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Recovery Strategy for the Streambank Lupine (Lupinus rivularis) in Canada - 2017

Part 1 - Federal Addition to the Recovery Plan for Streambank Lupine (Lupinus rivularis) in British Columbia, 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 is the competent minister under SARA for the Streambank Lupine 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 as per section 39(1) of SARA. 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 plan for Streambank Lupine (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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, or any other jurisdiction alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Streambank Lupine 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 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, SARA requires that critical habitat then be protected.

In the case of critical habitat identified for terrestrial species including migratory birds SARA requires that critical habitat identified in a federally protected areaFootnote 1 be described in the Canada Gazette within 90 days after the recovery strategy or action plan that identified the critical habitat is included in the public registry.  A prohibition against destruction of critical habitat under ss. 58(1) will apply 90 days after the description of the critical habitat is published in the Canada Gazette.

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.

If the critical habitat for a migratory bird is not within a federal protected area and is not on federal land, within the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of Canada, the prohibition against destruction can only apply to those portions of the critical habitat that are habitat to which the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 applies as per SARA ss. 58(5.1) and ss. 58(5.2).

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.

Additions and modifications to the adopted document

The following sections have been included to address specific requirements of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) that are not addressed in the Recovery Plan for Streambank Lupine (Lupinus rivularis) in British Columbia (Part 2 of this document, referred to henceforth as "the provincial recovery plan") and/or 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 plan 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 federal recovery strategy.

1. Populations and distribution

This section provides updated information to "Section 3.2: Populations and Distribution" in the provincial recovery plan. Since publication of the provincial recovery plan, a new population has become established due to recovery efforts. Population #9 was deliberately introduced by the Streambank Lupine Recovery Team within Deas Island Regional Park in 2010 and the most recent count recorded 20-25 plants (D. Hanna pers. comm. 2015). This population meets the criteria of being a successful introduction, in that it has naturally persisted for a minimum time period of 5 years. Recovery efforts have also been initiated on nearby Kirkland Island in the South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area in 2013 but so far have been unsuccessful (D. Hanna pers. comm. 2015). Therefore, the population and distribution objectives adopted from the provincial recovery plan includes Population #9 plus the populations identified in the provincial recovery plan.

2. Critical habitat

This section replaces "Section 7.1: Description of Survival/Recovery Habitat" in the provincial recovery plan.

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. A primary consideration in the identification of critical habitat is the amount, quality, and locations of habitat needed to achieve the population and distribution objectives.

The 2014 provincial recovery plan for Streambank Lupine includes a written description of habitat requirements. Environment and Climate Change Canada accepts the description of habitat requirements provided in the provincial recovery plan, as the basis for critical habitat identification in the federal recovery strategy, with the inclusion of geospatial areas containing critical habitat, and with other modification (as follows) to address specific requirements of SARA. More precise boundaries may be mapped, and additional critical habitat may be added in the future if additional information supports the inclusion of areas beyond those currently identified.

2.1 Identification of the species' critical habitat

Geospatial location of areas containing critical habitat

Critical habitat is identified for the seven known extant populationsFootnote 2 of Streambank Lupine; these are linked with the population numbers provided in the provincial recovery plan below, excepting the addition of Population #9 (Delta-Deas Island). All of the populations occur near the coast in southwestern British Columbia (Figures 1-4):

  • Population #2 (2a: Delta-Alaska Way and 2b: Surrey-Elevator Road)
  • Population #3 (Delta-BNSFFootnote 3/Chatterton)
  • Population #4 (Richmond-Blundell)
  • Population #5 (5a: Port Coquitlam-Kingsway south and 5b: Port Coquitlam-Kingsway north)
  • Population #7 (Port Coquitlam-Pitt River Dyke)
  • Population #8 (Surrey-Grace Road)
  • Population #9 (Delta-Deas Island)

The area containing critical habitat for Streambank Lupine is identified based on the area occupied by individual plants or patches of plants, including the associated potential location error from Global Positioning System (GPS) units (ranging from 5 m to 25 m uncertainty distance), plus an additional 50 m (i.e., critical function zone distanceFootnote 4) to encompass immediately adjacent areas. Ecosystem processes that occur on banks that support Streambank Lupine are integral to the production and maintenance of suitable microhabitat conditions. Where these banks are apparent as a distinct ecological featureFootnote 5 at the landscape scale, the entire portion of the bank associated with the plant or patch of plants is also identified as critical habitat. Where two sub-populations are located less than 1 km apart in association with a continuous identifiable ecological feature (e.g., along a stream reach or sand/silt bank), the connecting habitat is also identified as critical habitat to maintain connectivity. A 50 m critical function zone is applied to the connecting habitat to maintain suitable habitat conditions.

Critical habitat could not be identified at four sites: Population #6 (possibly extirpated, status unknown), Population #2, subpopulation C (which is extirpated), Population #1 (which is a historical record – associated with a high level of location uncertainty, and unknown "extant" status) and one new (2015) population resulting from deliberate, recent, introduction attempts at Kirkland Island in the South Arm Marshes Wildlife Management Area within the Fraser Delta. An additional potentially new population has been reported (2007) in the Cowichan area on Vancouver Island that requires verification and critical habitat identification once verified. The schedule of studies (Section 2.2) outlines the activities required to identify additional critical habitat necessary to support the population and distribution objectives of the species.

Biophysical attributes of critical habitat

Within the areas identified as containing critical habitat, critical habitat is identified wherever the following biophysical attributes occur:

  • River or creek banks, composed of various substrates (including gravel, cobble, rip-rap, sand, or silt);
  • Areas with minimal ground cover (no developed grass, tree, or shrub layer) that are natural or anthropogenic in origin (e.g., sand or silt banks along railway right of ways, dykes, roadside edges, open lots or parking areas)

A critical function zone of 50 m around any extant plant occurrence is also identified as critical habitat, including all biophysical attributes listed above, as well as any other natural features (e.g., trees, shrubs) associated with the occurrence.

The areas containing critical habitat for Streambank Lupine (totalling 31.4 ha) are presented in Figures 1-4. Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine in Canada occurs within the shaded yellow polygon(s) (unit(s)) shown on each map, where the criteria outlined above are met. Within these polygons, unsuitable habitats (i.e., existing permanent infrastructure such as the running surface of paved roads, railway tracks, buildings) do not possess the biophysical attributes required by Streambank Lupine and they are not identified as critical habitat. The 1 km x 1 km UTM grid overlay shown on this figure is a standardized national grid system that highlights the general geographic area containing critical habitat, for land use planning and/or environmental assessment purposes.

Critical habitat can only be partially identified at this time. A schedule of studies has been included to provide the information necessary to complete the identification of critical habitat. The identification of critical habitat will be updated when the information becomes available, either in a revised recovery strategy or action plan(s).

Figure 1. Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine is represented by the shaded yellow polygons where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 2.1 are met. The detailed polygons show the area containing critical habitat at Population #2 (5.4 ha), and Population #8 (1.3 ha) in Delta and Surrey, B.C. 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 in Canada. Areas outside of the shaded yellow polygons do not contain critical habitat.
Map: Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine - Delta, Surrey, British Columbia
Long description for Figure 1

Figure 1 shows a map with standardized 1 × 1 km grid squares that contain polygons of critical habitat of the Streambank Lupine populations # 2 in Delta and # 8 in Surrey, British Columbia. The map shows 1 grid square around the location of population # 8 in Surrey on Grace Road. It also shows 4 grid squares with the location of population # 2 in Delta. One population is located near Alaska Way and another is near Elevator Road.

Figure 2. Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine is represented by the shaded yellow polygons where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 2.1 are met. The detailed polygons show the area containing critical habitat at Population #3 (18.5 ha) and Population #4 (1.3 ha), in Delta and Richmond B.C. 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 in Canada. Areas outside of the shaded yellow polygons do not contain critical habitat.
Map: Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine - Delta, Richmond, British Columbia
Long description for Figure 2

Figure 2 shows a map with standardized 1 × 1 km grid squares that contain polygons of critical habitat of the Streambank Lupine populations # 4 in Delta and # 3 Richmond, British Columbia. The map shows 1 grid square around the location of population #4 on Blundell Road in Richmond, and 2 grid squares around the location of population # 3 on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway in Delta.

Figure 3. Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine is represented by the shaded yellow polygons where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 2.1 are met. The detailed polygons show the area containing critical habitat at Population #5a,b (2.5 ha), and Population #7 (1.3 ha), in Port Coquitlam, B.C. 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 in Canada. Areas outside of the shaded yellow polygons do not contain critical habitat.
Map: Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine - Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Long description for Figure 3

Figure 3 shows a map with standardized 1 × 1 km grid squares that contain polygons of critical habitat of the Streambank Lupine populations # 5 and # 7 in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. The map shows 2 grid squares around the 2 locations of population # 5 on Kingsway Avenue South and Kingsway Avenue North in Port Coquitlam. It also shows 2 grid squares around the 2 locations of population # 7 on the Pitt River Dyke in Port Coquitlam.

Figure 4. Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine is represented by the shaded yellow polygons where the criteria and methodology set out in Section 2.1 are met. The detailed polygons show the area containing critical habitat at Population #9 (0.9 ha), at Deas Island, Delta B.C. 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 in Canada. Areas outside of the shaded yellow polygons do not contain critical habitat.
Map: Critical habitat for Streambank Lupine - Delta, British Columbia
Long description for Figure 4

Figure 4 shows a map with a standardized 1 × 1 km grid square that contains a polygon of critical habitat of Streambank Lupine population # 9. The map shows 1 grid square around the location of population # 9 on the northeastern end of Deas Island in Delta, British Columbia.

2.2 Schedule of studies to identify critical habitat

This section replaces "Section 7.2: Studies Needed to Describe Survival/Recovery Habitat" in the provincial recovery plan.

The following schedule of studies (Table 1) outlines the activities required to complete the identification of critical habitat for Streambank Lupine; population numbers are provided in reference to those in the provincial recovery plan.

Table 1. Schedule of studies to identify critical habitat for Streambank Lupine
Description of activityRationaleTimeline
Undertake repeated, comprehensive surveys at Population 1 and Population 6, to reconfirm and identify any additional Streambank Lupine plants occurring in remaining patches of suitable habitat, and investigate the feasibility of habitat restoration at these sites so that Streambank Lupine can reestablish (via natural dispersal from adjacent populations, and/or deliberate reintroduction).Critical habitat could not be identified for two populations owing to their "unknown" extant status. It is unknown if suitable habitat for Streambank Lupine persists at these sites, and/or if it could be made suitable with restoration. In addition, recent, comprehensive, targeted surveys are lacking. Without further information on the status and location of these populations, it is unknown whether there is sufficient critical habitat identified for Streambank Lupine.2017-2022
Verify the identification of the potential new record of Streambank Lupine reported at Cowichan, Vancouver Island (2007)This activity is required such that sufficient critical habitat is identified to meet the population and distribution objectives.2017-2022
Monitor translocation trials on Kirkland Island to determine whether establishment of these introduced populations are successful, and/or to evaluate long-term persistence (i.e. over a minimum time period of 5 years).This activity is required such that sufficient critical habitat is identified to meet the population and distribution objectives.2017-2022

2.3 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 2 include those likely to cause destruction of critical habitat for the species; destructive activities are not limited to those listed.

Table 2. Examples of activities likely to result in destruction of critical habitat for Streambank Lupine.
Description of activityRationaleAdditional information including related IUCN threatFootnote a
Conversion, expansion or removal of existing railway right-of-ways, roadside edges, dykes, open lots and parking areas.These activities result in direct loss by removal, or burial, of critical habitat.Related IUCN Threat #4.1. Subpopulations 5a and 5b were partially destroyed through road expansion. Although there are no current plans for development at any of the Streambank Lupine locations, this activity should be monitored as any new project could result in the loss of a significant amount of Streambank Lupine habitat.
Maintenance activities (e.g. brushcutting or grading) at existing railway right-of-ways or roadside edges.These activities may degrade or destroy habitat, e.g., by altering the soil surface or covering the ground with litter such that it is no longer suitable for Streambank Lupine regeneration.Related IUCN Threat #7.3.
As many populations of Streambank Lupine occur within right-of-ways, maintenance activities occur at most sites. Depending on frequency and scheduling, mowing and brushing may, in some circumstances, have a neutral or even beneficial effect on Streambank Lupine by reducing weed encroachment. Thresholds are unknown, however appropriate timing (i.e., post growing season and seed set) and application (i.e., avoiding soil disturbance) are essential to avoid destruction.
Inappropriate use of herbicides in invasive plant management activities or roadside/railway weed control.Efforts to control invasive plants through chemical means (e.g., non-specific herbicides) can result in habitat toxicity such that critical habitat is no longer suitable for Streambank Lupine.Related IUCN Threat #9.3. Spraying has occurred at a few sites in the past and may be used at these same sites and others in future. The use of herbicides has decreased or ceased at several sites (e.g., Populations 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, and 7).
Applies to all areas containing critical habitat, and also adjacent lands (i.e., those outside geospatial area containing critical habitat) where application may impact critical habitat through wind drift or residual effects.
Dumping of fill (sand/gravel) and/or general garbageDebris left by people can destroy habitat (e.g. by burial) and/or otherwise degrade habitat quality such that it is no longer suitable for Streambank Lupine.Related IUCN Threat #9.4. Many Streambank Lupine populations occur in areas easily accessed by people. In 2004, a portion of habitat at Alaska Way (affecting subpopulation 2a) was removed and covered with gravel fill.

aThreat classification is based on the IUCN-CMP (World Conservation Union–Conservation Measures Partnership) unified threats classification system.

3. Statement on action plans

One or more action plans for Streambank Lupine will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry by 2022.

4. Effects on the environment and other species

This section replaces "Section 9: Effects on Other Species" in the provincial recovery plan.

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 provincial recovery plan for Streambank Lupine contains a section describing the effects of recovery activities on other species (i.e., Section 9). Environment and Climate Change Canada adopts this section of the provincial recovery plan as the statement on effects of recovery activities on the environment and other species. Recovery planning activities for Streambank Lupine will be implemented with consideration for all co-occurring species at risk, such that there are no negative impacts to these species or their habitats.

5. References

COSEWIC 2002. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the streambank lupine Lupinus rivularis in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. 36 pp.

Hanna, D., pers. comm. 2015. Email correspondence with Matt Huntley. Botanist, Vancouver, B.C.

Footnotes - Part 1

Footnote 1

These federally protected areas are:  a national park of Canada named and described in Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act, The Rouge National Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, a marine protected area under the Oceans Act, a migratory bird sanctuary under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, 1994 or a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act see ss. 58(2) of SARA.

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Footnote 2

"Populations" are characterized as being separated by >1 km, and "sub-populations" represent records of individuals, or patches of individuals, that are within 1 km of each other unless otherwise noted.

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Footnote 3

BNSF = Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

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Footnote 4

Critical function zone distance has been defined as the threshold habitat fragment size required for maintaining constituent microhabitat properties for a species (e.g., critical light, moisture, humidity levels necessary for survival). Existing research provides a logical basis for applying a minimum critical function zone distance of 50 m for all rare plant species occurrences (see Rationale for decision tree hierarchy).

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Footnote 5

"Distinct" ecological, or landscape features are here referred to as those that are distinguishable at a landscape scale (through use of detailed ecosystem mapping or aerial photos), which, at that scale, appear as ecologically contiguous features with relatively distinct boundaries (e.g., cliffs, banks, or slopes, drainage basins, seepage plateaus, or distinct vegetation assemblages), and which comprise the context for a species occurrence.

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