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COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Boreal Felt Lichen in Canada

Existing Protection or Other Status

International Status

Erioderma pedicellatum had originally been listed in 1995 as critically endangered in the “Red List of Lichenized Fungi of the World”, in the absence of a thorough distribution pattern for eastern North America. This had been determined by the Lichen Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission (SSC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Even though many of the details upon which the justification for this decision had been based need to be revised and updated, there is still sufficient reason to retain the species on the Red List. For any re-assessment of the status of the species on an international level, it is significant to note that its presence in Europe had been confirmed twice since its presumed disappearance at around 1970 and 1995 (see Distribution).

National and Provincial Status

No official status has been proclaimed yet for the past and present occurrences of Erioderma pedicellatum in any of the three major Atlantic Provinces. Preliminary conservation measures had only been worked out and agreed upon in Newfoundland, in response to suggestions by Dr. Christoph Scheidegger (see Ringius 1997 and Robertson 1998).

For Nova Scotia, the status of E. pedicellatum has become that of a critically endangered lichen. In contrast, E. pedicellatum has remained in apparently viable condition in several parts of Newfoundland, with significant numbers being found in Lockyer’s Waters on the Avalon Peninsula and especially within the boundaries of the Jipujijkuei Kuespem Park in the greater Bay D’Espoir area. These are key areas of known sites that may hold the greatest promise for the longer-term preservation of this species.

Legal protection has existed in Newfoundland for the large population in Jipujijkuei Kuespem Provincial Park as well as for populations in the Bay du Nord Wilderness Area and the Avalon Wilderness Area although these areas were not established specifically to protect this lichen. On the basis of an earlier promise made to Dr. Christoph Scheidegger and the International Committee for the Conservation of Lichens (ICCL) in 1996, by then Premier Brian Tobin, interim protection from logging was also afforded the Lockyer’s Waters Forest Area until the status of this lichen had been determined by COSEWIC.