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February 27, 2014




Part 1: Overview

Part 2: The Species Specialist Subcommittees’ (SSC) Candidate Lists
Amphibians
Arthropods
Birds
Fishes (freshwater)
Fishes (marine)
Lichens
Mammals (marine)
Mammals (terrestrial)
Molluscs
Mosses
Reptiles
Vascular Plants

Part 3: The COSEWIC Candidate List



Part 1: Overview

Many species in Canada have not yet been assessed by COSEWIC, but are suspected of being at some risk of extinction or extirpation. These species, referred to as ‘candidate wildlife species’ are identified by the Species Specialist Subcommittees (SSCs) or by the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee as candidates for detailed status assessment. Candidates may also include wildlife species already assessed by COSEWIC as Not at Risk or Data Deficient, but where new information suggests they may be at risk.

SSC and ATK Subcommittee members use their expert knowledge and judgment to identify candidate wildlife species. They draw on numerous sources of information including (where available) the General Status of Wild Species in Canada Program, information drawn from other multi-jurisdictional monitoring, jurisdictional and international assessment processes (e.g. IUCN and ABI) and published ranking systems in the scientific literature. As time and resources allow, COSEWIC will commission status reports for high priority candidate wildlife species so that an assessment can be undertaken.

Status reports are commissioned by COSEWIC through an open competition. A Call for Bids is periodically posted on this website both for selected candidate species, and also for species already assessed by COSEWIC that require a reassessment. You can register to be notified when new Calls for Bids are posted on the website.

For more information on candidate wildlife species, visit the COSEWIC's Assessment Process and Criteria.


The Species Specialist Subcommittees’ Candidate Lists

Each SSC annually prepares and maintains a SSC candidate list of wildlife species that it considers at risk of extinction or extirpation nationally. Species on the SSC candidate lists are ranked into three priority groups by the SSCs to reflect the relative urgency with which each wildlife species should receive a COSEWIC assessment. Group 1 contains wildlife species of highest priority for assessment by COSEWIC, and includes wildlife species suspected to be extirpated from Canada. Groups 2 and 3 contain wildlife species that are of intermediate and lower priority for COSEWIC assessment, respectively. Rationales for inclusion of wildlife species on the SSC candidate lists differ among the taxonomic groups considered by COSEWIC, reflecting the vast differences in their life history, and differences in our knowledge about the species.

Candidate wildlife species included in the SSC candidate lists are listed in Part 2. The provinces or territories marked with † represent areas where the wildlife species is especially at risk. The candidate wildlife species marked with an asterisk (*) will appear on the next Call for Bids.


The COSEWIC Candidate List

The highest priority wildlife species from the SSC candidate lists are reviewed and ranked by COSEWIC, and result in the COSEWIC Candidate List. COSEWIC bases its ranking on prioritization data submitted by each SSC (Prioritization Criteria developed by COSEWIC for ranking wildlife species). The COSEWIC Candidate List identifies the highest priority candidate wildlife species for status report production. Wildlife species included in this List include those not yet assessed by COSEWIC and those in the Not at Risk or Data Deficient categories, where new information suggests they may be at risk of extinction or extirpation from Canada.

Wildlife species marked with one asterisk (*) will be included on the Fall 2013 Call for Bids whereas those marked with two asterisks (**) will be included on the Fall 2014 Call for Bids.



Part 2: The Species Specialist Subcommittees’ (SSC) Candidate Lists

Scientific name

Common name

Range in Canada

Amphibians (26)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Ambystoma gracile

Northwestern Salamander

BC

Ambystoma sp. *

Jefferson Salamander (Jefferson Salamander complex of unisexual populations)

ON, QC, NB, NS

Bufo hemiophrys

Canadian Toad

NT, AB, SK, MB

Necturus maculosus

Mudpuppy

MB, ON, QC

Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens

Red-spotted Newt

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Rana palustris

Pickerel Frog

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Ambystoma maculatum

Spotted Salamander

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Ensatina eschscholtzii

Ensatina

BC

Lithobates catesbeianus

American Bullfrog

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Lithobates septentrionalis

Mink Frog

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Plethodon cinereus

Eastern Red-backed Salamander

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Rana luteiventris

Columbia Spotted Frog

YT, BC, AB

Spea bombifrons

Plains Spadefoot

AB, SK, MB

Taricha granulosa

Rough-skinned Newt

BC

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Ambystoma laterale

Blue-spotted Salamander

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Ambystoma macrodactylum

Long-toed Salamander

BC, AB

Anaxyrus americanus

American Toad

NU, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Eurycea bislineata

Northern Two-lined Salamander

ON, QC, NL

Hemidactylium scutatum

Four-toed Salamander

ON, QC, NB, NS

Hyla versicolor

Gray Treefrog

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Lithobates clamitans

Green Frog

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Lithobates sylvaticus

Wood Frog

YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Plethodon vehiculum

Western Red-backed Salamander

BC

Pseudacris crucifer

Spring Peeper

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Pseudacris maculata

Boreal Chorus Frog

YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC

Pseudacris regilla

Northern Pacific Treefrog

BC

Arthropods (88)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Aflexia rubranura

Red-tailed Prairie Leafhopper

MB, ON

Argyresthia flexilis

[a micromoth]

BC, AB

Bembidion lachnophoroides

[A Carabid Beetle]

AB, SK

Bombus pensylvanicus

American Bumble Bee

AB, ON, QC

Campsomeris pilipes

Scoliid Wasp

BC

Ceropales bipunctata

Pompilid Wasp

ON, NB

Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni **

Transverse Lady Beetle

YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Coreorgonal petulcus *

Erigonine Dwarf Spider

BC

Haploa reversa

Reversed Haploa

ON

Hexura picea

[A Midget Funnel-web Tarantula]

BC

Ips woodi

[A bark beetle]

BC, AB

Megathymus streckeri

Strecker's Giant Skipper

AB

Melanoplus madeleineae **

Magdalen Grasshopper

QC

Metrius contractus contractus

Contracted Bombing Beetle

BC

Metroppia walbranensis

Orabatid Mite

BC

Microhexura idahoana

[A diplurid funnel webspider]

BC

Obligate spp.

Limber Pine

 

Polystoechotes punctatus

Giant Lacewing (Eastern population)

ON, QC

Pyrrhia aurantiago

False-Foxglove Sun Moth

ON

Sphodros niger

[Atypid Purseweb Spider]

ON

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Agabus margaretae

Margaret's Diving Beetle

AB, SK

Anisota manitobensis

Manitoba Oakworm Moth

MB

Bombus fervidus

Yellow Bumble Bee

ON

Coleotechnites lewisi

[A moth]

AB

Dicromantispa sayi

[A mantidfly]

ON

Ephemera guttulata

Eastern Green Drake Mayfly

ON, QC, NB, NS, NL

Erythrodiplax berenice

Seaside Dragonlet

NS

Euphydryas anicia bernadetta

Anicia Checkerspot

AB, SK

Euphydryas editha hutchinsi

Edith’s Checkerspot

AB, SK

Gomphus abbreviatus

Spine-crowned Clubtail

NB, NS

Hemileuca nevadensis

Nevada Buckmoth

SK, MB, AB

Hydroporus carri

Carr’s Diving Beetle

AB

Lasiopogon pacificus

[A robber fly]

BC

Lycaena editha

Edith's Copper

BC, AB

Nicocles rufus

[A robber fly]

BC

Octogomphus specularis

Grappletail

BC

Pollicipes polymerus

Gooseneck Barnacle

BC

Rhionaeschna mutata

Spatterdock Darner

ON, NS

Speyeria mormonia erinna

Mormon Fritillary

BC

Stichopogon fragilis

[A robber fly]

BC

Stygobromus canadensis

Castleguard Cave Stygobromid

AB

Tropocyclops prasinus

[a cyclopoid copepod]

ON

Tubaphe levii

[a millipede]

BC

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Agabus immaturus

[A diving beetle]

NB

Anacampsis lupinella

Lupine Leafroller

ON

Antrodiaetus cerberus

[An antrodiaetid folding door spider]

BC

Arctia brachyptera

Kluane Tiger Moth

YT, NT

Areniscythris saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Dune Scythrid

SK

Callophrys johnsoni

Johnson’s Hairstreak

BC

Callophrys mossii

Moss’s Elfin

BC

Carabus vinctus

[A carabid beetle]

ON

Celithemis martha

Martha's Pennant

NB, NS

Chlosyne hoffmanni

Hoffmann’s Checkerspot

BC

Cicindela cuprascens

Coppery Tiger Beetle

MB

Cicindela hirticollis athabascensis Graves

Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle

AB, SK

Cicindela hirticollis couleensis

Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle

BC, AB

Cicindela hirticollis rhodensis

Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle

ON, QC, NB, NS, NL

Cicindela hirticollis shelfordi

Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle

AB, SK, MB

Cicindela lepida

Ghost Tiger Beetle

AB, SK, MB, ON

Coleophora manitoba

[A Casebearer Moth]

MB

Coleophora ramitella

[A Casebearer moth]

ON

Cupido comyntas

Eastern Tailed Blue (British Columbia population)

BC

Dicaelus purpuratus

[A carabid beetle]

ON

Erora laeta

Early Hairstreak

ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Erynnis propertius

Propertius Duskywing

BC

Euphilotes ancilla

Rocky Mountain Dotted Blue

AB, SK

Geolycosa spp.

[Burrowing wolf spiders]

AB, SK, MB, ON, QC

Heterosternuta alleghenianus

[A diving beetle]

QC, NB

Heterosternuta cocheconis

[A diving beetle]

QC, NB

Hydrocollus filiolus

[A diving beetle]

QC, NB

Lycaena dione

Grey Copper

BC

Neoporus blanchardi

[A diving beetle]

NS

Neoporus dilatatus

[A diving beetle]

ON, QC, NB, NS

Neoporus tennetum

[A diving beetle]

ON

Neurocordulia michaeli

Broadtailed Shadowdragon

ON, NB

Oeneis bore gaspeensis

Gaspé Arctic

QC

Okanagana synodica

Walking Cicada

AB

Papilio machaon pikei

Pike’s Old World Swallowtail

AB, BC

Pardosa pedia

[A wolf spider]

SK

Polites sabuleti

Sandhill Skipper

BC

Schizocosa cespitum

[A wolf spider]

SK

Siphlonica aerodromia

[A mayfly]

QC, NB, NS, NL

Speyeria egleis

Great Basin Fritillary

AB

Speyeria zerene bremnerii

Bremner's Zerene Fritillary

BC

Strictotarsus minipi

[A diving beetle]

NL

Stylurus plagiatus

Russet-tipped Clubtail

ON

Tachysphex pechumani

Antenna-waving Wasp

ON

Usofila pacifica

[A telemid spider]

BC

Birds (19)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Calamospiza melanocorys **

Lark Bunting

AB, SK, MB

Zonotrichia querula **

Harris's Sparrow

NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Aechmophorus clarkii

Clark's Grebe

AB, SK, MB

Catharus minimus minimus

Gray-cheeked Thrush minimus subspecies

NL

Gavia adamsii

Yellow-billed Loon

NT, NU, BC, Pacific Ocean

Limosa haemastica

Hudsonian Godwit

YT, NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Spizella pusilla

Field Sparrow

SK, ON, QC

Tringa incana

Wandering Tattler

YT, NT, BC

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Arenaria interpres morinella

Ruddy Turnstone, morinella subspecies

YT, NT, NU

Calidris himantopus

Stilt Sandpiper

NT, NU, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC

Charadrius vociferus

Killdeer

YT, NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Black-billed Cuckoo

AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

Dendragapus fuliginosus

Sooty Grouse

BC

Empidonax minimus

Least Flycatcher

YT, NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Falco sparverius

American Kestrel

YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Megaceryle alcyon

Belted Kingfisher

YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Oporornis agilis

Connecticut Warbler

NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC

Setophaga discolor

Prairie Warbler

ON

Somateria spectabilis

King Eider

YT, NT, NU, MB, ON, QC, NB, NL

Fishes (freshwater) (36)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Coregonus clupeaformis

Lake Whitefish

YT, NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, NL

Coregonus nigripinnis

Blackfin Cisco

ON

Entosphenus tridentatus

Pacific Lamprey

 

Thymallus arcticus

Arctic Grayling (Western Arctic populations)

YT†, NT†, NU†, BC†, AB†, SK, MB

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Acrocheilus alutaceus

Chiselmouth

BC†

Ameiurus natalis

Yellow Bullhead

ON, QC†

Carpiodes cyprinus

Quillback

AB†, SK†, MB†, ON, QC†

Coregonus artedi

Cisco (Lake Herring)

NT, NU, BC†, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC (BC Population as Distinct DU Only)

Coregonus autumnalis

Arctic Cisco

YT, NT†, NU†, BC†

Coregonus nasus

Broad Whitefish

YT, NT, NU, BC†

Coregonus sardinella

Least Cisco

YT, NT†, NU†, BC†

Coregonus spp.

Cisco

NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC

Cottus cognatus

Slimy Sculpin

YT, NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE†, NL (PE Population as DU Only)

Couesius plumbeus

Lake Chub (Northern British Columbia Hotsprings populations)

BC

Esox niger

Chain Pickerel

QC†

Etheostoma caeruleum

Rainbow Darter

ON, QC†

Hybognathus hankinsoni

Brassy Minnow

BC†, AB, SK†, MB, ON, QC†

Moxostoma anisurum

Silver Redhorse

AB, SK†, MB, ON, QC†

Moxostoma erythrurum

Golden Redhorse

MB†, ON

Moxostoma valenciennesi

Greater Redhorse

ON†, QC†

Notropis blennius

River Shiner

AB†, SK†, MB†

Notropis buchanani

Ghost Shiner

ON†

Notropis heterodon

Blackchin Shiner

MB†, ON, QC

Notropis rubellus

Rosyface Shiner

ON, QC†

Noturus miurus

Brindled Madtom

ON†

Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii

Coastal Cutthroat Trout

YT, BC

Stenodus leucichthys

Inconnu

YT, NT†, BC†

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Esox masquinongy

Muskellunge

MB, ON, QC

Ichthyomyzon castaneus

Chestnut Lamprey (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations)

ON, QC

Ichthyomyzon castaneus

Chestnut Lamprey (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations)

SK, MB, ON

Margariscus margarita

Pearl Dace

NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, NL

Percina maculata

Blackside Darter

SK, MB, ON

Prosopium cylindraceum

Round Whitefish

YT, NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NL

Rhinichthys atratulus

Blacknose Dace (Western populations)

SK, MB, ON

Salvelinus alpinus

Arctic Char

YT, NT, NU, MB, QC, NB, NL

Salvelinus namaycush

Lake Trout

YT†, NT, NU, AB†, SK, MB, ON, QC†, NB†, NS†, NL

Fishes (marine) (14)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Cyclopterus lumpus **

Northwest Atlantic Lumpfish

QC, NB, NS, PE, NL, Atlantic Ocean

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

Pink Salmon

BC, Pacific Ocean

Oncorhynchus keta

Chum Salmon

NT, BC, Pacific Ocean

Oncorhynchus mykiss

Steelhead

BC

Sebastes alutus

Pacific Ocean Perch

Pacific Ocean

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Alosa pseudoharengus

Alewife

Atlantic Ocean

Alosa sapidissima

American shad

BC, QC, NB, NS, NL, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Bathyraja spinicauda

Spinytail skate

NU, NS, NL, Atlantic Ocean

Gadus macrocephalus

Pacific Cod

Pacific Ocean

Pollachius virens

Pollock

NB, NS, NL, Atlantic Ocean

Sebastes entomelas

Widow Rockfish

BC, Pacific Ocean

Sebastes flavidus

Yellowtail Rockfish

BC, Pacific Ocean

Sebastolobus alascanus

Shortspine Thornyhead

BC, Pacific Ocean

Somniosus microcephalus

Greenland Shark

Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

No candidates currently listed

Lichens (8)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Anaptychia elbursiana

Whiskered Millipede Lichen

BC, AB

Bryoria cervinula

Mottled Horsehair Lichen

BC

Circinaria hispida

Desert Tumbleweed Lichen

BC, AB, SK

Fuscopannaria leucosticta

White-rimmed Shingle Lichen

ON, QC, NB, NS, NL

Glypholecia scabra

Desert Rock-scab

NT, NU, BC, SK

Lobaria retigera

Smoker’s Lung Lichen

BC

Ramalina sinensis

Burning Bush (Fan ramalina)

BC, MB

Sticta limbata

Powdered Moon Lichen (Eastern population)

QC, NB, NS

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

No candidates currently listed

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

No candidates currently listed

Mammals (marine) (10)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Balaenoptera borealis

Sei Whale (Atlantic population)

Atlantic Ocean

Cystophora cristata

Hooded Seal

Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Phoca groenlandica

Harp Seal

Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Pusa hispida hispida *

Ringed Seal

YT, NT, NU, MB, ON, QC, NL, Arctic Ocean

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Berardius bairdii

Baird's Beaked Whale

Pacific Ocean

Erignathus barbatus

Bearded Seal

NT, NU, MB, ON, NL, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Lagenorhynchus obliquidens

Pacific White-sided Dolphin

Pacific Ocean

Physeter macrocephalus

Sperm Whale

Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Ziphius cavirostris

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale

Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Mirounga angustirostris

Northern Elephant Seal

BC, Pacific Ocean

Mammals (terrestrial)

No candidates currently listed

Molluscs (42)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Anguispira kochi **

Banded Tigersnail

BC, ON

Anguispira kochi kochi

Banded Globe (Eastern population)

ON

Anguispira kochi occidentalis

Banded Globe (Western population)

BC

Mesodon clausus

Yellow Globelet

ON

Mesodon zaletus

Toothed Globe

ON

Neohelix dentifera

Big-tooth Whitelip

ON, QC, NB

Webbhelix multilineata

Striped Whitelip

ON

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Birgella subglobosa

Globe Siltsnail

MB, ON, QC

Fluminicola fuscus

Ashy Pebblesnail

BC

Inflectarius inflectus

Shagreen

ON

Micromenetus dilatatus

Bugle Sprite

NS

Oreohelix strigosa stantoni

Cypress Hills Mountainsnail

AB, SK

Oreohelix subrudis limitaris

Boundary Mountainsnail

AB

Philomycus carolinianus

Carolina Mantleslug

ON

Physella gyrina athearni

Blunt Albino Physa

AB

Pisidium cruciatum

Ornamented Peaclam

ON

Planorbella corpulenta

Corpulent Rams-horn

MB, ON

Planorbella corpulenta whiteavesi

Whiteaves's Capacious Rams-horn

ON

Solemya borealis

Boreal Awning-clam

Atlantic Ocean

Stagnicola kennicotti

Western Arctic Stagnicola

NT, NU

Valvata lewisi ontariensis

Loosely-coiled Valve Snail

ON

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Gastrocopta corticaria

Bark Snaggletooth

ON, QC, NB

Glyphyalinia luticola

Furrowed Glyph

ON

Helisoma anceps royalense

Lake Superior Rams-horn

MB, ON

Lasmigona costata

Fluted Shell

MB, ON, QC

Leptodea ochracea

Tidewater Mucket

NB, NS

Margaritifera margaritifera

Eastern Pearl Mussel

QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Megapallifera mutabilis

Changeable Mantleslug

ON

Physella columbiana

Rotund Physa

BC

Physella concolor

Haldeman Physa

BC

Physella hordacea

Grain Physa

BC

Physella latchfordi

Latchford's Physa

ON, QC

Physella lordi

Twisted Physa

BC, AB

Physella nuttalli

Nuttall Physa

BC

Pisidium insigne

Tiny peaclam

BC, AB, ON, PE

Pomatiopsis lapidaria

Slender Walker

ON

Quadrula pustulosa

Pimpleback

ON

Stagnicola montanensis

Mountain Marshsnail

AB

Stagnicola walkeriana

Calabash Pondsnail

ON

Stagnicola woodruffi

Coldwater Pondsnail

ON

Truncilla truncata

Deertoe

ON

Valvata perdepressa

Purplecap Valvata

ON

Mosses (8)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Buxbaumia minakatae

 

ON, NS, NL

Ctenidium schofieldii **

Schofield's Ctenidium Moss

BC

Gollania turgens

 

YT, BC

Paraleptodontium recurvifolium **

Drooping-leaved Beard-moss

BC

Seligeria acutifolia **

Acuteleaf Small Limestone Moss

BC

Seligeria careyana

 

BC

Tortula scotterii

 

NT, BC

Zygodon gracilis **

 

BC

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

No candidates currently listed

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

No candidates currently listed

Reptiles (16)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Chrysemys picta marginata **

Midland Painted Turtle

ON, QC

Chrysemys picta picta **

Eastern Painted Turtle

NB, NS

Diadophis punctatus

Ring-necked Snake

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

Heterodon nasicus **

Plains Hog-nosed Snake

AB, SK, MB

Opheodrys vernalis

Smooth Greensnake

SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

Pituophis catenifer sayi **

Bullsnake

AB, SK

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Nerodia sipedon sipedon

Northern Watersnake

ON, QC

Storeria dekayi

DeKay's Brownsnake

ON, QC

Thamnophis radix

Plains Gartersnake

AB, SK, MB

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Chelonia mydas

Green Sea Turtle

Pacific Ocean

Elgaria coerulea

Northern Alligator Lizard

BC

Lepidochelys kempii

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

NS, Atlantic Ocean

Storeria occipitomaculata

Red-bellied Snake

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

Thamnophis elegans

Terrestrial Gartersnake

BC, AB

Thamnophis ordinoides

Northwestern Gartersnake

BC

Thamnophis sirtalis

Common Gartersnake

NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

 

Vascular Plants

An expanded Vascular Plants candidate list of over 500 vascular plants, grouped into two priority classes, is now available to the public in html or as an Excel worksheet file on the following link (Working List of Prioritized Vascular Plant Candidates). This list is provided with the understanding that it is a working copy undergoing modification. In preparing the list, information from the General Status of Species in Canada Review process, undertaken by all federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, is taken into account when species are ranked for inclusion on the list.
(last update, March 2011)

Group 1 - High priority candidates

Alchemilla alpina

Alpine Lady's-mantle

NL

Aureolaria flava

Smooth Yellow False Foxglove

ON

Aureolaria pedicularia

Fern-leaved Yellow False Foxglove

ON

Aureolaria virginica

Downy False Foxglove

ON

Boechera quebecensis *

Quebec Rockcress

QC

Carex aggregata

Smooth Clustered Sedge

ON

Carex nigromarginata

Black-edged Sedge

YT, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS

Castilleja tenuis

Hairy Owl's-clover

BC

Eriogonum flavum var.aquilinum

Yukon Wild Buckwheat

YT

Fraxinus nigra **

Black Ash

MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Hesperochiron pumilus

Dwarf Hesperochiron

BC

Isoetes minima **

Midget Quillwort

BC

Lyonia ligustrina

Maleberry

NS

Solidago simplex

Dune Goldenrod

ON, NB

Spiranthes diluvialis

Ute Ladies'-tresses

BC

Valeriana edulis ssp.ciliata

Hairy Valerian

ON

Group 2 - Mid priority candidates

Working List of Prioritized Vascular Plant Candidates

Group 3 - Low priority candidates

Working List of Prioritized Vascular Plant Candidates




Part 3: The COSEWIC Candidate List

Candidate Wildlife Species

Rationale

Amphibians

Ambystoma  sp. *
Jefferson Salamander
ON, QC, NB, NS

The Jefferson Salamander complex of unisexual, female Ambystoma populations has a unique genetic system and represents a distinct, monophyletic lineage that arose some 5 million years ago, making them the oldest lineage of unisexual vertebrates known (Bogart, 2003; Bi and Bogart, 2010). They are, effectively, sexual parasites, and require the sperm of diploid males of related, co-occurring bisexual species of Ambystoma in order to reproduce (Bogart et al., 2009). This reliance exposes them to a unique threat because several of their sexual host populations are considered endangered or in decline. Unisexual Ambystoma usually outnumber their sexual host species (Uzzell, 1964; Nyman et al., 1988; Bogart and Klemens, 1997). However, as they cannot reproduce without the presence of diploid males of their sexual hosts, then loss of the diploids means eventual extirpation of the unisexual populations.

Each individual in the Jefferson Salamander complex of unisexual, female salamanders carries the genomes of more than one bisexual species of Ambystoma. But these unisexual salamanders are not hybrids. They have a nuclear genomic constitution consisting of at least one genome like that of Ambystoma laterale (L) and up to four other genomes from A. laterale and any of four other Ambystoma species, most commonly A. jeffersonianum (J), but also A. texanum (T), A. tigrinum (Ti), and/or A. barbouri (B) (Bogart, 2003; Bogart and Klemens, 1997; 2008; Bogart et al., 2009). The salamanders can be diploid, triploid, tetraploid and even pentaploid (Bogart, 2003), but the most frequent of the 20 or more different genomic combinations known are LJJ and LLJ triploids. In contrast to their nuclear genomic variation, all individuals possess a mitochondrial genome like that of A. barbouri (Robertson et al., 2006, Bi and Bogart 2010). Thus the unisexual Ambystoma populations are not the product of ongoing hybridization (Bogart et al., 2009). They constitute a monophyletic lineage dating to the early Pliocene (Bi and Bogart, 2010).

Like their nuclear genomic constitutions, the morphologies of these unisexual salamanders are also extremely variable. Though, on the whole, they tend to be robust, grey to blue-black salamanders ranging in size from 10 to 20 cm (total length), their precise morphological characteristics are intermediate between the species whose genomes they carry. Since virtually all have some contribution from A. laterale, the Blue-spotted Salamander, some degree of blue-flecking along the sides is almost always present. 

Viable unisexual populations of the Jefferson Salamander complex are patchily distributed across the lower Great Lakes region and St. Lawrence Valley, with isolated populations in Wisconsin, Maine, northern New Brunswick and central Nova Scotia. In Canada, these salamanders are invariably found in association with A. jeffersonianum, A. laterale or A. texanum. All individuals of these complexes are female, except for a very small percentage (~1%) which appear to be sterile males. The females are normally more abundant than their diploid bisexual sperm donors. Like other Ambystoma salamanders they have a complex life history and require permanent or semi-permanent water bodies for breeding and adjacent moist forest for foraging and hibernation. Loss or degradation of wetland breeding habitats and fragmentation of terrestrial habitats threaten unisexual Ambystoma populations throughout their Canadian range. Resource extraction, including logging and mining, reduce the quality of both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. These are the same threats that imperil their sexual host species, of which one (A. tigrinum) is assessed by COSEWIC as Extirpated and two others (A. jeffersonianum) and (A. texanum) are assessed Endangered. A fourth host species, (A. barbouri) does not occur in Canada. Wherever these species disappear, the unisexual populations will inevitably also disappear.
 
i. Taxonomic level: The taxonomic status of these salamanders has been disputed since their discovery because they do not correspond to any usual definitions of species other than that they comprise a monophyletic, mitochondrial lineage. Knowledge of their peculiarities began with Clanton (1934) who discerned in populations of A. jeffersonianum in southern Michigan distinctly different “dark” individuals, with a 1:1 sex ratio, and “light” individuals, all of which were females. Based on this observation and the morphological variation then thought to exist in both A. laterale and A. jeffersonianum, Bishop (1947) considered all these salamanders to be a single, variable species – A. jeffersonianum. In Canada, Logier and Toner (1961) thus combined all known localities of A. jeffersonianum and A. laterale. Meanwhile, Minton (1954) proposed that the intermediate forms were hybrids between A. laterale and A. jeffersonianum and Uzzell (1964) recognized them as separate, triploid species. Uzzell named those with two A. jeffersonianum chromosome sets and one A. laterale chromosome set (i.e. LJJ) A. “platineum” and those with one A. jeffersonianum chromosome set and two A. laterale chromosome sets (i.e. LLJ) A. “tremblayi”.  Lowcock et al., (1987), however, demonstrated that A. “platineum” and A. “tremblayi” could not be considered valid species as many more chromosomal variants occur than just the two reciprocal triploids. The unisexuals are thus distinct from any other species of Ambystoma but are un-named.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: Ca. 40%. Southern Ontario and Quebec, and parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

iii. Existing global conservation status: GRANK: GU (last reviewed 21 Sept., 2001; NatureServe, 2010). Despite their lack of formal taxonomic status, these salamanders are recognized as animals of Special Concern in Connecticut and as Endangered in Illinois and New Jersey.

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Unknown; some populations have been lost as a result of loss and degradation of wetland breeding sites and fragmentation of terrestrial habitats. Some populations may still be extant but no longer able to reproduce where populations of A. jeffersonianum (assessed by COSEWIC in 2010 as Endangered), A. texanum (assessed by COSEWIC in 2004 as Endangered) or A. laterale, the diploid species they depend upon as suppliers of sperm, have disappeared.

v. Threats: The main anthropogenic and ecological threats to these salamanders are the same as those documented for A. texanum and A. jeffersonianum: habitat destruction, land use, and acidification of breeding ponds (Brodman 2005a,b; deMaynadier and Hunter, 1998; Petranka, 1998). 

Loss of suitable terrestrial habitat and breeding ponds is the most significant threat to A. jeffersonianum complex salamanders and their allied species in Canada. Much of the native forest of southern Ontario, New Brunswick and Central Nova Scotia has been cleared for agriculture, urban development, aggregate extraction, and resource development.
	
Habitat alteration may have direct or indirect impacts on salamander populations. Breeding ponds may be rendered unusable by fish-stocking or by hydrologic and other changes engendered by surrounding development. Migratory paths between breeding ponds and summer habitat may be blocked by development, silt fencing, drainage ditches, plantations or other barriers. Hydrological alterations can reduce the breeding pond hydroperiod so the pond consistently dries up before the larvae can transform. Clearing fallen trees or debris from summer habitat and from the edges of breeding ponds limits food and protective cover for salamanders and interferes with their dispersal. Clearing breeding ponds of sticks and other attachment sites for egg masses is also detrimental. Rodent burrows are used by salamanders for hiding, feeding, and over-wintering so reducing rodent populations could have indirect detrimental effects. 
	
Road mortality is a persistent threat. Individuals are killed on roads especially while migrating to or from breeding ponds. Curbs and catch basins can act as barriers or traps, respectively, and roads are often a source of chemical pollutants that degrade adjacent aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Roads also increase the vulnerability of migrating adults to predators.

Loss of sexual host populations is a threat unique to unisexual Ambystoma populations because they require the presence of diploid males of their sexual hosts for reproduction.
 
vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: The known range of the unisexual populations is fragmented into three wholly disjunct and restricted areas: 1) southern Ontario and Quebec, 2) northern New Brunswick, and 3) central Nova Scotia. 

vii. Limiting biological factors: Reliance on fishless, semi-permanent wetlands for breeding; fluctuations in numbers of adults from year to year; need for a suitable configuration of terrestrial forest habitat and aquatic breeding sites; reliance on complex, 3-dimensional forest-floor structure, coarse woody debris, and moist microclimates; migratory behaviour between aquatic breeding sites and terrestrial foraging habitats, which increases susceptibility to road mortality, predation, and other sources of mortality, especially in fragmented landscapes; total reliance on the presence of males of related, diploid species at risk for reproduction.

References:

Bi. K., and J. P. Bogart. 2010. Time and time again: unisexual salamanders (genus Ambystoma) are the oldest unisexual vertebrates. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 238doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-238

Bishop, S.C. 1947. Handbook of Salamanders. Ithaca, NY. Comstock.

Bogart, J. P. 2010. Update COSEWIC Status Report on Jefferson Salamander, Ambystoma jeffersonianum. (draft). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Bogart, J. P., and M. W. Klemens. 1997. Hybrids and genetic interactions of mole salamanders (Ambystoma jeffersonianum and A. laterale) (Amphibia: Caudata) in New York and New England. American Museum Novitates (3218):1-78.

Bogart J.P., and M.W. Klemens. 2008. Additional distributional records of Ambystoma laterale, A. jeffersonianum (Amphibia: Caudata) and their unisexual kleptogens in northeastern North America. American Museum of Natural History Novitates 3627: 1-58. 

Bogart, J.P., K. Bi, J. Fu, D.W.A. Noble and J. Niedzwieki. 2007. Unisexual salamanders (genus Ambystoma) present a new reproductive mode for eukaryotes. Genome 50: 119-136

Bogart, J.P., J. Bartoszek, D.W.A. Noble and K. Bi. 2009. Sex in unisexual salamanders: discovery of a new sperm donor with ancient affinities. Heredity 103: 483-493.

Brodman, R. 2005a. Ambystoma jeffersonianum, Jefferson Salamander. In Lannoo, M., editor. Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species. 611–613.Berkeley, California, U.S.A University of California Press.

Brodman, R. 2005b. Ambystoma laterale, Blue-spotted Salamander. In Lannoo, M., editor. Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species. 614–616.Berkeley, California, U.S.A University of California Press. 

Clanton, W. 1934. An unusual situation in the salamander Ambystoma jeffersonianum (Green). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan No. 290:1-14

Demaynadier, P.G., and M.L. Hunter. 1998. Effects of silvicultural edges on the distribution and abundance of amphibians in Maine. Conservation Biology 12: 340-352. 

Logier, E.B.S. and G.C. Toner. 1961. Check List of the Amphibians & Reptiles of Canada & Alaska. Life Science Division, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. Contribution No. 53: 92 pp.

Lowcock, L.A., L.E. Licht and J.P. Bogart. 1987. Nomenclature in hybrid complexes of Ambystoma (Urodela: Ambystomatidae): no case for the erection of hybrid “species”. Systematic Zoology: 36:328-336.

Minton, S.A. 1954. Salamanders of the Ambystoma jeffersonianum complex in Indiana. Herpetologica 10: 173-179.

NatureServe. 2010. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: February 12, 2011 ). 

Nyman, S., M.J. Ryan and J.D. Anderson. 1988. The distribution of the Ambystoma jeffersonianum complex in New Jersey. Journal of Herpetology 22:224-228.

Petranka, J.W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press. 587pp.

Robertson, A.V., C. Ramsden, J. Niedzwiecki, J. Fu and J.P. Bogart. 2006. An unexpected recent ancestor of unisexual Ambystoma. Molecular  Ecology 15: 3339-3351.

Uzzell, T.M. 1964. Relations of the diploid and triploid species of the Ambystoma jeffersonianum complex (Amphibia, Caudata). Copeia 1964:257-300.

PREPARED BY: Amphibians and Reptiles SSC, January 2012

Arthropods

Hemileuca  nuttalli *
Nuttall's Sheep Moth
BC

Kingdom: Animalia –Animal, animals, animaux
Phylum: Arthropoda – arthropods, arthropods, Artrópode
Subphylum: Hexapoda - hexapods
Class: Insecta – insects 
Subclass: Pterygota – insects, winged insects
Order: Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths
Family: Saturnidae
Subfamily: Hemileucinae
Genus: Hemileuca Walker
Species: nuttalli (Strecker)

Hemileuca nuttalli is a large, colorful, day-flying silkmoth restricted to the low elevation Antelope-brush grassland ecosystems found in the south Okanagan River Valley of British Columbia. Globally, the species ranges through the dry interior of Great Basin and Interior Columbia River drainage in western North America. 

There are a small number of records from Osoyoos, Vaseux Lake (3 records: two of these were larvae reared to adults and the only two records at the RBCM), White Lake (Dennis St. John, personal observation) and Oliver (1 record). 

The primary larval hostplants are Purshia and Snowberry, although other plants have been documented in southern parts of the species range. The southern Okanogan valley and in particular the native Purshia are under intense pressure from is high value for conversion for wine production as well as for residential development.

i. Taxonomic Level: – species – high

ii. Portion of Global Range in Canada: < 5% - low

iii. Existing global conservation status: – low - IUCN: none, Natureserve, G-rank G5, State/Province – Colorado (S4), Wyoming (SNR), BC (SNR). National Status – US (N5), Canada (NNR)

iv. Canadian population and trends: - high – few records (6 or less) within provincial museums and collections. Collections from Osoyoos, Oliver, White Lake and Vaseaux Lake; inferred long term and continuing loss of habitat in Canada, due to loss of Antelope-brush habitat in the southern Okanagan; Field biologists working in the Okanagan region for many years provide anecdotal evidence and both remark ‘it appears to be much less common than Behr’s Hairstreak’ (Mike Sarrell and Dennis St. John). 

v. Threats: – high –  continual loss of habitat due to development.

 IUCN #1 Residential and commercial development - The primary threat to Nuttall’s Sheep Moth is the cumulative habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation of the Antelope-brush plant community . Approximately 67% of the Antelope-brush / Needle-and-thread grass plant communities have been destroyed by agricultural and urban development since 1800 (Lea, 2008, B. White, pers. comm., 2010); 

IUCN # 2 Agriculture and aquaculture - Pesticide drift from adjacent agricultural and viticulture management areas may prove to be detrimental to populations and habitat through direct mortality at localized sites. Depending on the adjacent agricultural crop, the timing, quantity, application and chemical components within a pesticide differ and this information is not available for each site. Herbicide treatments for invasive plants may affect non-target species including Antelope-brush and nectar host plants; 

IUCN #6 Human intrusions and disturbance - Recreational activities, such as all-terrain vehicle use, may impact habitat at some sites on both private and crown land;

 IUCN #7 Natural system modifications - Alteration of the natural fire regime by wildfire protection and suppression programs appears to have increased fire intensity and severity throughout the Okanagan valley. Wildfires were likely once more common throughout Antelope-brush habitats (Young and Clements, 2002). Fire suppression ultimately leads to large stand-replacing fires rather than small less intense surface and patchy fires that otherwise leave Antelope-brush plant community patches intact. During 2005 there were extensive fires within the Okanagan valley, and Antelope-brush habitats were significantly impacted from these fires (O. Dyer, pers. comm., 2009). Alternately, fire can also enhance the germination of Antelope-brush seeds in rodent caches, and in some areas, induce sprouting (Blaisdell and Mueggler, 1956; Driver et al., 1980; Young and Clements, 2002). It is unknown if fire induces re-sprouting in Antelope-brush in the south Okanagan. Changes to fire regimes and the introduction of invasive plant species may also have modified the structure and composition of Antelope-brush plant communities. Tree encroachment, in the absence of frequent fire, has likely reduced the size and extent of Antelope-brush plants at some sites, due to shading and competition (S. Desjardins, pers. comm., 2009; D. St. John, pers. comm., 2009; O. Dyer, pers. comm., 2009). Grazing likely impacts Antelope-brush at some sites, either through direct grazing and/or compaction of soil thus limiting future establishment of the host plant(s); 

IUCN #8 Invasive and other problematic species and genes - Many introduced plants occur throughout Antelope-brush ecosystems. Some plants appear to have little impact to the ecosystems, while others including Cheatgrass, Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta), Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa), and Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria genistifolia ssp. dalmatica) have significant adverse impacts (South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program, 2009). For example, Sulphur Cinquefoil can form monospecific stands and may eventually out-compete Behr’s Hairstreak nectar host plants and prevent re-establishment of Antelope-brush plants after wildfires. Numerous invertebrate predators have been introduced to B.C. as biological control agents (targeting invasive plant species) and have unknown impacts to native lepidoptera populations. For example, parasitic tachinid flies (Family Tachinidae) have been introduced as a biological control agent for the European Gypsy Moth. These flies are known to have a detrimental effect on all Lepidoptera. Currently, these flies have only been introduced to the eastern United States and Canada. There is a possibility these species could be introduced to western North America through natural dispersal mechanisms or intentionally for biological control; 

IUCN #11 Climate change and severe weather - Climate change is a potential but poorly understood threat to Behr’s Hairstreak in the south Okanagan, primarily due to the impacts such change could bring to the ecosystem. Climate change may increase summer drought in southern B.C., potentially resulting in premature senescence of larval and nectar host plants, or may change rain patterns during the larval period, potentially reducing juvenile survival. Additional research is required. Alternatively, the climate envelope suitable for Antelope-brush growth could potentially increase as a result of climate change. Wilson and Hebda (2008) state Behr’s Hairstreak [climate] impact model shows the occurrence of suitable climate for grassland in northwest B.C. just south of the Yukon border by 2080. However, current rates of habitat loss and fragmentation within the known range, combined with the natural dispersal capabilities of both Antelope-brush seeds (R. Hebda, pers. comm., 2008 to O. Dyer, pers. comm., 2008) and Behr’s Hairstreak adults, are likely to prevent natural expansion. 

vi. Small extent of occurrence and area of occupancy:  – high  (area can be determined from other listed species occurring in the same habitats i.e. Behr’s Hairstreak - approximate range extent, including Osoyoos, White Lake, Vaseux Lake and Oliver, is < 250km2).

vii. Limiting biological factors: – moderate to high - depends on Antelope-brush (Purshia tridentata) in the Okanagan. In the United States, it is also known to use Snowberry (Symphoricarpos) as a host plant (Tuskes, 1984).

References: 

St. John, Dennis. 2010 (unpublished report). An inventory strategy for Nuttall’s Buckmoth (Hemileuca nuttalli nuttalli (Strecker, 1875)) with commentary on Common Sheep Moth (Hemileuca eglanterina (Boisduval, 1852)) and Sagebrush Sheep Moth (Hemileuca hera hera (Harris, 1841)). B.C. Ministry of Environment, Penticton Office, Penticton, B.C. 

Tuskes, P.M. 1984.  The biology and distribution of  California Hemileucinae (Saturniidae). J.  Lepid. Soc. 38:281-309.

Tuskes, J., Tuttle, J. and Collins, M. 1996. The Wild Silk Moths of North America: A Natural History of the Saturnidae of the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. 264. pp.

Personal Communications: Sarrell, Mike. Entomologist, Osoyoos, B.C., St. John, Dennis. Entomologist, Okanagan Falls, B.C.

PREPARED BY: Gary Anweiler, June 2010; Updated by Jenny Heron, July 2011

Coreorgonal  petulcus *
Erigonine dwarf spider
BC

The erigonine linyphiid genus Coreorgonal Bishop & Crosby is endemic to the Pacific Northwest. Two of the three described species are very rare with globally restricted ranges. One of these, C. petulcus (Millidge), is endemic to a small area of the Georgia Basin of British Columbia and Washington with only one population in Canada at the extreme southern end of Vancouver Island. Extensive hand collecting and more than 50 000 days of pitfall trapping throughout southern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland of British Columbia have demonstrated that the relatively widespread species C. monoceros (Keyserling) is common in the Georgia Basiin but C. petulcus is found only in an old coastal Douglas-fir forest site on Department of National Defence property at Rocky Point (Metchosin) and, possibly, in similar habitat at adjacent Pearson College property. These forests are at risk to destruction by fire – the habitat is very dry and loaded with a large amount and variety of woody fuel. The habitats are undergoing significant change resulting from understory ingrowth of native species as well as large and expanding populations of invasive plant species such as gorse, English ivy, and Scotch broom. The Rocky Point property is highly valuable and, although not currently for sale, was considered by the federal government in recent years for disposal for residential/commercial development. Coreorgonal petulcus is nationally ranked N1N2 in NatureServe Canada’s (2010) draft provincial/national conservation rankings of all spider species found in Canada. The existence of only one Canadian population of this species at a single vulnerable location makes it an apparently excellent species for consideration by COSEWIC. 

i. Taxonomic level: high – species. 

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: high – ~10% of very small global range (Georgia Basin endemic). 

iii. Existing global conservation status: high – Not ranked globally; NatureServe draft N-RANK – N1N2 (between critically imperiled and imperiled). 

iv. Canadian population size and trends: high – one population, trend unknown. 

v. Threats: high  – Single location at risk to complete destruction from single catastrophic event (e.g., forest fire). Detrimental habitat change due to forest ingrowth and invasion of alien plant species is ongoing. DND properties are occasionally subject to disposal for for residential/commercial development. 

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: high – single Canadian population – EO and AO less than 2 km2 . 

vii. Limiting biological factors: moderate – may be restricted to old, undisturbed forests.  
 
References: 

Bennett, R.G., Blades, D., Dondale, C.D., Buckle, D.J., and West, R.C.. 2010. The spiders of British Columbia [online database]. in: Klinkenberg, Brian (Editor). E-Fauna BC: electronic atlas of the fauna of British Columbia. Available online at http://www.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/efauna/spiders.html. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 

Crawford, R.L. 1988. An annotated checklist of the spiders of Washington. Burke Museum Contributions, 5: 1-48. 

Metchosin Biodiversity Project. 2011. Metchosin Bioblitz 2011 results. Available online at http://metchosinbiodiversity.com. 

Millidge, A.F. 1981. The erigonine spiders of North America. Part 3. The genus Scotinotylus Simon (Araneae: Linyphiidae). Journal of Arachnology 9: 167-213.

PREPARED BY: Robb Bennett 8/7/2011 (revised 24/2/2012)

Coccinella  novemnotata *
Nine-spotted Lady Beetle
BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE

The historic range of Coccinella novemnotata included most of southern Ontario and Quebec, as well as the southern prairies from Brandon to the mountains, and southern British Columbia. In eastern Canada work in insect collections has documented the shrinkage of geographic range.  The most recent record from Ontario is in the early 1980s.  In southern Quebec a small population at Mont St-Hilaire found in 2006 is the only record since 1980 (McCorquodale et al. 2011).  In southern BC there are no records since 2000. In Alberta populations persist, apparently at lower levels than in the 1980s (Acorn 2007). This species has disappeared from much of the eastern United States as well (Wheeler and Hoebeke 1995; Harmon et al. 2007). Competition with newly arrived non-native lady beetles is often assumed to be the proximate factor for the declines.  However data are limited to support this.  Changes in land use, especially characteristics of fence rows, pesticide use and disease are other possible factors in the decline.

i. Taxonomic level: high  – species.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: moderate - high – about 20% (but recent declines in US may make this figure much higher). 

iii. Existing global conservation status: high – Natureserve  S2 for eastern provinces, S3 for western. 

iv. Canadian population size and trends: high – Decline (>90%) over three decades in east and BC based on survey of collections. 

v. Threats: high – Competition with non-native lady beetles, diseases from non-native lady beetles, land use changes, pesticides. 

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: high – AO = approx. 4 km2 in eastern Canada, unknown in Alberta and prairies, possibly gone in BC.

vii. Limiting biological factors: moderate – the reasons for the widespread and substantial decline are unknown.  
 
References:

Acorn, J. 2007. Ladybugs of Alberta, finding and connecting the dots. The University of Alberta Press, Edmonton, Alberta. 169 pp.

Harmon, J.P., Stephens, E. and Losey, J. 2007. The decline of native coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States and Canada. Journal of Insect Conservation 11: 85-94.

Losey, J.E., Perlman, J.E. and Hoebeke, E.R. 2007. Citizen scientist rediscovers rare nine-spotted lady beetle, Coccinella novemnotata, in eastern North America. Journal of Insect Conservation. 11: 415-417.

McCorquodale, D.B., Giberson, D.J. and Marriott, S.M. 2011. Changes in the status and geographic range of Canadian lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Coccinellinae) and the selection of candidate species for risk assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada – Part 3.  Report to COSEWIC Arthropods Species Specialist Committee. 60 pp.

PREPARED BY:  David McCorquodale

Trimerotropis  huroniana *
Lake Huron Grasshopper
ON

Kingdom: Animalia -- Animal, animals, animaux
Phylum: Arthropoda -- arthropodes, arthropods, Artrópode
Subphylum: Hexapoda  -- hexapods
Class: Insecta  -- hexapoda, insectes, insects, inseto
Subclass: Pterygota  -- insects ailés, winged insects
Infraclass: Neoptera  -- modern, wing-folding insects
Order: Orthoptera  -- crickets, criquet-locustes, gafanhoto, grasshoppers, grilo, katydids,
locustes, locusts, sauterelles
Suborder: Caelifera  
Infraorder: Acrididea  
Superfamily: Acridoidea MacLeay, 1819 
Family: Acrididae MacLeay, 1819 -- grasshoppers, short-horned grasshoppers
Subfamily: Oedipodinae  
Genus: Trimerotropis Stål, 1873 
Species: Trimerotropis huroniana E. M. Walker, 1902

Trimerotropis huroniana is a Great Lakes endemic (only occurs in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario). It also has a narrow ecological tolerance being restricted to sparsely vegetated, high quality, undisturbed dunes of Great Lakes shores. The habitat, and therefore the grasshopper, is threatened by home and cottage development, recreational activities, increasing erosion of the sandy shores, and conversion of open sand by invasive European Common Reed. The apparently limited tolerance of the species to habitat change, results in the loss of local populations when habitat is degraded, not just a reduction in population numbers.

i. Taxonomic level: high - Species. 

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: moderate ~10-25% global range.
The Lake Huron Grasshopper is a regional endemic species that is known only from Great Lakes sand dunes in northeastern Wisconsin, the eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and on the central Lake Huron shoreline of Ontario. In Ontario it is currently only known from a single site (Carter Bay, Manitoulin Island). Three other historical sites exist (Giant’s Tomb Island and Wasaga Beach, Georgian Bay and Southampton, Lake Huron) but there are no recent records despite searches.

iii. Existing global conservation status: high - Global Rank: G2G3, National Rank (US): N2N3, National Rank (Canada): NH (but should be S1), Subnational Rank (Ontario): S1.

iv. Canadian population size and trends: high - No information on population size is available. Trends – long-term trend is declining based upon the species apparently no longer occurring at three former sites.

v. Threats: high - The habitat, and therefore the grasshopper, is threatened by home and cottage development, recreational activities, increasing erosion of the sandy shores, and conversion of open sand by invasive European Common Reed.

vi. Small extent of occurrence (EO) or area of occupancy (AO): high - In Ontario, currently only known to be extant at a single site on Manitoulin Island.

vii. Limiting biological factors: moderate - It also has a narrow ecological tolerance being restricted to sparsely vegetated, high quality, undisturbed shoreline dunes where it may be displaced as a result of increases in native species.  

References:

NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: July 25, 2011 ).

Rabe, M.L. 1999. Special Animal Abstract for Trimerotropis huroniana (Lake Huron locust). Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI 3pp. Online. Available: http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/abstracts/zoology/Trimerotropis_huroniana.pdf

Sjogren, M. 2001. Conservation assessment for Lake Huron Locust (Trimerotropis huroniana). USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region. 12 pp. Online. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/wildlife/tes/ca-overview/docs/insect_Trimerotropis_huroniana-LakeHuronLocust.pdf

PREPARED BY: Colin Jones

Coccinella  transversoguttata **
Transverse Lady Beetle
YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Kingdom	Animalia  – Animal, animaux, animals
Phylum	Arthropoda  – Artrópode, arthropodes, arthropods
Subphylum	Hexapoda – hexapods
Class		Insecta - insects, hexapoda, inseto, insectes
Subclass	Pterygota – insects ailés, winged insects
Infraclass	Neoptera – modern, wing-folding insects
Order		Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758 – beetles, coléoptères, besouro
Suborder	Polyphaga Emery, 1886
Infraorder	Cucujiformia Lameere, 1938
Superfamily	Cucujoidea Latreille, 1802
Family		Coccinellidae Latreille, 1807 – ladybird beetles, coccinelles
Subfamily	Coccinellinae Latreille, 1807
Genus		Coccinella Linnaeus, 1758
Species	Coccinella transversoguttata Faldermann, 1835
Subspecies	Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni Brown, 1962 – transverse lady beetle, coccinelle à bande transvers
 
i. Taxonomic level – species – high. No designatable units proposed at this time.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada – about 65%, increasing because of contraction of range in northern USA - moderate 

iii. Existing global conservation status – Not ranked globally.  General status in Canada in 2010, S2 for eastern provinces PE, NS, NB, QC, ON, MB; S3 for SK and AB and S5 for NL, BC, YT, NT. NO records in Maritimes since 1994, no records in southern ON or QC since about 1985, declines in AB.  Few records in southern BC since 1990 - high 

iv. Canadian population size and trends – dramatic contraction of geographic range in southern Ontario and Quebec, Maritimes, also Manitoba and coastal British Columbia. Reduced populations in southern Alberta, status in SK, NT, YT and eastern BC not clear. Was more common than Nine- spotted Lady Beetle in much of the southern, populated areas of Canada prior to 1975.  As with Nine-spotted, largely gone from settled areas now (2012) - high 

v. Threats – suspected threats include pesticide use, competition with non-native lady beetles, susceptibility to non-native disease causing organisms, changing land use - high 

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy – collection records indicate a decline in geographic range in Maritimes, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia and reduced numbers in southern Alberta; - high 

vii. Limiting biological factors –– low 
 
References: 

Acorn, J. 2007. Ladybugs of Alberta: Finding the spots and connecting the dots.  University of Alberta Press, Edmonton, AB. 
 
Harmon, J.P., Stephens, E. and Losey, J. 2007. The decline of native coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States and Canada. Journal of Insect Conservation 11: 85-94. 
 
McCorquodale, D.B., Giberson, D.J. and Marriott, S.M. 2011. Changes in the status and geographic ranges of Canadian lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Coccinellinae) and the selection of candidate species for risk assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.   
 
PREPARED BY: David McCorquodale, 26 June 2012

Melanoplus  madeleineae **
Magdalen Grasshopper
QC

Kingdom	Animala, animaux, animals
Phylum	Arthropoda  – Artrópode, arthropodes, arthropods	 
Subphylum	Hexapoda  – hexapods	 
Class		Insecta  – insects, hexapoda, inseto, insectes	 
Subclass	Pterygota  – insects ailés, winged insects	 
Infraclass	Neoptera  – modern, wing-folding insects	 
Order		Orthoptera  – grasshoppers, locusts, criquet-locustes, locustes, sauterelles, gafanhoto, grilo, crickets, katydids	 
Suborder	Caelifera  	 
Infraorder	Acrididea  	 
Superfamily	Acridoidea MacLeay, 1819 	 
Family		Acrididae MacLeay, 1819 – grasshoppers, short-horned grasshoppers	 
Subfamily	Melanoplinae  	 
Genus		Melanoplus Stål, 1873 	 
Species	Melanoplus magdalenae Hebard, 1935	

Melanoplus magdalenae is endemic to the Magdalen Islands. Most recently this endemic status has been supported. There are increasing threats as a result of loss of habitat and also likely continuous and increasing pressure of subsidized predators such as Starlings. Females are slow to avoid predation and are killed by an increasing traffic on roads and paths.  

i. Taxonomic level: high - Species. 

Ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: high ~ all of global range.
This species is endemic to the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  

Iii. Existing global conservation status: high - Global Rank: G2 (imperilled) – Natureserve.

Iv. Canadian population size and trends: high – Only small numbers (less than 10) have even been reported at a site. Trends – long-term trend is declining based upon the general loss of habitat.

V. Threats : high - The habitat, and therefore the grasshopper, is threatened by development, recreational activities, and traffic on roads. 

Vi. Small extent of occurrence (EO) or area of occupancy (AO): high - Currently only known from four islands in the Magdalen chain in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Vii. Limiting biological factors: high – Relatively large habitat patches may be needed. Females appear to wander to find egg-laying sites, which increases contact with traffic and predators.   

References:

Scudder, G.G.E. and V.R. Vickery. 2010. Chapter 17, Grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and allied insects of the Atlantic Maritime Ecozone. Pp. 371-379 in D.F. McAlpine and I.M. Smith, eds., Assessment of species diversity in the Atlantic Maritime Ecozone. NRC Research Press, Ottawa. 785 pp. 

Vickery, V.R. and D.K.M. Kevan. 1985. The insects and arachnids of Canada, part 14. The grasshoppers, crickets, and related insects of Canada and adjacent regions. Ulonata: Dermaptera, Cheleutoptera, Notoptera, Dictuoptera, Grylloptera, and Orthoptera. Agriculture Canada Research Branch Publication 1777. Ottawa. Ontario. 918 pp.

Vickery, V.R. and G.G.E. Scudder. 1987. The Canadian orthopteroid insects summarized and updated, including a tabular check-list and ecological notes. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Ontario 118: 25-45.
 
PREPARED BY: Paul M. Catling, 26 June 2012

Birds

Zonotrichia  querula **
Harris's Sparrow
NT, NU, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON

i.Taxonomic level: Species – single DU

ii. Portion of global range in Canada: 100% of the global breeding range is in Canada; it is the only passerine endemic to Canada as a breeder.  The wintering range is entirely within the United States. 

Iii. Existing global conservation status: IUCN status is Least Concern.  The NatureServe global status is G5 (secure); Provincial/territorial breeding status ranked as S3 (Vulnerable) for Northwest Territories, S3S4 (Vulnerable to Apparently Secure) for Manitoba and S5 (Secure) for Saskatchewan; not ranked in any other jurisdictions except as a migrant.   On the Partners in Flight Watch List under the category of species that are moderately abundant or widespread, but experiencing declines or facing high threats.

Iv. Canadian population size and trends: Population estimate of 2 million birds by Partners in Flight.  Breeding range is outside of Breeding Bird Survey coverage.  Monitored by relatively few Canadian Migration Monitoring Network stations, but showing steep recent declines at both Last Mountain Lake (SK) and Delta Marsh (MB).  Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data from across wintering range showed an overall estimated decline of 56% from 1966-67 to 2005-06, and a 1.8% annual decline from 1965-66 through 2002-03, including significantly negative trends in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, the states with the largest wintering populations.  However, the wintering range has expanded in recent decades, leading to speculation that perceived declines may in part reflect a reduced concentration of the wintering population.  Assessing the reliability of CBC data for monitoring this species has been identified as a top priority.

V. Threats: Causes of decline largely unknown, but suspected to be related more to changes in the wintering range than the breeding range, including loss of preferred shrubby habitat, and possibly pesticide exposure.  However, deforestation in the breeding range (due to fire or other disturbances) and potential reduction of the forest-tundra ecotone due to global warming have been proposed as possible concerns.  Some increase in mortality may also be attributed to collisions with a growing number of wind turbines and communication towers within the migration corridor.

Vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: not applicable

vii. Limiting biological factors: none evident
 
PREPARED BY: Marcel Gahbauer, February 20, 2013

Coccothraustes  vespertinus *
Evening Grosbeak
YT, NT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

i.Taxonomic level: Species - single DU

ii. Portion of global range in Canada: Approximately 57% of global breeding population and 54% of the breeding range is in Canada.  

iii. Existing global conservation status: The global rank from NatureServe was G5 (secure; last reviewed 1996) and for the IUCN the last rank was Least Concern. General Status ranks, as of 2010, were 4 (Secure) across much of its Canadian range, with the exception of  YT, MB, ON, NB and PE where it is ranked as 3 (Sensitive).

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Population estimate based on an extrapolation from Boreal Avian Modelling density estimates is approximately 14.6 million birds in Canada. Long-term trend data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) show a significant decline of 3.4% per year between 1970 and 2009 (95% confidence limits -5.3% to -1.4%). This is equivalent to a loss of 74% of the population over the last 39 years. Short-term trend data show a significant decline of 8.4% per year between 1999 and 2009 (95% confidence limits -14.7% to -1.6%), amounting to a loss of 58% of the population in the last 10 years. The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas indicates a 30% loss of area of occupancy over the last 20 years, whereas preliminary data from the Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas suggest a 59% loss. The Christmas Bird Count reports a 40-yr decline of 74% (1966-2006), whereas Project FeederWatch (1988-2006) shows a 50% decline in frequency of occurrence, and a 27% decline in flock size where the species continues to be seen (Bonter and Harvey 2008).

v. Threats:  Not well documented, but could include loss and degradation of breeding or wintering habitat, decline in primary food source(s), especially spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana and C. occidentalis). However, results from correlative studies on the relationship between budworm and Evening Grosbeak abundance are inconsistent (Gillihan and Byers 2001). The species is reported to be more abundant in stands older than rotation age in SK (Cumming and Diamond 2002), but it is also reported to be tolerant to, or even favours forest management at moderate levels of intensity (e.g. thinning; Hagar et al. 1996; Hayes et al. 2003). The species can be a victim of salmonellosis (Daoust et al. 2000).

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: No.

vii. Limiting biological factors: No apparent limitation from nesting microhabitat; reproduction mainly tied to abundant sources of food nearby (Gillihan and Byers 2001). 

References:

Bonter, D.N. and Harvey, M.G. 2008. Condor 110: 376-381.

Cumming, E.E. and Diamond, A.W. 2002. Can. Field-Nat. 116: 69-75.

Daoust, P.-Y. et al. 2000. Can. Vet. J. 41: 54-59. 

Gillihan, S.W. and Byers, B. 2001. Evening Grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus. The Birds of North America No. 599.

PREPARED BY: Marc-André Villard, February 2011

Calamospiza  melanocorys **
Lark Bunting
AB, SK, MB

i. Taxonomic level: Species – single DU

ii. Portion of global range in Canada: Canada is on the northern fringe of the species distribution, with approximately 15% of the global breeding range, but only 2% of the population.  The wintering range is primarily in Texas and northern Mexico, but extends into Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Baja California.  

iii. Existing global conservation status: IUCN lists the species as Least Concern but notes a decreasing trend.  The NatureServe global status is G5 (Secure) but has not been updated since December 1996; the national status for Canada is N4N5B (Apparently Secure to Secure breeding population) as of September 2011.  Provincial/territorial breeding status ranked as S4 (Apparently Secure) for Alberta, S4S5 (Apparently Secure to Secure) for Saskatchewan, and S1 (Critically Imperilled) for Manitoba.   A declining Yellow List species on the Partners in Flight Watch List.

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Population estimate of 9.1 million birds by Partners in Flight, with approximately 160,000 in Canada; the Status of Birds in Canada population estimate ranges from 50,000 to 500,000.  For Canada, the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) trend is significantly negative, with a 99% cumulative decline from 1970 to 2011, and a 59% decline from 2001-2011.  However, precision is relatively poor and trends are strongly influenced by nomadic movements of this species, so that a range-wide trend is more informative.  Across its full North American range, BBS trends indicate declines of 89% from 1966 to 2010, and 46% from 2000 to 2010.  Declines of similar magnitude were measured in the U.S. portion of range, suggesting that rescue potential is poor.   

v. Threats: Specific causes of decline not identified, but loss/modification of grassland breeding habitat suspected to be a key factor.  Although reported to nest in cropland in parts of its breeding range, intensive agriculture is generally believed to disturb/limit breeding habitat.  Hay fields can be important breeding habitat, but there is a risk of mortality from mowing during the nesting season.  Fragmentation may be a concern, as densities are positively correlated with area of contiguous grassland.  Heavy grazing can reduce habitat suitability.  Some evidence of vulnerability to pesticides.  Fire may limit habitat suitability, especially if it eliminates shrubs.

Vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: not applicable

vii. Limiting biological factors: some evidence of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, but generally considered to be a minor factor.

PREPARED BY: Marcel Gahbauer, February 20, 2013

Fishes (freshwater)

Gasterosteus  aculeatus *
Little Quarry Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback
BC

i.Taxonomic Level – DUs within Gasterosteus aculeatus species complex: The Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) comprises a species complex (i.e., morphologically, genetically, and behaviourally distinct forms of uncertain taxonomic status) which includes sympatric biological species commonly referred to as “Benthic” and “Limnetic” species pairs, so-named for their distinct foraging ecology. Sympatric pairs and SARA-listed Endangered benthic and limnetic species pairs of sticklebacks co-exist in three lake systems in southwestern British Columbia (BC) (Enos Lake, Paxton Lake, and Vananda Creek); the pair in Little Quarry Lake on Nelson Island, BC, is a recently discovered pair (Gow et al. 2008). Since their discovery in 1980s and 1990s, the pair is Enos Lake has formed a hybrid swarm and the pair in Hadley Lake is now extinct.

ii. Portion of Global Range in Canada: The Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks are Canadian endemics with 100% of their global range in a single Canadian Lake. 

iii. Existing Global Conservation Status: The Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks were only recently discovered and they have no provincial, national, or global rankings. All the other pairs are listed as either Extinct (SX, Hadley lake pair) or S1 in BC, N1 in Canada, and G1 globally.

iv. Canadian Population Sizes and Trends: There is no information on the population size of the Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks or on trends in population sizes. Based on studies on other species pair lakes, population sizes of each species are likely on the order of few tens of thousands (e.g., COSEWIC 2010). 
 
v. Threats: The biggest threat to the Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks is from exotic species introductions. Two of the six known species pair lakes have become extinct (Hadley Lake) or developed into hybrid swarms (Enos Lake), likely driven by introduction of exotic predators (Brown Bullhead and American Signal Crayfish in Hadley and Enos lakes, respectively). 

vi. Small Extent of Occurrence and Area of Occupancy: The Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks are found in a single lake with a surface area of 0.22 km2.

vii. Limiting Biological Factors: Limits to the Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Stickleback abundance are not well understood, but likely include food production, cover, predation, spawning habitat or other factors.  It is likely that the main limiting factor is food supply, i.e., the capability of each lake to produce plankton and benthos. The primary factor determining conservation status is their extreme endemism and the susceptibility to rapid declines from interactions with exotic species.

viii. Information Sources: Information from the literature, ongoing research at the University of British Columbia, and monitoring efforts by local stewardship groups will be accessed.   

References:

COSEWIC. 2010. COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Paxton Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), Environment Canada, Ottawa.
Gow, J.L., S.M. Rogers, M. Jackson, and D. Schluter. 2008. Ecological predictions lead to the discovery of a benthic–limnetic sympatric species pair of threespine stickleback in Little Quarry Lake, British Columbia. Can. J. Zool. 86: 564-571.

PREPARED BY: E.B. Taylor, February 2012

Gasterosteus  aculeatus *
Little Quarry Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback
BC

i.Taxonomic Level – DUs within Gasterosteus aculeatus species complex: The Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) comprises a species complex (i.e., morphologically, genetically, and behaviourally distinct forms of uncertain taxonomic status) which includes sympatric biological species commonly referred to as “Benthic” and “Limnetic” species pairs, so-named for their distinct foraging ecology. Sympatric pairs and SARA-listed Endangered benthic and limnetic species pairs of sticklebacks co-exist in three lake systems in southwestern British Columbia (BC) (Enos Lake, Paxton Lake, and Vananda Creek); the pair in Little Quarry Lake on Nelson Island, BC, is a recently discovered pair (Gow et al. 2008). Since their discovery in 1980s and 1990s, the pair is Enos Lake has formed a hybrid swarm and the pair in Hadley Lake is now extinct.

ii. Portion of Global Range in Canada: The Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks are Canadian endemics with 100% of their global range in a single Canadian Lake. 

iii. Existing Global Conservation Status: The Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks were only recently discovered and they have no provincial, national, or global rankings. All the other pairs are listed as either Extinct (SX, Hadley lake pair) or S1 in BC, N1 in Canada, and G1 globally.

iv. Canadian Population Sizes and Trends: There is no information on the population size of the Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks or on trends in population sizes. Based on studies on other species pair lakes, population sizes of each species are likely on the order of few tens of thousands (e.g., COSEWIC 2010). 
 
v. Threats: The biggest threat to the Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks is from exotic species introductions. Two of the six known species pair lakes have become extinct (Hadley Lake) or developed into hybrid swarms (Enos Lake), likely driven by introduction of exotic predators (Brown Bullhead and American Signal Crayfish in Hadley and Enos lakes, respectively). 

vi. Small Extent of Occurrence and Area of Occupancy: The Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks are found in a single lake with a surface area of 0.22 km2.

vii. Limiting Biological Factors: Limits to the Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Stickleback abundance are not well understood, but likely include food production, cover, predation, spawning habitat or other factors.  It is likely that the main limiting factor is food supply, i.e., the capability of each lake to produce plankton and benthos. The primary factor determining conservation status is their extreme endemism and the susceptibility to rapid declines from interactions with exotic species.

viii. Information Sources: Information from the literature, ongoing research at the University of British Columbia, and monitoring efforts by local stewardship groups will be accessed.   

References:

COSEWIC. 2010. COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Paxton Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), Environment Canada, Ottawa.
Gow, J.L., S.M. Rogers, M. Jackson, and D. Schluter. 2008. Ecological predictions lead to the discovery of a benthic–limnetic sympatric species pair of threespine stickleback in Little Quarry Lake, British Columbia. Can. J. Zool. 86: 564-571.

PREPARED BY: E.B. Taylor, February 2012

Prosopium  coulterii *
Pygmy Whitefish
YT†, NT, BC, AB†, ON†

i. Taxonomic Level – Species: The Pygmy Whitefish, Prosopium coulterii, has a disjunct Canadian distribution, with populations found in five of the National Freshwater Biogeographic Zones (NFBZ; Yukon, Pacific, Western Arctic, Saskatchewan-Nelson, and Great Lakes – upper St, Lawrence River).  Fragmented populations are scattered throughout BC in the Columbia, Fraser, and Skeena rivers; in the Peace and Liard systems, and in the upper Yukon and Alsek systems of northern BC and the Yukon.  East of the Continental Divide, the species is known from Great Bear Lake (NT), and in low numbers in the Waterton Lakes drainage (AB), upper Athabasca River drainage (AB), and Athabasca Lake (SK).  A disjunct population also exists in western Lake Superior and the species has recently been detected in Winnange Lake (N49.77850 W93.69328) in northwestern Ontario. Populations in the western Yukon are part of an evolutionary lineage that is highly distinct from populations in the rest of its range (~3% divergent in mitochondrial DNA and in nuclear DNA sequences – Witt et al. 2011). Its distribution as isolated occurrences in multiple NFBZs, the presence of at least two major evolutionary lineages, and its highly fragmented distribution suggest that this species has multiple DUs, some with very small ranges. 

ii. Portion of Global Range in Canada: Over 90% of its global range is in Canada.  The species has a limited distribution in American waters of the Columbia system in Washington, Idaho, and Montana and in the Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior.

iii. Existing Global Conservation Status: Considered imperiled in the US Columbia drainage (Washington), vulnerable in Wisconsin, apparently secure in Alaska and Michigan.  In eastern Canada, where it is known only from Lake Superior and in a single, small inland lake north of Lake Superior, its status is undetermined.  The BC and Yukon populations are considered apparently secure (S4). The Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee recently assessed the species’ status as Threatened. In Ontario, the status is undetermined (SU).

iv. Canadian Population Sizes and Trends: With the possible exception of Lake Superior and some British Columbia populations (McPhail 2007), Pygmy Whitefish are not common wherever they occur.  They are generally found in areas and habitats that have experienced little human impact, and populations in these areas are likely stable. They do not appear to thrive in areas where they are close to human contact, or in competition with other whitefishes and may be susceptible to environmental stresses such as habitat degradation, and increases in water temperature resulting from global warming or alteration of flow regimes.  It is believed that damage to rearing habitats by a variety of industrial developments has led to severe declines in some areas of Alberta, and perhaps BC. 
 
v. Threats: Western populations (especially those in Alberta) are currently threatened by habitat degradation resulting from logging, oil and gas exploration and development, urban development, and mining, and accidental spills of deleterious substances associated with these activities (Sullivan 2011). Potential threats also include global warming and stocking of exotic species. 

vi. Small Extent of Occurrence and Area of Occupancy: Applicable to western DUs in Yukon, Pacific, Saskatchewan-Nelson, and Western Arctic NFBZ, and northwestern Ontario where DUs are known only from single or a small number (< 5) of lakes.

vii. Limiting Biological Factors: May co-exist with other species of whitefish, it is a glacial relict, and has a large, but often discontinuous and restricted local range. The species is characterized by slow growth, low fecundity and short life cycle, and may be sensitive to habitat perturbations.

viii. Information Sources: Results of DFO sampling surveys in northwestern Ontario, Alberta Government surveys in Alberta, and extensive information from Peace Williston Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in BC will be assessed.   

References:

McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press.
Sullivan, M. 2011. Status of the pygmy whitefish (Prosopium coluterii) in Alberta: Update 2011. Alberta Status Report No. 27.
Witt, J., R. Zemlak, and E.B. Taylor. 2011. Phylogeography and the origins of range disjunctions in a north temperate fish, the pygmy whitefish (Prosopium coluterii) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence analysis. J. Biogeography 38: 1557-1569.

PREPARED BY: D. Watkinson, W. Tonn, and E.B. Taylor, February 2012

Percina  shumardi *
River Darter
MB†, ON†

i.Taxonomic Level – Species: The River Darter, Percina shumardi, has a disjunct distribution in Canada. Its core distribution in Canada is in northwestern Ontario and Manitoba. The only populations in the Great Lakes drainage basin were found in low numbers in the Lake St. Clair drainage.

ii. Portion of Global Range in Canada: About 30% of the global range is in Canada.  The species is widely distributed in 20 states in the Mississippi basin of the US, from the Gulf of Mexico north to the Red River of the North drainage, and to the Great Lakes.

iii. Existing Global Conservation Status: The River Darter is globally ranked as G5 (secure).  In Canada, the species is listed as S5 (secure) in Manitoba (S4, apparently secure) and S3 (vulnerable) in Ontario. The River Darter exhibits a major disjunction of at least 1000 km between two closest occurrences in the Saskatchewan-Nelson and Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence River Biogeographic Zones which constitute two DUs. Recent data from DFO surveys strongly suggest that the two DUs will have significantly different levels of risk. The species is widespread in the US and although it is considered secure in the country as a whole, it is critically imperiled in five states, including all states with Great Lakes populations, imperiled in two states, and vulnerable in four states.

iv. Canadian Population Sizes and Trend: In the Saskatchewan-Nelson DU, the species is widespread, but not abundant, and it appears to have declined significantly in the Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence DU, where it is only known from the Lake St. Clair drainage.  There are no known studies that have specifically examined trends in the abundance of the River Darter; however, extensive recent (2002-present) sampling within its known range in the Great Lakes found only a single specimen in Lake St. Clair.

v. Threats: Many darter species have exhibited dramatic declines in the Great Lakes as the result of negative interactions with the invasive Round Goby and other invaders – the River Darter is likely no exception. Habitat degradation has likely occurred in parts of its range, especially in the Great Lakes Upper St. Lawrence River (St. Clair region), which has negatively impacted its preferred large river habitat with coarse substrates and moderate flow.   The habitat of the River Darter in Ontario is an area of some of the most intensive agricultural, industrial, and urban development in the province, if not the country, that has lead to increased siltation, turbidity and nutrient loading, and several other freshwater species-at-risk are found here.
 
vi. Small EO/AO: Applicable to Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence River DU – known range restricted to the Lake St. Clair drainage.

vii. Limiting Biological Factors: Unknown.

viii. Information Sources: Results of DFO sampling surveys in Lake St. Clair will be assessed.  

PREPARED BY: Nick Mandrak, February 2012

Fishes (marine)

Cyclopterus  lumpus **
Northwest Atlantic Lumpfish
QC, NB, NS, PE, NL, Atlantic Ocean

i.Taxonomic level: Species.  Lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus Linnaeus, 1758 is a member of the Family Cyclopteridae of the Order Scorpaeniformes (Leim and Scott 1966).   It is found on both sides of the North Atlantic.  Limited migration and homing behaviour (DFO 2011) suggest that genetically distinct subpopulations could occur. 

Skirnisdottir et al. (2012) describe the development and characterization of 22 polymorphic microsatellite loci using next generation sequencing. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 27 in two geographically distant North Atlantic populations, with observed and expected heterozygosities ranging between 0.0625–0.979 and 0.0618–0.946, respectively.  The authors consider that these loci may allow assessment of the population genetic structure of this species, and contribute to its appropriate management.

ii. Portion of Global Range in Canada: The species is found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean and in Canada from Hudson Bay south to New Brunswick, extending as far south as Chesapeake Bay MD (Scott and Scott 1988).  Less than 50 percent of the extant global range is in Canada.

iii. Existing global conservation status: The species has not been assessed for the IUCN Red List or by NatureServe. Lumpfish are data limited and there are no complete assessments covering the Canadian range of the species. Lumpfish are likely to have experienced increased exploitation in the directed gillnet fishery following the groundfish stock collapses.   Management of the fishery is primarily through season length, amount of gear per fisherman and mesh size of gillnets.  There are no annual catch limits. 

Lumpfish are solitary rather than schooling and appear to exhibit a strong  homing instinct, migrating considerable distances in an annual cycle between deeper waters in winter and shallower waters in summer.  Females lay from 2 to 3 egg masses at intervals ranging from 8 to 14 days, and then return to deep waters, leaving the males to guard the eggs (DFO 2011). Egg masses are laid in May-June consisting of up to 140,000 eggs or more (Scott and Scott 1988).  Incubation lasts 6 weeks to 2 months and eggs are tended by the male over this period.  

The fishery is primarily for egg bearing females to provide a market alternative to sturgeon caviar (Johannesson 2006).  Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Norway are the main producers, but smaller quantities are produced in Denmark and Sweden. Canada was one of the biggest producers in the1990s but subsequent Canadian catches are much diminished.

iv. Canadian population size and trends: There are no complete assessments for Lumpfish throughout its Canadian range.   Research trawl survey data may not provide a reliable index of stock size.

In the Gulf of St Lawrence (NAFO Divisions 3Pn, 4RST), the sharp decline in landings, effort and yields despite the highest market prices in the history of this fishery ($10/kg in 2010) suggests a significant decline in the abundance of the resource (DFO 2011).  Lumpfish catches during trawl surveys in the Gulf of St Lawrence are generally low but increased catches were observed over 2005-2009 (DFO 2011).

Lumpfish on St Pierre Bank (NAFO Division 3P) were assessed in 2002 (DFO 2002).  Trawl survey data show an order of magnitude decline from the mid-1980s to 2002 but this may be attributed in part to changing the time of the survey to later in the year (DFO 2002).

There has been no recent assessment of Lumpfish on the Grand Bank (NAFO Division 3L) but fall survey catches in the most recent three years for which data are available (2008-2010) have been well below the average for the period since 1981 (DFO unpublished data).

A 1995 stock update for St Pierre Bank/Grand Bank/Newfoundland East Coast (NAFO Divs. 3KLP) concluded that with survey biomass estimates from 3Ps declining and landings with similar or higher effort in 3K also declining, it was very likely that Lumpfish were being over exploited in Newfoundland waters (Stansbury et al. 1995).  

Myers et al. (1995) analysed catch per unit effort for 9 individual Lumpfish fishermen around the coast of Newfoundland from 1989 to 1994 and found a decline in catch per unit effort in all areas with the greatest declines occurring along the North Coast of Newfoundland.

Based on interviews with Newfoundland fishermen, Neis et al. (1999) found a large decline in commercial catch per unit effort over the period 1978-96.

v. Threats: Lumpfish are fished commercially but there are no annual catch limits. There are no complete assessments of stock size or historical trends. Preliminary information on landings suggests that stock size has declined recently. This may be due to overfishing, which is considered to be the main threat.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or (index of) area of occupancy: The species inhabits coastal and offshore waters off the east coast of Canada and the area of occupancy is large.

vii. Limiting Biological Factors: The biology of lumpfish has not been well studied.  Lumpfish reach 30 cm by age 5 (DFO 2011).  Females have been known to grow upwards of 61 cm in length and weigh up to 9.1 kg. Males are typically 35.6 to 38.1 cm in length and weigh1.4 to 2.7 kg. Lumpfish mature between 3 and 5 years (http://www.fishaq.gov.nl.ca/research_development/fdp/lumpfish.pdf).

References:

DFO, 2002. Lumpfish in NAFO Division 3P. DFO Sci. Stock Status Rep. A2-17.

DFO. 2011. Assessment of Lumpfish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (3Pn, 4RST) in 2010. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec., Sci., Advis. Rep. 2011/005.

Johannesson, J. 2006.  Lumpfish caviar – from vessel to consumer.  FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 485.

Leim, A.H and Scott, W.B. Fishes of the Atlantic Coast of Canada.  Fisheries Research Board of Canada Bulletin No. 155, 485p.

Myers, R.A., Sjare, B., and Luscombe, R.B. 1995.  An analysis of lumpfish data on individual fishermen in the Newfoundland Region.  DFO Atl. Fish. Res. Doc. 95/66.

Neis, B., Schneider, D.C., Felt, L., Haedrich, R.L., Fischer, J., and Hutchings, J.A. 1999.  Fisheries assessment: what can be learned from interviewing the resource users?  Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 56: 1949-1963.

Skirnisdottir, S.,  Olafsdottir, G., Olafsson, K. Jendrossek, T., Lloyd, H., Helyar, S., Pampoulie, C., Danielsdottir, A., Kasper, J.  2012. Twenty-two novel microsatellite loci for lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus). Conservation Genetics Resources Sept 2012.

Stansbury, D.E., Murphy, E.F. and Bishop, C.A. 1995.  An update of Stock Status of 3KLP Lumpfish.  DFO Atl. Fish. Res. Doc. 95/65.

Scott, W.B.C and Scott, M.G. 1988.  Atlantic Fishes of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Canada, 731p.

PREPARED BY: Peter Shelton, January 2013

Lichens

Pannaria  lurida *
Wrinkled Shingle
NB, NS, NL

This is a leafy cyanolichen with a fragmented subtropical to hemiboreal global range. In North America, it is distributed from the Gulf States (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi) and along the eastern seaboard. In Canada, it occurs in southern Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick, and a single outlier in southwestern Newfoundland. It occurs in wet mixed forests, especially on trunks of red maple and ash, usually within three metres of the ground.
 
i.Taxonomic level: A single species with several subspecies. The one in Cananda, the Appalachian mountains and northeastern North American populations has been segregated as P. lurida ssp. russellii (Tuck.) P. M. Jørg. 

ii. Portion of global range in Canada: This lichen has been declining and has disappeared from its former range in New England, so that >50 % of the remaining global population of ssp. russellii is in Canada.
 
iii. Existing global conservation status: Tentative NatureServe rank of G3G5
 
iv. Canadian population size and trends: Known from 21 sites in Canada: 17 localities in NS, some of which are tightly clustered, 3 localities in NB, and a single locality in NL. At least one of the NB populations has been lost. Population trends in NS unknown.
 
v. Threats: The wrinkled shield lichen is a cyanolichen that is very sensitive to air pollution which may account for the lack of recent records from the USA  (Hinds & Hinds 2077), and the reason for its decline in New England. This lichen requires very moist habitats and therefore is sensitive to alteration of the water table or habitat destruction such as forest road construction or other developments. A recent threat is hardwood logging for biomass energy production. 
 
vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: IAO < 68 km2.
 
vii. Limiting biological factors: This lichen does not form vegetative propagules and therefore must be resynthesized at every generation by the re-association of a separately dispersed lichen fungus ascospore and a compatible strain of cyanobacterium on the surface of a deciduous tree trunk growing in a very moist habitat – clearly a rather rare event.

Refernces:

Ekman, S. &  Jørgensen, P. M. 2002 Towards a molecular phylogeny for the lichen family Pannariaceae (Lecanorales, Ascomycota) Canadian Journal of Botany, 2002, 80:(6) 625-634

Harris, R.C & Ladd, D.M. 2005. Lichens of the Ozarks – Preliminary draft, Nedw York Botanical Garden.

Hinds, J.W. & Hinds, P.L. 2007. Macrolichens of New England. New York Botanical Garden Press. 

Maass, W.S.G., B.L. Hoisington, and H. Harries. 1986. Pannaria lurida in Atlantic Canada. Proceedings of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science 36:131-135. 

Swinscow, T.D.V. & Krog, H. 1986 Some observations on the thallus in Pannaria with description of a new species. Lichenologist 18:309-315.

PREPARED BY: Mosses and Lichens SSC, August 2011

Acroscyphus  sphaerophoides *
Mountain Crab Eye Lichen
BC

This monotypic fruticose lichen is made up of upright branches with apothecia embedded in branch apices resembling the eyeballs of crabs. Spores are released to the surface of the hymenial layer and are dispersed by wind. In Canada, the lichen grows over base enriched rock or conifer wood in exposed coastal hyper-maritime and subalpine localities (Goward 1999).  The lichen is widespread but only a dozen localities are known world-wide with a Pan-Pacific distribution ranging from China, Nepal, Russia, Japan, British Columbia, Washington State  Mexico and Peru(Joneson 2003; Niu et al. 2008, GBIF 2011). 

i.Taxonomic level: Species in the Caliciales. Evolutionary relationships are shown by Tibell (2003). There is evidence that distinct chemical races exist among global populations of Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides (Niu et al. 2008).

ii. Portion of global range in Canada:15- 20%. 
Existing global conservation status: GNR

iii. Existing global conservation status: Global rank GNR and the BC rank is S1

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Three sites and three specimens are known from Canada collected in 1989, 1992, and 1996. Thre is also one location is known in Washington and a location in Mexico that has not been confirmed.

v. Threats: Logging is a threat to the species on dead wood when dead wood is removed or damaged during logging activities. The species also grows on rock surfaces within the influence of steep coastal creeks and waterfalls, habitats that are potentially threatened by hydropower development. Air pollution from industrial development, e.g near Kittimat located by two of the known sites is an additional potential threat.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: IAO: <12 km²

vii. Limiting biological factors: Apothecia are rare but there is no means of vegetative reproduction. Habitat requirements appear to be very specific. Known localities in British Columbia are characterized by considerable rainfall (2500 mm or greater) with high humidity throughout the year. Enrichment by bird droppings may also be an important habitat attribute and may help explain the distribution on the various recorded substrates.

References:

GBIF 2011. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. http://data.gbif.org (accessed on September 28, 2011 and based upon specimens from the Museum of Evolution Uppsala, UPS).

Goward, T. 1999. The Lichens of British Columbia, part 2–Fruticose Species. Crown Publications, Victoria, British Columbia.

Joneson, S. and Glew, K. A. 2003. Acroscyphus (Caliciaceae) in North America. The Bryologist 106(3):443-446.

Niu, D.L, Wang, L.S., Zhang, Y.J. and Yang C.R. 2008. Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides (lichenized Ascomycota, Caliciaceae) in Hengduanshan Mountains Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 36: 423-429 

Tibell, L. 2003. Tholurna dissimilis and generic delimitations in Caliciaceae inferred from nuclear ITS and LSU rDNA phylogenies (Lecanorales, lichenized ascomycetes). Mycological Research 107: 1403-1418.

PREPARED BY: Mosses and Lichens SSC, August 2011

Mammals (marine)

Pusa  hispida *
Ringed Seal
YT, NT, NU, MB, ON, QC, NL, Arctic Ocean

The Ringed Seal is ubiquitous in ice-covered marine waters of the Arctic and sub-Arctic. It is central to the mixed economy (subsistence and cash) of many Inuit communities and also the principal prey of the Polar Bear.

The Ringed Seal is dependent on stable sea ice as essential habitat, especially for pupping and protection from predators. Pups born outside of ice lairs are so small that even large gulls can be predators (Lyderson and Smith 1989). Since April 1989 when the species was assessed as Not at Risk, the evidence of rapid climate change has mounted. It is now widely accepted that climate change poses a serious threat to Ringed Seals given the expected (extensive) loss of sea ice (Learmonth et al. 2006; Kovacs and Lyderson 2008). Early break-up of sea ice and associated changes in the marine ecosystem have already resulted in reduced reproduction, poorer pup condition and higher pup mortality in Ringed Seals in some parts of the Canadian Arctic (Smith and Harwood 2001; Ferguson et al. 2005; Stirling 2005). 

i. Taxonomic level – Full species.

ii. Portion of global range in Canada – ~ 50%

iii. IUCN Red List or Nature Serve G rank – NatureServe: G5 (global status 1996); IUCN: least concern (2008). COSEWIC: Not at Risk (1989). The United States is considering listing the Ringed Seal under the ESA, based on new information indicating that rapid climate change threatens the species’ productivity and survival.

iv. Canadian population size and trends – >100,000, possibly millions and suspected decline.

v. Threats – Climate change and the associated loss of sea ice, which is ongoing and likely to affect a large proportion of the population.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy – not applicable.

vii. Limiting biological factors – The Ringed Seal is not behaviourally adapted to haul out or give birth on land, and is critically dependent on sea ice for pupping, pup rearing, protection from predators, and resting.

References

Ferguson, S. H., Stirling, I. and Mcloughlin, P. M. 2005. Climate change and ringed seal (Phoca hispida) recruitment in western Hudson Bay. Marine Mammal Science 21(1): 121-135

Kovacs, K. M. and Lydersen, C. 2008. Climate change impacts on seals and whales in the North Atlantic Arctic and adjacent shelf seas. Science Progress 91(2): 117-150

Learmonth, J. A., Macleod, C. D., Santos, M. B., Pierce, G. J., Crick, H. Q. P. and Robinson, R. A. 2006. Potential effects of climate change on marine mammals. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 44: 431-464.

Smith, T. G. and Harwood, L. A. 2001. Observations of neonate ringed seals, Phoca hispida, after early break-up of the sea ice in Prince Albert Sound, Northwest Territories, 
Canada, spring 1998. Polar Biology 24: 215-219.

Stirling, I. 2005. Reproductive rates of ringed seals and survival of pups in Northwestern Hudson Bay, Canada, 1991-2000. Polar Biology 28: 381-387.

Molluscs

Zacoleus  idahoensis *
Sheathed Slug
BC

There are only two records of the species from Canada, both from near Moyie Lake in southeastern British Columbia (Ovaska and Sopuck 2009, 2010). Until the discovery of the slug in B.C. in 2009, it was thought to be a local endemic in Montana, Idaho, and Washington (NatureServe 2011). The B.C. records from 2009 and 2010 extended the distribution of the species to about 35 km SW of Cranbrook on Ktunaxa Traditional Territory (Ovaska and Sopuck 2009, 2010; NatureServe 2011). In the U.S. the slug was once very common and widespread although restricted to rather moist sites, typically in areas with exceptional botanical diversity and intact forests (NatureServe 2011). Most of its habitat and most historic sites in the U.S. have been lost due to threats that include logging, grazing on logged areas, highway construction and other river right-of-way impacts, and severe forest fires (NatureServe 2011). Although the species was discovered in BC only in 2009, 100s of sites in the Kootenay’s (SE B.C.) have been searched for terrestrial gastropods; for example, 78 sites in 50 areas (= 86 person hours) were searched in 2010 (Ovaska and Sopuck 2010) with only 1 Sheathed Slug being found within 0.75 km of the 2009 site. Logging is occurring adjacent to the known sites in B.C. The species is rare and at risk because of the threats and limited distribution. Based on this justification, five members of the Mollusc SSC ran the species through the IUCN threats calculator and the overall assigned threat impact by all was “Very High”.

i.Taxonomic level: Species

ii.Proportion of global range in Canada: < 5%

iii. IUCN Red List or NatureServe Rank: Global rank: G3/G4, rounded to G3 (last reviewed 3 Feb 2006).  National ranks: N3N4 (U.S.), N1 (Canada) (23 Feb 2010). Subnational ranks: BC (S1S3) and red-listed in 2010 by BC CDC (2011); Idaho (S2), Montana (S2S3), Washington (SNR)

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Population size and trend unknown.

v.Threats: Susceptible to logging, road building, and associated activities that alter hydrology or forest floor microclimates, and climate change.

vi.Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: The species is known from only 2 sites,  0.75 km apart, in southeastern B.C.

vii.Limiting biological factors: Poor mechanisms for dispersal; extremely limited distribution; restricted to moist sites.

References: 

BC Conservation Data Centre (CDC). 2011. Species and ecosystems explorer. Web site: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/atrisk/toolintro.html [accessed 14 January 2011].

NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 7.1. Web site: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer [accessed: 13 January 2011, 13 December 2011].

Ovaska, K., and L. Sopuck. 2009. Surveys for terrestrial gastropods at risk within Ktunaxa Traditional Territory. Report prepared for British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Victoria, British Columbia. 27 pp.

Ovaska, K., and L. Sopuck. 2010. Summary of fieldwork for COSEWIC status report on the Magnum Mantleslug Magnipelta mycophaga.14 October. Raw Data Kootenay 2010 data spreadsheet.

Anguispira  kochi **
Banded Tigersnail
BC, ON

Anguispira kochi is a relatively large land snail, easily recognizable, and one of only two species of its genus in Canada. In BC and Ontario, it is at its northern limit of its range and on a continental basis is unique among all North American land molluscs in having clearly disjunct eastern and western populations, separated by over 2,000 km. This snail requires cool, mesic mature hardwood or mixedwood forests. 

In Ontario this species occurs in five areas within the Carolinian zone of the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone: along the Syndenham River, Point Pelee, and three small islands in Lake Erie — Pelee, Middle Sister, and North Harbour islands. Some of these island populations are morphologically unique (Clapp 1916; Pilsbry 1948). Pelee Island is largely developed for agriculture. North Harbour and Middle Sister islands are privately owned, and the species and habitats are not protected. Intact, forested habitats in southwestern Ontario are rare and fragmented; since European settlement, the historical loss of habitat would have been substantial. Some of the known sites, or entire islands, are privately owned. 

In British Columbia this species occurs in the southern Montane Cordillera Ecozone, from the Canada–U.S. border in the southern portions of the Kootenay and Columbia river valleys. A few sites are within provincial parks, but the majority of sites are not protected. Recent fieldwork has increased the number of known sites from just a few to about 40, but these sites are patchily distributed and some are on lakeshores and in resort areas that are especially prone to development and human disturbance. 

In the U.S., Anguispira kochi occurs in the east from northern Michigan south to Kentucky and Tennessee, east to western Pennsylvania, and west to Missouri; in the west, it occurs from eastern Washington, Idaho and western Montana (Pilsbry 1948). Rescue from U.S. populations is unlikely given the limited capacity for terrestrial snails to disperse over great distances. For the Ontario population, Lake Erie poses a natural barrier for dispersal from the U.S. Cross-Canada rescue between populations in B.C. and Ontario is impossible.

i. Taxonomic level: A full species, unique in North America for its eastern and western disjunct populations, separated from each other by > 2,000 km.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: 25%

iii. Existing conservation status ranks: Global rank: G5 (22 Oct 2009)

National ranks: Canada (N3) (15 Sep 2011); N5 (USA) (8 Dec 2004)

Sub-national Ranks: 
Ontario (S2S3), probably too low – S2 perhaps more appropriate (M. Oldham pers. Comm. 2010); British Columbia (S3).
Idaho (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Kentucky (S2?), Michigan (SU), Missouri (SNR), Montana (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Pennsylvania (S2), Tennessee (S2?), Washington (S3S4), West Virginia (SH).

General Status ranks (draft, Dec 2012): Canada (3=Sensitive); BC (3=Sensitive); Ontario (2=May be At Risk)

iv. Likely Canadian population size (mature individuals): There are few data on population size. In Ontario, large numbers of dead shells are present on the forest floor at Pelee and Middle Sister islands (M. Oldham pers. Comm. 2010). However, most of these shells were old (perhaps several years old, as shells may persist in the environment for years (Pearce 2008), and the relative abundance of live snails, to these empty shells, is much lower. Pelee Island is largely developed for agriculture and forested habitats are fragmented and relatively small. Population size in BC is expected to be larger.

Suspected Canadian population and trend: There are few data on population trends so the suspected recent and current declines are of unknown magnitude. Since European settlement, the historical loss of habitat in southern Ontario would have been substantial. Some of the known sites, or entire islands, are privately owned. It is almost certain that a substantial reduction in the AO has occurred since European colonization of the region with a corresponding reduction in number of mature individuals, declines which are most likely continuing and will continue into the future. While the population size in BC is expected to be large, there also is a continuing and projected general downward trend of habitat quality and quantity with a corresponding reduction in number of mature individuals.

v. Threats: Habitat loss and degradation are threats; these are caused by:
•	Development of land to meet the burgeoning need for recreational properties in BC.
•	Invasive organisms, mainly earthworms, which alter the structure of the forest floor and eliminate required microhabitat (forest litter) as well as changing vegetation cover. This may be a serious threat to the remaining hardwood forests in southwestern Ontario.
•	Prescribed fire in “protected” areas such as on Pelee Island.
•	Trampling
•	Wildfires throughout its Canadian range.
•	Industrial-scale logging in BC.
•	Livestock grazing in BC. 
•	Historical and ongoing fragmentation of habitat.

Although occurring on Pelee Island within the Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve and at the Stone Road Alvar conservation area, degradation of habitat continues; the Stone Road Alvar site is periodically managed with controlled burns which kill snails (Nekola 2002). Invasive organisms that compete with, or predate on, A. kochi are a threat, as are exotic earthworms, known to rapidly and drastically degrade forest floor litter microhabitats and alter understory plant communities and affect forest floor fauna (Addison 2009). Several of the Erie Islands have experienced a large increase in nesting of Double-crested Cormorants; their guano is killing much of the herbaceous vegetation below, and even some trees, as well as undoubtedly affecting soil chemistry and other aspects of the habitat. Because the islands are so small, the birds are having serious ecological threats (M. Oldham pers. Comm. 2010).

In BC., this species is known from at least three provincial parks, where some protection is afforded. However, trampling, and general habitat degradation continue.

Large-shelled land snails, in general, are in decline over much of their ranges in the U.S., but the exact reasons are unknown. With climate change, the anticipated northern expansion species such as this range will be largely negated by the anthropogenic pressures of historical and current habitat loss and degradation (Gibson et al. 2009).

vi. Small extent of occurrence or (index of) area of occupancy: Although living in Ontario and British Columbia, the species has a restricted, patchy distribution. The total EO is 28,000 km2 (excluding the large unoccupied area between BC and Ontario), but even this number is generous because little of the EO has suitable habitat for the species. The  EO in Ontario is ~ 1300 km²; AO is expected to be much smaller (tiny in Ontario). Not all apparently suitable habitat is occupied.

vii. Limiting biological factors: The Canadian populations exist at northern limits of the species’ range; this species has poor capacity for dispersal, exacerbated by patchy distribution in BC and isolated (including insular) distribution in Ontario. Lake Erie and unsuitable habitat (including farmland) would form an effective barrier for dispersal of this species.

Existing data and search effort: Some recent data exist, gathered during other COSEWIC status report work conducted in BC and during other monitoring work in Ontario. However, additional directed field work is required to confirm the suspected continuing declines in distribution and abundance. This species is being currently added to the General Status process so all known records have been recently compiled.

References: 

Addison, J.E. 2009. Distribution and impacts of invasive earthworms in Canadian forest ecosystems. Biological Invasions 11:59–79.

Clapp, G.H. 1916. Notes on the land-shells of the islands at the western end of Lake Erie and descriptions of new varieties. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 21(3–4):532–540, pp. 32–36.

Gibson, S.Y., R.C. Van der Marel, and B.M. Starzomski. 2009. Climate change and conservation of leading-edge peripheral populations. Conservation Biology 23(6):1369-1373.

Nekola, J.C. 2002. Effects of fire management on the richness and abundance of central North American grassland land snail faunas. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. 25.2:53-66.

Oldham, M., pers. Comm. 2010, Email correspondence to R. Forsyth, January 2010.

Pearce, T.A. 2008. When a snail dies in the forest, how long will the shell persist? Effect of dissolution and micro-bioerosion. American Malacological Bulletin 26:111–117.

Pilsbry, H.A. 1948. Land Mollusca of North America (north of Mexico). Volume 2, Part 2. Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Monograph 3:i–xlvii + 521–1113.

PREPARED BY: MOLLUSCS SSC, January 2013

Mosses

Tortula  porteri *

ON, QC

Tortula (Desmatodon) porteri is a small (2-3 mm) acrocarpous moss associated with calcareous rock.  It appears to be a North American endemic restricted to the eastern regions of the continent.  In Canada it is mostly restricted to the very southern areas of Ontario, with an outlying population in the Gaspé region of Québec.   It is not nationally ranked in the U.S. though NatureServe lists it as SH in NY and VT.  It is ranked S1 in both Ontario and Québec and N2 by Belland (1998).

i. Taxonomic Level: species

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: <10%

iii. Existing global conservation status: G3? (NatureServe 1999)

iv. Canadian population size and trends: In Canada there are 4 localities in the extreme southern part of Ontario, and a single site along the Gaspé coast of Québec.   No information on trends is available.

v. Threats: The majority of the species’ Canadian range is in the Carolinian region of Ontario, which is densely populated and extensively developed.  With its preferred calcareous rock substrate, T. porteri may be particularly susceptible to the impacts of quarries, recreational activity and airborne pollutants. The calculated overall threat impact (using IUCN threatulator) is High.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Five sites are known, which gives a 20 km2 AO using a 2 km grid square.  The EO is roughly 85,000 km2 if all the area between the southern Ontario populations and the Quebec outlier is taken into consideration.  The true EO could be much smaller.

vii. Limiting biological factors: T. porteri is limited to calcareous rock substrates. It is dioicous (male and female reproductive structures occur on separate plants) and successful reproduction requires the co-occurrence of male and female plants.

PREPARED BY: Jennifer Doubt and Linda Le, January 2012

Seligeria  acutifolia **
Acuteleaf Small Limestone Moss
BC

Description: This minute and delicate moss is known from only a few hyperoceanic localities along the Pacific Coast of North America. In Canada the species is know from 2 sites on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and in the United States from 1 site in Alaska. The species also occurs throughout Europe and in Asia. The species is a narrow habitat specialist, being restricted to sheltered and damp limestone cliffs, and is readily distinguished from other species in the genus.

i.Taxonomic level: Species.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: 66% of the extant North American population lies within Canada.

iii. Existing global conservation status: G3G5 (rounded global status G4 – Apparently Secure).

iv. Canadian population size and trends: The species is known from only 2 sites on Vancouver Island in British Columbia: 1 near the community of Ucluelet at the west end of Kennedy Lake, and 1 from Kashult Inlet. At Kennedy Lake the species was reported as being “locally abundant”. However, trends are unknown, with the most recent collection being 41 years ago (Kashult Inlet). The species faces several acute threats.

v. Threats: Industrial forestry was recently active within several hundred meters of both occurrences on Vancouver Island, and at least one occurrence is located outside of a protected area. Forest canopy removal can readily degrade the specialized habitat requirements of the species through rapid moisture loss. Additional threats include the development of forestry access roads and related infrastructure (e.g., communication towers), and recreational activity.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: IAO is 8 km2 in Canada based on a 2 km x 2 km grid.

vii. Limiting biological factors: The species is restricted to sheltered limestone cliffs. These habitats (calcareous bedrock) are rare in hyperoceanic areas of British Columbia within the possible range of the species where bedrock is predominantly acidic. Both occurrences of the species in Canada contained sporophytes but the capacity for dispersal remains unknown.

PREPARED BY: Mosses and Lichens SSC, September 2012

Paraleptodontium  recurvifolium **
Drooping-leaved Beard-moss
BC

Description: This distinctive, yellow-green moss grows in loose tufts and is known from only a few hyperoceanic localities along the Pacific Coast of North America. In North America the species is known from 6 sites on Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, and in the United States from 6 sites on the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The species is also known from the United Kingdom and Ireland, forming a disjunct global distribution between northwestern North America and northwestern Europe. The species is most frequently found in wet or moist (commonly base-rich) habitats, on organic soils and rock cliffs and talus, and is readily distinguished from others in the genus by leaves that curve strongly from the stem.

i.Taxonomic level: Species.

Ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: 50% of the extant North American population lies within Canada. The species is known from only 6 sites on Haida Gwaii in British Columbia.

Iii. Existing global conservation status: G3? (rounded global status G3 – Vulnerable).

Iv. Canadian population size and trends: The species is known from 6 sites on Haida Gwaii in British Columbia (from north to south: Mercer Lake, Mount Moresby, Cirque Lake, Moresby Lake, Takakia Lake, Newcombe Inlet). Most collections are greater than 45 years old, with the most recent collection being 27 years ago (Cirque Lake). There is no information on population size at these sites, and information on trends is lacking as most sites were collected during a single year.

V. Threats: The species faces several direct and indirect threats, and all occurrences are situated outside of protected areas except for Mercer Lake, which is located within the Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve. Industrial forestry was recently active within a few hundred meters of Newcombe Inlet, and remaining sites (Mount Moresby, Cirque Lake, Moresby Lake, Takakia Lake) are situated within active forest tenure operating areas. Forest canopy removal can readily degrade the specialized habitat requirements of this moisture-dependent species through increased evaporation. Additional threats include the development of forestry access roads and recreational activity. Climate change may also pose a threat through alteration of regional precipitation patterns and associated reductions in habitat quality.

Vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: IAO in Canada is 24 km2 based on a 2 km x 2 km grid.

Vii. Limiting biological factors: Although the species is not restricted to base-rich substrates, it has been described as growing in these habitats within its global range. However, habitats such as calcareous bedrock are rare in hyperoceanic areas of BC within the possible range of the species where bedrock is predominantly acidic. Sporophytes have not been reported for the species globally, including North America, and specialized asexual reproduction is absent. This suggests the species has a reduced capacity for dispersal and rescue effect. There is no information on population sizes and trends but small populations will be more susceptible to extirpation than larger populations through stochastic demographic, genetic, and especially environmental events. Further, the species is restricted to wet or mesic habitats, and is therefore susceptible to a number of threats that can modify habitat conditions, including industrial forestry activity and the construction of related infrastructure, and climate change.

PREPARED BY: Mosses and Lichens SSC, September 2012

Ctenidium  schofieldii **
Schofield's Ctenidium moss
BC

Description: Globally, Ctenidium schofieldii is endemic to Canada where it shows a highly restricted range in British Columbia. It is a medium-sized, reddish-brown to dark green pleurocarpos moss with regular branching whose main stem leaves are conspicuously squarrose. The species occurs in many habitats including cliffs, subalpine slopes, shaded banks, and lakeshores. Substrates include limestone, humus, boulders, and trees such as Thuja plicata, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, and Alnus species. C. schofieldii is ranked S3S4 (2011), “Yellow” in BC. It is “protected” within Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve (Goose Cove and Mercer Lake sites) and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (Barry Inlet, Bigsby Inlet, and Upper Victoria Lake sites).

i.Taxonomic level: Species.

ii. Portion of global range in Canada: 100 % (endemic to Canada).
 
iii. Existing global conservation status: G3G4 (NatureServe 2012).
 
iv. Canadian population size and trends: There are 15 sites in Canada that are confined to Graham and Moresby islands, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). Prior to 2010, this species had not been observed since 1985. It has not been observed at four sites for >28 years, and it has not been observed at the remaining ten sites for 42–47 years. However, several of the sites are remote and have not likely been visited by bryologists in recent decades. Population trends are unknown.
 
v. Threats: The main threat to this species is logging; some populations are epiphytic on trees. 
 
vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: IAO <= 60 km2. 
 
vii. Limiting biological factors: Unknown.

References: 

Anonymous. 2004. Management Direction Statement for Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve. BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Environmental Stewardship Division, Skeena Region, Smithers, BC. 16 pp.

Golumbia, T.E., and P.M. Bartier. 2004. The Bryophytes of Haida Gwaii: A baseline species inventory, review, and analysis. Parks Canada Technical Reports in Ecosystem Science 39. Parks Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 75 pp.

Nishimura, N. 1985. A revision of the genus Ctenidium (Musci). Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory 58: 1-82.

Schofield, W.B. 1989. Structure and affinities of the bryoflora of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Pp 109-119 in: G.G.E. Scudder and N. Gessler (eds.), The Outer Shores. Queen Charlotte Islands Museum Press, Second Beach, Skidegate, Queen Charlotte, BC. 327 pp. 

Tropicos. Http://www.tropicos.org/Name/35182773

PREPARED BY: Mosses and Lichens SSC, September 2012

Zygodon  gracilis **

BC

Description: This medium-sized (to 5 cm) acrocarpous moss forms blackish tufts on dry limestone cliffs in the hyper-maritime climate of the northwest coast Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). Zygodon gracilis is distinguished from other species in the genus in North America by bluntly acute, squarrose-recurved leaves, very thick-walled distal leaf cells, and an absence of gemmae (Vitt 2003). 

It also occurs in Guatemala, where it is confined to calcareous rocks in alpine and subalpine habitats (Vitt 2003). The species is known also from Europe where it is considered Endangered in the UK and classified as Vulnerable Red Data Book of European Bryophytes (ECCB 1985). In British Columbia, the species is ranked S1 (2011), and occurs on the “Red List”.

i.Taxonomic level: Species.

ii. Portion of global range in Canada: 51–74% (BC CDC 2012). However, based on recent clarification of its taxonomic status (Vitt pers. Comm. 2013), it is now estimated to be <20%.

iii. Existing global conservation status: G3G4 (NatureServe 2012).

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Known from only 1 site in Canada: Cumshewa Inlet, northwest coast of Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii. It has not been observed since 1994. Population trend is unknown. 

v. Threats: Direct threats are unknown. In North America this species is known only from Cumshewa Inlet, South Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii, from dry calcareous cliffs. Limestone is very rare in British Columbia. The site is not protected, despite being the only known site in North America.

Vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: IAO: 2 km².

vii. Limiting biological factors: The species appears to have very limited dispersal ability: sporophytes have not been observed in North America and gemmae are not present. In England, sporophytes were not observed been 1866–2002. In 2002, sporophytes were observed on one patch amongst 500 patches.

References:

British Columbia Conservation Data Centre (BC CDC). 2012. http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/reports.do?elcode=NBMUS7Z030

European Committee for Conservation of Bryophytes (ECCB). 1995. Red Data Book of European Bryophytes. ECCB, Trondheim, Norway. 291 pp.

Golumbia, T.E., and P.M. Bartier. 2004. The Bryophytes of Haida Gwaii: A baseline species inventory, review, and analysis. Parks Canada Technical Reports in Ecosystem Science 39. Parks Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 75 pp.

Ryan, M.W. 1996. Bryophytes of British Columbia: rare species and priorities for inventory. Research Branch, BC Ministry of Forests, and Wildlife Branch, BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Victoria, BC. 100 pp.

Schofield, W.B. 1989. Structure and affinities of the bryoflora of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Pp 109-119 in: G.G.E. Scudder and N. Gessler (eds.), The Outer Shores. Queen Charlotte Islands Museum Press, Second Beach, Skidegate, Queen Charlotte, BC. 327 pp. 

Tropicos. 2012. http://www.tropicos.org/Name/35128340

Vitt, D. 2003. Zygodon. In: Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication. Missouri Botanical Garden. Http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/v2/OrthZygodon.htm

PREPARED BY: Mosses and Lichens SSC, September 2012

Reptiles

Heterodon  nasicus **
Plains Hog-nosed Snake
AB, SK, MB

The Plains Hog-nosed Snake in Canada is confined to a fragmented range in southeast Alberta, scattered areas of southern Saskatchewan, and a small, disjunct area in southwest Manitoba. This species has long been regarded as rare or, certainly, uncommon in Canada (Moore 1953; Logier and Toner 1955; Lewin 1963; Cook 1966, 1970; Secoy and Vincent 1976; and Preston 1982). 

The Plains Hog-nosed Snake is a large snake, approaching 1 m in length. All other large snakes in Canada, including the Pacific Gophersnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Eastern Foxsnake, Blue Racer, Great Basin Gopher Snake, Gray Ratsnake, Western Rattlesnake, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, and Massasauga, are in jeopardy and listed by COSEWIC as Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened. The Plains Hog-nosed Snake is subject to much the same threats and limiting factors as these other species. In addition, because its main defense against predation is to mimic venomous rattlesnakes both physically and behaviourally, people tend to kill it on sight even though it is harmless. 

i. Taxonomic level: The Plains Hog-nosed Snake is a valid Canadian taxon, recently elevated to a full species status (Cook 1984; Crother et al. 2008).

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: ca. 5 % (Wright and Didiuk 1998). 

iii. Existing global conservation status: GRANK: G5 (NatureServe 2013 last reviewed 1996) NRANK: NNR COSEWIC: Not Assessed SRANK: Alberta: S2. General Status Ranks: Alberta: may be at risk (2); Saskatchewan: sensitive (3); Manitoba: May be at risk (2). In the United States, the Plains Hog-nosed Snake is widely distributed in the Great Plains east of the Rocky Mountains, from the Canadian border to northern Mexico but is increasingly uncommon towards the northern parts of its range. It is listed as Endangered in Iowa and Threatened in Illinois and South Dakota. The possibility for outside rescue of Canadian populations, therefore, is remote. 

iv. Canadian population size and trends: This is a secretive snake that is patchily distributed and uncommon (Wright and Didiuk 1998). Even though it is quite memorable when encountered because of its large size and elaborate bluff threat displays, there are few data on population size or trends. Wright and Didiuk (1998) concluded that there were fewer than 10,000 snakes in Alberta but could not ascertain trends in abundance. Pendlebury (1976) provided the first review of records and a summary of aspects of the biology of the Plains Hog-nosed Snake in Alberta. Concern about grassland environments led to additional studies in the grasslands of southeastern Alberta (Cottonwood Consultants 1986; Wallis and Wershler 1988; Smith and Wershler 1989), and in southwestern Manitoba (Bredin 1981; Leavesley 1987). More recent investigations at Suffield National Wildlife Area in southeastern Alberta (Didiuk 1999) provided new information about its distribution and biology. Few records of this species exist from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where it occurs in small and scattered populations. 

v. Threats: Threats include roads, oil and gas development, agricultural activities, limited and declining suitable habitat, and persecution by humans. This snake has an elaborate antipredator response involving loud hissing, striking with the mouth closed, and rolling over and playing dead. The combination of this threat display and the snakes’ large size tends to scare people, whereas the snakes’ lack of mobility while they feign death makes it particularly easy for people to kill them. The species is becoming popular in the pet trade and commonly sells for more than $100 per specimen, greatly increasingly harvesting pressure on wild populations. 

Loss and degradation of habitat, along with increased road density, are likely the most important threats to the species in Canada. In Alberta, 47% of native grasslands have been lost and in Saskatchewan, 81% (MacKenzie 2011). The Plains Hog-nosed Snake suffers from this loss and degradation of habitat along with many other grassland species. Much of the habitat loss and degradation within the species’ range is associated with increased road density and traffic. In 1997, there were already over 95,000 km of roads in the Grassland Natural Region of Alberta (Alberta Environmental Protection 1997). Road density and traffic are certainly increasing within the species’ range through urbanization and the energy sector.

Projections of population decline and extinction risk due to road mortality have been quantified for other large-bodied Canadian snakes, and it is clear that this threat can greatly reduce population persistence. For example, population viability analysis for the Grey Ratsnake showed that road mortality of more than three adult females per year increased the extinction probability for a population from 7.3% to greater than 90% over the long term (Row et al. 2007). Additionally, recent calculations using the IUCN Threats Calculator for the Great Basin Gophersnake (a large-bodied grasslands species similar to the Plains Hog-nosed Snake) projected a 30-70% population decline within the next three generations from roadkill (COSEWIC, unpublished data). The extent of road mortality impacting the Plains Hog-nosed Snake across its Canadian range needs to be examined, but given the impact this threat has on other large-bodied snakes it is plausible that projected declines of the Canadian population over the next three generations will meet the criteria limits for Threatened or Endangered. 

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: The species has a restricted and scattered distribution in Canada. IAO is small and probably well below 2000 km2.

vii. Limiting biological factors: Cool summers greatly limit reproduction because there are insufficient heat units to complete incubation of the eggs, which are laid in sand as opposed to decomposing vegetation used by most other oviparous snakes. Thus the species is confined to small, isolated refuges in the southern edges of the three Prairie Provinces. 

References: 

Alberta Environmental Protection. 1997. The grassland natural region of Alberta.  Alberta Environmental Protection, Natural Resource Service, Recreation  & Protected Region Division.  Edmonton, Alberta. 229 pp. 

Bredin, E.J. 1981. Distribution of the Western Hognose snake in Manitoba. Manitoba Department of Natural Resources, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 81 - 6. 23 pp. 

Cook, F.R. 1966. A guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History, Pop. Series 13, Regina, Saskatchewan. 40 pp. 

Cook, F.R. 1970. Rare or endangered Canadian amphibian and reptiles. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 84:9-16. 

Cook, F. R. 1984. Introduction to Canadian amphibians and reptiles. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. 200 pp. 

Cottonwood Consultants. 1986. Status of the Plains Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus nasicus) in Alberta. Alberta Environmental Protection, Fisheries and Wildlife Management Division, and Alberta Conservation Association. Wildlife Status Report No. 15, Edmonton, Alberta. 26 pp. 

Crother, B.I. (ed.). 2008. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding. 7th Edition. Herpetological Circulars. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Didiuk, A.B. 1999. Suffield National Wildlife Area Biophysical Inventory: Amphibian and Reptile Component Report. Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton, Alberta. 

Leavesley, K. 1988. A Hognose Snake study in Manitoba or "An initiation to graduate studies". Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Society. Vol. 25(3):22 pp. 

Leavesley, L.K. 1987. Natural history and thermal relations of the Western Hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus nasicus) in Southwestern Manitoba. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. 158 pp. 

Lewin, V. 1963. The herpetofauna of southeastern Alberta. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 77:203-214. 

Logier, E.B., and G.C. Toner. 1955. Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Canada and Alaska. No. 53, Royal Ontario Museum., Toronto, Ontario. 92 pp. 

MacKenzie. 2011. Literature review- Quantity of native prairie remaining in Saskatchewan, 2011. Report for the Saskatchewan prairie action plan. 
Moore, J.E. 1953. The Hog-nosed snake in Alberta. Herpetologica 9:173. 

Pendlebury, G.B. 1976. The Western Hognose Snake, Heterodon nasicus nasicus, in Alberta. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 90(4):416-422. 

Preston, W.B. 1982. The amphibians and reptiles of Manitoba. Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 128 pp. 

Row, J., G. Blouin-Demers, and P.J. Weatherhead. 2007. Demographic effects of road mortality in black ratsnakes (Elaphe obsolete). Biological Conservation. 137:117-124.

Secoy, D.M. and T. Vincent. 1976. Distribution and population status of Saskatchewan’s amphibians and reptiles. Saskatchewan Department of Environment, Regina, Saskatchewan. 46 pp. 

Smith, W., and C. Wershler. 1989. Pilot project on the study of the Western Hognose snake in Alberta. Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife, Edmonton, Alberta. 17 pp. 

Wallis, C., and C. Wershler. 1988. Rare wildlife and plant conservation studies in sandhill and 
sand plain habitats of southern Alberta. Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife, Alberta Recreation and Parks, and World Wildlife Fund Canada, Edmonton, Alberta. 143 pp. 

Wright, J.B., and A. Didiuk. 1998. Status of the Plains Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus nasicus) in Alberta. Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 15. Alberta Conservation Association. 

PREPARED BY: Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles SSC, January 2013

Chrysemys  picta **
Midland Painted Turtle
ON, QC

"Species conservation practice, as opposed to principle, generally emphasizes species at risk of imminent extinction. This results in priority lists principally of those with small populations and/or geographical ranges. However, recent work emphasizes the importance of common species to ecosystems. Even relatively small proportional declines in their abundance can result in large absolute losses of individuals and biomass occurrences significantly disrupting ecosystem structure, function and services." (Gaston and Fuller 2008)

Turtles are widely recognized as being highly vulnerable to anthropogenic threats owing to their life history, which includes late age at maturity, low reproductive rate, high adult survivorship, and longevity. Eastern and Midland Painted Turtles have similar life-history features to those of the nine other turtle species extant in Canada, all of which are currently listed as at risk by COSEWIC. Two western DUs of the Western Painted Turtle (C. p. bellii) are listed as at risk, but the other two subspecies of the Painted Turtle that occur in Canada, Eastern Painted Turtle (C. p. picta) and Midland Painted Turtle (C. p. marginata) have not been assessed, although they face similar threats.  

Painted Turtles are conspicuous when basking gregariously, and so are often erroneously perceived as abundant. Although Painted Turtles as a whole remain relatively widespread, they have undergone large historical and continuing declines in areas where roads and drainage of wetlands predominate (e.g., Iverson 1982; Congdon and Gibbons 1986; Natural Resources Canada 2004; Gillingwater numerous reports, pers. comm.). These areas of decline represent most of the Canadian distribution of Eastern and Midland Painted Turtles, the distributions of which are limited to southern Canada by cool summer conditions. Because of their “slow” life history, weak capacity to rebound from declines, and low tolerance of anthropogenic stresses, it becomes vitally important to determine the status of all subspecies of Painted Turtle before populations decline to levels at which major conservation efforts become necessary. 

i. Taxonomic level: The Painted Turtle is a valid native species in Canada. There are four recognized subspecies, three of which occur in Canada. In 2006, COSEWIC assessed the Western Painted Turtle (C. p. bellii) as three DUs. The Eastern Painted Turtle (C. p. picta) occurs in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the Midland Painted Turtle (C. p. marginata) in Ontario and Quebec (Cook 1984). The Eastern and Midland subspecies may each comprise more than 1 DU.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: ca. 5-10% for either the whole species or for each subspecies is in Canada. 

iii. Existing global conservation status: C. p. picta/C. p. marginata GRANK: G5/G5 (last ranked 1996) NRANK: N5/N5 COSEWIC: Not Assessed/Not Assessed MNR Status: S5 Not Tracked SRANK: Ontario S5; Quebec S5; NB S5; NS S5 General Status: SECURE in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. 

iv. Canadian population size and trends: There are few longer-term (i.e., > 3 years) studies on population sizes or trends for either C. p. picta or C. p. marginata, except a 34-year study of C. p. marginata in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario (Samson 2003; Brooks, unpubl. data) and a 3-year study in Point Pelee National Park (Browne and Hecnar 2007). Despite being widespread and readily seen, Painted Turtles are at risk because of several threats and limitations (see Threats and Limiting biological factors below). Because these turtles are highly visible their numbers are often greatly overestimated by casual observers. However, it is now well established that many populations are likely ‘ghost’ populations with a small number of adults (mostly males) living on for years after the population has become non-viable (Aresco 2005; Gibbs and Shriver 2002; Gibbs and Steen 2005; Steen et al. 2006). 

We can use a proxy of habitat loss to estimate magnitude of declines for painted turtles. For example, in southern Ontario’s Mixed Woods-Plains 75% of wetlands have been lost, and in some counties (e.g., Elgin, Kent, Essex, Lambton, Perth, Russell, and Toronto) wetland losses are > 95% (Natural Resources 2004; Ducks Unlimited 2010). It is reasonable to conclude that a minimum of 75% of the Painted Turtle populations in these areas are gone, and remaining habitat is often fragmented by a dense road network. The bulk of the Midland Painted Turtle populations of Canada once lived in this region. Similar losses can be expected in southern Quebec and lesser, but still large in the Maritimes. Habitat loss continues throughout the species’ range with further wetland eradication and expanding road networks (Fenech et al. 2001). Based on a 25-yr dataset on marked turtles in Algonquin Park, generation time is calculated as GT = 14 + 1/0.02 = 64 years (see Samson 2003), with 3 generations corresponding to 192 years. This would encompass much of the historical wetland loss and all of the appearance of the paved road network. Considering combined information on local population declines, documented mortality rates from roadkill and other anthropogenic sources, and wetland habitat loss and fragmentation across populated parts of ranges of both subspecies, it is evident that large population declines of 75% or more have probably occurred within the past 3 generations.

v. Threats: Painted Turtles are subjected to multiple threats, all of which have led COSEWIC to list all other turtle species in Canada as at risk. The Painted Turtle is constrained by Canada’s climate to the same southern areas of the country that is most densely populated and transformed by humans. In particular, this species inhabits those regions most fragmented by roads, and road mortality is a major known threat to these turtles. For example, adult females (which have the highest reproductive value in populations) are attracted to road shoulders for nesting, and frequently attempt to cross roads on nesting migrations, resulting in both direct and indirect mortality, and unsustainable skewed sex ratios (Aresco 2005; Steen et al. 2006). In Big Creek NWA in Ontario, a skewed sex ratio (3.7 male : 1 female) was found in a study in 2003, likely reflecting high mortality of nesting females on the nearby roadway (Gillingwater and Piraino 2004). A road mortality study conducted over 4 months from 1 May – 31 August 2012 on two 13 km stretches of Highway 69/400 in Parry Sound and Sudbury Districts respectively, and a 6 km stretch of minor roadway through a First Nation, recorded 173 Painted Turtles on the road, 135 of which were dead, for a mortality rate of 78 % (Baxter-Gilbert & Litzgus, unpubl. data). In 14 years of surveys, a minimum of 653 painted turtles were killed along the 3.5km Long Point Causeway (Gillingwater and others unpubl. data). 

A second major threat is from agricultural land use, particularly draining and dredging, which can result in extirpation of entire populations often leaving little evidence of mortality (Gillingwater pers. obs.). During dredging, turtles can be killed outright, buried below extensive mounds of soil, or crushed beneath machinery (Gillingwater and Piraino 2004) and, of course, their habitat becomes nonexistent even if they survive the dredging. A third major threat is from high rates of egg and nest loss associated with unnaturally high populations of mammalian predators, particularly raccoons, skunks and foxes, which has been well documented in Ontario and Quebec (Christens and Bider 1987; Gillingwater and Brooks 2001; Phillips 2008); for example, in 2000-2001, 87-98% of nests were depredated at Rondeau Provincial Park (Gillingwater and Brooks 2001). A fourth threat, increasing in impact is from illegal collection of Painted Turtles for food, “medicinal “ use or the burgeoning pet trade as seen on popular websites such as KIJIJI (Gillingwater pers. obs; Brooks pers. obs.). Other known threats documented in Ontario include collision with boats, entrapment in garden fencing, flooding of nest sites, "plinking" (shooting turtles with guns), depredation by domestic pets, and capture and killing during fishing (Gillingwater unpub. data). 

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Areas of occupancy and extent of occurrence are unknown but well above thresholds of quantitative criteria. 

vii. Limiting biological factors: Cool summers greatly limit reproduction because there is insufficient heat to complete incubation and embryos are not freeze-tolerant. The species’ late age of maturity (females 12-15 years; Samson 2003), great longevity (known age >50 years, possibly much older (Samson 2003; Brooks unpubl. obs.) and low reproductive success (Ernst and Lovich 2009) contribute to a “slow” life history and low ability to tolerate excess mortality from anthropogenic sources. A study in Algonquin Park found that over a 25-year period, the main study population had an average annual adult survivorship > 0.98, higher than values recorded for any other turtle species (or other vertebrate) in Canada (Samson 2003). Maintenance of high adult survivorship is essential for long-term viability of populations of these turtles.

References: 
Aresco, M.J. 2005. The effect of sex specific terrestrial movements and roads on the sex ratio of freshwater turtles. Biological Conservation 123(1):37-44. 

Browne, C.L., and S.J. Hecnar. 2007. Species loss and shifting population structure of freshwater turtles despite habitat protection. Biological Conservation 138:421-429. 

Christens, E., and J. R. Bider. 1987. Nesting Activity and Hatchling Success of the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) In Southwestern Quebec. Herpetologica 43(1):55-65. 

Congdon, J.D. and J.W. Gibbons.1986. Biomass Productivity of Freshwater Turtles Annual Report of Ecological Research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. DOE Report SRO--819-17 (1986):111-114. 


Cook, F.R. 1984. Introduction to Canadian Amphibians and Reptiles. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa. 200pp.

Ducks Unlimited. 2010. Southern Ontario Wetland Conversion Analysis. Final Report. March 2010. Website: wwww.ducks.ca/ [accessed November 2011]. 

Fenech, A, B Taylor, R Hansell, and G Whitelaw. 2001. Major Road Changes in Southern Ontario 1935 – 1995: Implications for Protected Areas. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Science and Management of Protected Areas, S Bondrup-Nielsen, NWP Munro, G Nelson, JHM Willison, TB Herman, and PFJ Eagles (eds.). University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Pp. 365-383. 

Gaston, K.J., and R.A. Fuller. 2008. Commonness, population depletion and conservation biology. TREE 23:14-19. 

Gibbs, J.P., and W.G. Shriver. 2002. Estimating the effects of road mortality on turtle populations. Conservation Biology 16:1647-1652. 

Gibbs, J.P., and D.A. Steen. 2005. Trends in sex ratios of turtles in the United States: implications of road mortality. Conservation Biology 19:552-556. 

Gillingwater, S.D., and R.J. Brooks, 2001. A selective herpetofaunal survey, inventory and biological research study of Rondeau Provincial Park. Unpubl. report to Rondeau Provincial Park. 

Gillingwater, S.D., and T.J. Piraino. 2004. Chelonian survey and research study of the Big Creek National Wildlife Area (2003) and selective herpetofaunal survey, inventory and research study of the Long Point National Wildlife Area (1996-1999, 2003). Report submitted to Canadian Wildlife Service. 

Iverson, J.B. 1982. Biomass in turtle populations: a neglected subject. Oecologia, 55: 69-76. 
Natural Resources Canada. 2004. Wetlands. Web site: http://atlas.gc.ca/site/english/learningresources/theme_modules/wetlands/index.html 

Phillips, J. 2008. Factors affecting turtle nest predation dynamics in Point Pelee National Park. MSc Thesis, Trent University. 

Samson, J. 2003. The life-history strategy of a northern population of Midland Painted Turtles Chrysemys picta marginata MSc Thesis, University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario. 
Steen, D.A., M.J. Aresco, S.G. Beilke, B.W. Compton, EP Condon, CK Dodd Jr, H Forrester, J.W. 

Gibbons, J.L. Greene, G. Johnson, T.A. Langen, M.J. Oldham, D.N. Oxier, R.A. Saumure, F.W. Schueler, J.M. Sleeman, L.L. Smith, J.K. Tucker, and J.P. Gibbs. 2006. Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality. Animal Conservation 9:269-273. 

PREPARED BY: Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles SSC, January 2013

Chrysemys  picta **
Eastern Painted Turtle
NB, NS

"Species conservation practice, as opposed to principle, generally emphasizes species at risk of imminent extinction. This results in priority lists principally of those with small populations and/or geographical ranges. However, recent work emphasizes the importance of common species to ecosystems. Even relatively small proportional declines in their abundance can result in large absolute losses of individuals and biomass occurrences significantly disrupting ecosystem structure, function and services." (Gaston and Fuller 2008)

Turtles are widely recognized as being highly vulnerable to anthropogenic threats owing to their life history, which includes late age at maturity, low reproductive rate, high adult survivorship, and longevity. Eastern and Midland Painted Turtles have similar life-history features to those of the nine other turtle species extant in Canada, all of which are currently listed as at risk by COSEWIC. Two western DUs of the Western Painted Turtle (C. p. bellii) are listed as at risk, but the other two subspecies of the Painted Turtle that occur in Canada, Eastern Painted Turtle (C. p. picta) and Midland Painted Turtle (C. p. marginata) have not been assessed, although they face similar threats.  

Painted Turtles are conspicuous when basking gregariously, and so are often erroneously perceived as abundant. Although Painted Turtles as a whole remain relatively widespread, they have undergone large historical and continuing declines in areas where roads and drainage of wetlands predominate (e.g., Iverson 1982; Congdon and Gibbons 1986; Natural Resources Canada 2004; Gillingwater numerous reports, pers. comm.). These areas of decline represent most of the Canadian distribution of Eastern and Midland Painted Turtles, the distributions of which are limited to southern Canada by cool summer conditions. Because of their “slow” life history, weak capacity to rebound from declines, and low tolerance of anthropogenic stresses, it becomes vitally important to determine the status of all subspecies of Painted Turtle before populations decline to levels at which major conservation efforts become necessary. 

i. Taxonomic level: The Painted Turtle is a valid native species in Canada. There are four recognized subspecies, three of which occur in Canada. In 2006, COSEWIC assessed the Western Painted Turtle (C. p. bellii) as three DUs. The Eastern Painted Turtle (C. p. picta) occurs in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the Midland Painted Turtle (C. p. marginata) in Ontario and Quebec (Cook 1984). The Eastern and Midland subspecies may each comprise more than 1 DU.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: ca. 5-10% for either the whole species or for each subspecies is in Canada. 

iii. Existing global conservation status: C. p. picta/C. p. marginata GRANK: G5/G5 (last ranked 1996) NRANK: N5/N5 COSEWIC: Not Assessed/Not Assessed MNR Status: S5 Not Tracked SRANK: Ontario S5; Quebec S5; NB S5; NS S5 General Status: SECURE in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia. 

iv. Canadian population size and trends: There are few longer-term (i.e., > 3 years) studies on population sizes or trends for either C. p. picta or C. p. marginata, except a 34-year study of C. p. marginata in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario (Samson 2003; Brooks, unpubl. data) and a 3-year study in Point Pelee National Park (Browne and Hecnar 2007). Despite being widespread and readily seen, Painted Turtles are at risk because of several threats and limitations (see Threats and Limiting biological factors below). Because these turtles are highly visible their numbers are often greatly overestimated by casual observers. However, it is now well established that many populations are likely ‘ghost’ populations with a small number of adults (mostly males) living on for years after the population has become non-viable (Aresco 2005; Gibbs and Shriver 2002; Gibbs and Steen 2005; Steen et al. 2006). 

We can use a proxy of habitat loss to estimate magnitude of declines for painted turtles. For example, in southern Ontario’s Mixed Woods-Plains 75% of wetlands have been lost, and in some counties (e.g., Elgin, Kent, Essex, Lambton, Perth, Russell, and Toronto) wetland losses are > 95% (Natural Resources 2004; Ducks Unlimited 2010). It is reasonable to conclude that a minimum of 75% of the Painted Turtle populations in these areas are gone, and remaining habitat is often fragmented by a dense road network. The bulk of the Midland Painted Turtle populations of Canada once lived in this region. Similar losses can be expected in southern Quebec and lesser, but still large in the Maritimes. Habitat loss continues throughout the species’ range with further wetland eradication and expanding road networks (Fenech et al. 2001). Based on a 25-yr dataset on marked turtles in Algonquin Park, generation time is calculated as GT = 14 + 1/0.02 = 64 years (see Samson 2003), with 3 generations corresponding to 192 years. This would encompass much of the historical wetland loss and all of the appearance of the paved road network. Considering combined information on local population declines, documented mortality rates from roadkill and other anthropogenic sources, and wetland habitat loss and fragmentation across populated parts of ranges of both subspecies, it is evident that large population declines of 75% or more have probably occurred within the past 3 generations.

v. Threats: Painted Turtles are subjected to multiple threats, all of which have led COSEWIC to list all other turtle species in Canada as at risk. The Painted Turtle is constrained by Canada’s climate to the same southern areas of the country that is most densely populated and transformed by humans. In particular, this species inhabits those regions most fragmented by roads, and road mortality is a major known threat to these turtles. For example, adult females (which have the highest reproductive value in populations) are attracted to road shoulders for nesting, and frequently attempt to cross roads on nesting migrations, resulting in both direct and indirect mortality, and unsustainable skewed sex ratios (Aresco 2005; Steen et al. 2006). In Big Creek NWA in Ontario, a skewed sex ratio (3.7 male : 1 female) was found in a study in 2003, likely reflecting high mortality of nesting females on the nearby roadway (Gillingwater and Piraino 2004). A road mortality study conducted over 4 months from 1 May – 31 August 2012 on two 13 km stretches of Highway 69/400 in Parry Sound and Sudbury Districts respectively, and a 6 km stretch of minor roadway through a First Nation, recorded 173 Painted Turtles on the road, 135 of which were dead, for a mortality rate of 78 % (Baxter-Gilbert & Litzgus, unpubl. data). In 14 years of surveys, a minimum of 653 painted turtles were killed along the 3.5km Long Point Causeway (Gillingwater and others unpubl. data). 

A second major threat is from agricultural land use, particularly draining and dredging, which can result in extirpation of entire populations often leaving little evidence of mortality (Gillingwater pers. obs.). During dredging, turtles can be killed outright, buried below extensive mounds of soil, or crushed beneath machinery (Gillingwater and Piraino 2004) and, of course, their habitat becomes nonexistent even if they survive the dredging. A third major threat is from high rates of egg and nest loss associated with unnaturally high populations of mammalian predators, particularly raccoons, skunks and foxes, which has been well documented in Ontario and Quebec (Christens and Bider 1987; Gillingwater and Brooks 2001; Phillips 2008); for example, in 2000-2001, 87-98% of nests were depredated at Rondeau Provincial Park (Gillingwater and Brooks 2001). A fourth threat, increasing in impact is from illegal collection of Painted Turtles for food, “medicinal “ use or the burgeoning pet trade as seen on popular websites such as KIJIJI (Gillingwater pers. obs; Brooks pers. obs.). Other known threats documented in Ontario include collision with boats, entrapment in garden fencing, flooding of nest sites, "plinking" (shooting turtles with guns), depredation by domestic pets, and capture and killing during fishing (Gillingwater unpub. data). 

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Areas of occupancy and extent of occurrence are unknown but well above thresholds of quantitative criteria. 

vii. Limiting biological factors: Cool summers greatly limit reproduction because there is insufficient heat to complete incubation and embryos are not freeze-tolerant. The species’ late age of maturity (females 12-15 years; Samson 2003), great longevity (known age >50 years, possibly much older (Samson 2003; Brooks unpubl. obs.) and low reproductive success (Ernst and Lovich 2009) contribute to a “slow” life history and low ability to tolerate excess mortality from anthropogenic sources. A study in Algonquin Park found that over a 25-year period, the main study population had an average annual adult survivorship > 0.98, higher than values recorded for any other turtle species (or other vertebrate) in Canada (Samson 2003). Maintenance of high adult survivorship is essential for long-term viability of populations of these turtles.

References: 

Aresco, M.J. 2005. The effect of sex specific terrestrial movements and roads on the sex ratio of freshwater turtles. Biological Conservation 123(1):37-44. 

Browne, C.L., and S.J. Hecnar. 2007. Species loss and shifting population structure of freshwater turtles despite habitat protection. Biological Conservation 138:421-429. 

Christens, E., and J. R. Bider. 1987. Nesting Activity and Hatchling Success of the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) In Southwestern Quebec. Herpetologica 43(1):55-65. 

Congdon, J.D. and J.W. Gibbons.1986. Biomass Productivity of Freshwater Turtles Annual Report of Ecological Research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. DOE Report SRO--819-17 (1986):111-114. 


Cook, F.R. 1984. Introduction to Canadian Amphibians and Reptiles. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa. 200pp.

Ducks Unlimited. 2010. Southern Ontario Wetland Conversion Analysis. Final Report. March 2010. Website: wwww.ducks.ca/ [accessed November 2011]. 

Fenech, A, B Taylor, R Hansell, and G Whitelaw. 2001. Major Road Changes in Southern Ontario 1935 – 1995: Implications for Protected Areas. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Science and Management of Protected Areas, S Bondrup-Nielsen, NWP Munro, G Nelson, JHM Willison, TB Herman, and PFJ Eagles (eds.). University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Pp. 365-383. 

Gaston, K.J., and R.A. Fuller. 2008. Commonness, population depletion and conservation biology. TREE 23:14-19. 

Gibbs, J.P., and W.G. Shriver. 2002. Estimating the effects of road mortality on turtle populations. Conservation Biology 16:1647-1652. 

Gibbs, J.P., and D.A. Steen. 2005. Trends in sex ratios of turtles in the United States: implications of road mortality. Conservation Biology 19:552-556. 

Gillingwater, S.D., and R.J. Brooks, 2001. A selective herpetofaunal survey, inventory and biological research study of Rondeau Provincial Park. Unpubl. Report to Rondeau Provincial Park. 

Gillingwater, S.D., and T.J. Piraino. 2004. Chelonian survey and research study of the Big Creek National Wildlife Area (2003) and selective herpetofaunal survey, inventory and research study of the Long Point National Wildlife Area (1996-1999, 2003). Report submitted to Canadian Wildlife Service. 

Iverson, J.B. 1982. Biomass in turtle populations: a neglected subject. Oecologia, 55: 69-76. 
Natural Resources Canada. 2004. Wetlands. Web site: http://atlas.gc.ca/site/english/learningresources/theme_modules/wetlands/index.html 

Phillips, J. 2008. Factors affecting turtle nest predation dynamics in Point Pelee National Park. MSc Thesis, Trent University. 

Samson, J. 2003. The life-history strategy of a northern population of Midland Painted Turtles Chrysemys picta marginata MSc Thesis, University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario. 
Steen, D.A., M.J. Aresco, S.G. Beilke, B.W. Compton, EP Condon, CK Dodd Jr, H Forrester, J.W. 

Gibbons, J.L. Greene, G. Johnson, T.A. Langen, M.J. Oldham, D.N. Oxier, R.A. Saumure, F.W. Schueler, J.M. Sleeman, L.L. Smith, J.K. Tucker, and J.P. Gibbs. 2006. Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality. Animal Conservation 9:269-273. 

PREPARED BY: Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles SSC, January 2013

Pituophis  catenifer **
Bullsnake
AB, SK

At over 2 m in length, the Bullsnake is the second largest Canadian snake. Virtually all large snake species in Canada that have been assessed are in jeopardy: Pacific Gopher Snake and Timber Rattlesnake are extirpated; Eastern Foxsnake and Blue Racer are endangered; Great Basin Gopher Snake, Gray Ratsnake, Western Rattlesnake, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, and Massasauga are Threatened (COSEWIC 2011). This commonality likely arises from shared biological constraints and threats. Constraints include limited sites that are thermally adequate for successful embryonic development and hibernation and a slow rate of reproduction. Major common threats are loss of suitable hibernation, foraging, and nesting habitats, road mortality, and persecution. 

The Bullsnake is one of three subspecies of Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer) known from Canada and is part of the western clade in the North America-wide Pituophis complex (Rodriguez-Roble and De Jesus-Escobar 2000). Bullsnakes occur in short and mixed-grass prairie in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. The other two subspecies of Gophersnake in Canada are/were found in British Columbia. The Pacific Gopher Snake (P. catenifer catenifer) was assessed by COSEWIC (2002) as Extirpated, and the Great Basin Gopher Snake (P. c. deserticola) was assessed as Threatened (2002). The Bullsnake was assessed by COSEWIC as Data Deficient in 2002 (COSEWIC 2002) and has a General Status (2005) listing of “sensitive” in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. There is long-standing evidence of range contraction and declines in abundance (Kissner and Nicholson 2003). 

i. Taxonomic level: This is a valid subspecies native to Canada (Cook 1984, Crother 2008). It may be elevated to species status with new taxonomic data (Crother 2008). 

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: Ca. 5%. Southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan represent the northern extent of the Bullsnake’s distribution.
 
iii. Existing global conservation status: GRANK: G5 (last reviewed by NatureServe1996); NRANK: NNR (Canada); SRANK: S3 (AB), S3 (SK); COSEWIC: Data Deficient, 2002; General Status 2005: Sensitive (AB), Sensitive (SK); Alberta: General Status of Alberta Wild Species 2010: Sensitive. Montana: S5. 

iv. Canadian population size and trends: No comprehensive studies of abundance or population trends of Bullsnakes have been conducted in Canada (Kissner and Nicholson 2003). Information on the species is beginning to accumulate from studies focused on other species of large prairie snakes (including Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) and Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor f/aviventris) through University of Calgary (Martinson 2009) and University of Regina (Kwiatkowski et al. 2010; Gardiner and Somner 2011). There are anecdotal reports of declines in Bullsnake abundance, and the species may have disappeared from the western part of its historic range in Alberta (Kissner and Nicholson 2003). 

v. Threats: The Bullsnake suffers from the same loss and degradation of habitat as many other grassland vertebrates. Habitat loss and degradation have been identified as the main threats to the only other extant subspecies of Pituophis catenifer in Canada, the Great Basin Gopher Snake (COSEWIC 2002). In Alberta, 47% of native grasslands have been lost and in Saskatchewan, 81% (MacKenzie 2011). Agriculture, the energy sector, and urbanization contribute significantly to habitat loss and fragmentation in prairie Canada. In addition to changes in habitat, snakes can be killed by agricultural machinery (Jorgensen 2009; R. Poulin, personal communication) and during construction of oil and gas infrastructure (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Development and Alberta Conservation Association 2012). Another side-product of development on the prairies is the construction of fences, power lines, and buildings that provide nesting places and hunting perches for avian predators of snakes, such as the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), Common Raven (Corvus corax), Buteo hawks, and Great-horned Owl (Bubo virginanus). 

One of the biggest impacts of urbanization and industrial activity on the prairie landscape is increases in road density and traffic, which translates into direct mortality for large, slow-moving snakes (Didiuk 1999; Kissner and Nicholson 2003; Martinson 2009). In 1997, there were already over 95,000 km of roads in the Grassland Natural Region of Alberta (Alberta Environmental Protection 1997). Martinson (2009) through observation and experiments near Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, estimated that the probability of a Bullsnake being killed during a single crossing of a two-lane asphalt road was 0.04 at 100 vehicles per day and 0.19 at 500 vehicles per day. Jorgensen (cited in Alberta Environment and Sustainable Development and Alberta Conservation Association 2012) estimated for Prairie Rattlesnakes (a species with a comparable risk of road mortality as Bullsnake in Martinson’s study) that the probability of mortality during the single crossing of a busy commuter road outside of Medicine Hat was between 0.45 and 0.98.  Proposals exist for extensive highway construction in the urban centres of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat squarely in the Bullsnake’s range in southern Alberta.  
 
Direct persecution through purposeful killing of individuals and targeted destruction of sites required for hibernation and reproduction remains a real threat to large snakes. Three surveys, conducted in the last 5 years in Canada/Alberta and reviewed by Kissner (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Development and Alberta Conservation Association 2012), indicated that public attitudes toward snakes are improving, but that people from rural communities, particularly males, still approved of killing or harming snakes, particularly rattlesnakes with which Bullsnakes are often confused.   

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Both EO and IAO in Canada are relatively restricted for this subspecies. A liberal estimate of the Bullsnake’s Canadian range is ~ 120,000 sq km. Area of occupancy is highly restricted because of the snakes’ need for specific hibernation (Gardiner and Somner 2011) and nesting sites (Wright 2008). 

vii. Limiting biological factors: The Bullsnake is at the northern edge of its global range in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Thus limiting factors likely include sites that meet thermal requirements for egg incubation and for hibernation. If these sites are traditional and used communally, Bullsnake populations may be effectively isolated from each other even in contiguous grassland habitat. Females may produce eggs only every second year (Shewchuk 1997), thus limiting reproductive and recruitment rates. Therefore, populations may be especially sensitive to added adult mortality resulting from roadkill. 

Bullsnakes are communal hibernators sharing sites with the Prairie Rattlesnake and gartersnakes (Thamnophis spp.; Didiuk 1999). Hibernacula tend to be located in the valleys of large rivers such as the Frenchman, Big Muddy, South Saskatchewan, Red Deer, and Milk rivers. Bullsnakes show fidelity to hibernation sites and some individuals spend the entire active season within 100 m of their hibernaculum (R. Poulin, personal communication). Thus these habitat elements are critical for the species’ persistence in a landscape. Seasonal concentrations of snakes make local populations vulnerable to hunting or harvesting, human destruction of hibernacula, and natural catastrophes such as slides or flooding (Gardiner and Somner 2011). 

References: 

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and Alberta Conservation Association. 2012. Status of the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)  in Alberta. Update 2012. 

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 6 (Update 2012). 49 pp. 

Alberta Environmental Protection. 1997. The grassland natural region of Alberta.  Alberta Environmental Protection, Natural Resource Service, Recreation  & Protected Region Division.  Edmonton, Alberta. 229 pp. 

Alberta Fish and Wildlife. 1991. The status of Alberta wildlife. Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife, Fish and Wildlife Division, Edmonton, Alberta. 49 pp.

Cook, F.R. 1966. A guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Saskatchewan. Sask. Mus. Nat. Hist., Pop. Series 13, Regina, Saskatchewan. 40 pp. 

Cook, F.R. 1970. Rare or endangered Canadian amphibian and reptiles. Can. Field-Nat. 84:9-16 

Cook, F.R. 1984. Introduction to Canadian amphibians and reptiles. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci., Nat. Mus. Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. 200 pp. 

COSEWIC 2002. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Gophersnake Pituophis catenifer in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. Vii + 33 pp.

COSEWIC. 2011. Canadian Wildlife Species at Risk. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Website:http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct0/rpt/rpt_csar_e.cfm [accessed 4 December 2011] 

Cottonwood Consultants Ltd. 1986. An overview of reptiles and amphibians in Alberta's grassland and parkland natural regions. Cottonwood Consultants Ltd., Calgary, Alberta. 62 pp. 

Cottonwood Consultants Ltd. 1987. Alberta snake hibernacula survey. Unpubl. Report for World Wildlife Fund, Wild West Program. 50 pp. 

Crother, B.I. (ed.). 2008. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North American North of Mexico, pp. 1-84. SSAR Herpetological Circular 37. 

Didiuk, A.B. 1999. Suffield National Wildlife Area Biophysical Inventory: Amphibian and Reptile Component Report. Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton. 

Gardiner, L.E., and K.W. Somner. 2011. Major slump event at Grasslands National Park snakepit in southwestern Saskatchewan. Blue Jay 69: 120-124. 

General Status of Alberta Wild Species. 2010. http://srd.alberta.ca/fishwildlife/speciesatrisk/GeneralStatusOfAlbertaWildSpecies/GeneralStatusofAlbertaWildSpecies2010/Default.aspx. (Accessed 19 December 2011) 

Jorgensen, D. 2009. Annual migrations of female prairie rattlesnakes Crotalus v. viridis, in Alberta. Unpub. MSc thesis, University of Calgary. 86 pp.

Kissner, K.J., and J. Nicholson. 2003. Bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer sayi) in Alberta: Literature review and data compilation. Alberta Species at Risk Report 62. 20 pp. 

Kissner, K. J., D.M. Secoy, and M.R. Forbes. 1996. Assessing population size and den use of prairie rattlesnakes Crotalus viridis viridis in southern Saskatchewan. Grasslands National Park Annual Report Vol. 1:27-34 

Kwiatkowski, M.A., C. M. Somers, R.G. Poulin, D.C. Rudolph, J. Martino, T.D. Tuberville, C. Hagen, and S.L. Lance. 2010. Development and characterization of 16 microsatellite markers for the Louisiana pine snake, Pituophis ruthveni, and two congeners of conservation concern. Conservation Genetics Research 2:163-166. 

Lewin, V. 1963. The herpetofauna of southeastern Alberta. Can. Field - Natur. 77:203-214. 

MacKenzie, J. 2011. Literature review- Quantity of native prairie remaining in Saskatchewan, 2011. Report for the Saskatchewan prairie action plan. 

Martinson, A.J. 2009. Modeling road mortality of prairie rattlesnakes and bullsnakes in Alberta. Unpub. MSc thesis, University of Calgary.132 pp. 

Rodriguez-Robles, J.A., and J. De Jesus-Escobar. 2000. Molecular systematics of New World gopher, bull, and pine snakes (Pituophis:Colubridae), a transcontinental species complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Vol 14: 35-50. 

Russell, A.P., and A.M. Bauer. 2000. The amphibians and reptiles of Alberta. A field guide and primer of boreal herpetology. Univ. Calgary Press, Univ. Alberta Press. 264 pp. 

Secoy, D.M. 1987. Status report on the reptiles and amphibians of Saskatchewan. Pp. 139-141 IN G. L. Holroyd, W. B. McGillivray, P. R. Stepney, D. M. Ealey, G. C. Trottier and K. E. Eberhart, eds. Proceedings of the Workshop on Endangered Species in the Prairie Provinces. 

Shewchuk, C.H. 1997. The natural history of reproduction and movement patterns in the Gopher Snake (Pituophis melanoleucas) in southern British Columbia. MSc thesis, Univ.Victoria 194pp. 

Wild Species 2005. http://www.wildspecies.ca/wildspecies2005 Accessed Dec 30, 2011. 

Wright, J. 2008. Bullsnake. Pituophis catenifer sayi, nesting biology in Alberta. Canadian Field Naturalist 122. 

Wright, J., and A.B. Didiuk. 1998. Status of the plains hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus nasicus) in Alberta. Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 15. 26 pp. 

PREPARED BY: Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles SSC, January 2013

Vascular Plants

Isoetes  minima **
Midget Quillwort
BC

“Isoetes minima was described from a single collection made by Wilhelm Suksdorf from Spangle near Spokane, WA, and until recently, the only authentic material of this taxon has been the type specimen. On the same collecting trip, Suksdorf collected copious material of Isoetes howellii that looked superficially the same as the type of I. minima. Based on this limited material, N.E. Pfeiffer reduced I. minima into a variety of I. howellii. 
The Flora of North America followed Pfeiffer and redefined this variety to include any small plants of I. howellii with small megaspores. Several years ago, we found several populations of I. minima in Wenatchee Mountains, WA, and in 1996 this species was also found in south-central British Columbia. The species can be considered rare in British Columbia and Washington. 
Isoetes minima differs from I. howellii by having small, spiny megaspores and by sporangia that completely lack velum. Megaspores of Isoetes howellii have low ridges and its sporangia have partial velum. 
Ecologically, it occupies the most extreme, driest habitats among the western North American terrestrial Isoetes species. It grows in periodically wet depressions in Artemisia tridentata sagebrush with Camassia quamash, Allium douglasii, Hesperochiron pumilus, Lewisia pygmaea, and Floerkea proserpinacoides as accompanying species.” (Ceska, A., and O. Ceska 2001). 
“Eaton's original description of I. minima as a species of Isoetes appears correct. Isoetes minima is a basic diploid species distinguishable from the species it is most nearly related to by DNA sequence, I. nutallii, by several characters. ITS sequence data indicates I. minima is only distantly related to I. howellii and therefore it should not be treated as a variety of I. howellii.” Taylor et al. 2003).

The species is recognized as a valid taxon in both jurisdictions where it occurs.

i. Taxonomic level: The species is recognized as a valid taxon in both jurisdictions where it occurs. Single designatable unit.

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: 60% Isoetes minima is known from the West Kootaney region of British Columbia and in Kittitas and Spokane counties, Washington. Three of the five known populations occur in Canada.

iii. Existing global conservation status: GRANK: G2 (Imperilled) NRANK (Canada): N1 (critically imperilled) SRANK (BC): S1 (critically imperilled)

iv. Canadian population size and trends: unknown

v. Threats: Sensitive habitat (seepages) that may be threatened by road building, anything that disrupts water relations on the slope and seasonal seepage, invasive plant species. Vernal pools and seasonally wet areas in eastern Washington are vulnerable to damage by grazing cattle.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Extent of Occurrence (EO) and Area of Occupancy (AO) have not been calculated, but EO and AO are much less than 5,000 km² and 500 km2 respectively (COSEWIC criteria threshold values).

vii. Limiting biological factors: Studies of other Isoetes species have shown biological limitations to changes in water levels including sensitivity to light levels (caused by changes in water depth or clarity), and oxygen depletion (anoxia) (Garcia and Ballesteros 1996). Isoetes minima is also susceptible to changes in water flow.

References:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2013. Species Summary:Isoetes minima. B.C. Minist. Of Environment. Available: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/ (accessed Feb 20, 2013).

Ceska, A. and O. Ceska. 2001. Isoetes minima A.A. Eaton (Isoetaceae): An overlooked terrestrial quillwort of the Pacific Northwest. Botanical Electronic News (BEN): issue #269 - http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/ben269.html 

Eaton, A. A. 1898. Isoetes minima n. sp. Fern Bulletin 6: 30. http://archive.org/stream/fernbulletinaqu00socigoog#page/n76/mode/2up 

Garcia, E. and E. Ballesteros. 1996. The effect of increased water level on Isoetes lacustris L. in Lake Baciver, Spain. J. Aquat. Plant Manage. 34: 57-59.

NatureServe. 2013. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available: www.natureserve.org [accessed February 22, 2013].

Taylor, W.C., N.T. Luebke, and A.R. Lekchas. 2003. Taxonomic stats and evolutionary relationship of Isoetes minima A.A. Eaton (Isoetaceae) based on nuclear birosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer sequences. Botanical Electronic News (BEN): issue #304 - http://bomi.ou.edu/ben/ben304.html  

Washington Natural Heritage Program. 2005. Isoetes minima A.A. Eaton
midget quillwort Isoetaceae (Quillwort Family). Information sheet. Website: http://www1.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/fguide/pdf/isomin.pdf (accessed Feb 20, 2013).

PREPARED BY: Bruce Bennett, February 2013.

Boechera   quebecensis *
Quebec Rockcress
QC

Boechera quebecensis is an herbaceous plant of the mustard family. It was discovered in Quebec in 1907 near Rimouski. Since then it has been found in few other places in the Gaspe Peninsula and the St. Lawrence Estuary regions. Its global range is restricted to Quebec where it grows on calcareous rock outcrops and talus slopes. The taxon was first included with Arabis holboellii var. holboellii (Fernald 1914), then with A. divaricata var. dechamplainii (Boivin, 1967) and then with A. boivinii (Mulligan 1995) before being recognized as a distinctive species (Windham and Al-Shehbaz 2007). It was designated threatened in Quebec in December 2011 under the Loi sur les espèces menaces ou vulnérables du Québec (L.R.Q., chapitre E-12.01). The distribution of Boechera quebecensis is mainly limited by the shores of maritime limestone. The species only grows in a very limited number of sites in an otherwise seemingly common habitat. Population density is generally low. The overall number is small, probably about 400 individuals. Occurrences are sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances and catastrophic events, especially rock falls.

i. Taxonomic level: This is a valid, recently recognized, species endemic to Canada. Morphological evidence suggests that Boechera quebecensis is an apomictic species that arose through hybridization between B. holboellii and B. stricta (Windham and Al-Shehbaz 2007; Al-Shehbaz and Windham 2010).

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: 100%

iii. Existing global conservation status: GRANK: G1 NRANK: N1 SRANK: S1

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Five extant populations are known. Total population size about 400 individuals. Populations are very small having between 25 and 300 individuals. Recent trends unknown, however historical decline in one of the sites (Bic population) has been documented.

v. Threats: Falling rocks, collecting, and trampling are identified threats; residential development is considered a potential but not imminent threat.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Extent of occurrence about 250 km2 of disconnected habitat. Index of Area of Occupancy ~ 20 km square (five 2 km2 x 2 km2).

vii. Limiting biological factors: Unoccupied suitable habitats are widespread. For unknown reason the species seems unable to colonize them. The competition with shrubs may be a limiting factor in some areas.

References: 

Al-Shehbaz, I.A., and M.D. Windham. 2010. Boechera. p. 401. In Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 3. 

Boivin, B. 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. VI I– Résumé statistique et regions adjacentes. Naturalistes canadien 94 : 625-655.

Dignard, N. 2008. La situation de l’arabette du Québec (Boechera quebecensis) au Québec. Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, rapport non publié préparré pour le CDPNQ, 17 pp.

Fernald, M.L. 1914. Some Antennarias of Northeastern America. Rhodora: 129-134.

Mulligan, G.A. 1995. Synopsis of the genus Arabis (Brassicaceae) in Canada, Alaska and Greenland. Rhodora 97: 109-163.

Windham, M.D. and I. Al-Shehbaz. 2007. New and noteworthy species of Boechera (Brassicaceae) II. Apomictic hybrids. Harvard Papers in Botany 11: 257-274.

PREPARED BY: Stephanie Pellerin, Montreal Botanical Garden. February 2012

Erigeron  leibergii *
Leiberg’s Fleabane
BC

Leiberg’s Fleabane is a small herbaceous flowering plant in the daisy family (Asteraceae) that is endemic to a small area along the border between British Columbia and Washington State (Chelan, Kittitas, and Okanagan Counties).  It is a well-recognized species since it was first described by Piper (1901). It is evidently closely related to Cascade Fleabane (Erigeron cascadensis), although there is a significant geographic gap between the two (Cascade Fleabane is endemic to the Cascade and Calapooya mountains of central Oregon).  

Most specimens of Leiberg’s Fleabane have been collected from dry, rocky, open to shaded slopes at elevations between 900 and 2,500 m (Nesom 2006).  NatureServe (2011) ranks the species as G3?.  There are about 40 known populations, most of them small and isolated, which might suggest a rank of G3 but the threats to the Washington populations have not been well-documented so a rank of G3G4 may be appropriate (Arnett pers. comm. 2012). 

i. Taxonomic level: This is a valid, recently recognized, species native to Canada (Nesom 2006; ITIS 2012).

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: < 5%. 

iii. Existing global conservation status: GRANK: G3? (last reviewed 26 July 2000); NRANK: N1 (Canada, 2011); SRANK: S1 (BC); COSEWIC: Not yet assessed. General Status of Species in Canada: 2 (2010).

iv. Canadian population size and trends: There is one valid Canadian record, based on a 1980 collection, which provides habitat and location information that is apparently accurate to about a 3 km search area.  A cursory search in 2005 (Fairbarns, pers. obs.) failed to detect the population but only a small portion of the search area was examined.  It appears that the total Canadian population is probably well under 250 individuals. 

v. Threats: In Canada, the area where Leiberg’s Fleabane was collected is subject to logging, grazing and invasion by non-native plants.  Approximately 75% of the habitat within 5 km of the reported location has been recently clear-cut and the harvest blocks include numerous areas of rocky habitat where Leiberg’s Fleabane could grow.  A diverse assemblage of invasive grass and forb species is common within the open habitats where it is most likely to occur.  The rocky terrain favoured by Leiberg’s Fleabane is unlikely to receive heavy grazing pressure but livestock are grazed in the area and may damage Leiberg’s Fleabane when crossing between areas of better forage quality.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Both EO and IAO are highly restricted for this species.  There is a single known occurrence in Canada.   

vii. Limiting biological factors: In Canada, which is the northern limit of its range, the species is likely restricted to exceptionally warm, south-facing rocky slopes.

References:

Arnett, J.  pers. comm. 2012.  E-mail to Matt Fairbarns, February 6, 2012.  Rare Plant Botanist, Washington Natural Heritage Program.

Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria. 2012. Web site: http://www.pnwherbaria.org/index.php  [accessed February 6, 2012]

ITIS 2012.  Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Web site: http://www.itis.gov/  [accessed February 6, 2012]

NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer  [accessed: February 6, 2012].

Nesom, G.L. 2006. Erigeron. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 20:256–348. 

Piper, C.V. 1901. New and noteworthy Northwestern plants. – V. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 28: 39-45.

PREPARED BY:  Matt Fairbarns, February 6, 2012

Fraxinus  nigra **
Black Ash
MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL

Other names: basket ash, brown ash, swamp ash, hoop ash, frene noir (French), wikp (Maliseet), wiskoq (Mi’kmaq), ehsa (Mohawk), Wiisagaatic (oog – plural; Ojibway), aagamaatig (oog-plural; Ojibway)

i. Taxonomic level: species 

Kingdom 	Plantae 
Phylum 	Anthophyta 
Class 	Dicotyledoneae 
Order 	Scrophulariales 
Family 	Oleaceae 
Genus 	Fraxinus 
Species 	F. nigra Marshall

ii. Proportion of global range in Canada: Approximately 45%.  Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia , New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. 

iii. Existing global conservation status: GRanks - G5 (last reviewed May 1984; NatureServe, 2011) ; NRanks – NNR; SRanks - Manitoba (S3), New Brunswick (S5), Newfoundland Island (S3), Nova Scotia (S2S3), Ontario (S5?), Prince Edward Island (S2), Quebec (S4S5)

iv. Canadian population size and trends: Population abundance of Black ash is high (millions of individuals), although many areas of its range are sparsely populated.  Most provinces have no readily available population estimates and historically forest surveyors tended to lump all ash species together in their records.  

ATK and forest monitoring data indicate a long-term decline in black ash (e.g. CEPI 2006) and/or all Fraxinus spp. more generally.  Ash in Kings County, New Brunswick has declined from 5.8% of forest composition to 0.5% since 1822 (Lutz 1997).  In Nova Scotia from1953 to 1957, ash comprised 2.24% of hardwood or 0.12% of total forest inventory (Hawboldt and Bulmer 1958).  In the 1990s, black ash comprised 0.01% of hardwood (NSDNR 2000).  In 2012, less than 1000 Black ash trees are recorded in the province (Hill-Forde 2004; NS Department of Natural Resources, in prep).
It is expected that a significant number of populations have been lost across their range due to loss and degradation of wetland habitats or wet forest habitats. Suspected decline is about 70%.

Emerald ash borer has been responsible for the deaths of more than 50 million ash trees in both urban and forested areas in eastern North America (Poland and McCullough 2006).  Since it was first detected in Windsor, ON in 2002, the emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in parts of Ontario and Quebec (http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pages/276 ).

Estimated mortality for species expected to be 66-94% from Emerald ash borer (Mastro and Reardop 2004)

v. Threats: The Threats Calculator (available upon request) assesses the Overall Threat Impact as Very High.  Primary threats are described as follows:

Habitat loss and Alteration – Wetland loss has been prevalent since European settlement across the range of the Black ash.  Although precise estimates are lacking, it is expected that that 65-70% of freshwater wetland habitat has been infilled or altered in Canada, particularly in highly settled or agricultural areas.  Black ash commonly occurs in wet wooded areas (e.g. wooded swamps) which may not be classified or managed as wetlands, but rather as forest land which can be harvested.
Invasive Alien Species - Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire), a phloem-feeding beetle native to Asia, was discovered near Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario in 2002. As of March 2009, isolated populations of Emerald ash borer were detected in nine additional states and Quebec (Kovacs et al. 2010).  At present (15 November 2012), Emerald ash borer in confirmed in Canada at the following places: 
Ontario
•	the regional municipalities of Chatham-Kent, Durham, York, Peel, Halton, Niagara and Waterloo;
•	the counties of Bruce, Elgin, Essex, Frontenac, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxford, Perth and Wellington;
•	the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville;
•	the cities of Brantford, Hamilton, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto; and
•	the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.
•	Manitoulin Island
Quebec
•	the municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) de Papineau and MRC des Collines-de-l'Outaouais;
•	the municipality of Carignan in Quebec; and
•	the cities of Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil and Montreal
(Canadian Food Inspection Agency http://www.inspection.gc.ca/plants/plant-protection/insects/emerald-ash-borer/faq/eng/1337355937903/1337356019017) 
Smitley et al. (2008) estimated that ash decline moved outward from a point of infestation at a rate of 10.6 km per year.

Within 250 forest monitoring plots in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, ash mortality reached nearly 100 percent within 6 years of the arrival of Emerald ash borer, regardless of initial ash density, size, habitat, or diversity. It will kill both small ash saplings at 3-cm diameter at breast height and larger mature trees (Michlet and Ginzel 2010). 

Climate change - Range is expected to decline on average by 65.3% by 2100 under 5 different climate change modelling scenarios (Iverson and Prasad 2001; Iverson et al. 2011 ).  Changes in drought regimes can result in severe dieback where high water tables resulted in shallow rooting.  Climate change is expected to magnify this effect (Prasad et al. 2007).

Warming temperatures and drought stress in western Canada are thought to be contributing to increased loss of propagated Black ash in Edmonton and Prince George to insect pests (Coady and Picketts 2012). 

Other threats include historic harvest of Black ash for barrel staves, air pollution and factors associated with habitat loss or alteration such as housing development, road development, mining, etc.

vi. Small extent of occurrence or area of occupancy: Not applicable

vii. Limiting biological factors: Black ash is a slow-growing tree subject to stunting and deformity possibly due in part to past high-grading from selective harvest.  The species is relatively rare on the landscape, usually comprising less than 1% of forest composition.   In some areas (e.g. Nova Scotia), only several individuals are known to produce seed.

References

Benedict, L., and R. David. 2000. Handbook for Black Ash Preservation, Reforestation/Regeneration Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Department of Environment.

CEPI. 2006. Bras d’Or Lakes Traditional Ecological Knowledge Workshop Proceedings, May 3-4, 2006. Eskasoni, Nova Scotia.

Coady, C. and I. Picketts. 2012. Implementing Climate Change Adaptation in Prince George, BC. Volume 3: Forests.  City of Prince George, Prince George, BC. 45 pp. (http://princegeorge.ca/environment/climatechange/adaptation/Documents/2012_PGRAC_Forests_volume%20with%20Exec%20Sum.pdf) 

Hawboldt, L.S. and R.M. Bulmer. 1958.  The Forest Resources of Nova Scotia. Department of Lands and Forests, Truro, N.S.

Hill-Forde, S. 2004. Change over time in the abundance and distribution of Black Ash in Nova Scotia: Effects of Mi'kmaq traditional use, and recommendations for the best germination technique for province-wide replanting programs. Nova Scotia Agricultural College & Dalhousie University, Truro, Nova Scotia. Http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk4/etd/MQ94164.PDF 

Iverson, L.R., and Prasad, A.M. 2001. Potential redistribution of tree species habitat under five climate change scenarios in the eastern U.S. For.Ecol. Mgt. 155(1-3): 205-222.

Iverson, L.R.; Prasad, A. M.; Sydnor, D.; Bossenbroek, J.; Schwartz, M. W.. 2006. Modeling potential Emerald Ash Borer spread through GIS/cell-based/gravity models with data bolstered by web-based inputs. In: Mastro, Victor, et. Al., comps. Emerald Ash Borer research and technology development meeting; 2005 September 26-27; Pittsburgh, PA. FHTET-2005-16. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: 12-13.

Iverson, Louis R.; Prasad, Anantha; Bossenbroek, Jonathan; Sydnor, Davis; Schwartz, Mark. 2006. Modeling potential movements of the emerald ash borer in Ohio. In: Mastro, Victor; Lance, David; Reardon, Richard; Parra, Gregory, comps. Emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle research and technology development review meeting; 2006 October 29-November 2; Cincinnati, OH. FHTET-2007-04. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Morgantown, WV: 15. 

Iverson L.R., Prasad A., Bossenbroek J., Sydnor D. and Schwartz M.W. 2010. Modeling potential movements of the emerald ash borer: the model framework. In Pye J., Raucher M., Sands Y., Lee D. and Beatty J. (eds.), Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management, pp. 581-597. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations, Portland, OR. Http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/jrnl/2010/nrs_2010_iverson_003.pdf 

Iverson, L., A. Prasad, Anantha; Knight, Kathleen S.; Herms, Daniel A.; Matthews, Stephen; Peters, Matthew; Smith, Annemarie; Long, Robert. 2011. Potential replacements for northwoods black ash in a changing climate: the confluence of two challenges.  In: Parra, Gregory; Lance, David; Mastro, Victor; Reardon, Richard; Benedict, Chuck, comps. 2011 emerald ash borer national research and technology development meeting; 2011 October 12-13; Wooster, OH. FHTET-2011-06. Morgantown, WV; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Forest Health Protection, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team: 63-64. http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/jrnl/2011/nrs_2011_iverson_002.pdf 

Lutz, S.G. 1997. Pre-european settlement and present forest composition in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada.  Masters of Forestry thesis, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB. 51 pp.

Mastro,V. and R. Reardop (eds.). 2004. Emerald ash borer research and technology development meeting. Romulus, Michigan, October 5–6, 2004. USDA Forest Service Publication FHTET-2004-15. 

Poland, T.M.; McCullough, D.G. 2006. Emerald ash borer: invasion of the urban forest and the threat to North America's ash resource. Journal of Forestry. 104(April/May): 118–124.

Prasad A., Iverson L., Peters M., Bossenbroek J., Matthews S.N., Sydnor D. and Schwartz M. 2010. Modeling the invasive emerald ash borer risk of spread using a spatially explicit cellular model. Landscape Ecology 25: 353-369. http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/jrnl/2010/nrs_2010_prasad_001.pdf 

From the Blue Ash Draft COSEWIC Status Report (Lines 62-67):
“Signs of Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis - EAB) were found at 45.8% (11 out of 24) of the sites and in 6.8% of trees (66/968). Although few Blue Ash trees appear to have been killed by EAB, this may be related to the length of time since initial attack and the abundance and proximity of individuals of other ash species, which are preferred over Blue Ash. The highest levels of infestation were generally at sites closest to the initial source of EAB invasion.”

PREPARED BY: Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge SC, February 2013

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