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Recovery Strategy for the False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis) in Canada [Proposed]

Species at Risk Act
Recovery Strategy Series

False Hop Sedge

Image of False Hop Sedge © Matthew Wild, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Table of Contents

Document Information

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Document Information

Recommended citation:

Environment Canada. 2013. Recovery Strategy for the False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. v + 23 pp.

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: © Matthew Wild, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Également disponible en français sous le titre :
« Programme de rétablissement du carex faux-lupulina (Carex lupuliformis) 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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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 (SARA) (S.C. 2002, c. 29), 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 Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the False Hop Sedge and has developed this strategy, as per section 37 of SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation with the governments of Ontario (Ministry of Natural Resources) and Quebec (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec).

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of the 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 False Hop Sedge 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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Acknowledgments

This recovery strategy was revised by Vincent Carignan and Matthew Wild (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - Quebec Region) based on a draft version by Nicole Lavoie (consulting botanist) and advice from members of the advisory committee for the recovery of False Hop Sedge in Canada [Vincent Carignan, Patricia Désilets (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec), Kate MacIntyre and Allen Woodliffe (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) and Andrée Nault (Scientific Research Division of the Montréal Biodôme)].

This recovery strategy also benefited from comments by Alain Branchaud and Karine Picard (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - Quebec Region); Kate Hayes (formerly with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - Ontario Region), Kathy St. Laurent, Angela Darwin, Madeline Austen, Graham Bryan, Lesley Dunn and Dalia Al-Ali (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - Ontario Region), Marie-José Ribeyron and Tanys Uhmann (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - National Capital Region); Jacques Labrecque, Nadia Cavallin, Jacques Cayouette, Guy Jolicoeur, and Line Couillard (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec); Jacinthe Letendre, Bree Walpole, Eric Snyder, and Michael J. Oldham (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), Stéphanie Pellerin (Institut de recherche en biologie végétale) as well as Diane Amirault-Langlais and Marjorie Mercure (formerly with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service - Quebec Region).

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Executive Summary

False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis) is an herbaceous perennial in the sedge family that grows in tufts on the margins of wetlands, including swamps, marshes, floodplains and vernal pools. The species was evaluated as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2000, and listed as endangered on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2003.

The species has a sporadic distribution in eastern North America and is at the northern limit of its range in Canada, occurring solely in the southernmost part of Ontario and Quebec. There are 20 known populations, including 12 in which naturally-occurring individuals have been detected since 2009. Transplantations have been conducted at four populations and reintroductions have taken place in two formerly extirpated populations. In 2009–2010, there were approximately 361 tufts of False Hop Sedge in Canada, half of which were the result of reintroduction or transplantation efforts. Following a severe flooding event in Quebec during the spring of 2011, only two naturally-occurring tufts remained in that province.

The main threats to False Hop Sedge have been identified as alteration of the water regime, closure of the vegetation, invasive alien plant species, recreational and landowner activities, parasites, garbage deposition and residential development. It should also be noted that a limited number of extant populations with low abundance distributed within a restricted geographic region poses a significant challenge for the long-term persistence of the species in Canada.

The recovery of False Hop Sedge is considered technically and biologically feasible.
The population and distribution objective is to maintain or, where feasible, increase the population size and the area of occupancy of False Hop Sedge in Canada. The broad strategies to be taken to address the threats to the survival and recovery of the species are presented in the section on Strategic Direction for Recovery.

The critical habitat of False Hop Sedge in Canada is partially identified in this recovery strategy. It corresponds to the suitable habitat at 13 of the 20 locations where populations of the species are found and described, including all of the populations that have benefitted from reintroduction or transplantation efforts or within which the existence of suitable habitat has been recently confirmed. A schedule of studies is proposed to complete the identification of the critical habitat at the Lambeth, Amherstburg and Galt locations in Ontario as well as at the Oka location in Quebec.

One or more action plans will be developed for False Hop Sedge within five years after the recovery strategy is posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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Summary of Recovery Feasibility

Under section 41(1) of SARA, the competent minister must determine whether the recovery of the listed wildlife species is technically and biologically feasible. On the basis of the criteria established in the draft SARA Policies (Government of Canada, 2009), recovery of False Hop Sedge is considered biologically and technically feasible, since the responses to the following statements are “yes” or “unknown”:

  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.

    Yes. Inventories conducted since 2005 have located new False Hop Sedge populations and seed and seedling production has recently been observed at twelve extant populations in Canada. Seedlings are currently being produced ex situ in Quebec and Ontario.

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

    Yes. In Ontario, suitable habitat is found at least at 7 of the 9 locations that are currently occupied by populations and more than 35 wetlands showing similarities to habitats supporting extant populations have been identified elsewhere in the province. In Quebec, nine potential wetlands have been identified along the Ottawa River and three along the Richelieu River (Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin, 2006). These wetlands are located near extant or historical populations along a 10-km stretch of the Ottawa River and a 20-km stretch of the Richelieu River. 

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

    Yes. The threats with the highest level of concern (e.g. canopy closure, alteration of water regime) can be avoided or mitigated through recovery activities such as habitat protection and stewardship. It should also be noted that a limited number of populations (14) with low abundance (<400 individuals total) distributed within a restricted geographic region poses a significant challenge for the long-term persistence of the species.

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

    Yes. Although habitat restoration (e.g. clearing competing vegetation) and reintroduction or transplantation of False Hop Sedge individuals have been successfully carried out in the field (Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin, 2006, Letendre et al., 2007), the outcome of such efforts can be moderated by the fact that the species is at the northern limit of its range in Canada. In 2010, the survival of transplanted individuals ranged from 17 to 82% depending on the population, and the survival of seed-producing individuals ranged from 15 to 60% (COSEWIC, 2011).

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Introduction