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COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Banded Cord-moss in Canada


Global Range

Entosthodon fascicularis has a western North American–western Eurasian disjunctive pattern. It is relatively rare in North America, found only in British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon (Fig. 2; Grout 1935, Lawton 1971). NatureServe Explorer (2002) does not list it for Idaho, but does list it for the other locations. It is more common in Europe, found in Sweden, Denmark, Britain, and Ireland (Smith 1989, NatureServe Explorer 2002), and, possibly, the Middle East (Kürschner 2000).

Figure 2: North American Distribution of Entosthodon fascicularis

 North American distribution of Entosthodon fascicularis

Canadian Range

In Canada, the banded cord-moss is restricted mainly to a small coastal area in southwestern British Columbia, with a lone collection from southeastern British Columbia (Fig. 3). Along the coast, it has been found at twelve sites on southeastern Vancouver Island, and once on each of three nearby islands: Trial Island near Victoria, Saturna Island, east of Victoria, and Hornby Island (Sadler 2005; Table 1).

Figure 3: Canadian Distribution of Entosthodon fascicularis

Figure 3. Canadian distribution of Entosthodon fascicularis

Dots may represent more than one location; see Table 1 for details.


Table 1: Population Information for Entosthodon fascicularis
Population #LocationDates visitedDates confirmed
1 (1)Malahat, N. of Victoria1982/2002No (2002)
2 (2)Eagle Heights, near Duncan1999/2002No (2002)
3 (3, 9)Uplands Park, Victoria1982/2001/2002Yes (2002 by Wynne Miles and T. McIntosh)
4 (4, 5, 6, 7)Nanoose Hill, near Nanaimo1969/1975/1976/
No (2002)
5 (8)Victoria (King’s Pond)1961/2002Yes (2002 by Wynne Miles and T. McIntosh)
6 (10)Trial Island, near Victoria1982/2000not visited in 2002 - 2004
7 (11)Old Baldy Mountain, near Duncan1970/2002No (2002)
8 (12)Sooke1969No (2002)
9 (13)Saturna Island1997not visited in 2002- 2004
10 (14)Yahk Park, Kootenay area1978not visited in 2002 - 2004
11Christmas Hill, VictoriaMay 13, 2004Yes (by A. and O. Ceska)
12Skirt Mountain, VictoriaMarch 21, 2004Yes (by A. and O. Ceska)
13Harmac, near NanaimoApril 8, 2004Yes (by A. and O. Ceska)
14 (15)Observatory Hill, VictoriaMarch 16, 2004Yes (by T. McIntosh, W. Miles, and A. and O. Ceska)
15Helliwell Provincial Park, Hornby Island2003Yes (by K. Sadler)

Numbers in brackets following the population number refer to Collections Examined; collections 3 and 9 are the same location in Uplands Park, whereas exact locations of the Nanoose Hill collections are uncertain, and may be from different sites in the area and may represent separate populations.

Only two of the reported populations were located during initial fieldwork for this report in 2002: the Uplands Park and the King’s Pond populations in Victoria (Populations 3 and 5, respectively). Other sites that were searched where it had been collected in the past were along the Malahat highway, Eagle Heights, and Nanoose Hill. The general location (Vancouver Island, Victoria) on the herbarium packet of Population 5 was clarified as King's Pond by the original collector, W.F. Savale. However, field work was initiated in the summer of 2002, which was possibly too late for this species. The banded cord-moss grows in late winter, matures in spring, and may decompose or be covered by litter by summer, although sporophytes of the Uplands Park population were found in late August. It has also been very dry over the past few years, and sporophytes may not have been produced as frequently as in the past. Further, this species may be overlooked because of its diminutive size and its habit of growing as small, highly localized patches, sometimes hidden amongst other mosses and litter. Much of the locality information on the herbarium collection packets is not very specific and, since many of the localities have abundant potential habitat and this species is locally rare, the exact location of individual populations may have been missed.

In the spring of 2003, T. McIntosh, along with W. Miles, initiated a study of rare and interesting bryophytes in Garry oak ecosystems in coastal British Columbia (McIntosh and Miles 2005). Many open sites, including habitats characteristic of Entosthodon fascicularis, were examined across much of the range of Garry oak. In addition and mostly separate from that survey, A. and O. Ceska also searched for this species in 2004. Sites on Salt Spring Island, near Nanaimo, in the Duncan area, and around Victoria were investigated. Altogether, approximately 60 sites have been investigated by these investigators and E. fascicularis was found only four additional times (Populations 11 to 14). One additional recent site (Population 15) was found in Helliwell Provincial Park in 2003.