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Species at Risk Act
Recovery Strategy Series
Adopted under Section 44 of SARA

Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla) in Canada

Silver Hair Moss


About the Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series

What is the Species at Risk Act (SARA)?

SARA is the Act developed by the federal government as a key contribution to the common national effort to protect and conserve species at risk in Canada. SARA came into force in 2003, and one of its purposes is “to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity.”

What is recovery?

In the context of species at risk conservation, recovery is the process by which the decline of an endangered, threatened, or extirpated species is arrested or reversed, and threats are removed or reduced to improve the likelihood of the species’ persistence in the wild. A species will be considered recovered when its long-term persistence in the wild has been secured.

What is a recovery strategy?

A recovery strategy is a planning document that identifies what needs to be done to arrest or reverse the decline of a species. It sets goals and objectives and identifies the main areas of activities to be undertaken. Detailed planning is done at the action plan stage.

Recovery strategy development is a commitment of all provinces and territories and of three federal agencies — Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada — under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk.  Sections 37–46 of SARA (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/the_act/default_e.cfm) outline both the required content and the process for developing recovery strategies published in this series.

Depending on the status of the species and when it was assessed, a recovery strategy has to be developed within one to two years after the species is added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. A period of three to four years is allowed for those species that were automatically listed when SARA came into force.

What’s next?

In most cases, one or more action plans will be developed to define and guide implementation of the recovery strategy. Nevertheless, directions set in the recovery strategy are sufficient to begin involving communities, land users, and conservationists in recovery implementation. Cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for lack of full scientific certainty.

The series

This series presents the recovery strategies prepared or adopted by the federal government under SARA. New documents will be added regularly as species get listed and as strategies are updated.

To learn more

To learn more about SARA and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/ ) and the Web site of the Recovery Secretariat    (www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/default_e.cfm).

Under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996), the federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to work together on legislation, programs, and policies to protect wildlife species at risk throughout Canada.

In the spirit of cooperation of the Accord, the Government of British Columbia has given permission to the Government of Canada to adopt the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia (Appendix 1) under Section 44 of the Species at Risk Act. Environment Canada has included an addition which completes the SARA requirements for this recovery strategy, and excludes the section on Socio-Economic Considerations which is not required by the Act.

Following this 60-day comment period and subsequent final posting of this document, and until the federal Minister of Environment determines otherwise or the British Columbia Ministry of Environment formally amends the document, this recovery strategy is the recovery strategy of the Minister of the Environment of Canada for this species.

This recovery strategy for the silver hair moss in Canada consists of the
- Addition to the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia prepared by Environment Canada.
- Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia prepared by the British Columbia Bryophyte Recovery Team for the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

Recommended citation:

Environment Canada. 2008. Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa.  4 pp. + Appendix.


Additional copies:

Additional copies can be downloaded from the SARA Public Registry ( www.sararegistry.gc.ca/).


Cover illustration: Shona Ellis/UBC


Également disponible en français sous le titre
« Programme de rétablissement de la fabronie naine (Fabronia pusillia) au Canada [Proposition] »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2008. All rights reserved.
Catalogue no.


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


Addition to the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia



This recovery strategy has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions responsible for the silver hair moss. Environment Canada has reviewed and accepts this document as its recovery strategy for the silver hair moss, as required under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This recovery strategy also constitutes advice to other jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved in recovering the species.

The goals, objectives and recovery approaches identified in the strategy are based on the best existing knowledge and are subject to modifications resulting from new findings and revised objectives.

This recovery strategy will be the basis for one or more action plans that will provide details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation and recovery of the species. The Minister of the Environment will report on progress within five years as required under SARA.

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Environment Canada or any other jurisdiction alone. In the spirit of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of the Environment invites all responsible jurisdictions and Canadians to join Environment Canada in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the silver hair moss and Canadian society as a whole.


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 on non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the silver hair moss. The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered. The SEA concluded that this strategy will clearly benefit the environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects.



SARA defines residence as: a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or hibernating [Subsection 2(1)].

Residence descriptions, or the rationale for why the residence concept does not apply to a given species, are posted on the SARA public registry: www.sararegistry.gc.ca/plans/residence_e.cfm .



The silver hair moss was listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as Endangered in June 2003.

SARA section 37 requires the competent minister to prepare a recovery strategy for all listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)).

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment led the development of this recovery strategy for the species in cooperation with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Pacific and Yukon Region. The strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41).



The following sections address specific requirements of SARA that are not addressed in the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss in British Columbia (Appendix 1).

1. Consultation

Opportunities for consultation will be afforded through posting on the SARA public registry. As there are currently no known occurrences of this species, no landowners will be directly affected by the advice provided in this recovery strategy. The individuals in Canada who are considered experts on the biology of the species were members of the recovery team or were consulted for information in the course of drafting this strategy.

2. Feasibility

Section 5 of the following recovery strategy discusses the challenges related to determining the feasibility of recovering this species.

Under the Species at Risk Act (S. 40), the competent minister is required to determine whether the recovery of the listed species is technically and biologically feasible. Given the available information, and bearing in mind the uncertainty of this species’ existence in Canada, the Minister has followed the guidance of the federal feasibility policy, and determined that recovery is feasible at this time. This decision may be revisited as more information becomes available. As the lead agency, the Government of British Columbia has determined that it is unknown whether recovery is feasible.

3. Socio-economic Considerations

The Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss in British Columbia contains a short statement on socio-economic considerations. As a socio-economic analysis is not required under Section 41(1) of SARA, the Socio-economic Considerations section of the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss in British Columbia is not considered part of the Minister of Environment's recovery strategy for this species.


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