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COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Bluehearts in Canada

Population Sizes and Trends

Global Rank: G5? (Oldham 1996). Note: This ranking by The Nature Conservancy is considered by the author to be in error since it is based on treating B. americana as including B. floridana.  B. americana in the strict sense ranks about G3 or G4 (Ostlie 1990).

The Nature Conservancy (1997) lists B. americana as a historical record or extirpated from D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is reported from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina with no status attributed. The species is listed as S1 (extremely rare) in Georgia and Virginia. It is listed as S2 in Ohio and Texas, S3 in Illinois, Kansas, and Tennessee, S3S4 in Kentucky and S4 in Arkansas and Missouri.

Ontario Subnational Rank: S1 (Oldham 1996).
 Habitat Size
(ha)
No.
1981
No.
1997
Maximum
Numbers
Minimum
Numbers
Extant Populations in Ontario
1. Former Ipperwash Military Reserve0.49700---
2. Former Ipperwash Military Reserve - Bio Lake0.2710---
3. Richmond Park Lake0.75304621971 (1994)23 (1991)
4. Pinery Provincial Park0.008953594 (1984)3 (1997)
5. Ipperwash Beach--88--
Severely Reduced Populations Close to Extirpation
6. Ipperwash (former Provincial Park)0.00412054 (1984)0 (1997)
Extirpated Populations
1. Kettle Point First Nation0.005900450 (1983)0 (1991-1997)
2. Port Franks Poplar Lodge0.00445045 (1981)0 (1997)


Habitat Details

  1. Former Ipperwash military reserve - Army Meadow 1 - about 700 plants counted on 31 July 1981 by Tony Reznicek, William Vanden Bygaart and Terry Crabe in an area 46m X 107m. The area is interlaced with vehicle tracks. D.A. Sutherland (1997 pers. com.) saw about the same number or slightly more during field studies from mid Sept. to Oct. 8, 1993.

  2. Former Ipperwash military reserve - Bio Lake area. Three subpopulations were identified on 31 July 1981 by Tony Reznicek, William Vanden Bygaart and Terry Crabe.

    2a. Army Meadow 2 - about 260 plants around the shores of a 30m X 60m shallow pond.
    2b. Army Meadow 3 - about 300 plants in a 6m X 18m meadow.
    2c. Army Meadow 4 - about 150 plants in a 6m X 12m meadow adjacent to Meadow 3.

    Due to the lateness of the season, Sutherland et al. (1994) considered their inventories inadequate to detect either an increase or a decline in numbers from estimates made in 1981. However, several small populations were discovered scattered in wet meadows between this site and the site described above.

  3. Richmond Park Lake - about 0.7 ha of high quality wet meadow. Private undeveloped land flanked by the former military reserve and cottages.

  4. Pinery Provincial Park - About 85% of Pinery plants found in enclosed 36 m2 meadow. Nine other nearby wet meadows have supported several plants periodically.

  5. Ipperwash Beach - Alf Rider and John and Dorothy Tiedje of Sarnia discovered 88 plants in wet meadows on West Parkway Drive on Sept. 25-‑26, 1997. The plants are primarily on undeveloped private land, but some are on adjacent crown land.

  6. Ipperwash (former Provincial Park) - Only a couple of plants have been seen since 1986. The wet meadow has become quite overgrown with cedars and shrubs and is accumulating organic debris. The population has exhibited a continuous decline since park road and parking lot development occurred in the 1970s. The population is expected soon to become extirpated due to changes in the habitat (A. Rider 1997 pers. comm.; C. Van den Bygaart 1997 pers. com.).

  7. Kettle Point First Nation- 46m X 46m stand on an undeveloped subdivision lot. In 1990, about 300 plants were present, however several houses have been built on the site and despite frequent checks, no plants have been seen since (A. Rider 1997 pers. comm.).

  8. Port Franks, Poplar Lodge - about 45 plants last seen in 1984 in a 36 m2 area in a marina in the Windsor Park subdivision. The habitat has since become weedy and overgrown, and new houses have been constructed at the site (A. Rider 1997 pers. comm.).


Trends

This species undergoes highly variable population fluctuations from year to year (Appendix 1). The decrease in numbers in 1986 is believed to be due to very high water levels that existed for most of the growing seasons in the wet meadows (Crabe 1989). In 1988, there was a lengthy drought during the summer that may have reduced numbers of flowering plants. In 1997, Lake Ontario water levels were very high again. In 1997, 550 plants were counted in September by Alf Rider, however this did not include the former Camp Ipperwash and Ipperwash Provincial Park which are under occupation. The total number of plants was 2182 in 1981, which was the only year when all sites were surveyed. This species is apparently extirpated from Squirrel Island where it was reported in 1914 by Dodge.

The Richmond Park Lake and former Military Reserve populations can be classified as excellent (A) according to criteria in Ostlie (1990). The other populations are difficult to categorize because of the great variation in population size from year to year. Although the population at the former Ipperwash Provincial Park may still be considered as extant, it is very close to becoming extirpated.