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COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005

Appendix VIII: COSEWIC Status Assessments (November 2004 /May 2005)*

Results are grouped by taxon and then by status category. A reason for designation is given for each species. A short history of status designations follows. The range of occurrence in Canada for each species (by province, territory, or ocean) is provided.

*The following detailed COSEWIC Status Assessment Results do not include the  Emergency Assessment of the Chinook Salmon, Okanagan population, as this information has already been  provided to you on May 5, 2005

November 2004 results

Mammals
North Pacific Right Whale EubalaenajaponicaEndangered
Assessment Criteria   A1d; D1
Reason for Designation
Although there have not been sightings of this species in the last 50 years in Canadian waters, there have been sightings both south and north of British Columbia waters. Therefore it is not appropriate to classify the species as extirpated. The total population in the eastern North Pacific likely numbers a few tens of animals.
Range  Pacific Ocean
Status History
The Right Whale was considered a single species and designated Endangered in 1980. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1985 and in April 1990. Split into two species in May 2003. North Pacific Right Whale was not re-evaluated in May 2003; it retained the Endangered status of the original Right Whale. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in November 2004.
Narwhal MonodonmoncerosSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable

Reason for Designation

The Baffin Bay population appears to be large (~45,000), although there is uncertainty about numbers, trends, life history parameters, and levels of sustainable hunting. There is similar uncertainty about the much smaller Hudson Baypopulation (~2,100 mature individuals). Hunting for maktak and the commercially valuable tusk ivory represents the most consistent threat to narwhals.  Potential effects of changes in ice coverage caused by climate trends are unknown. The Hudson Bay population could decline by 30% in 30 years if hunting is not closely regulated. Similarly, the Baffin Bay population could be affected if hunting in Greenland is not effectively managed. Numbers removed by hunting increased during the 1990s. Community-based management is monitoring hunting and is attempting to regulate removals. Reliable information about numbers that are killed and not recovered is difficult to obtain.

Range  Arctic Ocean
Status History
Designated Not at Risk in April 1986 and in April 1987. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in November 2004.

 

Birds
Ancient Murrelet SynthliboramphusantiquusSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This burrow-nesting seabird is impacted by mammalian predators that have been introduced to its breeding islands. Predators have been removed from some islands but populations have not increased as a result. About half of the world population nests in the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia; the Canadian population is thought to be declining.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1993. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2004.

 

Reptiles
Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer ColuberconstrictorflaviventrisThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), but designated Threatened, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), because a large part of the subspecies' habitat is in Grasslands National Park, and there is rescue potential from the state of Montana.
Reason for Designation
This snake is restricted to two small areas in extreme southern Saskatchewan. It is at risk due to loss of habitat from agriculture, mortality on roads, loss of den sites and perhaps from effects of small population size. There may be a rescue effect from immigration from the United States, but this effect has not been observed.
Range  SK
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1991. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2004.
Western Yellow-bellied Racer ColuberconstrictormormonSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This snake occurs in five valleys in south-central British Columbia. It is susceptible to habitat loss and fragmentation from agriculture and urban development, especially as this species is particularly intolerant of urbanization. The ongoing expansion of the road network and traffic volumes increases mortality and further fragments the habitat. Pesticide applications in agricultural areas may impact the snakes both directly and via contamination of their insect prey. It is unlikely that there is a significant rescue effect because of extensive loss of habitat contiguous to the United States border.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Not at Risk in April 1991. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in November 2004.

 

Amphibians
Red-legged Frog RanaauroraSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
A large proportion of the known Canadian distribution of this species occurs in the densely populated southwestern part of British Columbia. Habitats are becoming increasingly lost and fragmented due to land conversions and other human activities. Introduced Bullfrog and Green Frog, which are spreading rapidly, have replaced this species at many sites and appear to adversely affect the use of wetland breeding sites and reproductive success. Populations of this species, and other amphibian species that require extensive habitat, are inherently vulnerable to habitat fragmentation which can be expected to exacerbate isolation effects and local extinctions.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1999. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2002 and in November 2004.

 

Fishes
Striped Bass MoronesaxatilisExtirpated
     St. Lawrence Estuary population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
The population from the St. Lawrence Estuary has disappeared as a consequence of illegal fishing, with the last record dating from 1968.
Range  QC
Status History
Designated Extirpated in November 2004.
Copper Redhorse MoxostomahubbsiEndangered
Assessment Criteria   A2c; B1ab(v)+2ab(v)

Reason for Designation

This species is endemic to Canada where it is now known from only three locations in southwestern Quebec that possibly represent a single population. The distribution and abundance of the species have been severely reduced due to a number of anthropogenic factors (e.g., urban development, agricultural practices, and the construction of dams) that have contributed to a decrease in water quality and habitat availability. The recent introduction of exotic species such as zebra mussel may further impact habitat quality.

Range  QC
Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2004.
Striped Bass MoronesaxatilisThreatened
     Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence population
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, B2ac(iv), but designated as Threatened, B2ac(iv); D2, because of the high degree of resilience evident in recent spawner abundance estimates.
Reason for Designation
This fish was once commercially important and is still highly prized by anglers. Threats include bycatch in various fisheries such as gaspereau, and rainbow smelt. Illegal take, particularly during ice fishing, is also believed to be a threat.
Range  QC NB PE NS
Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2004.
Striped Bass MoronesaxatilisThreatened
     Bay of Fundy population
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, A2bc, but designated Threatened, A2bc; D2, because the one remaining spawning population does not appear to be at imminent risk.
Reason for Designation
Repeated spawning failures led to the disappearance of the Annapolis and Saint John River populations. These disappearances are thought to be due to changes in flow regime and poor water quality. In the Shubenacadie River population, the presence of the introduced chain pickerel in overwintering sites may constitute a threat. Another threat to the population is bycatch from various commercial fisheries. The Bay of Fundy is also used by striped bass breeding in rivers in the United States. These fish were not assessed.
Range  NB NS
Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2004.
Bering Cisco CoregonuslaurettaeSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable

Reason for Designation

This is an anadromous species that depends on barrier-free access to upstream spawning sites. In Canada, it is known only from the Yukon River. The numbers utilizing Canadian portions of the Yukon River are low compared to lower sections of the river in United States parts of the range and could be negatively impacted by hydroelectric development and expansion of commercial or subsistence fisheries, targeting other species in the river.

Range  YT
Status History
Species considered in April 1990 and placed in the Data Deficient category. Re-examined in November 2004 and designated Special Concern.
Green Sturgeon AcipensermedirostrisSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable

Reason for Designation

The number of individuals in Canadian waters is unknown, but is undoubtedly not large. This species is globally at risk and is of concern in Canada because of exploitation and habitat loss due to damming of rivers.

Range  BC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1987. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2004.
Lake ChubCouesiusplumbeusData Deficient
Northern British Columbia Hotsprings populations
Assessment Criteria   not applicable

Reason for Designation

Although there is inconclusive evidence for reproductive isolation of the hotsprings populations from the parent form, the best available information is insufficient to resolve the species' eligibility for assessment.

Range  BC
Status History
Species considered in November 2004 and placed in the Data Deficient category.
Pygmy Longfin Smelt Spirinchussp. Data Deficient
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
Although there is equivocal evidence of reproductive isolation of normal and pygmy populations, the best available information is insufficient to resolve the species' eligibility for assessment.
Range  BC
Status History
Species considered in November 2004 and placed in the Data Deficient category.

 

Vascular Plants
American Chestnut CastaneadentataEndangered
Assessment Criteria   A4ace; B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i); D1
Reason for Designation
Once a dominant tree in well drained forests of the Eastern Deciduous Forest, this species was devastated by chestnut blight in the first part of the 20th century. The species is still present throughout most of its former range, but as a few scattered individuals that have sprouted from root crowns. Most of these succumb to the blight before reaching a substantial size and fewer than 150 are large enough to produce seed. The species requires cross-pollination and seed set is reduced because mature individuals are widely scattered. Threats to the species include the continuous presence of the blight, aging and attrition of the root crowns, land clearing in some remaining sites, and hybridization with other species.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2004.
DwarfLake IrisIrislacustrisThreatened
Assessment Criteria   D2
Reason for Designation
This is a globally rare Great Lakes endemic plant, restricted in Canada to semi-shaded calcareous areas of Ontario's Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island. It is currently known from about 40 Canadian sites and faces habitat loss and degradation at some sites. Several sites have been lost to development. Two of the largest populations are protected in a national and a provincial park.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2004.
Hill's Thistle CirsiumhilliiThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Endangered, C2a(i), but designated Threatened, C2a(i); D1, because the species is not at imminent risk of extirpation due to the occurrence of numerous sites, some in protected areas.
Reason for Designation
This is a perennial herb restricted to the northern midwestern states and adjacent Great Lakes that is found in open habitats on shallow soils over limestone bedrock. In Ontario, it is found at 64 extant sites but in relatively low numbers of mature flowering plants that are estimated to consist of fewer than 500 individuals. Some populations are protected in national and provincial parks, however, the largest population is at risk from aggregate extraction. On-going risks are present from shoreline development, ATV use, and successional processes resulting from fire suppression within its habitat.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2004.
Macoun's Meadowfoam LimnanthesmacouniiThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), but designated Threatened, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); D2, because the species does not seem to be at imminent risk of extirpation.
Reason for Designation
A Canadian endemic highly restricted within a narrow coastal fringe of seasonally wet microhabitats where it is at risk from continued competition with a wide range of exotic plants. Its presence in a highly urbanized area results in habitat disruption and population losses.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1988. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2004.
Showy Phlox Phloxspeciosa ssp. occidentalisThreatened
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(ii,iii,v)+B2ab(ii,iii,v); D2
Reason for Designation
A showy perennial known from a very small area and from fewer than 10 locations. The species is present within a region subject to on-going habitat loss and degradation as a consequence of private property development, agricultural practices, and the spread of invasive plants.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2004.
Swamp Rose-mallow HibiscusmoscheutosSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Threatened, D2, but designated Special Concern because it is relatively widespread, found in protected areas, and there is potential for rescue effect.
Reason for Designation
A robust, perennial herb of shoreline marshes of the Great Lakes present in Ontario at many localities, in very small areas, and generally in low numbers. The total Canadian population is estimated to consist of fewer than 10,000 plants with some, including two of the largest populations, in protected sites. The species has been subjected historically to habitat loss and several populations have been lost recently. Populations are also at risk from habitat degradation and impact due especially to invasive exotic plants. Evidence of the spread of plants through rafting of floating clumps indicates that recolonization of extirpated sites may be possible.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1987. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2004.

 

Mosses
Rusty Cord-moss EntosthodonrubiginosusEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B2ab(iii); C2a(i); D1

Reason for Designation

This species is endemic to western North America where it occurs in southern British Columbia, and has been reported from Montana, Arizona, and New Mexico.This moss has a highly restricted distribution in south-central British Columbia where only four populations have been found. Of these, three populations are extant, and one was not relocated; the species is not abundant at any known site. The species' habitat is a narrow band of shoreline dominated by grasses and other mosses in seasonally wet, alkaline habitats. Two populations have been affected by trampling by horses or cattle, and all sites examined have been impacted to varying degrees by domestic animals. At least a portion of one population has been lost as result of trampling by domestic animals.

Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in November 2004.
Alkaline Wing-nerved Moss PterygoneurumkozloviiThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, B2ab(iii,iv), but designated Threatened, B2ab(iii,iv), because the species is known from several locations over a wide area, and not thought to be at imminent risk of extirpation.
Reason for Designation
This species, restricted in North America to western Canada, is globally imperiled or rare. Canada possesses the great majority of documented locations. The species typically grows on soil among grasses and sedges along the margins of alkaline ponds and sloughs in semi-arid regions of Canada. It has been confirmed at only 13 sites from 24 reported in south central British Columbia. There is one unconfirmed site in Saskatchewan. About half of all the known sites are subject to impacts from people and domestic animals. Of the British Columbia sites, 6 have apparently been lost to urban development, highway improvement, and trampling by cattle, implying that decline in habitat quality and extent are presently impacting the species.
Range  BC SK
Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2004.

 

May 2005  Results

Results are grouped by taxon and then by status category. A reason for designation is given for each species. A short history of status designations follows. The range of occurrence in Canada for each species (by province, territory, or ocean) is provided.

Mammals
Bowhead Whale BalaenamysticetusThreatened
Hudson Bay-Foxe Basin population
Assessment Criteria   D1
Reason for Designation
The population was severely reduced by commercial whaling between 1860 and 1915.  Recent population estimates are uncertain, but indicate that there could be as few as 300 mature individuals, of which only half might be females. Threats to this small population include illegal hunting and increased vulnerability to killer whale predation as a result of reduced ice coverage.
Range  Arctic Ocean
Status History
The "Eastern and Western Arctic populations" were given a single designation of Endangered in April 1980. Split into two populations (Eastern Arctic and Western Arctic) to allow separate designations in April 1986. The Eastern Arctic population was not re-evaluated in April 1986, but retained the Endangered status of the original "Eastern and Western Arctic populations". The Eastern Arctic population was further split into two populations (Hudson Bay-Foxe Basin population and Davis Strait-Baffin Bay population) in May 2005, and the Hudson Bay-Foxe Basin population was designated Threatened.
Bowhead Whale BalaenamysticetusThreatened
Davis Strait-Baffin Bay population
Assessment Criteria   Meets criterion for Endangered, A1b, but assessed as Threatened, A1b, because commercial whaling -- the primary cause of the population reduction -- has ceased.
Reason for Designation
The population numbered at least 11,000 animals when commercial whaling began. Whaling reduced the population to less than 30% of its former abundance. Recent estimates indicate that the population is growing and is larger than previously thought, but is likely to still number fewer than 3,000 individuals of all ages. The population qualifies for endangered, but is not judged to be in imminent danger of extinction. Threats include illegal hunting and increased vulnerability to killer whale predation as a result of reduced ice coverage.
Range  Arctic Ocean
Status History
The "Eastern and Western Arctic populations" were given a single designation of Endangered in April 1980. Split into two populations (Eastern Arctic and Western Arctic) to allow separate designations in April 1986. The Eastern Arctic population was not re-evaluated in April 1986, but retained the Endangered status of the original "Eastern and Western Arctic populations". The Eastern Arctic population was further split into two populations (Hudson Bay-Foxe Basin population and Davis Strait-Baffin Bay population) in May 2005, and the Davis Strait-Baffin Bay population was designated Threatened.
Fin Whale BalaenopteraphysalusThreatened
Pacific population
Assessment Criteria   A1d
Reason for Designation
Currently sighted only infrequently on former whaling grounds off British Columbia. Coastal whaling took at least 7,600 animals from the population between 1905 and 1967, and thousands of additional animals were taken by pelagic whalers through the 1970s. Catch rates from coastal whaling stations declined precipitously off British Columbia in the 1960s. Based on the severe depletion and lack of sufficient time for recovery, it is inferred that present population is below 50% of its level, 60-90 years ago. Individuals continue to be at risk from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
Range  Pacific Ocean
Status History
The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in April 1987. Split into two populations (Atlantic and Pacific) in May 2005. The Pacific population was designated Threatened in May 2005.
Bowhead Whale BalaenamysticetusSpecial Concern
Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This population was hunted to low levels during commercial whaling. Although supporting a regulated hunt, it is recovering and is currently at about 50% of its historical population size. The population is not yet secure and is potentially negatively affected by climate change, and by oil and gas development.
Range  Arctic Ocean
Status History
The "Eastern and Western Arctic populations" were given a single designation of Endangered in April 1980. Split into two populations (Eastern Arctic and Western Arctic) to allow separate designations in April 1986. The Western Arctic population was designated Endangered in April 1986. The population was renamed to "Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort population" and designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Fin Whale BalaenopteraphysalusSpecial Concern
Atlantic population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
The size of this population was reduced by whaling during much of the 20th Century. However, sightings remain relatively common off Atlantic Canada and they have not been hunted since 1971. The current abundance and level of depletion compared with pre-whaling numbers are uncertain. The whales face a number of current threats including ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear, but none is believed to seriously threaten the population.
Range  Atlantic Ocean
Status History
The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in April 1987. Split into two populations (Atlantic and Pacific) in May 2005. The Atlantic population was designated Special Concern in May 2005.


Birds
Williamson's Sapsucker SphyrapicusthyroideusEndangered
Assessment Criteria   A4c; C1
Reason for Designation
This woodpecker is associated with mature larch forests in south-central British Columbia; less than 500 individuals breed in Canada. Habitat loss through forest harvest is estimated to have been 23% over the last 10 years and is projected to be about 53% over the next decade.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.

 

Reptiles
Blanding's Turtle EmydoideablandingiiEndangered
     Nova Scotia population
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i); D1
Reason for Designation
The three small subpopulations of this species found in central southwest Nova Scotia total fewer than 250 mature individuals. These three subpopulations are genetically distinct from each other and from other Blanding’s Turtles in Quebec, Ontario and the United States. Although the largest subpopulation occurs in a protected area, its numbers are still declining. The other subpopulations are also susceptible to increasing habitat degradation, mortality of adults and predation on eggs and hatchlings.
Range  NS
Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1993. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2005.
Blanding's Turtle EmydoideablandingiiThreatened
     Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population
Assessment Criteria   C2a(i)
Reason for Designation
The Great Lakes/St.Lawrence population of this species although widespread and fairly numerous is declining. Subpopulations are increasingly fragmented by the extensive road network that crisscrosses all of this turtle’s habitat. Having delayed age at maturity, low reproductive output and extreme longevity makes this turtle highly vulnerable to increased rates of mortality of adults. Nesting females are especially susceptible to roadkill because they often attempt to nest on gravel roads or on shoulders of paved roads. Loss of mature females in such  a long-lived species greatly reduces recruitment and long-term viability of subpopulations. Another threat is degradation of habitat from development and alteration of wetlands. The pet trade is another serious ongoing threat because nesting females are most vulnerable to collection.
Range  ON QC
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.


Fishes
LakeOntarioKiyi CoregonuskiyiorientalisExtinct
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
Last recorded from Lake Ontario in 1964, the subspecies was driven to extinction by commercial exploitation, and predation/competition by introduced species.
Range  ON
Status History
The species was designated Special Concern in April 1988. Split into two subspecies (Upper Great Lakes Kiyi and Lake Ontario Kiyi) in May 2005. The Lake Ontario Kiyi was designated Extinct.
LakeSturgeonAcipenserfulvescensEndangered
Western populations
Assessment Criteria   A2b
Reason for Designation
The Western Canadian populations of this species have experienced an overall decline estimated to be at least 77% in the latter decades of  the 20th century due to exploitation, and habitat loss and degradation related to dams, impoundments and changes in patterns of water use.
Range  AB SK MB
Status History
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Western populations" unit was designated Endangered.
Shortnose Cisco CoregonusreighardiEndangered
Assessment Criteria   D1
Reason for Designation
Endemic to three of the Great Lakes, this species was last recorded in Lake Michigan in 1982, in Lake Huron in 1985, and in Lake Ontario in 1964. Although it has probably disappeared throughout its range, searches for this species have not been extensive enough to declare this species extinct. The species’ apparent demise is suspected to be the result of commercial overfishing and possibly competition or predation from introduced species.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2005.
Winter Skate LeucorajaocellataEndangered
     Southern Gulf population
Assessment Criteria   A4b
Reason for Designation
The species possesses life history characteristics that increase vulnerability to exploitation, that reduce rate of recovery, and that increase the risk of extinction. These characteristics include delayed age at maturity, long generation time, low fecundity, and consequently slow population growth rate. Narrow latitudinal ranges and a high degree of endemicity have been documented for the skate family worldwide. This population appears to have a restricted distribution, based on distributional maps of fisheries-independent survey catches. Individuals from this population mature at a significantly smaller size than those found elsewhere in Canadian waters. Abundance of mature individuals in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence is estimated to have declined 98% since the early 1970s, and is now at a historically low level. The probable cause of decline is an unsustainable rate at which they were captured as bycatch in fisheries directed at other groundfish species.
Range  Atlantic Ocean
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
"Eastslope" Sculpin Cottussp. Threatened
St. Mary and Milk River populations
Assessment Criteria   D2
Reason for Designation
This species has a very restricted area of occurrence in the St. Mary and Milk rivers in Canada where it has been impacted by habitat loss and degradation from water diversion, conditions that have been exacerbated in recent years by drought.
Range  AB
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
Black Redhorse MoxostomaduquesneiThreatened
Assessment Criteria   D2
Reason for Designation
A freshwater fish with a very small, highly fragmented distribution and area of occupancy, as well as restricted spawning habitat preferences. Native populations are found in only 5 Ontario watersheds in areas heavily impacted by urbanization and agriculture. It is at risk of habitat loss and degradation as a result of increased siltation and  turbidity. Dams may adversely affect flow regimes and have fragmented populations in the two major rivers where this species occurs.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1988. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2005.
Spotted Gar LepisosteusoculatusThreatened
Assessment Criteria   D2
Reason for Designation
This species has a very limited range in Canada where it is only known from three coastal wetlands in Lake Erie. Although its distribution is likely limited by temperature, some of the shallow vegetated habitats that it requires for all life stages are subject to the impacts of siltation, dredging, filling, and aquatic vegetation removal and harbour improvements.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1983. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1994. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2000, and in May 2005.
Westslope Cutthroat Trout OncorhynchusclarkiilewisiThreatened
Alberta population
Assessment Criteria   A4e
Reason for Designation
This assessment only considered the remaining genetically pure populations within the native range in Alberta. Such populations have  have become severely isolated and depressed as a result of habitat loss and degradation, exploitation and especially  hybridization with introduced species. The rate of hybridization indicates that this population could be at greater risk, however there was not enough information available at the time of the assessment.
Range  AB
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
Winter Skate LeucorajaocellataThreatened
Eastern Scotian Shelf population
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Endangered, A4b, but designated Threatened because the population is not at imminent risk of extirpation.
Reason for Designation
The species possesses life history characteristics that increase vulnerability to exploitation, that reduce rate of recovery, and that increase the risk of extinction. These characteristics include delayed age at maturity, long generation time, low fecundity, and consequently slow population growth rate. Narrow latitudinal ranges and a high degree of endemicity have been documented for the skate family worldwide. This population appears to have a restricted distribution, based on distributional maps of fisheries-independent survey catches. Individuals from this population mature at a significantly larger size than those in the Southern Gulf and have been reported to mature at a significantly different age than those inhabiting waters further south. Abundance of mature individuals on the Eastern Scotian Shelf is estimated to have declined by more than 90% since the early 1970s and is now at a historically low level. The area occupied by the population appears to have declined significantly since the mid 1980s. Larger, older individuals have been severely depleted from this population, producing a significant truncation in the length distribution of the population over time. The probable cause of the decline is an unsustainable rate at which they were captured as bycatch in fisheries directed at other groundfish species. They have been caught, and continue to be caught, in a directed fishery for skate, although current reported catches are low.
Range  Atlantic Ocean
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
Grass Pickerel EsoxamericanusvermiculatusSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Threatened, B2ab(ii,v), but designated Special Concern because there is a rescue effect and the species is not likely to become Endangered or Extirpated in the near future.
Reason for Designation
A subspecies known from 10 locations between Lake St.Louis, Quebec and Lake Huron, Ontario. Its usual habitat is shallow water with abundance of aquatic vegetation. An overall decline of approximately 22% in the area of occupancy has been observed. This decline appears to be related to degradation and loss of habitat due to channelization and dredging operations in wetland habitats where this species occurs.
Range  ON QC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Lake SturgeonAcipenserfulvescensSpecial Concern
Southern Hudson Bay and James Bay populations
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
There are limited population data available for this designatable unit. There have been declines in habitat, and possibly populations decline related to exploitation and the multitude of dams. The increased access to relatively unimpacted populations, and the likelihood of increased hydroelectric development in some areas are causes for concern for this designatable unit.
Range  MB ON QC
Status History
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Southern Hudson Bay and James Bay populations" unit was designated Special Concern.
Lake SturgeonAcipenserfulvescensSpecial Concern
Great Lakes and Western St. Lawrence River populations
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
A very large commercial fishery in the Great Lakes between the mid-1800s and early 1900s (i.e. 3-5 generations ago) reduced to a small fraction of their original size. Some of these populations are estimated to still be at very low levels. Populations are estimated to be declining in parts of the Ottawa River, and disappearing from many of its tributaries, due to dams. There has been a recent decline in the population in the St. Lawrence River likely due to overexploitation. Populations are currently impacted by the direct and indirect effects of dams, contaminants and invasive species. Poaching and genetic contamination through stocking and aquaculture programs might also hamper recovery. However, there are also a number of populations that are stable or showing modest increases and the species still occurs at many locations.
Range  ON QC
Status History
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Great Lakes and Western St. Lawrence River populations" unit was designated Special Concern.
Lake SturgeonAcipenserfulvescensSpecial Concern
Rainy River-Lake of the Woods populations
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
Historically, populations in the designatable unit supported a substantial fishery, which led to a severe decline, however recovery has been sustained since 1970. For this population, dams have not impeded access to important stretches of sustainable habitat.
Range  ON
Status History
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Rainy River-Lake of the Woods populations" unit was designated Special Concern.
Shortnose Sturgeon AcipenserbrevirostrumSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Threatened, D2, but designated Special Concern because there are no immediate threats.
Reason for Designation
This is an anadromous species restricted to a single river system in Canada where spawning fish require unhindered access to freshwater spawning sites; but the population may have been divided since 1967 by the Mactaquac Dam. These large, slow growing, late maturing fish are conservation dependent. There is some risk to the species through mortality from hydroelectric facilities, by-catch in alewife and shad fisheries, and poaching. However, there is no immediate threat that would lead to elimination of the population in a very short period of time.
Range  NB
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1980. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2005.
Spotted Sucker MinytremamelanopsSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This freshwater fish species is restricted to southwestern Ontario. The greatest threat to this species is habitat degradation through increased erosion and turbidity. The species is also at risk in Pennsylvania but not at risk in Michigan (where it is S3-vulnerable), making rescue effect moderate at best.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1983. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1994, November 2001 and May 2005.
Upper Great Lakes Kiyi CoregonuskiyikiyiSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
Currently found only in Lake Superior, the subspecies has been extirpated from lakes Huron and Michigan, as the result of a complex of factors, which included exploitation and introduced exotic species. The extirpation in Lake Huron and Michigan occurred more than three generations in the past. The remaining population in Lake Superior appears to be stable, and supports a small, regulated fishery. Other threats, such as the introduction of exotic species, which impacted populations in the lower lakes do not appear to be important in Lake Superior.
Range  ON
Status History
The Kiyi was designated Special Concern in April 1988. Split into two subspecies in May 2005 (Upper Great Lakes Kiyi and Lake Ontario Kiyi). The Upper Great Lakes Kiyi was designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Warmouth LepomisgulosusSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Threatened, D2, but there is a possibility of a rescue effect from neighbouring populations in the United States. Therefore, designated Special Concern.
Reason for Designation
This species has a very restricted Canadian distribution, existing only at 4 locations along the Lake Erie shore between Point Pelee and Long Point. It is sensitive to habitat change which results in loss of aquatic vegetation.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1994. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2001 and in May 2005.
Westslope Cutthroat Trout OncorhynchusclarkiilewisiSpecial Concern
British Columbia population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
Populations are stressed by habitat loss and degradation resulting from agricultural and industrial activities as well as competition and hybridization with introduced species.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Winter Skate LeucorajaocellataSpecial Concern
Georges Bank-Western Scotian Shelf-Bay of Fundy population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
The species possesses life history characteristics that increase vulnerability to exploitation, that reduce rate of recovery, and that increase the risk of extinction. These characteristics include delayed age at maturity, long generation time, low fecundity, and consequently slow population growth rate. The area of occupancy of this species has been stable in the Bay of Fundy and on Georges Bank. Estimates of population status on Georges Bank show no discernible trend over time.  Abundance in the Bay of Fundy appears to have been stable over time. There is a high probability that the population receives immigrants from the species inhabiting the American portion of Georges Bank. The population is subjected to bycatch in fisheries for other groundfish shellfish species. There are directed fisheries for this species in U.S. waters.
Range  Atlantic Ocean
Status History
Species designated Special Concern in May 2005.
LakeWhitefishCoregonusclupeaformisData Deficient
Lake Simcoe population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable

Reason for Designation

Although this population is on its way to extirpation, there is inconclusive evidence regarding its distinctiveness and the best evidence available at this time is insufficient to resolve the species’ eligibility for assessment.

Range  ON
Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Species considered in May 2005 and placed in the Data Deficient category.
Winter Skate LeucorajaocellataData Deficient
Northern Gulf-Newfoundland population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
The species exists in low concentrations in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, in the coastal waters off the southern coast of Newfoundland, and on the southern portion of the Grand Bank. A quantitative analysis of spatial and temporal variation in population size is not possible because of the infrequency with which the species is caught. The population is subjected to bycatch.
Range  Atlantic Ocean
Status History
Species considered in May 2005 and placed in the Data Deficient category.

 

Arthropods
Ottoe Skipper HesperiaottoeEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
Reason for Designation
This species has been found at very few locations in the Canadian prairies where it is associated with fragmented and declining mixed-grass prairie vegetation. It has recently been found at only one location.
Range  MB
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
White Flower Moth SchiniabimatrisEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(iii)c(iv)+2ab(iii)c(iv)
Reason for Designation
This moth is associated with dune habitats and is known from a small number of scattered sites in North America, with only one extant site in Canada. Most dune habitats in Canada appear to be too dry for this species. Dune habitat has undergone serious declines and the moth has likely declined as well.
Range  MB
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
Verna's Flower Moth SchiniavernaThreatened
Assessment Criteria   B2ab(iii)
Reason for Designation
This moth is found only in the Canadian prairies, with one extant site in southeastern Alberta. The species is known historically from very few locations despite its relatively large size, distinctive markings and day-flying habit. It has a small total range in suitable native prairie that is fragmented and declining in quality and extent.
Range  AB SK MB
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
Dark-banded Flower Gem MelaporphyriaimmortuaData Deficient
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
There are very few and widely scattered records of this moth in North America, and it was most recently found in Canada in 1979.  It is suspected of being extirpated from the eastern part of its range. In Canada it has been found in native prairies, a habitat that has been greatly reduced. However, detailed habitat requirements and food plants are not known which makes surveying for this species difficult. Information gaps need to be addressed before a status can be assigned.
Range  AB SK MB
Status History
Species considered in May 2005 and placed in the Data Deficient category.


Vascular Plants
Branched Phacelia PhaceliaramosissimaEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)
Reason for Designation
A geographically highly restricted perennial known only from three small populations numbering fewer than 1,000 plants subject to continued habitat loss and population decline from urban expansion and mining activities.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
Dense Spike-primrose EpilobiumdensiflorumEndangered
Assessment Criteria   A3c; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Reason for Designation
An annual herb of a restricted habitat type within the Garry Oak Ecosystem that has undergone significant declines in number of populations and is subject to continued habitat reduction due to development and the spread of exotic weeds. The four extant populations are fragmented, small, and have little chance of being repopulated from adjacent sites in Washington State should they become extirpated.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
Dense-flowered Lupine LupinusdensiflorusEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C1
Reason for Designation
An annual with a highly restricted distribution known from three Canadian locations. The total population size is small and fluctuates considerably depending on climatic conditions. These populations are subject to continued risks from habitat loss and degradation due to activities such as urban development, trampling, mowing and competition with invasive exotic plants.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
Grand CouleeOwl-clover OrthocarpusbarbatusEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)
Reason for Designation
A semiparasitic annual restricted to a small area east of the Cascade Mountains. The few small populations are subject to extreme fluctuations in numbers of mature plants and at continued risk from introduced weeds, overgrazing and housing developments. One population in South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area is protected from development.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
Spalding's Campion SilenespaldingiiEndangered
Assessment Criteria   B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); C2a(i,ii); D1
Reason for Designation
This long-lived perennial herb is a globally imperiled species restricted to two small areas west of the Rockies with only a single population in southern British Columbia. The Canadian population is one of the largest populations known but may contain fewer than 250 mature plants. These plants are at risk from on-going habitat loss and degradation especially by introduced weeds.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
White Meconella MeconellaoreganaEndangered
Assessment Criteria   A3c; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv); C1+2b
Reason for Designation
A globally threatened annual plant with a highly restricted Canadian range and area of occupancy present at only five locations within the naturally rare Garry Oak Ecosystem. Its populations, totalling fewer than 3,500 mature plants, fluctuate greatly with varying precipitation patterns and are at imminent risk of major losses from development within the highly urbanized range of the species. Its habitat has also been impacted by the spread of many exotic weedy plants.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Endangered in May 2005.
Baikal Sedge CarexsabulosaThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v), but designated Threatened because there are large numbers in protected areas and because of the low level of threats within these localities. Criteria met for Threatened B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); D2.
Reason for Designation
A geographically restricted species of three sand dune areas that serve as habitat for five populations. These consist of several million shoots produced mainly through asexual reproduction. The species has been impacted by declines in population numbers, size, area, quality of its habitat and on-going impacts from the recreational use of all-terrain vehicles: at Carcross and Bennett Lake. Such activity and much increased tourist visitations at the Carcross dune systems may result in increased impacts on the habitat with the development of a major resort facility at this location by 2006. If the Alsek River is dammed again by the advance of the Lowell Glacier, as has occurred in recent past, the large population at the confluence of the Dezadeash and Kaskawulsh Riverscould be at risk.
Range  YT
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
Cliff Paintbrush CastillejarupicolaThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, D1, but designated Threatened, D1+2, because it is distributed over several mountain ridges and thus is not at imminent risk of extirpation.
Reason for Designation
A perennial of restricted geographical occurrence found on cliffs, rock outcrops and ridges at high elevations. The small, fragmented, populations consist of scattered individuals, likely fewer than 250 plants, which are exceptionally vulnerable to stochastic events.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
False Rue-anemone EnemionbiternatumThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), but designated Threatened because the populations appear stable and not at imminent risk of extirpation. Criteria met for Threatened: B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); D2.
Reason for Designation
A delicate, spring-flowering, perennial herb restricted to a few fragmented riverside forest sites in southwestern Ontario where its populations are at risk from habitat loss and decline in quality due to a variety of activities including recreational trail use, and expansion of exotic invasive plants.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1990. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in May 2005.
Mountain Holly Fern PolystichumscopulinumThreatened
Assessment Criteria   Met criteria for Endangered, B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v), but designated Threatened because of the uncertainty about the imminent threats from mining activities at the British Columbia sites. The species is also protected in Quebec. Criteria met for Threatened: B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i); D1+2.
Reason for Designation
A fern of very restricted occurrence on serpentine substrates in three widely separated areas of Canada.These very small populations are at risk from stochastic events and, the 3 in British Columbia, from potential mining activities for precious metals.
Range  BC QC NL
Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2005.
Hill's Pondweed PotamogetonhilliiSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
An inconspicuous, rooted, aquatic plant currently known from fewer than 20 Canadian populations and occupying a very small total area of habitat. No imminent limiting factors have been identified that would have significant impacts on this globally rare species, but invasive exotic plants may be impacting some populations.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1986. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2005.
Houghton's Goldenrod SolidagohoughtoniiSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   Met criterion for Threatened, D2, but designated Special Concern because many of the plants are in inaccessible areas and in a provincial nature reserve.
Reason for Designation
A Great Lakes endemic present in Ontario at the tip of Bruce Peninsula and on Manitoulin Island. The few populations occupy very small areas of provincially rare alvar habitat that are at potential risk from aggregate extraction, use of recreational vehicles and expansion of invasive weeds.
Range  ON
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Prototype Quillwort IsoetesprototypusSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
A regional endemic with almost all of its global population in Canada. The species is an aquatic perennial with very specific habitat requirements limiting its occurrence in Canada to about 12 small, unconnected lakes in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The species is found in nutrient-poor, cold, spring-fed lakes. Although several sites have been shown to contain large numbers of plants, one half of the documented sites contain small populations. A wide range of potential limiting factors could impact the species, including changes in water quality, boating and shoreline development.
Range  NB NS
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.

 

Mosses
Banded Cord-moss EntosthodonfascicularisSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This rare species is endemic to western North America. Almost all Canadian populations of this moss occur in the threatened Garry Oak habitat of southwestern British Columbia. Should habitat destruction continue at the present rate, the species will become increasingly vulnerable.
Range  BC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Pygmy Pocket Moss FissidensexilisSpecial Concern
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
A moss with a limited distribution in eastern North America, but which is widespread in Europe. Few populations have been documented in Canada, primarily in Ontario where it occurs in heavily populated and developed areas where natural habitats are widely known to be at serious risk. Although cryptic in habit, the species often grows with other small species that have well documented ranges. The species prefers woodlands, where it is usually found on bare clay or disturbed soil. Most locations are in areas benefiting from some level of conservation protection.
Range  ON QC
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Schleicher's Silk Moss EntodonschleicheriData Deficient
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This is a robust creeping moss of mature riparian mixed wood forest. It is known from 10 localities from Canada in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta.  At four of these 10 localities, populations have declined or are expected to decline in the future. Threats are urban development and recreational traffic and resource development (logging, oil and gas development).  However, riparian habitats cover large areas of western Canada and no targeted searches have been conducted for this species. Hence reliable population estimates for this moss are lacking.
Range  NT BC AB
Status History
Species considered in May 2005 and placed in the Data Deficient category.

 

Lichens
Frosted Glass-whiskers SclerophoraperonellaSpecial Concern
Nova Scotia population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This tiny cryptic stubble lichen is very rare or threatened over much of its global range.  Two of the three known locations of this species in Canada are in Nova Scotia. Despite considerable efforts to locate this and other rare calicioid lichens in the province, this lichen is known only from the exposed heartwood of red maple trees in mature/old growth hardwood forest. Threats include potential habitat loss and degradation associated with the decline of old growth forest ecosystems. However, in Nova Scotia each of the two populations appear healthy and are situated within large protected areas on Cape Breton Island.
Range  NS
Status History
Designated Special Concern in May 2005.
Frosted Glass-whiskers SclerophoraperonellaData Deficient
British Columbia population
Assessment Criteria   not applicable
Reason for Designation
This tiny cryptic stubble lichen is very rare or threatened over much of its global range. The species is known from only one site in the north-central part of the province where it was found once on a large cottonwood. Although search effort for stubble lichens has been extensive in regions farther south within the province, search effort in the northern region where the species was found was inadequate.
Range  BC
Status History
Species considered in May 2005 and placed in the Data Deficient category.

Withdrawn reports

The report on the Umatilla Dace( Rhinichthys Umatilla)  was withdrawn in May 2005 to incorporate additional information , and will be brought back within two years.

The Report on the Nugget Moss (Microbryum vlassovii) was withdrawn for incorporation of additional information on search effort.

Deferred reports

Even if COSEWIC has assessed in May 2005  the Lake Sturgeon(Acipenser fulvescens) and the Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkia lewisi), the status reports for these species will only be finalised in 2006 and will be included with the 2006 COSEWIC Annual Report. For this reason, COSEWIC is not submitting those status assessments for consideration for listing under SARA at this time.