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Few-flowered Club-rush / Bashful Bulrush

Executive Summary

The common name used throughout this strategy (Few-flowered Club-rush) is a synonym for Bashful Bulrush, which is the common name used in Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act.  Few-flowered Club-rush/Bashful Bulrush (Trichophorum planifolium, formerly Scirpus verecundus) is limited to two locations in Canada: Cootes Paradise Nature Sanctuary in Hamilton, and Rouge Park in Toronto.  The Cootes Paradise populations consist of around 1200 plants [1], and the Rouge Park population consisted of only 40 stems (one plant) in 2001, but it was not found in 2005.  These populations are at the northern edge of this species’ range; populations in the eastern United States are secure.  This species was uplisted from “Special Concern” to “Endangered” by COSEWIC (Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada) in May 2000.  It is also regulated as an Endangered species under the Ontario Endangered Species Act.

The recovery goal is to ensure the long-term survival of the extant Canadian populations, through the protection and enhancement of these populations (as necessary).  Population studies may reveal that this species exhibits metapopulation dynamics, in which case its persistence will require the availability of suitable unoccupied (“recovery”) habitat.  If this proves true, this species is likely threatened by deteriorating ecological conditions on a landscape scale, as many other species have exhibited (See Ambrose et al., 2004).

Recovery is currently hampered by an absence of clear data on the threats facing this species, compounded by an incomplete understanding of its basic ecology.  This document details the research necessary to address these deficiencies, and the subsequent recovery actions necessary to ensure the persistence of this species in Canada.

[1] “Plant,” in the document, refers to a cluster of stems separated by at least one centimetre from any other such cluster. This is a working definition, and will be revised upon the availability of new information.