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Recovery

Recovery Feasibility

The recovery of the three target species at risk is considered technically and biologically feasible.

There are extant sites for each species. The habitat at the currently occupied sites is suitable, and additional suitable habitat may also be available. Recovery actions such as stewardship and cooperation with landowners and land managers can mitigate major threats. Presently, recovery techniques are believed to be sufficient to protect the species.

Table 6 outlines the criteria (Environment Canada et al. 2005) used to determine recovery feasibility.

Table 6. Recovery feasibility of target species at risk.

Feasibility criteriaDwarf woolly-headsSlender collomiaStoloniferous pussytoes
Are individuals capable of reproduction available to support recovery?yesyesayes
Is habitat available for recovery or could it be made available through recovery actions?yesyesyes
Can significant threats to the species or its habitat be avoided or mitigated through recovery actions?yesyesyes
Do the necessary recovery techniques exist and are they known to be effective?yesyesyes

a No reproductive individuals were known to occur in Canada in 2004 (Douglas, unpubl. data.). However the species is an annual plant and thus is expected to have a viable seed bank (Douglas and Penny 2003).

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Recovery Goal

The recovery goals for each of dwarf woolly-heads, slender collomia, and stoloniferous pussytoes are:

  1. To maintain population(s) with the current area of occupancy; and
  2. To maintain any newly located additional population(s).

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Rationale for the Recovery Goals

As the species have only been documented since 1997 and as there are no trend data for the populations for any of these species, historical trends in distribution and population sizes are unknown. It is likely that these species are naturally rare in the province and will continue to be so.

Additional surveys for new populations for all the species is necessary, as is monitoring of extant populations to determine population trends. As the species are annuals, and a short-lived perennial, population sizes fluctuate yearly. Therefore, determining a quantitative population target for any of these species is not possible at this time.

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Recovery Objectives

The recovery objectives for each of dwarf woolly-heads, slender collomia, and stoloniferous pussytoes are:

  1. Increase protection[2] for all extant occurrences by 2012;
  2. Confirm the distribution of these three species and update population and distribution objectives as needed by 2011;
  3. Reliably determine population trends by 2012;
  4. Assess the severity of the main threats to the populations (habitat loss or degradation, exotic species, changes in ecological dynamics or natural processes) by 2012;
  5. Determine the ecological factors necessary for population maintenance by 2012; and
  6. Determine the feasibility and necessity of restoring populations in suitable habitat by 2012.

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Approaches Recommended to Meet Recovery Objectives

Recovery planning table

Table 7 details the recommended approaches for effecting recovery of the three species.

Table 7. Recovery planning table.

PriorityObj. no.Broad approachThreat addressedRecommended approaches
Urgent1Communication and outreachHabitat loss or degradation
  • develop and implement communications plans for engaging the cooperation of landholders and other stakeholders
  • request that coal and petroleum natural gas tenures be flagged for target species at risk and rare element concerns
Urgent1Habitat protection and stewardshipHabitat loss and degradation
  • determine appropriate protection strategy in cooperation with landowners
  • identify and contact organizations that can implement protection strategy
Necessary1, 4Site managementHabitat loss and degradation; invasive alien species, secondary succession; stochastic events (wildfire)
  • monitor sites to assess threat impacts to populations
  • develop, implement, and adapt a management plan as necessary in cooperation with landowners and managers
  • monitor sites to observe species and habitat responses
  • report on management plan and outcomes
Necessary2Mapping/surveyingN/A
  • survey landscape and adjacent areas for target species at risk and Red- and Blue-listed species to ensure that all rare elements have been identified
  • complete detailed mapping of the landscape and associated rare elements and site features
  • identify and map areas of good potential habitat for target species at risk in region
  • survey potential habitat for target species at risk in Canada
Necessary1, 3MonitoringAll
  • develop and implement standardized monitoring protocol
  • report monitoring results annually and assess trends in populations, area of occupancy, and habitat condition every 5 years
  • monitor sites to assess the effects of actions and adapt management in response to observed results
  • submit all data to B.C. CDC
Necessary3, 5Ecological researchN/A
  • conduct research to characterize: target species at risk pollinators, dispersal potential, seed bank characteristics, and germination requirements

 

Beneficial1, 6Population
enhancement
N/A
  • use information gained through ecological research to enhance critical life history stages as required by recovery goals (particularly for slender collomia)
  • establish reintroductions (if deemed feasible) in suitable habitat sites

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Performance Measures

The measure of success of recovery activities in achieving recovery goals will be accomplished primarily through regular target species at risk population monitoring. Recovery objectives must also be evaluated to ensure that the recovery strategy has been adequately implemented. Evaluation criteria are outlined below:

  • Protection achieved for extant sites (Objective 1)
  • Proportion of potential habitat for target species at risk surveyed and proportion of new target species at risk localities protected. (Objectives 1 and 2)
  • Distribution of species is confirmed and population numbers updated (Objective 2)
  • Populations have been monitored and population trends established (Objective 3)
  • Site-specific threats to the populations have been assessed and mitigated (Objective 4)
  • Risks associated with intrinsic threats to target species at risk are characterized. (Objective 4)
  • Ecological factors for population maintenance for each species, including detailed habitat attributed have been determined (Objective 5)
  • If assessing for reintroduction, mapping of potential habitat for target species at risk completed (Objective 6)
  • The slender collomia population is re-established from seed bank with reproducing individuals. (Objectives 5 and 6)
  • Dwarf woolly-heads and stoloniferous pussytoes populations are maintained or increased. (Objectives 5 and 6)

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Critical Habitat

Critical habitat means “the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species” (Environment Canada et al. 2004).

Identification of the species’ critical habitat

No critical habitat can be identified for the three species at risk at this time, due to a lack of information about general and site-specific habitat features. It is expected that critical habitat will be identified within a recovery action plan following: (1) consultation and development of stewardship options with affected landowners and organizations; and (2) completion of outstanding work required to quantify specific habitat and area requirements for the species. A schedule of studies outlining work necessary to identify critical habitat is found below.

Schedule of studies to identify critical habitat
  1. Using established survey and mapping techniques (applied during phenologically appropriate periods), delimit the boundaries of all occupied habitats. Timeframe: 2011-2012.
  2. Describe habitat attributes of all occupied habitats (e.g., soil texture, moisture regime, length of inundation and exposure, soil chemical properties, plant cover) and identify all occupied habitat. Timeframe: 2011-2012.
  3. Identify, map, and describe all intact sites of potential habitat that are currently unoccupied by species at risk. Rate these habitats for their potential to support these three species, as well as other species at risk. Timeframe: 2011-2012.

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Existing and Recommended Approaches to Habitat Protection

Currently, all B.C. occurrences of the target species at risk occur in the Princeton Landscape, on private land.

The stewardship and protection of target species at risk habitat could be managed by the landowner contact program of the South Okanagan–Similkameen Stewardship Program (SOS Stewardship Program) as administered by The Land Conservancy (TLC). TLC is presently involved in the conservation of natural biodiversity of the south Okanagan and lower Similkameen watersheds (see SOSCP 2003 for more detail). Many successful programs have already been initiated and completed in the south Okanagan and lower Similkameen areas; therefore, the present recovery strategy should be integrated into other conservation efforts.

Habitat protection for the target species at risk should be initiated cooperatively with the private landowners. The involvement of the owners of target species at risk localities is critical for the recovery of these species, which do not occur on public lands. Stakeholders such as resource tenure holders, local residents, and other interested parties should also be encouraged to join the process.

Stewardship approach
For successful implementation in protecting species at risk, there will be a strong need to engage in stewardship on various land tenures. Stewardship involves the voluntary cooperation of landowners to protect species at risk and the ecosystems they rely on. The preamble to the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) states that “stewardship activities contributing to the conservation of wildlife species and their habitat should be supported” and that “all Canadians have a role to play in the conservation of wildlife in this country, including the prevention of wildlife species from becoming extirpated or extinct.” The Bilateral Agreement on Species at Risk, between British Columbia and Canada, states that “stewardship by land and water owners and users is fundamental to preventing species from becoming at risk and in protecting and recovering species that are at risk” and that “cooperative, voluntary measures are the first approach to securing the protection and recovery of species at risk.”

Stewardship approach for private lands
Additional populations of the target species may occur on private lands. As with other species at risk found on private property, stewardship efforts will be the key. To successfully protect many species at risk in British Columbia, there will have to be voluntary initiatives by landowners to help maintain areas of natural ecosystems that support these species of risk. This stewardship approach will cover many different kinds of activities, such as: following guidelines or best management practices to support species at risk; voluntarily protecting important areas of habitat on private property; creating conservation covenants on property titles; eco-gifting property, in whole or in part, to protect certain ecosystems or species at risk; or selling their property for conservation. Both government and non-governmental organizations have had good success in conserving lands in the province.

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Effects on Other Species

Recovery activities for the target species at risk are anticipated to have neutral or beneficial effects on populations of Red- and Blue-listed vascular plant species that occur within the landscape (listed in Table 3), since the latter are at risk due to similar threats.

According to the B.C. Conservation Data Centre, no rare species other than plants have been recorded within the area. While the area presumably provides some habitat for more common wildlife species, no information is currently available on this topic.

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Socioeconomic Considerations

Recovery actions could affect the following socioeconomic sectors: private land development; coal resource exploration and extraction; livestock grazing; agricultural management activities; and off-road vehicle recreation. The expected magnitude of these effects is unknown and will be further addressed in the recovery action plan. The extent of the area covered by the species is very small.

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Recommended Approach for Recovery Implementation

The recommended approach for recovery implementation is a multi-species approach involving the South Okanagan–Similkameen Conservation Program.

Recovery activities in the South Okanagan and Similkameen watersheds need to consider the numerous species that are nationally and provincially at risk within the area, as well as pressures from the growing human population. Landscape-level approaches to conservation are preferred to prevent unnecessary duplication, conflicts, omissions, and inefficiency associated with species-specific approaches (SOSCP 2003).

The species addressed in this recovery strategy -- dwarf woolly-heads, slender collomia, and stoloniferous pussytoes -- have several characteristics in common, including:

  • Canadian populations are restricted in distribution to a small area south of Princeton, BC;
  • each species has annual or very short life cycles;
  • each species is a colonist of low-competition microsites;
  • all populations are peripheral populations at the northernmost extent of their ranges;
  • none of the species are considered to be at risk in Washington State;
  • populations and individuals of the three species can be easily overlooked by non-botanists; and
  • all three species are subjected to similar general threats.

These commonalities suggest justify a multi-species approach would be appropriate to facilitate recovery and management decisions in this systems, that is more efficient than treating these species in isolation, given limited conservation resources.

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Statement on Action Plans

It is recommended that a recovery action plan be completed by April 2011.

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References

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Douglas, G.W., J. Gould, and J.M. Illingworth. 2001. COSEWIC status report on tall woolly-heads Psilocarphus elatior in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa, ON.

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_______. 1990. Addendum: Antennaria flagellaris at Hayden Hill, California: Soil and vegetation characteristics. Report submitted to AMAX Inc. for Hayden Hill Operating Company, Inc.

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Keeley, J.E. and P.H. Zedler. 1998. Characterization and global distribution of vernal pools (PDF; 385 KB). In C.W. Witham, E.T. Bauder, D. Belk, W.R. Ferren Jr., and R. Ornduff, eds. Ecology, conservation, and management of vernal pool ecosystems: proceedings from a 1996 conference. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. [Accessed June 1, 2005]

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Silveira, J.G. 1998. Avian uses of vernal pools and implications for conservation practice (PDF; 100 KB). In C.W. Witham, E.T. Bauder, D. Belk, W.R. Ferren Jr., and R. Ornduff, eds. Ecology, conservation, and management of vernal pool ecosystems: proceedings from a 1996 conference. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. [Accessed June 1, 2005]

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Contacts

Björk, Curtis. June 2005. Email and personal communications. Plant Ecologist, Clearwater, BC. Telephone: (250) 674-2553. Email: cbjork@onewest.net.

Costanzo, Brenda. May 2005. Email communication. Plant Species at Risk Biologist, Biodiversity Branch, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. Telephone: (250) 387-9611. Email: Brenda.Costanzo@gov.bc.ca.

Donovan, Marta. May-June 2005. Email communication. Botanist, Conservation Data Centre, B.C. Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, Victoria, BC. Telephone: (250) 356-0928. Email: Marta.Donovan@gov.bc.ca.

Dyer, Orville. May 2005. Email communication. Wildlife Biologist, Okanagan Fish and Wildlife Science and Allocation Section, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Penticton, BC. Telephone: (250) 490-8244. Email: Orville.Dyer@gov.bc.ca.

Fairbarns, Matt. May 2005. Email and personal communications. Botanical Consultant, Aruncus Consulting, Victoria, BC. Telephone: (250) 595-2057. Email: aruncus_consulting@yahoo.ca.

Fraser, Dave. May-June 2005. Email and telephone communications. Species Specialist, Species at Risk, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Section, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Victoria, BC. Telephone: (250) 387-9756. Email: Dave.Fraser@gov.bc.ca.

Gould, Joyce. May 2005. Email communications. Botanist, Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre, Parks and Protected Areas Division, Alberta Community Development, Edmonton, AB. Telephone: (780) 427-7702. Email: Joyce.Gould@gov.ab.ca.

Gutsell, Robin. June 2005. Email communication. Provincial Resource Assessment Biologist, ESCC/SSC Secretariat, Resource Data and Species at Risk Section, Fish and Wildlife Division, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Edmonton, AB. Telephone: (780) 422-3412. Email: Robin.Gutsell@gov.ab.ca.

Humphrey, Gordon. May 2005. Email communications. Oil & Gas Program Manager - CBM/GDP, Project Assessment Branch, Oil and Gas Commission, Fort St. John, BC. Telephone: (250) 261-5726. Email: Gord.Humphrey@gov.bc.ca.

Hureau, Stephen. May 2005. Email communication. Habitat Biologist, Species at Risk, Environment Canada, Delta, BC. Telephone: (604) 940-4722. Email: Stephen.Hureau@ec.gc.ca.

Krannitz, Pam. May 2005. Email communication. Plant Community Ecologist, Species at Risk, Environment Canada, Delta, BC. Telephone: (604) 940-4676. Email: Pam.Krannitz@ec.gc.ca.

Lea, Ted. May-June 2005. Telephone, email, and personal communications. Vegetation Ecologist, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Section, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Victoria, BC. Telephone: (250) 387-1110. Email: Ted.Lea@gov.bc.ca.

Lomer, Frank. May-June 2005. Telephone and email communications. Botanist, New Westminster, BC. Telephone: (604) 525-3934. Email: lomerlomer@hotmail.com.

McIntosh, Terry. May-June 2005. Telephone, email, and personal communications. Botanical Consultant, Biospherics Environmental Inc., Vancouver, BC. Telephone: (604) 874-1175. Email: ginkgo@shaw.ca.

Penny, Jenifer. May-June 2005. Telephone, email, and personal communications. Botanist, Conservation Data Centre, B.C. Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, Victoria, BC. Telephone: (250) 356-5244. Email: Jenifer.Penny@gov.bc.ca.

Sanger, Allison. June 2005. Telephone and email communications. Botanist, Lassen National Forest, Susanville, CA. Telephone: (530) 252-6662. Email: asanger@fs.fed.us.

Schmitt, Rolf. May 2005. Telephone and email communications. Project Manager, Resource Development Section, B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines, Victoria, BC. Telephone: (250) 356-9822. Email: Rolf.Schmitt@gov.bc.ca.

Schouten, Madelon. May 2005. Telephone communication. Vermillion Forks Field Naturalists, Princeton, BC. Telephone: (250) 295-7078.

Seguin, Joe. May 2005. Email communications. Inspector of Mines, Permitting, South Central Region, B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines, Kamloops, BC. Telephone: (250) 371-6051. Email: Joe.Seguin@gov.bc.ca.

Stewart, Robert. May 2005. Email communication. Ecosystem Biologist, Ecosystems Section, B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Penticton, BC. Telephone: (250) 490-8253. Email: Robert.Stewart@gov.bc.ca.

Trehearne, Dick. May 2005. Telephone communication. Vermillion Forks Field Naturalists, Princeton, BC. Telephone: (250) 295-6308.

Tuason, Thayne. June 2005. Email communications. Botanist, Boise, ID. Email: flora@cwnp.org.

Wooten, George. June 2005. Email communication. Biological Consultant, Twisp, WA. Email: gwooten@mymethow.com.


Footnotes – Part 2

2 This may involve protection in any form including stewardship agreements and conservation covenants on private lands; land use designations on Crown lands; and protection in federal, provincial, and local government protected areas.

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