Management Plan for Twisted Oak Moss (Syntrichia laevipila) in Canada

Table of Contents

Twisted Oak Moss

Species at Risk Act
Management Plan Series
Adopted under Section 69 of SARA
August 2011

Recommended citation:

Parks Canada Agency. 2011. Management plan for Twisted Oak Moss (Syntrichia laevipila) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Parks Canada Agency. Ottawa. iii + 30 pp.

For copies of the management plan, or for additional information on species at risk, including COSEWIC Status Reports, residence descriptions, action plans, and other related recovery documents, please visit the Species at Risk Public Registry (

Cover illustration: Terry McIntosh (with permission)

Également disponible en français sous le titre
« Plan de gestion de la tortule à poils lisses (Syntrichia laevipila) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2011. All rights reserved.

ISBN no. 978-1-100-19109-6
Catalogue no. En3-5/23-2011E-PDF

Content (excluding the illustrations) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.

Recommendation and Approval Statement

The Parks Canada Agency led the development of this federal management plan, working together with the other competent minister(s) for this species under the Species at Risk Act. The Chief Executive Officer, upon recommendation of the relevant Park Superintendent(s) and Field Unit Superintendent(s), hereby approves this document indicating that Species at Risk Act requirements related to management plan development (sections 65-72) have been fulfilled in accordance with the Act.


Management Plan for the Twisted Oak Moss
(Syntrichia laevipila) in Canada

August 2011

The federal, provincial, and territorial government signatories under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996) agreed to establish complementary legislation and programs that provide for effective protection of species at risk throughout Canada.

In the spirit of cooperation of the Accord, the Government of British Columbia has provided the ‘Management Plan for twisted oak moss (Syntrichia laevipila) in British Columbia’ to the Government of Canada. The federal Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency and the federal Minister of the Environment as the competent ministers under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) adopt or incorporate, in whole or in part, this management plan pursuant to section 69 of the Act, with any exceptions or modifications as detailed within the body of this document.

The finalized management plan, once included in the Species at Risk Public Registry, will be the SARA management plan for this species. Implementation of this plan is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.

The SARA management plan for the Twisted Oak-Moss in Canada consists of two parts:

  1. The Management Plan for twisted oak moss (Syntrichia laevipila) in British Columbia being adopted/incorporated, developed by the British Columbia Bryophyte Recovery Team and Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team for the Province of British Columbia (Appendix 2).

  2. The federal text which completes the existing management plan in terms of meeting the requirements of SARA section 65. This text included additions, exceptions or modifications to the document being adopted or incorporated, in whole or in part.

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Executive Summary

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated Twisted Oak Moss (Syntrichia laevipila) as Special Concern in Canada in 2004. It is listed as ‘Special Concern’ on the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Twisted Oak Moss is a small moss species that grows in clumps on tree bark, primarily on Garry oaks (Quercus garryana). These trees are found in Garry oak ecosystems, which are nationally threatened. Its current Canadian range consists of 27 occurrences in southwestern British Columbia.

Potential threats to the survival of Twisted Oak Moss populations include loss of host trees, direct removal from host trees, lack of recruitment of host trees, and air pollution. Tree harvesting and pruning could threaten populations found on private property.

The management goal is to maintain known populations of Twisted Oak Moss in British Columbia. The management objectives for Twisted Oak Moss are as follows:

  • To initiate stewardship for existing populations by 2016.
  • To mitigate the threats of direct destruction to the moss and determine if lack of recruitment of host trees is a direct threat to all known populations by 2015.
  • To clarify the distribution of Twisted Oak Moss in British Columbia and to update population and distribution objectives as needed by 2014.
  • To increase public awareness of the existence and conservation value of Twisted Oak Moss by 2016.
  • To address knowledge gaps relating to demographics, effects of competition with other species, microhabitat attributes, and microclimate and habitat conditions for this species by 2016.

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Additions, Modifications, and Exclusions to the Adopted or Incorporated Document

Protection under SARA

This section provides clarity on the use of "protection" in the Management Plan for twisted oak moss (Syntrichia laevipila) in British Columbia, (Appendix 2) in relation to the concept of protection definitions under SARA, the Act under which this document is being adopted as the SARA management plan for this species (section 69).

"Protection" is defined in the Management Plan for twisted oak moss (Syntrichia laevipila) in British Columbia in British Columbia in a manner which may not equate to the concept of protection under SARA. Under SARA the adequacy of a given protection measure can only be determined on a case-by-case and/or site-by-site basis. For information on protection under SARA, please see the relevant sections of the Act and the draft SARA Policies, available on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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Appendix 1: 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 section 2.6 of the management plan.

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