as Threatened on the Nova Scotia
Endangered Species Act. It is Endangered in Maine,
Pennsylvania and New Hampshire (where it is only
known from historic records) and is Threatened in
New York. It is more common further south in its
range. Its habitat in Nova Scotia is generally provincial
Crown land shoreline, and slightly over half of the
shoreline frontage in areas supporting the species
is on provincial Crown land. Crown land status does
not appear to limit ATV disruption of the species’
habitat. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Photo: © Matt Fairbarns
Victoria’s Owl-clover
Scientific Name
Castilleja victoriae
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
British Columbia
Reason for Designation
wider and more deeply lobed upper leaves grade into
the floral bracts. The sepals are fused into a fivelobed calyx, and the petals are fused into a 2-lipped
flower 10-18 mm long. The lower lip is lemon-yellow
with minute white tips on each of the three lobes.
The upper lip is slightly longer than the lower lip and
creamy white. The fruits are brown, 2-celled capsules
that split at the tip when the seeds are ripe. Each
capsule bears 30-70 brown seeds with a sculptured
seed coat.
Distribution
Victoria’s Owl-clover is only found in a small area
extending from southeast Vancouver Island east to
the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Its range
in Canada encompasses a narrow strip of coastline
totalling about 9 km2.
Habitat
Victoria’s Owl-clover occurs in vernal seeps and
along the margins of vernal pools within 50 m of the
ocean. The sites are wet to inundated in autumn,
winter and spring but dry during the summer. The
actual total area of habitat occupied is only 600 m2.
This small annual herb is confined to a very small
area of British Columbia and one site in adjacent
Washington State. The species is restricted to
seasonally wet microhabitats within the highly
fragmented and declining Garry Oak ecosystem.
Five of the nine Canadian populations disappeared
before 1957 and one other population may have
been recently extirpated. The three to four extant
populations are subject to ongoing competition
with several invasive exotic plants and two of the
populations are very small and occur in areas used for
recreational activities where trampling is a continuing
problem.
Species information
Victoria’s Owl-clover (Castilleja victoriae) is a
newly described species, previously misidentified as
Paintbrush Owl-clover (C. ambigua ssp. ambigua). It
is a small herb of the broomrape family with alternate,
hairy, lobed stem leaves and no basal rosette. The
Global distribution of Victoria’s Owl-Clover.
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
59
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Biology
Victoria’s Owl-clover is a bee-pollinated annual
that flowers and fruits in late spring and early
summer. Seeds appear to delay germination until their
dormancy is broken by cool weather.
Population sizes and trends
In 2006, the global population consisted of
four or five populations with a sum of 7,000-8,000
mature individuals. Approximately 98% of the global
population is found on one Canadian site. Three other
Canadian populations have been reported in recent
years. One of these may have become extirpated
as no plants have been observed over the past
three years and the population numbered less than
10 plants in each of the two previous years. Two
Canadian populations each consisted of less than
150 individuals in the past four years and occupy
patches of less than 10 m2. Only one population has
ever been found in the United States. It consisted of
164 individuals in 2006 and many of these plants may
have died from drought before they had a chance to
flower and set seed.
Extensive urban and residential development
occurred in the primary habitat of Victoria’s Owlclover before the species was recognized so the
60
magnitude of long-term population trends is unknown.
Nevertheless, five or six of the nine populations
reported in Canada have become extirpated since the
species was first collected in the late 19th century.
Limiting factors and threats
The primary threats to Victoria’s Owl-clover
are posed by habitat loss and/or degradation due
to urban/residential development, recreational
activities and invasive species. Two populations
have disappeared due to habitat loss, two other
populations are small and affected by trampling, and
one population has been lost due to trampling.
Special significance of the species
Canadian populations of Victoria’s Owl-clover have
a high conservation value because they represent
almost the entire global population of what is a
narrowly distributed endemic. No specific ATK is
known for this recently recognized species.
Existing protection or other status
designations
Victoria’s Owl-clover is not currently protected by
any species at risk legislation. Part of one population
occurs within a provincial Ecological Reserve. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Virginia Mallow
Photo: © Melinda Thompson Black
Distribution
Scientific Name
Sida hermaphrodita
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
Ontario
Reason for Designation
This globally rare showy perennial herb of the
mallow family occurs in open riparian and wetland
habitats where it reproduces by seed and asexually
by spreading rhizomes. Only two small populations,
separated by about 35 km, are known from
southwestern Ontario where they are at risk from
continued decline in habitat area and quality due to an
aggressive invasive grass and quarry expansion.
Species information
Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) is a tall
perennial herb of the mallow family. Plant height varies
from 1-3 m. It has deeply lobed, toothed, maple-like
leaves with the lobe tips dramatically elongated. The
inflorescence produces clusters of white flowers from
August to October (or first frost). Seeds are shed
throughout the winter and germinate in early spring.
The distributional range of Virginia Mallow is
centred in the Appalachian Mountains and extends
outward into both the Mississippi watershed and the
Atlantic watershed. In Ontario, this species occurs in
two areas, Niagara Region and Haldimand County,
with one population in each. The species is extremely
rare in the Great Lakes drainage region where it is at
its northern limit.
Habitat
This species is a plant of open, moist, sunny to
partly shaded riparian habitats. Soil samples for
populations in the United States indicate that all soils
where Virginia Mallow is found are relatively sandy
with fairly low organic matter content. The pH is
neutral to slightly acidic and there are usually soluble
salts available to the plants. In Ontario, this species
occurs in disturbed situations; however, the habitat is
consistent with other presumed native occurrences
elsewhere and the species is not commonly grown
horticulturally in North America.
Biology
Virginia Mallow is a clonal perennial spreading by
rhizomes. A large plant can produce several thousand
seeds, most of which are viable. Flowering begins in
early August and continues until a hard frost occurs.
The suspected method of seed dispersal is by water.
Population sizes and trends
Two populations of this species are extant in
Ontario. At least 2500 flowering stems have been
documented. The actual number of individual plants
is difficult to determine due to the species’ spread by
rhizomes.
Limiting factors and threats
Habitat destruction seems to be the most
detrimental limiting factor for this species throughout
its range, including Ontario. Undisturbed riparian
woodlands with natural openings and stream terraces
are exceptionally rare in Ontario and in the United
States. The quality of the species’ habitat continues to
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Canadian distribution of Virginia Mallow, Ontario.
Source: Modified from April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
decline in Ontario. Specific threats include the spread
of Common Reed, an aggressive exotic grass, quarry
expansion, and pipeline maintenance activities.
Special significance of the species
Although this species is not grown or used
extensively in North America, it is cultivated frequently
in Poland and Russia for a number of purposes.
The most important use of Virginia Mallow in these
countries is as biomass for creating energy from a
renewable source of fuel. Another identified use of this
plant is in the paper and cellulose industry, because
the content of cellulose, resins and wax in the stems
of the plant is comparable with that found in spruce
and pine. Virginia Mallow survives until the first
frost and is therefore useful in apiculture. It contains
substances similar to medical comfrey and could be
used in the pharmaceutical industry. Virginia Mallow
has been used for planting in chemically degraded
62
terrain and garbage dumps. It can also be grown on
slopes of eroding terrain.
There is no evidence that this species has any
aboriginal traditional uses. This is likely due to the fact
that the species is quite rare in North America and has
a limited range.
Existing protection or other status
designations
Virginia Mallow is considered rare throughout most
of its range in the USA with NatureServe assigning
a vulnerable Global Conservation Rank. The species
is listed as critically imperiled in Indiana, Maryland,
and Virginia and possibly extirpated in Tennessee. In
Canada, it is ranked both nationally and provincially
as critically imperiled. Populations in Canada currently
have no legal protection. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Photo: © Robert Cameron
Vole Ears
(outer protective layer), and except near the pale, bare
margins is densely hairy and light-brown. Granular,
bluish soredia (asexual propagules) are produced
along the lobe margins and may also form in tiny
patches on the upper surface of older lobes. The
photosynthetic component of this lichen has been
identified as Scytonema, a cyanobacterium that is rare
in lichens occurring north of subtropical regions.
Scientific Name
Erioderma mollissimum
E. mollissimum is part of a group of rare
cyanolichens found only in humid coastal forests of
eastern North America. The Canadian populations of
E. mollissimum are disjunct from other populations
in the world which have a mainly tropical/subtropical
distribution. The group of cyanolichens to which
E. mollissimum belongs are useful indicators of effects
of acid precipitation and air pollution.
Taxon
Lichens
Distribution
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and
Labrador
Reason for Designation
This large foliose lichen is known in Canada only
from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the island
of Newfoundland, where it inhabits cool, humid and
coastal conifer forests dominated by Balsam Fir.
Although there are 24 known sites for the lichen in
these regions, few individuals (133 thalli) are known.
While recent surveys have increased the number of
known locations, the lichen has been extirpated from
11 sites in the last 30 years. This lichen is a sensitive
indicator of air pollution and acid precipitation, which
are its main threats. Other threats include forest
harvest and browsing by moose.
Erioderma mollissimum occurs mainly in montane
tropical and subtropical cloud forests. Most of its
known occurrences are in Central and South America,
at elevations of 1600 to 3400 m. It occurs disjunctly
in eastern North America, coastal southwestern
Europe, and east Africa. In North America, it is known
only in the Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee and
North Carolina), and in foggy, coastal areas of Atlantic
Canada.
Wildlife species description and
significance
Erioderma mollissimum is a foliose macrolichen
with a felty, grey-brown upper surface. When wetted,
it turns grey-green. The thallus is up to 12 cm broad
and is comprised of radiating, loosely attached lobes
to 1 cm in width. The lower surface lacks a cortex
Current and historical Canadian distribution of Vole Ears.
White circles indicate current known occurrences, black
circles indicate historical occurrences.
Source: November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Habitat
In Canada, Erioderma mollissimum occurs in
cool, humid coastal coniferous forests dominated by
Balsam Fir. Cool summers, relatively warm winters
and high rainfall are characteristics of these forests.
Peatland density is high in the coastal forests and
E. mollissimum is often found close to these wetlands.
E. mollissimum is found on trunks of Balsam Fir on the
island of Newfoundland and on Balsam Fir, Red Maple
and Yellow Birch in Nova Scotia. In New Brunswick,
one thallus was found on moss-covered rock.
Biology
E. mollissimum is part of a group of lichens known
as cyanolichens. Species of this group consist
of a fungal partner and a cyanobacterium, which
photosynthesizes and fixes atmospheric nitrogen.
Apothecia (sexual reproductive structures containing
ascospores) are extremely rare in North America.
Reproduction is either through fragmentation or
specialized structures called soredia. Lichen soredia
are larger than ascospores and this limits dispersal.
Dispersal is likely not more than hundreds of metres
for E. mollissimum. Fragmentation provides dispersal,
but only on the same host tree as the parent thalli.
However, it may play a role in long-term persistence
within sites. E. mollissimum requires a very humid
environment to thrive and is sensitive to acid rain and
other air pollutants.
Population sizes and trends
There are only 133 documented adult and 50
juvenile E. mollissimum in Canada. Nova Scotia has
the largest known population with 118 adults and 23
juveniles at 20 occurrences. On the Avalon Peninsula
64
of Newfoundland there are 4 known occurrences
with 15 adults and 27 juveniles. There is evidence to
suggest a possible decline in population, particularly
in Nova Scotia. At least 80% of sites in Nova Scotia
known from the early 1980s no longer support
E. mollissimum. Occupancy rates of habitat patches
also appeared to have declined in Nova Scotia.
E. mollissimum is most likely extirpated from New
Brunswick.
Threats and limiting factors
Like other cyanolichens, E. mollissimum is
extremely sensitive to air pollution and acid rain.
Although acidifying pollutants in eastern North
America are predicted to decline in the next 12 years,
proposed developments in Newfoundland, New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia may locally increase
pollutants. Logging may limit available habitat
and loss of forests from other developments is
also occurring. Decreases in frequency of fog and
herbivory by introduced slugs may also be a threat.
Existing protection or other designations
E. mollissimum is not currently listed under SARA
nor is it protected by provincial legislation. It has
been assigned a red status (known or thought to be
at risk) by the Province of Nova Scotia, S1 by the
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre and has
a G-rank of 4/5. There is only one occurrence at
the present time, that at Thomas Raddall Provincial
Park, Nova Scotia, where E. mollissimum is within
a fully protected area. The occurrences near
Blandford, Webber Lake and Dooks Pond, NS may,
however, receive protection in the near future. All the
occurrences in Newfoundland are on crown land but
have no legal protection. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Photo: © David H. Kavanaugh, California
Academy of Sciences
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle
Distribution
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is associated
with the arid habitat of the Great Basin region,
extending globally from Vernon, BC (Canada) to
southern Oregon (United States), with populations in
Washington State as well.
Scientific Name
Cicindela parowana wallisi
The Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia,
from Vernon south to Oliver, contains the total
historical distribution of Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger
Beetle in Canada. Most specimens were collected in
Penticton and the Oliver-Okanagan Falls area between
1909 and 1953; the date of the single Vernon record is
unknown but is probably early in the 1900s. The only
record since the 1950s is from Manuel’s Canyon near
Oliver in 1996.
Taxon
Arthropods
Habitat
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Canadian Range
British Columbia
Reason for Designation
This distinctively marked beetle is historically
known from five locations in a region where urban and
agricultural expansion have reduced and continue to
reduce habitat. Extensive recent searches have failed
to find the beetle and it may occur at only a single
location. The index of area of occupancy is small
and there is potential future decline in habitat and in
number of individuals due to development.
Species information
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle (Cicindela
parowana wallisi), also sometimes called the
Parawana Tiger Beetle in BC, is a medium-sized
tiger beetle (approximately 1.2 cm long), the only
subspecies of Cicindela parowana Wickham known to
inhabit Canada. Tiger beetles are recognizable by their
long, slender legs and antennae, saber-like mandibles
and bulbous eyes. In British Columbia, Wallis’ Dark
Saltflat Tiger Beetle is easily identified by the pattern
of markings on the dark background colour of the
elytra (hardened front wings).
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is thought to
differ from many other tiger beetles in its preference
for slightly dry, chalky alkaline soils. Field surveys of
sites where specimens were collected, in addition to
aerial photos from the period, suggest that it is also
associated with moderate ground cover. Currently,
small remnants of these habitats exist in the South
Okanagan Valley, although some are in areas that are
undergoing development.
Biology
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is active from May
until June, with a second activity period in August.
Eggs are probably laid in soil either in spring or fall
and the larvae live in subterranean burrows for one
or two years. Adults live for 8 – 10 weeks and feed in
similar habitat to the larvae, eating any arthropods of
the same size as itself or smaller. Although the beetle
is associated with alkaline soils, no physiological
mechanism for this relationship has been proposed.
Population sizes and trends
Calculation of population sizes and trends for
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is not possible at this
time, given the sparse data that are available. There
has been a decrease in the number of specimens
collected (only one specimen since the early 1950s).
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Historic and recent locations for Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle in British
Columbia, Canada.
Source: Modified from November 2009 COSEWIC Status Report, courtesy of Byron Woods, Ministry of
Environment, British Columbia
Limiting factors and threats
In general, tiger beetles appear to be sensitive to
soil disturbances such as beach groomers and soil
compaction from vehicles. Although these beetles
are not particularly shy of humans, conversion of their
habitat to paved roads or residential housing would
undoubtedly result in population declines. The habitat
of Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is readily damaged
and is rapidly being converted for agriculture, housing
and recreation in the south Okanagan Valley. Much of
this habitat, including the presumed type locality at
Penticton, was destroyed in the past 50 or 100 years.
Special significance of the species
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is a charismatic
predator in a scarce habitat in the Okanagan Valley,
a region with special natural habitats that are under
66
considerable stress from development and other
factors. Globally, tiger beetles are extensively studied
and very popular as a result of their attractive metallic
colouration. They are the only group of beetles for
a which a North American field guide is available
and one of very few beetle groups for which popular
regional guides are also available.
Existing protection or other designations
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle is globally listed as
G4 and provincially listed as S1 with a BC list status
of “red”. ■
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Photo: © Joyce Gould
Western Blue Flag
Scientific Name
Iris missouriensis
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Canadian Range
Alberta
Reason for Designation
This showy perennial is restricted to ten native
sites and is also present at a few sites where it is
believed to have been introduced. It occurs primarily
in the grasslands of southern Alberta. Several new
populations have been discovered since the species
was last assessed. The area occupied and total
population size of native plants are now known to be
larger than previously determined. The total Canadian
population appears to be stable but fluctuates in size.
The species is subject to ongoing competition from
invasive plants, but trampling in areas heavily grazed
by cattle has been largely mitigated by recovery
actions.
Species information
Western Blue Flag, a long-lived perennial, is a
member of the Iris family. Flowering stalks produce
two to four showy flowers in various colours of pale
to deep blue and lavender, with a rare white form
found occasionally. Each flower has purple veins that
radiate from a bearded yellow spot on each of three
outer sepals (segments) that are recurved and spread
outward. Three petals and three styles on the inner
segments of the flower are erect or arch upwards
and bloom sequentially, often on a leafless stem or
sometimes having one leaf. Pale blue-green swordlike leaves folded lengthwise grow from the base of
the stem, which reaches a height of 30 to 60 cm. The
species is sometimes called the Rocky Mountain Iris.
Distribution
Western Blue Flag is a North American species
that is widely distributed throughout the western
United States. In Canada, the species is known from
a site as far north as Banff National Park, Alberta,
as well as sites in the Calgary region. However,
these sites are of unknown origin and appear to be
beyond the native range of the species which occurs
within a narrow band near the U.S.-Canada border
extending from the west portion of the Milk River
Ridge to west of Carway, Alberta. In total, there are
17 documented populations (native and introduced),
only 10 of which are considered native. The following
seven populations are considered to be beyond the
native range and are not included for assessment
purposes; they are also of unknown or introduced
origin or no longer extant: four extant populations of
unknown origin (Fort Macleod, Calgary Airport, Banff
National Park, and Park Lake), one introduced and
extant population (Frank Lake), and two extirpated
(University of Calgary and Picture Butte). The species
was formerly considered to occur in British Columbia
but those specimens are now considered to be
another species, Iris setosa Pallas ex Link.
The species, including all 17 native, unknown, and
introduced populations occurring from the U.S.Canada border to Calgary and Banff National Park
extends over an area of about 22,000 km2. However,
the actual range of the ten native populations near
the U.S.-Canada border covers an area of only about
250 km2. Most of the intervening area between the
native populations and those northward as far as
Banff is unsuitable habitat for the species with the
actual area of habitat occupied by native plants being
about 3 km2.
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Canadian distribution of Western Blue Flag occurrences. Populations of known
native range occur along the U.S.-Canada border.
Source: April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
Habitat
Native populations of Western Blue Flag are
located in the Foothills Fescue and Foothills Parkland
natural subregions in Alberta. Some populations
of unknown origin are located in other subregions,
including the Mixedgrass (Park Lake and Fort
McLeod) and Montane (Banff). Habitat preference
for the Western Blue Flag is within a narrow zone of
moist meadows through a transition zone of drier
68
upland slopes and wet meadows or seepage springs.
Its occurrence is usually on level or slightly sloping
ground with an abundance of subsurface moisture.
Soil conditions in the spring are damp, but are well
drained and drier by the middle of summer. Western
Blue Flag is often found near willow thickets around
moist depressions, with some sites on dry upland
areas in Rough Fescue communities.
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
Biology
This species reproduces both sexually and
asexually. The linear growth and branching of the
rhizomes is able to withstand trampling and allows
it to spread quickly when competing vegetation is
removed. A three-chambered capsule containing the
smooth, dark brown seeds can be dispersed by wind,
water and other methods. Seeds require a germination
period of two to three months, with flowers produced
in the second or third year. Flowers appear from midJune through early July in Alberta and are adapted to
bee pollination.
Population sizes and trends
The total native Canadian population in 2009
was estimated at between 110,000 and 120,000
stems; however, some sites were not visited. This
estimate has significantly increased since the last
COSEWIC report in 1999 of 7500 stems. Since 1999,
two populations previously recorded no longer exist
and two are considered to possibly be extirpated. A
number of new populations have been discovered
within the known native range and a series of other
populations have been found disjunct from the known
native populations. The increase in population size
and number of previously unidentified sites is more an
indication of increased cooperation and participation
by land managers and land owners, increased
search effort and public interest in conservation and
management activities of this species, than it is an
actual increase in the number of existing populations;
presumably, the “new” populations existed previously,
but there are no data to confirm this.
Monitoring of these sites demonstrates naturally
fluctuating numbers of stems and flowers over the
years; however, the population appears to be stable.
Limiting factors and threats
The main limiting factors and threats to Western
Blue Flag include the loss of habitat (including
alteration and fragmentation of landscapes),
competition from introduced/invasive species,
grazing pressure, alteration of hydrology, collection
for horticultural and medicinal uses and herbicide
use. The species does benefit from light to moderate
grazing.
Special significance of the species
Western Blue Flag has a narrow environmental
tolerance with specific habitat requirements. The
species is found in some of the most threatened
landscapes in Alberta. No information has been found
on Aboriginal or confirmed human use in Canada
for Western Blue Flag; however, medicinal and
ceremonial uses have been reported for first nations in
the United States.
Existing protection or other designations
COSEWIC assessed this species as Threatened in
May 2000 and it is currently listed on Schedule 1 of
the Species at Risk Act. In Alberta, the species was
also originally designated Threatened in 2000 but was
later designated to a lower risk category of Species of
Special Concern in 2005. ■
69
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Whitebark Pine
Photo: © Peter Achuff
Distribution
Scientific Name
Pinus albicaulis
Taxon
Vascular plants
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Whitebark Pine occurs in high-elevation forests in
the mountains of western Canada and the USA. In
Canada, it extends from the Canada-USA border to
about 200 km north of Ft. Saint James in the Coast
Mountains and to about 150 km north of Jasper in the
Rocky Mountains. The range of the species in Canada
extends over an area estimated to be 190,067 sq km
or about 56% of its global range.
Habitat
Whitebark Pine occurs at or close to treeline,
forming both open and closed forests, often in
association with Engelmann Spruce and Subalpine
Fir. Regeneration occurs primarily on sites disturbed
by fire or avalanche, which provide the open habitat
required by this shade-intolerant species. Habitat
quality is declining across its range due to fire
exclusion and competition from other trees. Nearly all
Whitebark Pine forest occurs on public lands.
Canadian Range
British Columbia, Alberta
This long-lived, five-needled pine is restricted in
Canada to high elevations in the mountains of British
Columbia and Alberta. White Pine Blister Rust alone
is projected to cause a decline of more than 50%
over a 100 year time period. The effects of Mountain
Pine Beetle, climate change, and fire exclusion will
increase the decline rate further. Likely, none of
the causes of decline can be reversed. The lack of
potential for rescue effect, life history traits such
as delayed age at maturity, low dispersal rate, and
reliance on dispersal agents all contribute to placing
this species at high risk of extirpation in Canada.
Species information
Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a five-needled
pine, typically 5-20 m tall with a rounded to irregular
crown. Its egg-shaped seed cones (5-8 cm long by
4-6 cm wide) are dark brown to purple and remain
on the tree unless removed by animals. The seeds
are large for a pine at 7-11 mm long, chestnut brown
and wingless.
70
Photo: © Peter Achuff
Reason for Designation
Biology
Whitebark Pine is a long-lived species, often
living to more than 500 years and sometimes more
than 1000 years. Cones are typically first produced
at 30‑50 years but no sizable crop is produced
until 60‑80 years and cone production is irregular
with some years of no or very low production.
The generation time (average age of trees) is
approximately 60 years. Whitebark Pine is obligately
dependent on Clark’s Nutcracker to disperse seeds
for regeneration. Cones do not open to release the
The text information for each species is taken directly from the COSEWIC executive summaries, verbatim.
influenced factors: White Pine Blister Rust (an
introduced species), Mountain Pine Beetle, fire
exclusion, and climate change. Although each of these
factors alone pose significant threats to Whitebark
Pine, they interact and reinforce each other to further
increase the severity of the impacts.
Special significance of the species
Global range of Whitebark Pine.
Source: Modified from the April 2010 COSEWIC Status Report
seed, rather seeds must be removed by the bird
and cached in the ground. The seeds are a rich food
source and are used by many birds and mammals,
including Black and Grizzly bears.
Population sizes and trends
The number of mature Whitebark Pine trees
in Canada is estimated to be about 200 million.
Populations in Canada and the USA are declining
due to the combined effects of White Pine Blister
Rust, Mountain Pine Beetle, fire exclusion, and
climate change. The population in Waterton Lakes
National Park has been declining at 3.5%/year, which
translates into a 97% decline within 100 years. In the
Rocky Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia,
the decline rate is 1.5%/year, which over 100 years
is 78%. The estimated population decline in all of
Canada is more than 50% over the next 100 years.
Rescue from populations in the USA is not a realistic
possibility given the extent and severity of threats
there.
Limiting factors and threats
Whitebark Pine is imminently and severely
threatened throughout its range by four human-
Whitebark Pine is keystone species at the centre
of a high-elevation network of plants and animals,
enabling increased biodiversity. It provides food and
habitat for numerous birds and mammals. It facilitates
the establishment and growth of other plants in the
harsh, upper subalpine environment and helps regulate
snowpack and runoff, providing watershed stability.
The seeds were used as food by Aboriginal peoples.
Existing protection or other designations
Whitebark Pine is globally assessed overall as
Vulnerable (high risk of extinction in the wild in the
medium-term future) by IUCN.
In Alberta, it has been assessed as Endangered
and has been listed by the Minister of Sustainable
Resource Development as Endangered under the
Alberta Wildlife Act. This currently provides no legal
protection but measures have been taken to ensure
that, outside of protected areas, it is not inadvertantly
harvested and that planning for harvesting, fire
management, and Mountain Pine Beetle management
takes it into account.
In British Columbia, it is ranked as S3? (Special
Concern/Vulnerable) and is blue-listed. This provides
no legal protection and Whitebark Pine has been
harvested in some areas, although the extent is not
clear. However, British Columbia government agencies
have suggested voluntary conservation measures.
About 26% of Whitebark Pine range in British
Columbia occurs in protected areas.
In the USA, the Natural Resources Defense
Council petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service in
December 2008 to list Whitebark Pine as Endangered
under the US Endangered Species Act. ■
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
INDEXES
Species by Common Name
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle (Sanfilippodytes bertae)................................................................................. 12
Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli).................................................................................................................. 15
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)......................................................................................................................... 18
Bogbean Buckmoth (Hemileuca sp.).................................................................................................................. 20
Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus)................................................................................................. 22
Coast Manroot (Marah oreganus)....................................................................................................................... 24
Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia)..................................................................................................... 26
Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)......................................................................................................................... 29
Laura’s Clubtail (Stylurus laurae)......................................................................................................................... 32
Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis)............................................................................................................. 34
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle (Cicindela patruela)............................................................................................. 36
Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen (Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis)....................................................................... 38
Pale-bellied Frost Lichen (Physconia subpallida)................................................................................................ 41
Queensnake (Regina septemvittata).................................................................................................................... 43
Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana)...................................................................................................................... 46
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)..................................................................................................... 49
Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)...................................................................................................................................... 51
Threaded Vertigo (Nearctula sp.)........................................................................................................................ 54
Tubercled Spike-Rush (Eleocharis tuberculosa).................................................................................................. 56
Victoria’s Owl-clover (Castilleja victoriae)............................................................................................................ 59
Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita).................................................................................................................. 61
Vole Ears (Erioderma mollissimum)..................................................................................................................... 63
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle (Cicindela parowana wallisi)............................................................................. 65
Western Blue Flag (Iris missouriensis)................................................................................................................. 67
Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis)........................................................................................................................ 70
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Species by Scientific Name
Anaxyrus fowleri................................................................................................................................................. 29
Asclepias quadrifolia.......................................................................................................................................... 26
Bombus affinis.................................................................................................................................................... 49
Calcarius ornatus................................................................................................................................................ 22
Castilleja victoriae............................................................................................................................................... 59
Catharus bicknelli............................................................................................................................................... 15
Cicindela parowana wallisi................................................................................................................................. 65
Cicindela patruela . ............................................................................................................................................ 36
Dolichonyx oryzivorus......................................................................................................................................... 18
Eleocharis tuberculosa....................................................................................................................................... 56
Erioderma mollissimum...................................................................................................................................... 63
Hemileuca sp...................................................................................................................................................... 20
Iris missouriensis................................................................................................................................................ 67
Lachnanthes caroliniana..................................................................................................................................... 46
Marah oreganus.................................................................................................................................................. 24
Melanerpes lewis................................................................................................................................................ 34
Nearctula sp....................................................................................................................................................... 54
Physconia subpallida.......................................................................................................................................... 41
Pinus albicaulis................................................................................................................................................... 70
Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis........................................................................................................................... 38
Regina septemvittata.......................................................................................................................................... 43
Sanfilippodytes bertae........................................................................................................................................ 12
Sida hermaphrodita ........................................................................................................................................... 61
Stylurus laurae.................................................................................................................................................... 32
Vulpes velox........................................................................................................................................................ 51
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Species by Province and Territory of
Occurrence
Alberta
Bert’s Predaceous Diving Beetle......................... 12
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Chestnut-collared Longspur .............................. 22
Swift Fox............................................................. 51
Western Blue Flag............................................... 67
Whitebark Pine.................................................... 70
British Columbia
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Coast Manroot ................................................... 24
Lewis’s Woodpecker........................................... 34
Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen........................... 38
Threaded Vertigo................................................. 54
Victoria’s Owl-clover .......................................... 59
Wallis’ Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle......................... 65
Whitebark Pine.................................................... 70
Manitoba
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Chestnut-collared Longspur .............................. 22
New Brunswick
Bicknell’s Thrush................................................. 15
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Vole Ears.............................................................. 63
Newfoundland and Labrador
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Vole Ears.............................................................. 63
Northwest Territories
none
Nova Scotia
Bicknell’s Thrush................................................. 15
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Redroot .............................................................. 46
Tubercled Spike-rush.......................................... 56
Vole Ears.............................................................. 63
74
Nunavut
none
Ontario
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Bogbean Buckmoth ........................................... 20
Four-leaved Milkweed ........................................ 26
Fowler’s Toad...................................................... 29
Laura’s Clubtail.................................................... 32
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle............................. 36
Pale-bellied Frost Lichen..................................... 41
Queensnake........................................................ 43
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee................................ 49
Virginia Mallow.................................................... 61
Prince Edward Island
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Quebec
Bicknell’s Thrush................................................. 15
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle............................. 36
Rusty-patched Bumble Bee................................ 49
Saskatchewan
Bobolink.............................................................. 18
Chestnut-collared Longspur .............................. 22
Swift Fox............................................................. 51
Yukon
none
Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
GLOSSARY
Aquatic species: A wildlife species that is a fish as defined in
section 2 of the Fisheries Act or a marine plant as
defined in section 47 of the Act. The term includes
marine mammals.
Canada Gazette: The Canada Gazette is one of the vehicles that
Canadians can use to access laws and regulations.
It has been the “official newspaper” of the
Government of Canada since 1841. Government
departments and agencies as well as the private
sector are required by law to publish certain
information in the Canada Gazette. Notices and
proposed regulations are published in Canada
Gazette, Part l, and Official regulations are
published in Canada Gazette, Part Il. For more
information, please visit:
canadagazette.gc.ca
Canadian Endangered Species Conservation
Council: The council is made up of federal, provincial and
territorial ministers with responsibilities for wildlife
species. The Council’s mandate is to provide
national leadership and coordination for the
protection of species at risk.
COSEWIC: The Committee on the Status of Endangered
Wildlife in Canada. The Committee comprises
experts on wildlife species at risk. Their
backgrounds are in the fields of biology, ecology,
genetics, Aboriginal traditional knowledge and
other relevant fields. These experts come from
various communities, including, among others,
governments and academia.
COSEWIC assessment: COSEWIC’s assessment or re-assessment of the
status of a wildlife species, based on a status
report on the species that COSEWIC either has had
prepared or has received with an application.
Federal land: Any land owned by the federal government, the
internal waters and territorial sea of Canada, and
reserves and other land set apart for the use and
benefit of a band under the Indian Act.
Governor in Council: The Governor General of Canada acting on the
advice of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada,
the formal executive body which gives legal effect
to those decisions of Cabinet that are to have the
force of law.
Individual: An individual of a wildlife species, whether living
or dead, at any developmental stage and includes
larvae, embryos, eggs, sperm, seeds, pollen,
spores and asexual propagules.
Order: Order in Council (OIC). An order issued by the
Governor in Council, either on the basis of
authority delegated by legislation or by virtue of the
prerogative powers of the Crown.
Response statement: A document in which the Minister of the
Environment indicates how he or she intends to
respond to the COSEWIC assessment of a wildlife
species. A response statement is posted on the
SARA Public Registry within 90 days of receipt
of the assessment by the Minister, and provides
timelines for action to the extent possible.
RIAS:
Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement. A
description of a regulatory proposal that provides
an analysis of the expected impact of each
regulatory initiative and accompanies an Order in
Council.
SARA Public Registry: Developed as an online service, the SARA Public
Registry has been accessible to the public since
proclamation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
The website gives users easy access to documents
and information related to SARA at any time and
location with Internet access. It can be found at: www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca
Schedule 1: A schedule of the Species at Risk Act (SARA); also
known as the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, the
list of the species protected under SARA.
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Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species, November 2010
Up-listing: A revision of the status of a species on Schedule 1
to a status of higher risk. A revision of the status of
a Schedule 1 species to a lower risk status would
be down-listing.
Wildlife Management Board: Established under the land claims agreements in
northern Quebec, Yukon, Northwest Territories,
British Columbia and Nunavut, Wildlife
Management Boards are the “main instruments
of wildlife management” within their settlement
areas. In this role, Wildlife Management Boards
not only establish, modify and remove levels
of total allowable harvest of a variety of wildlife
76
species, but also participate in research activities,
including annual harvest studies, and approve
the designation of species at risk in their
settlement areas.
Wildlife species:
A species, subspecies, variety or geographically
or genetically distinct population of animal, plant
or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus.
To be eligible for inclusion under SARA, a wildlife
species must be wild by nature and native to
Canada. Non-native species that have been here
for 50 years or more can be considered eligible if
they came without human intervention.
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