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Recovery Strategy for the Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) in Canada – 2013

Appendix C. Effects on the Environment and Other Species

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below in this statement.

A number of species rely on sand dunes for their survival, including other species at risk (Table 4) and provincially rare species that co-occur with Western Spiderwort. Most, if not all, of these species should benefit from recovery activities and management of threats intended to maintain dune ecosystems for the benefit of Western Spiderwort. The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered. Some management activities, including prescribed burns and some forms of integrated weed management, have the potential to harm some species, at least in the short term. As a general rule, management actions that incorporate natural disturbance regimes (e.g., fire and grazing) are natural components of prairie ecosystems and should not negatively impact the persistence of other native species particularly if the timing, intensity and frequency mimic natural processes (Samson and Knopf 1994). Recovery activities and beneficial management plans should strive to benefit as many species as possible and the ecological risks of any action must be considered before undertaking them in order to reduce possible negative effects. Efforts should be coordinated with other recovery teams and organizations working in the dune ecosystem to ensure the most efficient use of resources and to prevent duplication of effort and conflicts with research. The broad strategies described in this recovery strategy are expected to benefit the environment and not entail any significant adverse effects on other species at risk or biodiversity of sand dune ecosystems.

Table 4. Species at risk which co-occur in areas occupied by Western Spiderwort. Accessible version of Table 4
Species NameSARA DesignationPopulations
Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)EndangeredPakowki (AB)
Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)EndangeredPakowki (AB)
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)ThreatenedPakowki (AB), Elbow (SK), Routledge (MB), Lauder (MB)
Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)ThreatenedPakowki (AB), Elbow (SK), Routledge (MB), Lauder (MB)
Sprague’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii)ThreatenedPakowki (AB), Elbow (SK), Routledge (MB), Lauder (MB)
Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)ThreatenedPakowki (AB)
Prairie Skink (Plestiodon septentrionalis)EndangeredLauder (MB)
Gold-edged Gem (Schinia avementis)EndangeredPakowki (AB)
Dusky Dune Moth (Copablepharon longipenne)EndangeredLauder (MB)
Pale Yellow Dune Moth (Copablepharon grandis)Special ConcernLauder (MB)
Vascular Plants
Hairy Prairie-clover (Dalea villosa var.villosa)ThreatenedLauder (MB)
Smooth Goosefoot (Chenopodium subglabrum)ThreatenedPakowki (AB), Elbow (SK), Routledge (MB), Lauder (MB)