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Bashful Bulrush (Trichophorum Planifolium)

Limiting Factors and Threats

Bashful Bulrush occurs in two remnant natural areas: the Rouge River valley and the wooded portions of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Both natural areas are criss-crossed by numerous trails and are in great demand for passive recreation, such as hiking, jogging, and mountain biking. The area around the Rouge valley is heavily populated and an urban campground (Rouge Park) occurs in the valley not far from the northern site. Coyotes and foxes choose the same open, well-drained knolls for their den sites in the Rouge valley that the Bashful Bulrush requires (pers. obs.; S. Varga, pers. com., 1999).

There is an extensive network of  trails on the north shore of Dundas Marsh and the trails receive much use from visitors to the RBG. There are also many trails along the south shore of the Marsh and these trails are heavily used by students from the adjacent McMaster University. The known sites of Bashful Bulrush at the RBG are all close to trails.

When the original status report was written, Crins (1986; 1989; pers. com., 1999) considered Bashful Bulrush to be vulnerable not threatened or endangered because the populations appeared stable with no apparent threats to the species in Ontario. Much has changed since 1986. All sites that have been relocated have declined. In the 15 years since the initial field work, no new have been discovered despite a detailed inventory of the Rouge valley by Steve Varga in 1990, who essentially covered every square foot of the valley (S. Varga, pers. com., 1999), and despite extensive field work in Hamilton-Wentworth by Anthony Goodban and Don Sutherland for the Hamilton-Wentworth Natural Area Inventory (Heagy, 1993) and by Anthony Goodban for the recent flora of Hamilton-Wentworth (Goodban, 1995). Since this general area is highly urbanized, there are few other undeveloped sites left that might also harbour this species.