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Recovery Strategy for the Half-moon Hairstreak (Satyrium semiluna) in Canada - 2016

Part 1: Federal Addition to the "Recovery Strategy for Half-moon Hairstreak (Satyrium semiluna) in British Columbia and Alberta", prepared by Environment and Climate Change Canada

Preface

The federal, provincial, and territorial government signatories under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996) agreed to establish complementary legislation and programs that provide for effective protection of species at risk throughout Canada. Under the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) (SARA), the federal competent ministers are responsible for the preparation of recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered, and Threatened species and are required to report on progress within five years after the publication of the final document on the SAR Public Registry.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency is the competent minister under SARA for the Half-moon Hairstreak and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia (B.C.), the Province of Alberta, and the Southern Interior Invertebrates Recovery Team. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Province of British Columbia provided the attached recovery strategy for Half-moon Hairstreak (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It has been prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Parks Canada Agency.

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction, alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Half-moon Hairstreak and Canadian society as a whole.

This recovery strategy will be followed by one or more action plans that will provide information on recovery measures to be taken by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Parks Canada Agency and other jurisdictions and/or organizations involved in the conservation of the species. Implementation of this strategy is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.

The recovery strategy sets the strategic direction to arrest or reverse the decline of the species, including identification of critical habitat to the extent possible. It provides all Canadians with information to help take action on species conservation. When critical habitat is identified, either in a recovery strategy or an action plan, there may be future regulatory implications, depending on where the critical habitat is identified. SARA requires that critical habitat identified within a national park named and described in Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act, the Rouge National Urban Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, a marine protected area under the Oceans Act, a migratory bird sanctuary under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 or a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act be described in the Canada Gazette, after which prohibitions against its destruction will apply. For critical habitat located on other federal lands, the competent minister must either make a statement on existing legal protection or make an order so that the prohibition against destruction of critical habitat applies. For any part of critical habitat located on non-federal lands, if the competent minister forms the opinion that any portion of critical habitat is not protected by provisions in or measures under SARA or other Acts of Parliament, or the laws of the province or territory, SARA requires that the Minister recommend that the Governor in Council make an order to prohibit destruction of critical habitat. The discretion to protect critical habitat on non-federal lands that is not otherwise protected rests with the Governor in Council.

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Acknowledgements

Many people are to be acknowledged for their involvement in the preparation of this federal recovery strategy addition. This document was prepared by Kella Sadler (Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service (ECCC CWS) - Pacific and Yukon Region (PYR)) with the input of Dan Shervill (ECCC CWS-PYR) and Laura Parkinson. Substantial input and/or collaborative support was provided by Mark Wayland, Greg Wilson, and Medea Curteanu (ECCC CWS - Prairie and Northern Region), Diane Casimir, Robert Sissons, and Cyndi Smith (Parks Canada Agency), Adrienne Fowlie Larocque and Ron Casorso (National Research Council Canada – White Lake, BC), Leah Westereng, Jennifer Heron, Bryn White, Orville Dyer, Mark Weston, Kirk Safford, Sara Bunge, and Jim Mottishaw (Government of British Columbia, Sue Cotterill (Government of Alberta), Dennis St. John (Private Entomologist), Sylvie Desjardins (UBC Kelowna), Geoff Scudder (UBC), and Dennis Knopp (Private Consultant, Sardis). Richard Post, Amos Chow, Clare O’Brien and Sean Butler provided assistance with mapping and figure preparation.

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Additions and Modifications to the Adopted Document

The following sections have been included to address specific requirements of SARA that are not addressed in the "Recovery Strategy for the Half-moon Hairstreak (Satyrium semiluna) in British Columbia and Alberta" (Part 2 of this document, referred to henceforth as "the provincial recovery strategy") and to provide updated or additional information.

Under SARA, there are specific requirements and processes set out regarding the protection of critical habitat. Therefore, statements in the provincial recovery strategy referring to protection of survival/recovery habitat may not directly correspond to federal requirements. Recovery measures dealing with the protection of habitat are adopted; however, whether these measures will result in protection of critical habitat under SARA will be assessed following publication of the final federal recovery strategy.

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1. Species Status Information

Legal Status: SARA Schedule 1 (Endangered) (2007)

Table 1. Conservation Status of Half-moon Hairstreak (from NatureServe 2013, BC Conservation Data Center 2013, BC Conservation Framework 2013, and Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS) 2013).
Global (G) RankFootnote*National (N) RankFootnote *Sub-national (S) RankFootnote *COSEWIC DesignationProvincial ListingBC Conservation Framework
G4

Canada (N1N2)

United States (N4)

Canada: Alberta (S1), British Columbia (S1) ; United States: California (SNR), Colorado (S3), Idaho (SNR), Montana (S4), Nevada (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Utah (SNR), Washington (S4), Wyoming (SNR)Endangered (2006)

BC: Red List (Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened);

AB: S1 (five or fewer occurrences or especially vulnerable to extirpation)

Highest priority: 1, under Goal 3Footnote **

Footnotes

Footnote *

Rank 1- critically imperiled; 2- imperiled; 3- vulnerable to extirpation or extinction; 4- apparently secure; 5- secure; H- possibly extirpated; NR - status not ranked

Return to footnote * referrer

Footnote **

The three goals of the BC Conservation Framework are: 1. Contribute to global efforts for species and ecosystem conservation; 2. Prevent species and ecosystems from becoming at risk; 3. Maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems

Return to footnote ** referrer

It is estimated that the percent of the global range of this species in Canada is less than 1%.

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2. Population and Distribution Objectives

This section replaces the "Population and Distribution Goal" and "Rationale for the Population and Distribution Goal" sections in the provincial recovery strategy.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has determined the Population and Distribution Objective for Half-moon Hairstreak to be:

To ensure the persistence of Half-moon Hairstreak at all known extant locationsFootnote 1 (and any new locations) within the species' range in Canada.

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Rationale:

Occurrence information for Half-moon Hairstreak shows it is extant at nine known locations in Canada: eight locations in BC and one location in Alberta. The British Columbia Conservation Data Centre and NatureServe databases define "extant" as all observations made within the last 20 years, provided the habitat has not been substantially altered or degraded. Population numbers, including abundance trends, are unknown. Currently there is insufficient information to complete minimum population viability analysis, dispersal and re-colonization capabilities are unknown, and detailed habitat requirements are unclear. Likewise there is no information to indicate that the species was previously more widespread, therefore an objective to actively increase the number of populations, which may allow for down-listing of the species, is not appropriate at this time. However, if additional naturally occurring populations are discovered, their persistence should also be ensured. Future population and distribution data may indicate that deliberate attempts to increase abundance would be warranted at one or more locations (for example, where either or both of abundance and/or species' range shows a documented decline).

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3. Broad Strategies and General Approaches to Meet Objectives: Recovery Planning Table

The recovery planning table included in the provincial recovery strategy (i.e., Table 3 of provincial recovery strategy) details actions to meet recovery objectives. One of the actions listed is to: "Determine quality and quantity of habitat required to ensure persistence of a population in a given location or within a given large habitat patch. Information gathering will include host plant densities, host plant health (e.g. disease), area of extent of host plants at each location, possible ant associations (e.g. which ant species occur on host plants), systematic threat assessments so comparisons between locations can be drawn (e.g. grazing intensity, etc), and other information as necessary." In reference to the "other information as necessary" portion of this action, the points below amend this table to include additional details on information considered necessary to address knowledge gaps:

  • In areas where vegetation surveys have not yet been completed, ground-truth areas delineated as "suitable habitat" to confirm whether or not biophysical attributes necessary to support Half-moon Hairstreak are present, and refine Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) classification type used to indicate "suitable habitat" so that representation of habitat quality for Half-moon Hairstreak is most optimal.
  • Determine structural element requirements (i.e. species and/or objects utilized, amount and density of structural elements required) for adult butterflies in both BC and Alberta.
  • Identify shelter resources necessary to support Half-moon Hairstreak at all stages in its life-cycle at locations in BC and Alberta.
  • Identify movement capabilities and use of corridors for dispersal among locations, as components of sustaining connectivity, and genetic viability of Half-moon Hairstreak in Canada.
  • Examine the importance of topographical heterogeneity and sources of soil moisture as components of habitat capable of supporting Half-moon Hairstreak.

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4. Critical Habitat

4.1 Identification of the Species' Critical Habitat

This section replaces the "Description of Survival/Recovery Habitat" section in the provincial recovery strategy.

Section 41 (1)(c) of SARA requires that recovery strategies include an identification of the species' critical habitat, to the extent possible, as well as examples of activities that are likely to result in its destruction. The 2011 provincial recovery strategy for Half-moon Hairstreak includes a description of the biophysical attributes of survival/recovery habitat. This science advice was used to inform the critical habitat identification in this federal recovery strategy. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak is identified in this document to the extent possible; more precise boundaries may be mapped, and additional critical habitat may be added in the future if additional research supports the inclusion of areas and/or biophysical attributes beyond those currently identified. Primary considerations in the identification of critical habitat include the amount, quality, and locations of habitat needed to achieve the population and distribution objectives.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak is identified at nine locations. Eight locations are in British ColumbiaFootnote 2, and one is in Alberta:

  1. White Lake (East and West), BC (Figure A1): corresponds with BC CDC EO #6
  2. Keremeos Columns, BC (Figure A2): corresponds with BC CDC EO #7
  3. Blind Creek, BC (Figure A2): corresponds with BC CDC EO #3
  4. Richter Pass & Mount Kobau & Kilpoola BC (Figure A3): corresponds with BC CDC EO #4
  5. Kilpoola Lake, BC (Figure A4): corresponds with BC CDC EO #5
  6. Chopaka East, BC (Figure A4): corresponds with BC CDC EO #8
  7. Anarchist Mountain, BC (Figure A5): corresponds with BC CDC EO #2
  8. East Osoyoos, BC (Figure A5): corresponds with BC CDC EO #1
  9. Blakiston Fan, Waterton Lakes National Park (WLNP), AB (Figure A6)

The areas containing critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak are identified based on a combination of (1) all documented occurrencesFootnote 3 (including data sets from the BC CDC, the recovery team and the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) collected between 2001 and 2013), (2) an estimate of the seasonal dispersal capabilities of adult Half-moon Hairstreak butterflies, applied as a 600 m radiusFootnote 4 around each documented occurrence, and (3) selection of all suitable habitat within this occurrence radius. In British Columbia, plant communities containing >10% cover of Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) were selected as suitable habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak (Iverson and Haney 2010, COSEWIC, 2006) using Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM). Ecosystem mapping units associated with individual occurrence records were considered inherently indicative of use by Half-moon Hairstreak, and therefore included by default (i.e., regardless of proportion of Big Sagebrush). In Waterton Lakes National Park Alberta, dry grassland (BL1, BL2, BL3) and stream channel (SC) ecosites were selected as suitable habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak using Ecological Land Classification (ELC) mapping (Achuff et al. 2002a; 2002b).

The biophysical attributes as detailed below summarize known essential elements for Half-moon Hairstreak within the areas identified as containing critical habitat. These biophysical attributes are consistent with the habitat attributes outlined in the provincial recovery strategy, the COSEWIC status report (COSEWIC 2006), and other sources (Knopp et al. 2009; James and Nunnallee 2011). These attributes include: larval host plants, nectar host plants, and other structural attributes essential for life cycle completion. Detailed information about the composition and spatial relationship of individual biophysical attributes required by Half-moon Hairstreak at particular locations, and the relative required amount, condition, and density of individual biophysical attributes within areas identified as containing critical habitat are currently unknown. Each of the biophysical attributes described are identified as critical habitat wherever they occur within the area identified as containing critical habitat.

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Larval Host Plants

Half-moon Hairstreak uses one or more species of Lupine (Lupinus sp.) year-round, i.e., for completion of all life history stages. Lupines are the only known larval host plant. Adult butterflies lay their eggs in the summer either on Lupine larval host plants, or in the litter (or other inert surfaces) at the base of, or nearby, Lupines, where the eggs overwinter until the following spring. Upon hatching, larvae stay on or near Lupines to feed on the plant, and may also seek cover or shelter in the associated litter. Although the movement capabilities and/or patterns of Half-moon Hairstreak larvae are not known, it is considered reasonable that they would not move farther than 5 m away from larval host plantsFootnote 5. As such, all Lupine plants, and the soils/litter occurring within 5 m of these plants are identified as biophysical attributes of critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak.

  1. In BC: Lupine species that are known larval host plants for Half-moon Hairstreak include Silky Lupine (L. sericeus) and Sulphur Lupine (L. sulphureus).
  2. In Alberta: Lupine species that are known larval host plants for Half-moon Hairstreak include Silky Lupine (L. sericeus) and Silvery Lupine (L. argenteus).

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Nectar Host Plants

During the flight period (typically late May to early July in B.C., and typically throughout July in Alberta), Half-moon Hairstreak uses one or more species as nectar host plants. Half-moon Hairstreak may select nectar host plants opportunistically; therefore any plants flowering during the flight period of Half-moon Hairstreak should be considered potential nectar host plants.

  1. In BC: Known nectar host plants include Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Parsnip-flowered Buckwheat (Eriogonum heracleoides) and Grey Horsebrush (Tetradymia canescens).
  2. In Alberta: Known nectar host plants include Yellow Buckwheat (Eriogonum flavum), and Missouri Goldenrod.

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Structural Elements

During the flight period, various plants and other features are used by adult Half-moon Hairstreak as structural elements for perching and mating, and potentially also for roosting and/or shelter (from exposure, and also predators - including camouflage). Wherever they exist at individual locations, the following species are considered important biophysical attributes of critical habitat:

  1. In BC: Plants known to be used as structural elements by Half-moon Hairstreak include: Big Sagebrush, Three-tip Sagebrush (Artemisia tripartita), Arrow-leaved Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), and Prairie Sagebrush (Artemisia frigida).
  2. In Alberta: Plants and substrates known to be used as structural elements by Half-moon Hairstreak include: low-lying herbaceous vegetation, including larval and nectar host plants (stated above), Prairie Sagebrush, Aster (Aster sp.), Wolf Willow (Elaeagnus commutata), Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.), Milk-vetch (Astragalus sp.) rocks and boulders, and patches of bare ground.

The areas containing critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak are presented in Appendix 1 (Figures A1-A6). Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak in Canada occurs within the detailed yellow polygons (critical habitat units) shown on each map where the occurrence radius and habitat type criteria (i.e., TEM and ELC habitat mapping) described in this section are met, and where any of the known biophysical attributes exist. Unsuitable habitats such as forested areas, lakes, permanent standing water below the lowest documented water line, and permanent anthropogenic features (including existing infrastructure – buildings, telescopes, and running surfaces of roads) do not possess the attributes required by Half-moon Hairstreak and they are not identified as critical habitat. Detailed methods and decision-making processes relating to critical habitat identification are archived in a supporting document.

Dispersal and/or movement corridor habitat is that which is required by adult butterflies to move among locations, sites or to unoccupied habitat. Connective habitat is important to prevent further fragmentation and isolation of Half-moon Hairstreak locations. Connectivity may likewise facilitate recolonization of some areas after a catastrophic event. It is recognized that the critical habitat identified above is insufficient to achieve the population and distribution objectives for Half-moon Hairstreak because information that would allow for the identification of dispersal and/or movement corridors required by the species is not available at this time.

The schedule of studies (Section 4.2) outlines the activities required to identify additional critical habitat necessary to support these objectives.

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4.2 Schedule of Studies to Identify Critical Habitat

This section replaces the "Studies Needed to Describe Survival/Recovery Habitat" section in the provincial recovery strategy.

The following schedule of studies (Table 2) outlines the activity required to complete the identification of critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak.

Table 2. Schedule of Studies to Identify Additional Critical Habitat.
Description of ActivityOutcome/RationaleTimeline
Determine movement activities and capabilities and dispersal requirements for Half-moon HairstreakMovement / dispersal corridors will be included as a component of critical habitat identification, to support all extant locations of Half-moon Hairstreak in Canada.2016 - 2021

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4.3 Examples of Activities Likely to Result in Destruction of Critical Habitat

Understanding what constitutes destruction of critical habitat is necessary for the protection and management of critical habitat. Destruction is determined on a case by case basis. Destruction would result if part of the critical habitat were degraded, either permanently or temporarily, such that it would not serve its function when needed by the species. Destruction may result from a single or multiple activities at one point in time or from the cumulative effects of one or more activities over time. Activities described in Table 3 include those likely to cause destruction of critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak; destructive activities are not limited to those listed.

Table 3. Examples of activities likely to result in destruction of critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak in Canada. Threat numbers are in accordance with the IUCN World Conservation Union–Conservation Measures Partnership unified threats classification system (CMP 2010).
Description of ActivityDescription of effect (biophysical attribute or other)Details and relationship to identified threats
Conversion of natural landscape (within the areas identified as containing critical habitat) for residential, commercial, and/or industrial developmentResults in the direct loss of critical habitat through vegetation removal and replacement, debris deposition, soil disturbance and compaction, and/or related indirect effects which cause damage or destruction to biophysical attributes required by Half-moon HairstreakThe primary threat to Half-moon Hairstreak in B.C. is direct habitat loss to residential and commercial development (housing, urban, commercial and industrial areas) (IUCN Threat # 1.1, 1.2)
Fire management strategies that result in long-term fire suppression in open grassland and/or Sagebrush ecosystems, and/or human-caused fire resulting in destruction to existing biophysical attributes of critical habitatContinued active fire suppression results in long-term loss of open grassland and Sagebrush habitat due to tree encroachment, and alteration of plant community composition such that it no longer contains biophysical attributes required by Half-moon Hairstreak. Conversely, where these biophysical attributes do exist, human-caused fire can result in their destruction.Fire suppression by wildfire protection programs is an ecosystem-level threat to the persistence open grassland and/or Sagebrush habitats in both B.C. and AB. Where biophysical attributes required by Half-moon Hairstreak do occur, local destruction by fire is a potential threat at all locations in Canada. (IUCN Threat # 7.1)
Grazing practices at any time of year that result in the damage or destruction of larval host plants; grazing practices in the non-dormant phase (March-September inclusive) that results in the destruction of nectar host plants and/or other structural elements identified as essential to the Half-moon Hairstreak; grazing practices in the dormant phase (October-February inclusive) that results in compaction or removal of soils associated with larval host plants (within 5 m), permanent net loss of nectar host plants or structural elements, and/or creation of new exposed/disturbed trails or clearingsLivestock use can result in disturbance, removal, and/or compaction of vegetation and ground layer (via grazing or trampling), causing the loss of larval and nectar host plants, essential structural elements (e.g., adult perching plants) and damage to litter required by Half-moon Hairstreak eggs and larvae. New disturbance can facilitate establishment of alien invasive species.Domestic livestock grazing is known to occur, and is a potential threat, at most locations in B.C. (IUCN Threat # 2.3)
Any motorized recreational activities (e.g., ATVs or other vehicles) occurring outside of existing roads or trails, at any time and in all seasons; non-motorized recreational activities (e.g., foot traffic, mountain biking, and horse-back riding) occurring during the non-dormant phase (March-September inclusive) to the extent that larval host plants are damaged or destroyed, or to the extent that nectar host plants and/or other structural elements identified as essential to Half-moon Hairstreak are destroyed; non-motorized recreational activities during the dormant period (October-February inclusive) that results in the damage or destruction of larval host plants and/or compaction or removal of associated soils (within 5 m); non-motorized recreational activities at any time of year that (individually, and/or cumulatively) results in the permanent net loss of nectar host plants, structural elements, and/or creation of new roads, trails or clearingsResults in disturbance of local biophysical conditions, including direct physical damage to or loss of biophysical attributes required by Half-moon Hairstreak. Activities may cause vegetation removal (impacting the availability of egg, larval and nectar host plants, and other essential structural elements) and cause trampling or removal of soil and litter required by Half-moon Hairstreak eggs and larvae. New disturbance can facilitate establishment of alien invasive species.Recreational activities (at various levels) threaten Half-moon Hairstreak habitats at all locations in B.C. and AB. Thought to be the primary threat for Half-moon Hairstreak in Alberta (IUCN Threat # 6.1)
Introduction of alien invasive speciesAlien invasive species may cause destruction of habitat available to Half-moon Hairstreak by making required biophysical attributes of critical habitat (larval host plants and nectar host plants, and/or required structural elements) functionally unavailable to Half-moon Hairstreak, as a consequence of their physical occupation of space and resources.Some alien invasive grasses may be deliberately introduced for range purposes (IUCN Threat # 8.1)
Activities related to the control of invertebrate pests and/or invasive plant species (mechanical or chemical) that are not in accordance with provincial best management practices, where available. This may include on-site activities, and/or pesticide/herbicide drift from adjacent agricultural areas.Efforts to control invertebrate pests or invasive plants through chemical means (pesticides or herbicides) or by physical means can result in destruction of critical habitat by degrading or removing biophysical attributes required for survival (as a consequence of weed-pulling), or microhabitat toxicity resulting from the application of pesticides and/or herbicides.Impacts are localized and likely being reduced through improved Integrated Pest Management techniques. The locations in B.C. that are within provincial parks or national properties are not adjacent to agricultural spray areas. Pesticide application by spot-spraying of target species does occur within WLNP AB (IUCN Threat # 9.3)

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The primary activity likely to result in the destruction of Half-moon Hairstreak critical habitat in BC is considered to be habitat loss by conversion of natural areas for residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial development. The lower elevation grassland ecosystems of the south Okanagan, that include Half-moon Hairstreak critical habitat, are considered one of the four most endangered ecosystems in Canada owing to conversion as a result of agricultural development (particularly vineyards) and/or residential or urban development. Much potentially suitable Half-moon Hairstreak habitat has already been lost to development in the south Okanagan Valley, and development pressure continues to be high. The primary activity likely to result in destruction of critical habitat in Alberta (Waterton Lakes National Park) is recreational use and impacts to areas outside of existing Park roads and trails (i.e., via expansion of existing roads or trails, and/or creation of new roads, trails, or clearings within areas identified as containing critical habitat). Activities associated with the regular functioning, maintenance, and repair of existing roads or trails in these areas are not considered likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat.

In many areas where Half-moon Hairstreak occurs, the land management plan and expectation is to suppress fire, which can contribute to the loss of critical habitat. Slow natural succession of pines and other native trees into open areas is ongoing due to long-term fire suppression. In the absence of regularly occurring fires, the size and extent of ecological communities (and associated biophysical attributes) required by Half-moon Hairstreak has likely been reduced by tree encroachment at some locations, owing to shading and competition. Conversely, human-caused fires in areas where critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak is present may result in local destruction of necessary biophysical attributes. Habitat fragmentation and land use have altered natural fire regimes and patterns in Sagebrush and grassland communities of the south interior of BC. It is estimated that at least half of fires in the Okanagan valley are human-caused (e.g. 56% of fires in the Okanagan fire Zone from 2004-2013 were human-caused; at lower elevations in the Okanagan Valley as much as 80% human-caused) (J. Mottishaw pers. comm. 2014). Further, invasive plants may out-compete native nectar plants post-fire and result in long-term reduction in habitat suitability, unless there is successful deliberate seeding of native species. Therefore in this portion of its range, human-caused wildfire may be more likely to result in critical habitat destruction than fire suppression, depending on historical fire regimes, current land use pressures, local vegetation community characteristics, and the intensity of fire (M. Weston, pers. comm. 2013). Prescribed burning to achieve general thinning or fuel removal at sites (e.g., for maintenance of grassland and/or open forest ecosystems) must take into account the potential negative consequences of fire to Half-moon Hairstreak, where semi-isolated populations and/or local biophysical attributes required by the species could be easily and/or irreparably devastated (D. St. John, pers. comm. 2014).

Grazing practices resulting in deterioration of grassland (ecosystem) health (such as loss of composition, structure, site stability, etc.) and related biophysical attributes required by Half-moon Hairstreak (nectar plants and host plants) are identified as an activity likely to impact or destroy critical habitat. It is unknown to what level actual stocking rates (and yearly implementation of rates), timing of use, length of use, will affect or impact habitat to the extent that critical habitat is lost. However, it is intuitive that inappropriate use of range with intensive grazing over long periods of time will impact the biophysical attributes necessary for Half-moon Hairstreak. It is possible that some level of grazing may not be detrimental to Half-moon Hairstreak at some locations, i.e., where the occurrence, proportion, and abundance of larval and nectar host plants, and required structural elements are demonstrably maintained or increased under existing levels of livestock activity. Additional research is required to determine the grazing practices and/or threshold level(s) of grazing intensity that are consistent with ensuring the long-term persistence of biophysical attributes necessary for Half-moon Hairstreak.

Destruction of critical habitat by the introduction of invasive plants (or their control) is considered to be of most concern at Blakiston Fan in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, in relation to Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa). Spotted Knapweed potentially competes with Half-moon Hairstreak larval and nectar host plants, and may change the composition and structure of the plant and invertebrate communities where it occurs. Parks Canada is currently undertaking activities to mitigate the spread of Spotted Knapweed at Blakiston Fan.

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5. Statement on Action Plans

One or more action plans will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry by 2021.

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6. Effects on the Environment and Other Species

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making and to evaluate whether the outcomes of a recovery planning document could affect any component of the environment or any of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy’s (FSDS) goals and targets.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below in this statement.

The ranges of several other species at risk overlap the range and habitat of Half-moon Hairstreak. In the South Okanagan Valley, the Big Sagebrush-Bluebunch Wheatgrass plant community is a rare ecosystem in British Columbia (red-listed) and is globally ranked G2 or imperiled (BC Conservation Data Centre, 2011). This rare plant community provides habitat for many provincially- and federally- listed species at risk. Federally listed species at risk that may overlap with Half-moon Hairstreak habitat in BC include (but are not limited to): Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), American Badger (Taxidea taxus), Nuttall's Cottontail nuttallii subspecies (Sylvilagus nuttallii nuttallii), Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium), Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana), Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus), Great Basin Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), Western Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor), Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus), Wallis' Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle (Cicindela parowana wallisi), Rusty Cord-moss (Entosthodon rubiginosus), Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis), Grand Coulee Owl-clover (Orthocarpus barbatus), Lyall's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus lyallii), Scarlet Ammannia (Ammannia robusta), and Toothcup (Rotala ramosior). Federally listed species at risk found within grassland habitat in AB that may overlap with Half-moon Hairstreak include (but are not limited to): Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii), and Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus).

Implementation of the recovery strategy will indirectly benefit other species at risk in the area; increased public education and awareness may limit harmful recreational activities at these locations, and conservation actions to restore and protect grasslands ecosystems for Half-moon Hairstreak are likely beneficial to all species that rely on these threatened ecosystems. Likewise, conservation actions underway or proposed to protect the other species at risk are likely beneficial to Half-moon Hairstreak - a multi-species approach to conservation planning is recommended. In acknowledgement of the high potential for shared habitat among local species at risk, large-scale management actions, such as invasive species removal or the use of herbicides or pesticides, should be planned and implemented carefully. All on-site activities (surveys, research, and management), to aid recovery may pose a threat to co-occurring species (e.g., via trampling, increased herbivory via incidental creation of trails, or inadvertent dispersal of alien species during disposal), unless care is taken to avoid damage.

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7. References

Achuff, P.L., R.L. McNeil, M.L. Coleman, C. Wallis and C. Wershler. 2002a. Ecological land classification of Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. Vol. I: integrated resource description. Parks Canada, Waterton Park, Alberta. 226 pp.

Achuff, P.L., R.L. McNeil, M.L. Coleman, C. Wallis, C. Wershler and R. Riddell. 2002b. Ecological land classification maps of Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. Prepared by Terrain Resources Ltd., Lethbridge, Alberta, for Parks Canada, Waterton Park, Alberta. 5 maps & legend.

Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS): List of all Species and Ecological Communities in Alberta, within the ACIMS Database - June, 2013. Available: Alberta Conservation Information Management System website (accessed December 12, 2013).

BC Conservation Data Centre. 2013. Species Summary: Satyrium semiluna. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer website (accessed December 12, 2013).

BC Conservation Framework. 2013. Conservation Framework Summary: Satyrium semiluna. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer website. (accessed December 12, 2013).

CMP (Conservation Measures Partnership). 2010. Threats Taxonomy.

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 2006. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Half-moon Hairstreak Satyrium semiluna in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 26 pp. (Status Reports website).

Iverson, K., and A. Haney. 2010. Refined and updated ecosystem mapping for the South Okanagan Valley and Lower Similkameen. Unpub. report prepared for the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen and South Okanagan - Similkameen Conservation Program.

James, D. and D. Nunnallee. 2011. Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies. Oregon State University Press. Corvallis, OR. 448pp.

Knopp, D., L. Larkin, J.Heron and O.Dyer. 2009. 2008 Surveys for Half-moon Hairstreak, Satyrium semiluna, in the Southern Okanagan, British Columbia. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Ecosystem Branch, Vancouver, BC.

NatureServe, 2002. Element Occurrence Data Standard. Available http://www.natureserve.org/prodServices/eodata.jsp (Accessed: November 5 2012)

NatureServe. 2013. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available NatureServe Explorer (accessed December 12, 2013).

Scott, J.A. 1973. Life-span of Butterflies. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. 12(4) 225:23

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Appendix 1. Maps of Critical Habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak in Canada

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak has been identified at nine locations in Canada. Eight locations are in British Columbia (Figures A1-A5), and one location is in Alberta (Figure A6):

  1. White Lake (East and West) BC (Figure A1): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #6
  2. Keremeos Columns BC (Figure A2): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #7
  3. Blind Creek, BC (Figure A2): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #3
  4. Richter Pass & Mount Kobau & Kilpoola BC (Figure A3): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #4
  5. Kilpoola Lake BC (Figure A4): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #5
  6. Chopaka East BC (Figure A4): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #8
  7. Anarchist Mountain BC (Figure A5): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #2
  8. East Osoyoos BC (Figure A5): corresponds with B.C. CDC EO #1
  9. Blakiston Fan, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta (Figure A6)

Figure A1. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at White Lake (East and West), British Columbia (corresponds with BC CDC EO #6) is represented by the shaded yellow polygons (709.8 ha in total), where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at White Lake
Long description for Figure A1

Figure A1 shows the critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at White Lake (East and West), British Columbia (corresponds with BC CDC EO #6). Critical habitat is represented by the shaded colour zones, where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met (i.e., 709.8 ha in total). The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that indicates the general geographic area containing critical habitat. Further details can be found in the preceding/next paragraph(s).

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Figure A2. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Keremeos Columns (west polygon) and Blind Creek (east polygon), British Columbia (the Keremeos location corresponds with BC CDC EO #7 and the Blind Creek location corresponds with BC CDC EO #3) is represented by the shaded yellow polygons (552.8 ha in total), where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Keremeos Columns
Long description for Figure A2

Figure A2 shows the critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Keremeos Columns (west zone) and Blind Creek (east zone), British Columbia (the Keremeos location corresponds with BC CDC EO #7 and the Blind Creek location corresponds with BC CDC EO #3). Critical habitat is represented by the shaded colour zones, where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met (i.e., 552.8 ha in total). The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that indicates the general geographic area containing critical habitat. Further details can be found in the preceding/next paragraph(s).

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Figure A3. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Richter Pass, Mt. Kobau and Kilpoola, British Columbia (corresponds with BC CDC EO #4) is represented by the yellow shaded polygons (679.2 ha in total), where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Richter Pass
Long description for Figure A3

Figure A3 shows the critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Richter Pass, Mt. Kobau and Kilpoola, British Columbia (corresponds with BC CDC EO #4). Critical habitat is represented by the shaded colour zones, where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met (i.e., 679.2 ha in total). The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that indicates the general geographic area containing critical habitat. Further details can be found in the preceding/next paragraph(s).

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Figure A4. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Chopaka East (west polygon; corresponds with BC CDC EO #8) and Kilpoola Lake (east polygon, corresponds with BC CDC EO #5), British Columbia is represented by the yellow shaded polygons (946.7 ha in total), where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Chopaka East
Long description for Figure A4

Figure A4 shows the critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Chopaka East (west zone; corresponds with BC CDC EO #8) and Kilpoola Lake (east zone, corresponds with BC CDC EO #5), British Columbia. Critical habitat is represented by the shaded colour zones, where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met (i.e., 946.7 ha in total). The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that indicates the general geographic area containing critical habitat. USA landbase is excluded from this critical habitat identification, where it occurs within standardized UTM grid squares. Further details can be found in the preceding/next paragraph(s).

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Figure A5. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at East Osoyoos (southwest polygon; corresponds with BC CDC EO #1) and Anarchist Mountain (north and east polygons; corresponds with BC CDC EO #2), British Columbia is represented by the yellow shaded polygons (280.5 ha in total), where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at East Osoyoos
Long description for Figure A5

Figure A5 shows the critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at East Osoyoos (southwest zone; corresponds with BC CDC EO #1) and Anarchist Mountain (north and east zones; corresponds with BC CDC EO #2), British Columbia. Critical habitat is represented by the shaded colour zones, where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met (i.e., 280.5 ha in total). The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that indicates the general geographic area containing critical habitat. USA landbase is excluded from this critical habitat identification, where it occurs within standardized UTM grid squares. Further details can be found in the preceding/next paragraph(s).

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Figure A6. Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Blakiston Fan, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta is represented by the yellow shaded polygons (295.8 ha in total), where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met.

Critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Blakiston Fan
Long description for Figure A6

Figure A6 shows the critical habitat for Half-moon Hairstreak at Blakiston Fan, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. Critical habitat is represented by the shaded colour zones, where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 4.1 are met (i.e., 295.8 ha in total). The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that indicates the general geographic area containing critical habitat. Further details can be found in the preceding/next paragraph(s).

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Footnotes

Footnote 1

Locations are based on the biological parameters of the butterfly (e.g. dispersal distance and habitat connectivity between known occurrences, and whether the individuals mix between locations). The definition of location for recovery of the species is defined as a stand-alone population that does not mix with other locations. Sites within a location may mix. Locations are defined to match provincial recovery strategy descriptions as closely as possible.

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Footnote 2

All location names listed here, with the exception of East Osoyoos, match those used in the provincial recovery strategy. BC CDC EO = British Columbia Conservation Data Centre Element Occurrence. The East Osoyoos, BC, location was included in the provincial recovery strategy, as part of the Anarchist Mountain location. The BC Conservation Data Centre recognizes the East Osoyoos location as a unique element occurrence (EO #8) (NatureServe 2002), as such it has been treated as a unique location in this federal recovery strategy.

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Footnote 3

BC CDC occurrence records, Parks Canada Agency (Alberta) records, Alberta Conservation Information Management System and/or any other additional occurrence records available.

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Footnote 4

Although there is no direct dispersal measurement data available for Half-moon Hairstreak, results from preliminary mark recapture studies for the related species, Behr's Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii), conducted at sites in the south Okanagan valley from 2004-2007 indicated a 100 m average seasonal dispersal (with some variation depending on climatic conditions during the flight season) and a 1200 m maximum dispersal distance (COSEWIC, 2012). The adult lifespan of Half-moon Hairstreak is estimated at a minimum of 6 days. In absence of specific information, a daily movement distance of 100 m was considered to be a realistic precautionary estimate. Therefore the consensus of the British Columbia Southern Interior Invertebrates Recovery Team was to consider 600 m (i.e. 6 days x 100 m/day) as representing the best available information on the seasonal dispersal capabilities of Half-moon Hairstreak, based on a combination of expert opinion, anecdotal observations, and estimated life-span of adult butterflies (Scott, 1973; Knopp et al., 2008; S. Desjardins; J. Heron, pers. comm., 2012).

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Footnote 5

It is possible that Half-moon Hairstreak in Canada have a mutualistic association with ants, in which ants protect the larvae from predation, and the larvae excrete amino acids that the ants consume. This relationship is commonly observed in Half-moon Hairstreak populations in the United States, including locations in Washington and California, but has not yet been observed in Canadian populations. Should this association exist in Canadian populations of Half-moon Hairstreak, it would occur on or within 5m of host plant Lupines, as this where the larvae would occur.

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