Recovery Strategy for the Red Mulberry (Morus rubra) in Canada
- Executive Summary
- Recovery Feasibility
- 1. COSEWIC Species Assessment Information
- 2. Species Status Information
- 3. Description of the Species and its Needs
- 4. Threats
- 5. Population and Distribution
- 6. Broad Strategies and Approaches to Recovery
- 7. Critical Habitat Identification
- 8. Additional Information Requirements
- 9. Measuring Progress
- 10. Statement on Action Plans
- 11. References
- Appendix A: Effects on the Environment and Other Species
- Appendix B: Critical Habitat Maps
- Appendix C: Recovery Team Members
6. Broad Strategies and Approaches to Recovery
Many Red Mulberry recovery actions have been undertaken since 1998. Included are surveys in the vicinity of extant and historic records and in some areas of suitable habitat, population censuses and heath assessments, Ecological Land Classification (ELC)11 according to Lee et al. (1998), Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (CLTIP) (MNR 1998) mapping and landowner contact, prior to regulation of the species under the Endangered Species Act, 1971 (Husband and Burgess 1999, 2000, O'Hara 2000, Janas et al. 2001, Thuring and Smith 2001, Spisani et al. 2004).
Extensive research has been conducted on hybridization between Red and White Mulberry, its impacts, and management activities to address this threat, as well as comparative studies between both species and their hybrids (see Section 4.1) (Burgess 2000, 2003, 2004a, b, Burgess and Husband 2001, 2002a, b, 2004, 2006, Husband and Burgess 1999, 2000, 2001; Burgess et al. 2005, 2008b, Husband et al. 2000, 2001, Janas et al. 2001). This has led to additional knowledge regarding Red Mulberry demography and population dynamics. A pathology study (see Section 4.4) was also completed (McLaughlin and Greifenhagen 2002). Some work has also been done to test for differences in habitat characteristics between the two regions of occupancy and to compare seedlings from the different regions in a common environment (Beavers 1998).
Management activities to date include White/hybrid Mulberry removals conducted as part of an adaptive management study (Rodger 1997, Burgess et al. 2008b) and reductions in the size of the hyperabundant Double-crested Cormorant population on Middle Island to address impacts on plant species at risk, including Red Mulberry, according to the Conservation Plan developed to restore ecological integrity to the island (Parks Canada 2008). Ontario Parks' East Sister Island Park Management Plan has identified nesting Double-crested Cormorants impacts as an issue. A background document, which summarizes a number of studies to investigate the overall effects of cormorants on the island ecosystem, is now in preparation (S. Dobbyn pers. comm. 2010).
The Carolinian Woodlands Recovery Team is leading an ecosystem approach to recovery of the overall ecosystem in which Red Mulberry is found. At the broader landscape level, a gap analysis (Carolinian Canada's Big Picture Project) is informing restoration efforts to buffer and amalgamate forest fragments in the natural landscape to improve habitat quality by creating larger forest interior habitats.
Broad strategies to recover Red Mulberry have been developed within this wider ecosystem context, with a focus on addressing threats and gathering the information needed to refine and attain the population and distribution objectives to support the recovery of Red Mulberry (see Table 3).
|Priority||Threat(s) addressed||Broad strategies to address threat(s)||Recommended approaches|
|High||All||Habitat restoration and population enhancement.|
|High||Hybridization||Protect and restore genetic integrity.|
|High||Nesting Cormorants||Manage the impacts of nesting Double-crested Cormorants and communicate the need for such management.|
|High||All||Community support and stewardship, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge.|
|Medium||Habitat Loss & Fragmentation, Hybridization, Other Exotics||Critical habitat protection.|
|Low||All||Enhance knowledge and understanding of the species.|
|Low||Herbivory||Manage the impacts of grazing species.|
Recovery and conservation initiatives outlined in this strategy should be coordinated with other recovery teams (e.g. Carolinian Woodland Recovery Team), conservation groups (e.g. local Ontario Stewardship councils and conservation authorities) and restoration initiatives wherever possible. First Nation communities have maintained local ecosystems for generations through the use of community Traditional Ecological Knowledge. It is important to gather and share Traditional Ecological Knowledge from Knowledge Holders to others as a means for species and ecosystem protection and recovery. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Science can, together, better inform assessment, monitoring, and recovery of the ecosystems that support specific species at risk.
11 ELC is a land and resource classification system that describes and delineates ecosystem units based on ecological factors including vegetation, soil and geologic conditions (Lee et al. 1998).
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