Description of Critical Habitat of Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus in Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) is a species listed on Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act as endangered. Critical habitat for Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus is identified within the final Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) in Canada.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to subsection 58(2) of the Species at Risk Act, critical habitat of Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus in Point Pelee National Park of Canada, as identified on the National Topographic System (NTS) Map 40G/15 (Edition 7, printed 2001), is described as three primary successional Lake Erie Sand Spit Savanna vegetation types, according to the Ecological Land Classification (ELC), in which the cactus is currently found. These types are (1) Little Bluestem-Switchgrass-Beachgrass Open Graminoid Sand Dunes, (2) Hoptree Shrub Sand Dunes, and (3) Red Cedar Treed Sand Dunes. The remaining parts of the species’ critical habitat within Point Pelee National Park of Canada are identified as a circle with a radius of 25 m from the centre point of each of the following two groups of Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus microsites (one or more groups of cacti less than 1.0 m from other groups): (1) those found in secondary ELC vegetation types that are degraded Lake Erie Sand Spit Savannas, and (2) those found in sites that have succeeded beyond optimal conditions for the species, such that the cactus is considered to be a relict of past conditions.

Existing anthropogenic features, including, but not limited to, parking lots, roads, trails, footpaths, cemeteries and septic fields, are excluded from the species’ critical habitat. Areas where all Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus microsites have been planted or transplanted, where records remain unverified or where its location or origin is uncertain, are not considered critical habitat. Two areas within Point Pelee National Park of Canada currently fit within this category. Complete geographical descriptions of these two areas are housed at Point Pelee National Park of Canada.

Precise geographic locations for Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus critical habitat are not presented here to protect the species from the threat of collection. Further details regarding Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus critical habitat can be found at the Species at Risk Public Registry Web site.

March 11, 2011

GEOFFREY HANCOCK
Superintendent
Southwestern Ontario Field Unit

| Introductory Page |