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Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Maritime Meadows associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada (Proposed)


Multi-Species Recovery

1.9 Multiple Species Recovery

This section provides goals and objectives for protecting and managing maritime meadow ecosystems to ensure adequate protection and management of the habitat for species at risk. Species-specific goals and objectives and the strategic approaches recommended to achieve them are detailed in this section.

1.9.1 Maritime meadow ecosystems goals and objectives

In order to prevent further declines, protect using stewardship and other mechanisms, moderate to high quality maritime meadow ecosystems, in association with moderate to high quality adjacent matrix. The connectivity of maritime meadow habitat should be maintained to allow dispersal, movement of pollinators, and limit invasion by exotic species. Most areas with maritime meadow habitat have not been identified or mapped, and this will be required in order to identify potential habitat for translocations and to re-establish new populations.

Recovery goal for maritime meadow ecosystems

Protect10 and restore moderate to high quality maritime meadow ecosystems and the adjacent matrix habitat throughout the geographic range.

Recovery objectives for maritime meadow ecosystems
  1. Protect10 using stewardship and other mechanisms, moderate to high quality locations with maritime meadow habitat in 5-10 years.
  2. Engage the cooperation of owners or managers of land critical for species conservation and recovery within 5 years.
  3. Determine habitat responses to restoration and to refine restoration targets in 5-10 years.
  4. Develop and implement appropriate management plans for maritime meadows and buffers to address invasive species and restore ecosystem processes in 5-10 years.

1.9.2 Species specific recovery goals, objectives and broad strategies

Each of the species addressed in this recovery strategy has a different autecology and different constraints for recovery. Before the feasibility of reintroductions for extirpated butterfly species can be more accurately assessed, it is necessary to increase the survey effort to determine whether remnant populations have been overlooked. This consideration is important to establish protection for these populations and to avoid further threats to any possible small overlooked populations through contamination of the local gene pool.

Specific numerical targets for each plant species are based on the number of historical populations, the number of populations required to distribute the species throughout its former range and the number of populations required to provide robustness to withstand stochastic events and environmental variability (Table 6). In order to create new populations of all of the plant species, translocations will be required. A draft policy document to guide translocations is currently being developed (Maslovat in prep).

Species specific recovery goals

Recovery goals have been developed by evaluating the number of historic populations and by assessing COSEWIC criteria. For most species, minimum population sizes are to be determined by future viability analysis. COSEWIC Criteria established COSEWIC's Assessment Process and Criteria (COSEWIC 2003b).

Table 6. Recovery goals for maritime meadow species at risk
SpeciesCOSEWIC Criteria11Recovery Goals
Island marbleNone givenTo attain viable, self-sustaining populations of island marble within the species' historic range in Canada.
Taylor's checkerspotB1 and B2c; C2aTo attain viable self-sustaining populations of Taylor's checkerspot with the species' historic range in Canada.
Bearded owl-cloverB1a + B1bii and
B2a + B2bii

To attain viable self-sustaining populations of bearded owl-clover distributed throughout its historic range in Canada with a minimum of at least eight populations by:

  • Maintaining or enhancing all seven existing populations/ subpopulations at no less than their current levels of abundance and increasing smaller ones.
  • Establishing one experimental population with an average annual population size of at least 300 flowering individuals
Bear's-foot sanicleB1a +B1bii and
B2a + B2bii

To attain viable self-sustaining populations of bear's-foot sanicle distributed throughout its historic range in Canada with a minimum of at least ten viable populations by:

  • Maintaining all eight existing populations/ subpopulations at no less than their current levels of abundance.
  • Restoring at least two extirpated populations or establishing at least two new populations
Coastal Scouler's catchflyB1a + B1bii and
B2a + B2bii

To attain viable self-sustaining populations of coastal Scouler's catchfly distributed throughout its historic range in Canada with a minimum of at least eight populations by:

  • Maintaining both extant populations/ subpopulations at no less than their current levels of abundance.
  • Establishing at least six additional populations
Golden paintbrushB1a + B1bii and
B2a + B2bii

To attain viable and self-sustaining populations of golden paintbrush distributed throughout its historic range in Canada with a minimum of at least nine populations by:

  • Maintaining both existing populations at their current levels of abundance.
  • Establishing at least seven new populations
Prairie lupineB1a + B1bii and
B2a + B2bii and
D1

To attain viable and self-sustaining populations ofprairie lupine distributed throughout its historic range in Canada by:

  • Managing and enhancing the single extant population
  • Establishing additional populations with numbers to be determined by future research
Purple sanicleB1a + B1bii and
B2a + B2bii

To attain viable and self-sustaining populations of purple sanicle throughout its historic range in Canada with a minimum of at least ten populations by:

  • Maintaining all extant populations/ subpopulations at no less than their current levels of abundance.
  • Managing at least eight of the smaller, existing populations (including at least one in the southern Gulf Islands) such that their numbers increase
Seaside birds-foot lotusB1a + B1bii and
B2a + B2bii

To attain viable and self-sustaining populations of seaside birds-foot lotus throughout its historic range with a minimum of at least six populations by:

  • Maintaining all five extant populations/subpopulations, increasing small populations and conserving larger populations at their current levels of abundance.
  • Establishing one additional population containing at least 100 flowering individuals per year

11 (Taken from COSEWIC 2003b)
B=Small Distribution, and Decline or Fluctuation

  1. Extent of occurrence <5,000 km² for endangered, <20,000 km² for threatened OR
  2. Area of occupancy <500 km² for endangered, <2,000 km² for threatened For either of the above, specify at least two of a-c:
    1. Either severely fragmented or known to exist at <5 locations for endangered, <10 locations for threatened
    2. Continuing decline observed, inferred or projected in ii) area of occupancy
    3. Extreme fluctuations in any of the following: > 1 order of magnitude for endangered; > 1 order of magnitude for threatened) i) extent of occurrence; ii) area of occupancy; iii) number of locations or populations; iv) number of mature individuals.

C= Small Total Population Size and Decline
Number of mature individuals <2,500 for endangered, <10,000 for threatened 2. Continuing decline observed, projected, or inferred, in numbers of mature individuals. a) fragmentation

D= Very Small Population or Restricted Distribution

  1. # of mature individuals <250 for endangered, <1,000 for threatened
Species specific objectives

The following objectives (Table 7) are required to meet the above species-specific goals. They have been drafted to be completed in a five to ten year time frame. The objectives are roughly ranked in descending order of priority although this may vary between species.

Table 7. Species-specific recovery objectives
IM=island marble, TC=Taylor's checkerspot, BOC= bearded owl-clover, BFS=bear's-foot sanicle, CSC=coastal Scouler's catchfly, GP=golden paintbrush, PL=prairie lupine, PS=purple sanicle, SBL=seaside birds-foot lotus.
General Objectives12IMTCBOCBFSCSCGPPLPSSBL
1. Establish protection13 for existing known populations5-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-10
2. Engage the cooperation of all involved landowners and land managers in habitat protection<5<5<5<5<5<5<5<5<5
3. Identify life history, dispersal and habitat constraints and methods for mitigating them5-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-10
4. Determine the causes of extirpation, and/or population decrease or loss5-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-10
5. Develop and implement a habitat monitoring and restoration plan for locations with confirmed records, or in the case of extirpated species, for sites designated as potential habitat5-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-10
6. Identify and prioritize sites for inventories and conduct surveys to determine whether there are any undocumented populations (i.e. to determine necessity of re-introductions)5-105-10555N/A555
7. Identify critical habitat required to establish new populations, as outlined in species-specific goals5-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-10
8. Develop techniques and priorities to establish new populations and one experimental population per species (if appropriate based on above research)5-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-105-10

12 Numbers in table indicate the number of years required to complete the objective. For extirpated populations, the timeframes indicated in O.1 and O.2 will apply to any newly found populations.
13This may involve protection in any form including stewardship agreements and conservation covenants on private lands, land use designations on crown lands, and protection in municipal parks and other types of land tenures.

Research and management activities required to meet recovery objectives

Recovery activities have been grouped in seven broad approaches to address the threats and meet the recovery objectives (Table 8). These are roughly ranked in descending order with the most urgent activities listed first, although this may vary between species.

  1. Habitat and species protection: A primary focus of this recovery strategy is to prevent further loss and fragmentation of maritime meadow habitats. Habitat with known occurrences of species at risk should be protected and any new occurrences as they are discovered should become priorities for protection. Protection will include protection of private lands through acquisition and through conservation covenants and other voluntary stewardship agreements.

  2. Habitat stewardship: Involving landowners/land managers in effective management of maritime meadows habitat will be key to the recovery of species at risk. This will include developing proactive communication with different landowners/land managers and involving them in the recovery planning process. It is also necessary to determine the legislation, regulations and policy that apply to different public landowners. Landowners/land managers should also be encouraged to collaborate with researchers, participate in and support restoration and monitoring projects.

  3. Research: Identifying habitat attributes and native butterfly food plants is essential for the delineation of critical habitat. Demographic research is required to assess recovery potential and to assess and monitor the viability of populations. Genetic research will be required to inform the establishment of experimental populations. Research is also required to determine the effects of threats such as: climate change, the re-introduction of fire, invasive species, herbivory and predation.

  4. Mapping and inventory: Inventory to identify the complete range and extent of maritime meadow species at risk will help to clarify habitat characteristics and aid in the delineation of critical habitat. Inventory may find undocumented populations of some species and will minimize the risk of genetic contamination with experimental population trials.

  5. Habitat restoration: Effective, informed restoration is critical to restore ecosystem processes, restore habitat for species at risk and mitigate threats.

  6. Public outreach and education: Developing and distributing information about maritime meadows and their species at risk will help minimize the threats associated with public use of these habitats. Involving the public may also help with identifying undocumented populations, especially for the butterfly species. Workshops and presentations at community meetings are effective tools for educating landowners.

  7. Experimental population trials: Establishing new populations utilizing adaptive management for some of the maritime meadows species at risk will help meet long-term species specific goals. Such experiments will also further our understanding of the biology and ecology of species at risk.
Table 8. Strategies to effect recovery
PriorityObj. No.Broad Approach/ StrategyThreat14General Description
Urgent1, 2, 7Habitat and species protection1, 3, 5, 6Develop priorities for acquisition or protection (e.g. covenants and other stewardship agreements) of sites in conjunction with the Conservation Planning and Site Protection RIG of GOERT.
Urgent1, 2Habitat stewardship1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16Identify which private and public landowners have populations of species at risk and/or maritime meadow ecosystems that occur on their lands. Contact landowners through the public outreach program through GOERT or other organizations for stewardship to protect the species.
Necessary3, 4, 5, 7, 8Research

2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18,19

 

Determine priorities for research and conduct research where necessary to determine specific information gaps:

  • determine habitat attributes for each species
  • determine whether there are bottlenecks affecting pollination/reproduction, dispersal, seed/egg production, recruitment, recruit survival
  • determine which larval and nectar food plants are required by Lepidopterans and the required distribution and abundance of food plants
  • determine appropriate restoration and adaptive management for each species and their habitat including threats such as invasive species, woody species encroachment as well as restoring ecological processes, etc.
  • determine taxonomic variation with respect to US populations if required
Necessary3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Mapping and inventory2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14Determine habitat attributes for species at risk
Necessary2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Mapping and inventory1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8Assess existing meadows to prioritize for other activities including acquisition, restoration, translocation of species at risk, etc. Conduct inventories for new species at risk in maritime meadow habitats.
Necessary1, 3, 4, 5, 7Habitat restoration2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10Determine the need for and feasibility of restoration and, if appropriate, develop and conduct trials for maritime meadow restoration
Beneficial3, 4, 5, 6Public education and outreach2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16Develop priorities in conjunction with GOERT's Public Education and Extension Specialist and other organizations, to deliver public education and outreach concerning species at risk, their habitats and their management (e.g. to naturalist and outdoor recreation clubs, schools, First Nations, local governments, land owners, land managers and stakeholders)
Beneficial1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8Experimental population trials1, 3, 6, 9Determine the need for establishing new populations, and if appropriate, determine locations for translocations.

14 Threats are as follows:

  1. Habitat destruction
  2. Invasive plants
  3. Habitat fragmentation
  4. Changes in native vegetation composition from altered fire regimes
  5. Recreation
  6. Demographic collapse
  7. Mowing
  8. Changes to hydrology
  9. Climate change
  10. Effects of re-introducing fire
  11. Livestock grazing
  12. Cutting or hand pulling of invasive plants
  13. Maintenance activities
  14. Herbivory
  15. Pesticides
  16. Landscaping of non-native plants
  17. Marine pollution
  18. Invasive invertebrates
  19. Invasive vertebrates

1.9.3 Knowledge gaps common to all or most species

There are many knowledge gaps common to all or most species. The following knowledge gaps are ranked roughly in descending order of importance for recovery although this may vary between species (Summary in Table 9).

  1. Effects of invasive species and responses of invasive species, species at risk and habitat to management: This includes the effect of woody encroachment due to altered disturbance regimes; responses of species at risk and their habitat to management, restoration and invasive species control; lack of targets for restoration activities; traditional landscape management, and the use of fire, and species-specific responses to the re-introduction of fire regimes.

  2. Detailed characteristics and delineation of suitable habitat, particularly for extirpated populations: This includes the range of habitat suitable for each species (e.g. soil characteristics, microhabitat, etc.), minimum habitat patch sizes, matrix composition, and the effectiveness of buffers and linkages at allowing dispersal of species between habitat patches; soil processes including the role and identification of mycorrhizae, soil fauna and the effect of introduced species (including earthworms); specific native and introduced larval and nectar food plants for island marble and Taylor's checkerspot.

  3. Species-specific demographic and dispersal information: This includes defining where demographic bottlenecks for each species occur (i.e. seed or egg production, dispersal, recruitment, recruitment survivorship, etc.) and the effect of limited gene pools on reproductive capacity.

  4. Accurate species distributions and total numbers of populations: Not all historical locations have been inventoried to determine if populations still persist. Systematic surveys are required to determine accurate species distribution and population information and to ensure all populations are protected and appropriately managed.

  5. Trophic and other ecological interactions:This includes the role of species at risk in their respective habitats including the degree and effect of interactions with native and introduced herbivores, pests and diseases and pollination in maritime meadows.

  6. Ex situ germination/ propagation methodologies for plants and captive breeding/rearing techniques for butterflies: Although most of the species in this recovery strategy have been propagated ex situ, they have not been subjected to rigorous propagation or captive breeding studies. There is limited information about re-establishing these species in the wild.

  7. Nature of genetic differences between US and Canadian populations of prairie lupine, Taylor's checkerspot and island marble: Although the taxonomy of most species is well defined, genetic studies are required to clarify taxonomy for prairie lupine and the island marble. Genetic studies are also required to compare Canadian populations of species at risk to their US counterparts since many populations are widely disjunct and may be genetically distinct. This information will provide an important foundation for identifying donor populations for translocation attempts.
Table 9. Knowledge gaps common to all or most species
IM=island marble, TC=Taylor's checkerspot, BOC= bearded owl-clover, BFS=bear's-foot sanicle, CSC=coastal Scouler's catchfly, GP=golden paintbrush, PL=prairie lupine, PS=purple sanicle, SBL=seaside birds-foot lotus.
Means this is a knowledge gap for this species. "K" indicates there is some knowledge in the area, + indicates limited studies.
Knowledge gapsIMTCBOCBFSCSCGPPLPSSBL
1. Effects of invasive species and the response of invasive species, species at risk and habitat to management
2. Detailed characteristics and delineation of suitable habitatIn progress
3. Species-specific demographic and dispersal informationKKKKK
4. Accurate species distributions and total numbers of populations KK
5. Trophic and other ecological interactions
6. Ex situ germination/propagation methodologies for plants and captive breeding/rearing techniques for butterflies+KKK++K
7. Genetic studiesK

1.9.4 Management effects on other species/ecological processes

Garry oak and associated ecosystems are home to a large number of at risk taxa including 3 mosses, 71 plants, 1 earthworm, 3 dragonflies/damselflies, 5 true bugs, 2 flies, 13 butterflies, 2 reptiles, 14 birds and 3 mammals (list available online at www.goert.ca) (GOERT 2004). Because of the large number of taxa at risk and the high concentrations of rare species at some locations, it is not possible to describe all of the possible positive and negative effects associated with recovery. These management effects must be addressed at a later stage either in the Recovery Action Plan, or during on-site evaluations. A comprehensive list of co-occurring plant species is included below (Table 10). In addition, potential effects on vertebrate and invertebrate species at risk are discussed.

There are potential negative interactions between the butterfly and plant species addressed in this recovery strategy. Island marbles feed on introduced mustard (Brassica and Sisymbrium spp.) as well as Lepidium spp. (including Lepidium virginicum). Restoration should focus on the planting of the native species. Historic populations of Taylor's checkerspot on Alpha and Trial Islands may have used golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) as a food plant, although this has not been confirmed (Miskelly pers. comm. 2004). Taylor's checkerspot larvae have also been found on Tryphysaria pusilla and may feed on other owl-clover species (Potter pers. comm. 2005). Invasive species management should be coordinated with butterfly life cycles.

The provincially red-listed Coastal Vesper Sparrows affinis subspecies (Pooecetes gramineus affinis), the endangered Horned Lark strigata subspecies (Eromophila alpestris strigata), and the Georgia depression population of Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) are known to use native grasslands and open habitat with short, sparse vegetation. Garry oak and associated ecosystems may be necessary for their recovery (Beauchesne 2002; Beauchesne et al. 2002; COSEWIC 2003a). Although there is no current overlap of confirmed sites, Coastal Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks may benefit from recovery actions outlined in this strategy. Control of invasive species may be beneficial provided it is not done during breeding season at confirmed locations of these species: early May to late June for Vesper Sparrows and early April to end of July for Meadowlarks (Beauchesne 2002; Beauchesne et al. 2002). Consideration of the use of shrubs for breeding purposes is necessary in invasive species control (i.e. potentially replacing invasive broom with native ocean spray, Nootka rose and saskatoon). This should be approached with caution as potential for some shrub species to affect the plant species at risk, in particular the Nootka rose which is rhizomatous.

Portions of Garry oak and associated ecosystems may be designated as critical habitat for the Horned Lark strigata subspecies, since little other potential habitat remains intact. Ongoing communication between GOERT, its relevant Recovery Implementation Groups, and the Horned Lark strigata subspecies & Vesper sparrow affinissubspecies Recovery Team will need to continue.

Although both Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias fanninni) and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) are found at locations that roughly overlap with maritime meadow species at risk, there are no anticipated negative effects to either of these species associated with recovery of the rare plants and butterflies.

Given the large number of co-occurring plants at risk in maritime meadow ecosystems, it is not possible to discuss all possible interactions associated with recovery.

Recovery of the species covered in this recovery strategy will likely benefit other species at risk. For example:

  • Increased public education and awareness may limit harmful recreational activities in locations with species at risk.
  • Management of invasive species may restore habitat for other plant species at risk.

However, recovery of the species covered in this recovery strategy may negatively affect other plants at risk. For example:

  • If not planned and implemented very carefully, large-scale management actions, such as invasive species removal, may have a negative effect on other plants at risk (e.g. through trampling, increased herbivory and inadvertent dispersal of alien species during disposal).
  • All on-site activities (surveys, research and management) to aid recovery pose a threat from trampling to co-occurring rare species that occur in or near maritime meadow ecosystems, unless care is taken to avoid damage.
Table 10. Co-occurring plant species at risk
S-ranks assigned by as per BCConservation Data Centre
SpeciesCommon nameSubnational
(Provincial Rank)
COSEWIC Status
Agrostis pallensdune bentgrassS3 
Allium amplectensslimleaf onionS3 
Allium geyeri var. tenerumGeyer's onionS2 
Alopecurus carolinianusCarolina meadow-foxtailS2 
Anagallis minimachaffweedS2S3 
Balsamorhiza deltoideadeltoid balsamrootS1Endangered
Callitriche marginatawinged water-starwortS1Proposed for listing
Carex tumulicolafoothill sedgeS1Proposed for listing
Castilleja ambigua ssp. ambiguapaintbrush owl-cloverS2 
Centaurium muehlenbergiiMuhlenberg's centauryS1Proposed for listing
Clarkia amoenafarewell-to-springS2S3 
Clarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulneratwiggy godetiaS1 
Claytonia rubra ssp. depressaredstem springbeautyS3 
Crassula aquaticapigmyweedS3 
Crassula connata var. connataerect pigmyweedS2 
Epilobium densiflorumdense spike-primroseS1Endangered
Helenium autumnalemountain sneezeweedS2S3 
Heterocodon rariflorumheterocodonS3 
Idahoa scapigerascalepodS2 
Isoetes nuttalliiNuttall's quillwortS3 
Juncus kelloggiiKellogg's rushS1Endangered
Limnanthes macouniiMacoun's meadow-foamS3Special Concern
Lomatium dissectumfern-leaved desert-parsleyS1 
Lotus unifoliolatus var. unifoliolatusSpanish cloverS2S3 
Lupinus densiflorus var. densiflorusdense-flowered lupineS1Endangered
Meconella oreganawhite meconellaS2Endangered
Microseris bigeloviicoast microserisS1Proposed for listing
Orthocarpus bracteosusrosy owl-cloverS1Endangered
Plagiobothrys tenellusslender popcornflowerS2 
Piperia eleganselegant rein orchidS2S3 
Psilocarphus elatiortall woolly-headsS1Endangered
Ranunculus alismifoliuswater-plantain buttercupS1Endangered
Ranunculus californicusCalifornia buttercupS1 
Romanzoffia tracyiTracy's romanzoffiaS3 
Rupertia physodesCalifornia-teaS3 
Sagina decumbens ssp. occidentaliswestern pearlwortS3 
Seriocarpus rigiduswhite-top asterS2Threatened
Sidalcea hendersoniiHenderson's checker-mallowS3 
Spergularia macrotheca var. macrothecabeach sand-spurryS2S3 
Trifolium depauperatum var. depauperatumpoverty cloverS3 
Triteleia howelliiHowells' triteleiaS1Endangered
Viola howelliiHowell's violetS2S3 
Viola praemorsa ssp. praemorsayellow montane violetS2Threatened

1.9.5 Examples of recovery actions already completed or underway

The following recovery actions apply to one or more of the species at risk and are linked to the broad strategies for recovery activities. A more comprehensive list of recovery actions has been compiled in a background document (Fairbarns and Maslovat 2005).

Relevant recovery strategies
  • Miller, M. In prep. National Multi-Species Recovery Strategy for Plants at Risk in Vernal Pools and Other Ephemeral Wet Areas Associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems.
  • Douglas, G.W. and S. Smith. In prep. National Multi-species Recovery Strategy for Woodland Species Associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems.
Habitat protection
  • GOERT's Conservation Planning and Site Protection RIG has developed a list of sites for which it is a priority to raise local securement and protection. CRD Parks Best Management Practices for marking, building and maintaining trails in open, rocky areas (Maslovat 2003).
Habitat stewardship
  • GOERT Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Implementation Group public lectures held on Saltspring Island and Hornby Island to inform local landowners about butterflies at risk in the Garry oak ecosystems.
Demographic and genetic research
  • GOERT has supported, initiated and/or continued research regarding
    • rare butterfly ecology
    • butterfly diversity in relation to fragmentation, climate change, habitat loss, and exotic shrub invasion
    • fire history
    • indigenous ecological management
    • effects of mammalian herbivores and exotic plants on plant diversity
    • restoration strategies
  • Research on demographic and phenological patterns of several plants at risk (Fairbarns in. prep. a-e.).
Mapping and inventory
  • Identification of critical components of suitable butterfly habitat and potential sites for native habitat restoration (in progress, Miskelly pers. comm. 2004).
  • Inventory of the major Gulf Islands and Saanich Inlet for Taylor's checkerspot and island marble (Guppy and Fischer 2001).
  • Identification of critical components of suitable seaside birds-foot lotus habitat (in progress, Fairbarns 2005)
Habitat restoration
  • Research in Helliwell Provincial Park on Hornby Island to determine quality of checkerspot habitat and response to restoration (in progress, Miskelly pers. comm. 2004).
  • Draft Invasive Species Management Plan for all DND properties (Smith pers. comm.2004)
  • CRD Parks Mill Hill Regional Park Restoration Plan (CRD Parks 2003)
  • Volunteer removal of invasive shrubs and vines from Harling Point in Victoria supported by Parks Canada, the municipality of Oak Bay and the Chinese Benevolent Society.
Public outreach and education
  • GOERT's Species at Risk in Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems in British Columbia stewardship manual (GOERT 2003).
  • CRD Parks draft communications plan for the Sooke Hills Wilderness Area and Mount Wells Regional Park (Groves pers. comm. 2004).
  • Garry Oak Ecosystems Invertebrates at Risk RIG public presentations to inform local landowners about the butterflies at risk in the Garry oak ecosystems (Heron pers. comm. 2004).
Experimental population trials
  • Preparation of a draft reintroduction plan for Castilleja levisecta (golden paintbrush) that can inform reintroduction procedures in Canada for all maritime meadow species (Caplow 2001).
  • A captive rearing program for Taylor's checkerspot is being developed at Oregon Zoo (Potter pers. comm. 20054).
  • Staff from the City of Victoria Parks Department are testing methods for propagating golden paintbrush (Hook pers. comm. 2004).

1.9.6 Statement of when Recovery Action Plan (RAP) will be completed

A draft action plan should be completed by March 2010.

1.9.7 Socioeconomic considerations

Recovery of species at risk and restoration of imperiled habitats associated with Garry oak ecosystems will contribute to biodiversity, health and functioning of the environment and enhance opportunities for appreciation of such special places and species thereby contributing to overall social value in southwestern British Columbia. The natural beauty of Garry oak ecosystems in the lower mainland, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island are an important resource for British Columbians that provide for a robust tourism and recreation industry. Protecting these natural spaces, biodiversity, opportunities for nature appreciation, spiritual renewal and other recreation values has enormous value to the local economy.

Some activities occurring in and around maritime meadows can impact sensitive species at risk. Deleterious impacts on species at risk and the integrity of these spaces may occur through activities that:

  • modify or damage ecological processes important for maintenance of these sites,
  • directly or indirectly introduce species, native or non-native, that alter the biotic or abiotic environment in a manner detrimental to processes important for the perpetuation of Maritime Meadows,
  • directly damage or destroy an individual species at risk (such as through trampling or wheeled activities), or
  • modify or destroy maritime meadows (such as through complete terra-forming).

Recovery actions could potentially affect the following socioeconomic sectors: recreation; private land development; operations and maintenance activities. The expected magnitude of these effects is expected to be low in almost all cases.

Maritime meadows are rare on the landscape: the overall land area required for physical protection of these sites is relatively small within the region. Effective mitigation of potentially detrimental activities can be accomplished through careful planning and environmental assessment of proposed developments and site activities and sensitive routing of travel corridors and recreational activities with minimal negative economic consequences in most instances.

Recovery of maritime meadows and their associated species at risk will require intelligent planning for any development, and determination of appropriate uses for sensitive locations. Managers of public lands such as parks can provide appropriate opportunities for site access and manage site infrastructure in a manner that helps maintain and improve maritime meadows under their stewardship.

1.9.8 Evaluation and measure of success

Performance measures that can be used to evaluate the success of recovery include:

  • Number of high priority sites protected. This may involve protection in any form including stewardship agreements and conservation covenants on private lands, land use designations on crown lands, and protection in municipal parks and other types of land tenures.
  • Change or maintenance in provincial or national rank of species at risk covered in this recovery strategy
  • Creation of a ranking system to prioritize maritime meadow sites for acquisition and protection under stewardship agreements
  • Creation of economic or other incentives for private landowners to protect maritime meadows
  • Number of communication and outreach plans developed for maritime meadows
  • Creation of prairie lupine and coastal Scouler's catchfly species at risk stewardship manual insert sheets
  • Number of management plans developed for each specific maritime meadow location
  • Number of sites with appropriate management for maritime meadows implemented
  • Evidence of long-term viability of species at sites where stewardship and protection are in place
  • Refinement of critical habitat description (based on research to address knowledge gaps)
  • Creation of a translocation Decision Support Tool (or Best Management Practices) or equivalent
  • Creation of a seedbank program and a captive rearing program
  • Number of new locations for species (where additional surveys are recommended in the objectives) through surveys and reports from the public
  • Number of participants at the Garry oak ecosystems butterfly blitz
  • Number of landowners given informational materials and best management practice guidelines for maritime meadow species at risk on their property
  • Number of visitors to the invertebrates at risk website and the Garry oak ecosystems recovery team website
  • Number of locations in which habitat is improved by carefully removing invasive species
  • Information sharing with the US counterparts managing recovery in the United States
  • Listing of maritime meadow species at risk under the BC Wildlife Act
  • Number of municipalities that use the BC Community Charter to enact bylaws, agreements etc. to protect maritime meadow species at risk under the BC Community Charter

10 This may involve protection in any form including voluntary stewardship agreements and conservation covenants on private lands, land use designations on crown lands, and protection in municipal parks and other types of land tenures.