Skip booklet index and go to page content

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

Appendix D. Beneficial Rangeland Management Practices

Western Spiderwort occupies a variety of locations that vary in ecology, land use history, and land tenure in three provinces. For these reasons, it is not possible to propose a general set of beneficial management plans that would be appropriate to encompass all critical habitat. Instead, specific recommendations will be made in one or more action plans or beneficial management plans at scales appropriate for general recommendations and application. At this time only a few general statements can be made regarding on-going activities that benefit Western Spiderwort.

Careful and deliberate application of grazing by one or more classes of livestock may help maintain open sandy habitats needed by Western Spiderwort, much the way wild ungulates would have historically. Management of these livestock requires occasional and randomly dispersed overland access on-foot, on-horseback, by all terrain vehicle, or on existing trails by vehicles up to 1 tonne. In light of these facts, no changes are recommended at this time to current stocking rates, grazing seasons, classes of livestock, fence, salt, feed or water distribution, or access methods used by property owners of critical habitat. Research is needed to determine if alternative grazing systems could enhance habitat, reproductive output, or dispersal of western spiderwort.

Integrated weed management to control Leafy Spurge, Baby’s-breath, and Crested Wheatgrass invasion could directly reduce competition with Western Spiderwort, or indirectly change ungulate grazing behaviour or fuel quality for carrying fire that would otherwise improve habitat for Western Spiderwort. Approaches used to reduce the occurrence and density of invasive alien species on critical habitat need to be dealt with on a site-specific basis or in one or more action plans.

Fires resulting from accidental or deliberate ignition by people will not destroy critical habitat nor harm individual plants under most circumstances. In fact, prescribed burning that are carefully managed and that mimic the timing, frequency and intensity of natural processes can improve habitat by reducing or preventing invasion of woody vegetation, grass litter, insect pests and pathogens.

Environment Canada will work with all of its partners to define and improve best practices for conserving the Western Spiderwort across its range and to incorporate multi-species requirements and management in these sand dune ecosystems.

Page 19