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Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in Canada – 2013

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

Princeton Landscape: Dwarf Woolly-heads Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes

Photo: Princeton Landscape: Dwarf Woolly-heads Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes

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 “Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia” (Part 2) 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. Socio-economic factors are not part of the consideration process for federal recovery strategies developed under SARA.

The federal Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton landscape in Canada consists of two parts:

Part 1: Federal addition to the “Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia”, prepared by Environment Canada.

Part 2: “Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia”, prepared by the Southern Interior Rare Plants Implementation Group, for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment.

Table of Contents

Document Information – Part 1

Part 1: Federal addition to the “Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia”, prepared by Environment Canada

Part 2: “Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia”, prepared by the Southern Interior Rare Plants Implementation Group, for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment

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Document Information – Part 1

Recommended citation

Environment Canada. 2013. Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. 20 pp. + Appendix.

For copies of the recovery strategy, 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 T. McIntosh

Également disponible en français sous le titre
« Programme de rétablissement plurispécifique pour le paysage de Princeton visant le psilocarphe nain (Psilocarphus brevissimus) - population des montagnes du Sud, le collomia délicat (Collomia tenella) et l'antennaire stolonifère (Antennaria flagellaris) au Canada [Proposition] »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2013. All rights reserved.
ISBN
Catalogue no.

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

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Part 1: Federal addition to the “Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia”, prepared by Environment Canada.

Preface

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. Under the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) (SARA), the federal competent ministers are responsible for the preparation of recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered, and Threatened species and are required to report on progress within five years.

The federal Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes and has prepared the federal component of this multi-species recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation the Province of British Columbia. 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 Province of British Columbia provided the attached multi-species recovery strategy for the Princeton landscape plants Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Part 2) as science advice for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment Canada.

Success in the recovery of these 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. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Princeton landscape plant species Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population[1], Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes, and Canadian society as a whole.

This recovery strategy will be followed by one or more action plans that will provide information on recovery measures to be taken by Environment Canada and other jurisdictions and/or organizations involved in the conservation of the species. Implementation of this strategy is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.

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Additions and Modifications to the Adopted Document

The following sections have been included to address specific requirements of SARA that are not addressed, or which need more detailed comment, in the “Multi-Species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, Including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia” (Part 2 of this document, referred to hereafter as “the provincial recovery strategy”).  In some cases, these sections may also include updated or modified information from that found in the provincial recovery strategy.

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1. Species Status Information

Legal Status: SARA Schedule 1 (Endangered); Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population (2007), Slender Collomia (2005), Stoloniferous Pussytoes (2005). The conservation status for each species is summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. Conservation status (from NatureServe 2011, B.C. Conservation Data Centre 2011, and B.C. Conservation Framework 2011) for Princeton landscape plants Dwarf Woolly-heads, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes.

SpeciesGlobal (G) RankNational (N) RankSub-national (S) RankCOSEWIC DesignationB.C. ListB.C. Conservation Framework
Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population (except for Global Rank)[2]G4T4?*Canada (NNR),
United States (NNR)
Canada: British Columbia (S1); Alberta (S2S3); United States: California (SNR), Idaho (S2), Montana (S1), Nevada (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Utah (SNR), Washington (SNR), Wyoming (S2)Endangered (2006)RedHighest priority: 1, under Goal 3**
Slender CollomiaG4?Canada (N1),
United States (NNR)
Canada: British Columbia (S1); United States: Idaho (SNR), Nevada (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Utah (S2?), Washington (SNR), Wyoming (S3)Endangered (2003)RedHigh priority: 2, under Goal 3
Stoloniferous PussytoesG5?Canada (NNR),
United States (NNR)
Canada: British Columbia (S1); United States: California (S3.2), Idaho (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Washington (SNR), Wyoming (S2)Endangered (2004)RedHighest priority: 1, under Goal 3

* Rank: 1– critically imperiled; 2– imperiled; 3- vulnerable to extirpation or extinction; 4- apparently secure; 5– secure; H– possibly extirpated; NR – status not ranked. Trinomial (T) Rank after a species’ global rank indicates the status of infraspecific taxa (subspecies or varieties).
** The three goals of the B.C. Conservation Framework are: 1. Contribute to global efforts for species and ecosystem conservation; 2. Prevent species and ecosystems from becoming at risk; 3. Maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems

It is estimated that the percent of the global range in Canada is less than 1%, for each species.

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2. Socio-economic Considerations

The provincial recovery strategy contains a short statement on socio-economic considerations. As socio-economic factors are not a consideration in any aspect of the preparation of SARA recovery strategies, (see Section 41(1) of SARA), the Socio-economic Considerations section of the provincial recovery strategy is not considered part of the federal Minister of Environment's recovery strategy for this species. Furthermore, socio-economic factors were excluded from the preparation of all other sections of this federal addition, including Population and Distribution Objectives and Critical Habitat.

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3. Recovery Feasibility

This section replaces the “Recovery Feasibility” section in the provincial recovery strategy.

Recovery of these Princeton landscape plants, including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) is considered technically and biologically feasible based on the following four criteria outlined in the draft SARA Policies (Government of Canada 2009):

1. Individuals of the wildlife species that are capable of reproduction are available now or in the foreseeable future, to sustain the population or improve its abundance.

SpeciesFeasibleRationale
Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain populationYesReproductive individuals are available at existing sites. Dwarf Woolly-heads reproduces either by self-pollination or asexual reproduction and produces abundant seed. This is an annual species; a seed bank facilitates year-to-year persistence at sites, and rebound after disturbance.
Slender CollomiaYesReproductive individuals are available at existing sites. Slender Collomia is probably self-compatible, and self-pollinating. This is an annual species; a seed bank facilitates year-to-year persistence at sites.
Stoloniferous PussytoesYesReproductive individuals are available at existing sites. Pollination is by wind, and seeds are produced sexually by outcrossing. Plants also reproduce vegetatively by producing stolons that terminate in plantlets.

 

2. Sufficient suitable habitat is available to support the species or could be made available through habitat management or restoration.

SpeciesFeasibleRationale
Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population
Slender Collomia
Stoloniferous Pussytoes
YesThere is habitat to support the existing populations in British Columbia, and additional suitable habitat might also be made available through habitat management or restoration.

 

3. The primary threats to the species or its habitat (including threats outside of Canada) can be avoided or mitigated.

SpeciesFeasibleRationale
Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population
Slender Collomia
Stoloniferous Pussytoes
YesPrimary threats can be avoided or mitigated in cooperation with landowners and land-managers, through the actions identified in the provincial recovery strategy.

 

4. Recovery techniques exist to achieve the population and distribution objectives, or can be expected to be developed within a reasonable timeframe.

SpeciesFeasibleRationale
Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population
Slender Collomia
Stoloniferous Pussytoes
YesGeneral recovery methods and techniques to achieve the population and distribution objectives are known. Over the short term, recovery techniques consist primarily of threat mitigation.

 

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4. Population and Distribution Objectives

This section replaces the “Recovery Goal” and “Rationale for the Recovery Goals” sections in the provincial recovery strategy.

Environment Canada has determined the Population and Distribution Objectives for the Princeton landscape plants including Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes to be:

SpeciesPopulation and Distribution Objective
Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain populationTo maintain the distribution, and to maintain or (where feasible) improve the abundance, of the two known extant populations of this species in Canada, as well as any other extant populations that may be identified.
Slender CollomiaTo maintain the distribution, and to maintain or (where feasible) improve the abundance, of the one known extant population of this species in Canada, as well as any other extant populations that may be identified.
Stoloniferous PussytoesTo maintain the distribution, and to maintain or(where feasible) improve the abundance, of the two known extant populations of this species in Canada, as well as any other extant populations that may be identified.

Rationale: 

The abundance and distribution of these species in Canada have only ever been known to include the two extant populations of Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population (2004 survey), one extant population of Slender Collomia (2003 survey), and two extant populations of Stoloniferous Pussytoes (2003, 2008[3], 2011[4] surveys). There is no information to indicate that these species had a more widespread distribution previously; therefore, an objective to actively increase the number of populations is not warranted. However, if additional naturally occurring populations are discovered, these should also be maintained. Because these species were not known to occur in B.C. prior to 1997, long-term trends in population size and area of occupancy are unknown. It is important to note for future monitoring and/or trend estimation purposes, that the population size of annual species (Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia) may characteristically fluctuate between survey years (Bush and Lancaster 2004). Where the best available information and/or long-term monitoring indicates overall population decline, deliberate attempts to improve abundance (e.g., through seeding or change in land use management) are appropriate.

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5. Critical Habitat

5.1 Identification of the Species’ Critical Habitat

This section replaces the “Identification of the species’ critical habitat” section in the provincial recovery strategy.

Section 41 (1)(c) of SARA requires that recovery strategies include an identification of the species’ critical habitat, to the extent possible, as well as examples of activities that are likely to result in its destruction. The provincial recovery strategy noted that critical habitat could not be identified at that time (nor is it required in the provincial process), due to a lack of information about general and site-specific habitat features. This federal document does identify critical habitat to the extent possible for these species; more precise boundaries may be mapped, and additional critical habitat may be added in the future if additional research supports the inclusion of areas beyond those currently identified. A primary consideration in the identification of critical habitat is the amount, quality, and locations of habitat needed to achieve the population and distribution objectives.

Ecological attributes of the Princeton landscape plants are outlined in the provincial recovery strategy and in the COSEWIC status reports for Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain population (COSEWIC 2006), Slender Collomia (COSEWIC 2003), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (COSEWIC 2004):

  1. All plants occur near Princeton, BC, in the Interior Douglas-fir Okanagan very dry hot Biogeoclimatic Zone (IDFxh1); conditions are continental, characterized by warm, dry summers, a fairly long growing season, and cool winters. 
  2. Within this environment, the area where the target plants occur is at the western edge of the distribution of open shrub/grassland; Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) with scattered Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) trees dominate the vegetation of the landscape. The habitat is associated with unusual soils, predominantly characterized as Roany - Solodic Dark Gray. Green and Lord (1979) describe this soil type as: moderately coarse, medium, and fine-textured, moderately alkaline materials that include glacial till and colluvial[5] deposits composed mainly of tertiary sandstones and shales, on steeply-sloping escarpments and valley slopes. Soils are well-drained and contain betonitic clay, which comes from the underlying Princeton sediments. Steep slopes and slow permeability of the underlying materials cause these soils to erode readily.
  3. Within the area described, species- and site-specific microhabitat requirements and ecological associations that have been noted include vernal pools[6], eroding slopes with spring seepage, and dry, eroded sandy ridge slopes:
 
SpeciesMicrohabitatAssociations
Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain populationVernal pools and at edges of ephemeral ponds. Occupied sites have calcareous clay bottoms; the soil is wet in the spring, and dry, hard, and cracked in the summer. It is considered a vernal pool specialist, the tolerance of inundation allows the species to outcompete grassland perennials, while its tolerance of soil desiccation and heat during summer drought allows it to proliferate where aquatic/wetland species cannot.The vernal pools occur in large forest openings and are dominated by species of Popcornflower (Plagiobothrys spp.) and Knotweed (Polygonum polygaloides). Other species that occur near the vernal pools include One-spike Oatgrass (Danthonia unispicata), Tiny Mousetail (Myosurus minimus), Carolina Meadow-foxtail (Alopecurus carolinianus) Lowland Cudweed (Gnaphalium palustre), and Annual Hairgrass (Deschampsia danthonioides).
Slender CollomiaEroded, steeply-sloped, southeast-facing sections of a sandy ridge. The sandy ridge, formed by fluvial processes during the last glaciation, consists of fine-textured sands. The eroded sections of the slopes are sparsely vegetated with about 20% cover.Associated vegetation includes the shrub Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia), as well as a variety of herbs: Timber Milk-vetch (Astragalus miser), Narrow-leaved Collomia (Collomia linearis), Thread-leaved Phacelia (Phacelia linearis), Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria genistifolia ssp. dalmatica), Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata). Scattered Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) trees occur on the ridge.
Stoloniferous PussytoesModerate slopes with southerly aspects. Occupied sites have a distinct hydrology, characterized by ephemeral winter seepage, followed by drying in the early summer. The soil moisture regime is associated with erosion in the form of slow, downslope soil movement.Associated with slope erosion; as a result, occupied sites have exposed mineral soil, and are sparsely vegetated. Associated vegetation includes scattered Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) trees, with Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), Nevada Bluegrass (Poa secunda ssp. juncifolia), One-spike Oatgrass (Danthonia unispicata), Fleabane (Erigeron spp.), Desert-parsley (Lomatium spp.), Thread-leaved Sandwort (Arenaria capillaris)

Critical habitat for Princeton landscape plants Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population (two populations), Slender Collomia (one population), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (two populations) is identified as the area occupied by individual plants or patches of plants, including the associated potential location error from GPS units (ranging from 5 m to 150 m uncertainty distance), plus an additional 50 meters (i.e., critical function zone distance[7]) to encompass immediately adjacent areas. Critical habitat also includes the entire portion of distinct ecological features[8] which are associated with, and are integral to, the production and maintenance of suitable habitat conditions, and which provide ecological context for occupied microhabitats. Distinct ecological features identified as critical habitat for target plants include: drainage for vernal pools (for Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population), and portions of associated slopes (Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes). Where occurrences of individual plants or patches of plants are in close proximity (location uncertainty plus critical function zone boundaries are less than 100 m apart), and/or where they occur in association with the same distinct ecological feature, showing continuous suitable habitat characteristics between them, connective habitat (i.e., the area in-between occurrences) is identified as critical habitat.

Given that existing anthropogenic features (including active roads, houses, and the associated developed urban and residential landscape) do not possess the biophysical attributes required for Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia and Stoloniferous Pussytoes, they are not included as critical habitat, even when they occur within the minimum critical function zone distance (i.e., 50 m) of the plant occurrence. The areas containing critical habitat are shown in Appendix 1. Detailed methods and decision-making processes relating to critical habitat identification are archived in a supporting document.

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5.2 Schedule of Studies to Identify Critical Habitat

This section replaces the “Schedule of studies to identify critical habitat” section in the provincial recovery strategy.

The critical habitat identified for the Princeton landscape plants Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes is sufficient to meet the population and distribution objectives; therefore a schedule of studies is not required.

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5.3 Examples of Activities Likely to Result in Destruction of Critical Habitat

Understanding what constitutes destruction of critical habitat is necessary for the protection and management of critical habitat. Destruction is determined on a case by case basis. Destruction would result if part of the critical habitat were degraded, either permanently or temporarily, such that it would not serve its function when needed by the species. Destruction may result from a single or multiple activities at one point in time or from the cumulative effects of one or more activities over time. The provincial recovery strategy provides a detailed description of limitations and potential threats to the Princeton landscape plants. Activities described in Table 2 include those likely to cause destruction of critical habitat for target species; destructive activities are not limited to those listed.

Table 2. Examples of activities likely to result in destruction of critical habitat for Princeton landscape plants Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes.

ActivityDescription of activity resulting in or contributing to the destruction of critical habitatThreat level
Conversion of natural landscape for human use:
-Residential and industrial development
-Resource extraction (mining)
-Construction of roads
-Hydrological development (drilling of wells, irrigation systems, diverting streams
Conversion of natural landscape results in direct habitat loss by removal, or burial, of extant occurrences or the associated seed bank. Landscape development can also cause indirect loss by disrupting natural ecological processes and dynamics required for perpetuating the availability of critical habitat (e.g., surface erosion, changes in hydrological drainage patterns), and/or pollution of surface waters, to the extent that Princeton landscape plants are unable to persist.High to Moderate
Use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and dirt bikesATVs and dirt bikes cause surface ruts from tires, substratum displacement, and soil compaction. These effects result in direct loss of critical habitat by removal, or burial, of extant occurrences or the associated seed bank. This activity can also cause indirect loss by disrupting natural ecological processes required for perpetuating the availability of critical habitat (e.g., surface erosion, changes in hydrological drainage patterns) to the extent that Princeton landscape plants are unable to persist.High to Moderate
Inappropriate levels[9] of livestock grazingIntense grazing pressure causes soil and vegetation disturbance and/or removal, substratum displacement, soil compaction, and excessive deposition of feces. These effects result in direct loss of critical habitat by removal, or burial, of extant occurrences or the associated seed bank. Intense grazing can also cause indirect loss by disrupting natural ecological processes and dynamics required for perpetuating the availability of critical habitat (e.g., surface erosion, changes in hydrological drainage patterns), and pollution of surface waters, to the extent that Princeton landscape plants are unable to persist.Moderate
Deliberate introduction of alien invasive plants, or efforts to control existing invasive speciesAlien invasive species cause direct reduction of habitat available for Princeton landscape plants, and indirect effects, e.g., alteration of shade, water, and nutrients available to exclude niche range of Princeton landscape plants. Efforts to control invasive plants through mechanical or chemical means (non-specific herbicides) can likewise result in habitat alteration such that it is no longer suitable for Princeton landscape plants.Low

Activities most likely to result in destruction of critical habitat include habitat loss through development, resource extraction, or recreational activities, inappropriate levels of grazing, and weed control.

Conversion of the natural landscape for human use within the Princeton landscape may result in loss of critical habitat. Economically important coal bed methane resources underlie the Princeton critical habitat areas identified for Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes. Extraction activities, if undertaken, would be extremely destructive to populations, both directly and also indirectly, for example by burial under reclamation disposal of “drill mud”, and by disrupting groundwater hydrology, and polluting surface water. Other development activities, such as for residence, road-building, irrigation, or recreation, may likewise damage critical habitat by damaging existing populations and/or disrupting natural ecological processes and dynamics required for the species to persist in the landscape. Seasonally wet or moist microsites (i.e., vernal pools required by the species) are most at risk from ATV and bicycle damage. Soil disturbance and rutting can alter the soil moisture regime or alter the pattern of erosion, resulting in alteration (and thereby loss) of critical habitat.

Livestock use is ongoing within critical habitat areas identified. Cattle grazing can cause destruction of critical habitat by soil compaction, and other damaging physical alterations of habitats by trampling, and pollution or burial by feces. However, the effects of current cattle grazing regimes on existing populations is currently unknown and/or inconclusive, owing to a lack of population trend data, and knowledge of historical use of these properties. It is likely that multiple years of inappropriately intensive livestock use would be detrimental by causing permanent destruction of habitat required by plants and their propagules (including seed bank conditions, for annual plants) such that populations are unable to persist or recover within the landscape.

Invasive alien species represent a potential threat to these populations of species at risk. Many noxious weeds and invasive alien species occur in the area, e.g., Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria genistifolia ssp.dalmatica), Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and the proliferation of these species can degrade habitat through competitive exclusion. Some weed control substances that kill noxious weeks and alien invasive plants may also destroy habitat for populations of species at risk, by making conditions unsuitable for their survival.

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6. Statement on Action Plans

This section replaces the “Statement on Action Plans” section in the provincial recovery strategy.

One or more action plans for Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry by 2018.

7. 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.

The recovery actions proposed are not expected to negatively affect any other species. Any efforts to conserve Princeton landscape plants Dwarf Woolly-heads – Southern Mountain population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes are anticipated to have neutral effects or indirectly benefit other species in the area. The target Princeton landscape plants occur in an ecologically unique area, where several provincially rare plant species are known to occur: Carolina Meadow-foxtail (Alopecurus carolinianus), Close-flowered Knotweed (Polygonum polygaloides ssp. confertiflorum), Cusick’s Paintbrush (Castilleja cusickii), Dark Lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium atrovirens), Dwarf Groundsmoke (Gayophytum humile), Kellogg’s Knotweed (Polygonum polygaloides ssp. kellogii), Oniongrass (Melica bulbosa var. bulbosa), and Valley Sedge (Carex vallicola var. vallicola). In his 2008 survey[10], Curtis Björk noted additional provincially rare plant species, in association with one of the Stoloniferous Pussytoes sites: Hairy-stemmed Willowherb (Epilobium mirabile), Harkness’ Linanthus (Leptosiphon harknessii), Columbia Lewisia (Lewisia columbiana var. columbiana), Idaho Saxifrage (Micranthes idahoensis), and Short-flowered Monkey-flower (Mimulus breviflorus).

In acknowledgement of the high potential for shared habitat among local rare species, large-scale management actions, such as invasive species removal or the use of herbicides, should be planned and implemented carefully. All on-site activities (surveys, research, and management), to aid recovery may pose a threat to co-occurring species (e.g., via trampling, increased herbivory, or inadvertent dispersal of alien species during disposal), unless care is taken to avoid damage.

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8. References

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2011. BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer. B.C. Minist. of Environ. Victoria, B.C. (Accessed July 7, 2011).

B.C. Conservation Framework. 2011. Conservation Framework Summary, for each of: Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus, Collomia tenella, and Antennaria flagellaris. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Victoria, B.C. (Accessed July 7, 2011).

Bush, D., and J. Lancaster. 2004. Rare annual plants – problems with surveys and assessments. Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference, February 28, 2004.

COSEWIC. 2006. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the dwarf woolly-heads Psilocarphus brevissimus Southern Mountain Population and Prairie Population, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 24 pp.

COSEWIC. 2004. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the stoloniferous pussytoes Antennaria flagellaris in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 18 pp.

COSEWIC. 2003. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the slender collomia Collomia tenella in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 14 pp.

Government of Canada. 2009. Species at Risk Act Policies, Overarching Policy Framework [Draft]. Species at Risk Act Policy and Guidelines Series. Environment Canada. Ottawa. 38 pp.

Green, A.J. and T.M. Lord (1979). Soils of the Princeton area of British Columbia (Map Sheet 92 H/SE). Report No. 14, British Columbia Soil Survey. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, Minister of Supply and Services Canada.

NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. (Accessed: July 7, 2011).

Southern Interior Rare Plants Implementation Group. 2008. Multi-species recovery strategy for the Princeton Landscape, including dwarf woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus), slender collomia (Collomia tenella), and stoloniferous pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in British Columbia. Prepared for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC. 28 pp.

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Footnotes – Part 1

1 In Canada, Dwarf Woolly-heads is known from only the Similkameen Valley south of Princeton in south-central British Columbia (Southern Mountain population), and from southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan (Prairie population). The Southern Mountain population (BC) and the Prairie population (AB, SK) are separated by a distance of over 500 km and several mountain ranges, and are treated as different designatable units under SARA. Only the Southern Mountain population of Dwarf Woolly-heads is discussed in the B.C. recovery strategy. Note that Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimusis the only variety of the species in Canada, and (in contrast with provincial treatment) it is referred to simply as Psilocarphus brevissimus in federal documents and databases.

2 The Global (G) Rank reported on NatureServe (2011) for Dwarf Woolly-heads describes the global status of Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus, which includes both the Southern Mountain population and the Prairie population in Canada.

3 Björk, C. 2008. Noteworthy Vascular Plants from the Cascade Lee, British Columbia. Botanical Electronic News. No. 401. November 25, 2008.

4 One of the two Stoloniferous Pussytoes populations was confirmed and re-surveyed June 7, 2011: observers Kella Sadler (Environment Canada), Andrew Robinson (Environment Canada), Terry McIntosh (consultant), Orville Dyer (B.C. Ministry of Natural Resource Operations), Kirk Safford (B.C. Ministry of Environment)

5 Colluvial material comprises sediments, broken rock fragments and debris which, as a consequence of erosion and gravity, fall down-slope and accumulate.

6 Vernal pools are small, temporary pools that retain water on a seasonal basis. They are dry for part of the year, and generally at peak depth in spring, after water has collected from winter rains or snowmelt.

7 Critical function zone distance has been defined as the threshold habitat fragment size required for maintaining constituent microhabitat properties for a species (e.g., critical light, moisture, humidity levels necessary for survival). Existing research provides a logical basis for suggesting a minimum critical function zone distance of 50 m is identified as critical habitat for all rare plant species occurrences.

8 “Distinct” ecological, or landscape features are here referred to as those that are distinguishable at a landscape scale (through use of detailed ecosystem mapping or aerial photos), which, at that scale, appear as ecologically contiguous features with relatively distinct boundaries (e.g., cliffs, banks, or slopes, drainage basins, seepage plateaus, or distinct vegetation assemblages), and which comprise the context for a species occurrence.

9 Livestock grazing is (and has been, historically) common in the habitats where most of the Princeton landscape plant populations are found. It is possible that some level of grazing may be necessary for maintaining the early-successional habitats critical for the persistence of Princeton landscape plants, such that complete livestock exclusion may be inappropriate. Additional research is required to determine the relationship between the intensity of livestock use, and long-term population trends.

10 Björk, C. 2008. Noteworthy Vascular Plants from the Cascade Lee, British Columbia. Botanical Electronic News. No. 401. November 25, 2008.

Part 1