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Recovery Strategy for the Maritime Ringlet (Coenonympha nipisiquit) in Canada [PROPOSED] – 2011

Species at Risk Act
Recovery Strategy Series

Table of Contents

Document Information


Document Information

Recovery Strategy for the Maritime Ringlet (Coenonympha nipisiquit) in Canada [PROPOSED] – 2011

Cover of the publication: Recovery Strategy for the Maritime Ringlet (Coenonympha nipisiquit) in Canada [PROPOSED] – 2011

Maritime Ringlet

Photo of the Marine Ringlet.

Recommended citation:

Environment Canada. 2011. Recovery Strategy for the Maritime Ringlet (Coenonympha nipisiquit) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. v + 25 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 (SAR) Public Registry.

Cover illustration: © Sylvain Paradis, Parks Canada Agency

Également disponible en français sous le titre
« Programme de rétablissement du satyre fauve des Maritimes (Coenonympha nipisiquit) au Canada [Proposition] »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2011. 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 (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 Minister of the Environment and the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency are the competent ministers for the recovery of the Maritime Ringlet, a species designated as Endangered is Schedule 1 of SARA, and have prepared this strategy, as per section 37 of SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation with the Governments of Québec and New Brunswick.

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, the Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Maritime Ringlet 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, the Parks Canada Agency, 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

Reginald P. Webster (consultant, entomologist) wrote the first draft of the recovery strategy. Pascal Giasson, Gilles Godin, and Maureen Toner (New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Branch) provided maps and reports pertaining to the recovery strategy and action plan in New Brunswick. Alain Gouge (Société de conservation des milieux humides du Québec) and Sylvain Paradis (Parks Canada Agency) provided reports on surveys of the Maritime Ringlet in Québec. Pascal Giasson, Mark McGarrigle, Gilles Godin, Alain Gouge, Benoît Jobin (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Québec region), Sylvain Paradis and Diane Amirault–Langlais (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Atlantic region) as well as the Maritime Ringlet recovery team provided input for the critical review of this document.  Marie–José Ribeyron (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – National Capital region), Alain Branchaud, Karine Picard, Matthew Wild, Martine Benoit and Vincent Carignan (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Québec region) are also thanked for finalizing this recovery strategy.

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Executive Summary

The Maritime Ringlet (Coenonympha nipisiquit) is a small (wing span 32–36 mm) tan to orange brown–coloured butterfly that is one of only two butterflies in Canada with a life cycle entirely limited to a salt marsh habitat. It is listed as Endangered under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act since 2003.

The population of the Maritime Ringlet is estimated at 56 000 to 66 000 individuals. It is endemic to Canada, with an extremely restricted distribution within a small area near Chaleur Bay in northern New Brunswick (six sites, two of which are the result of introductions) and the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec (four sites).  

The main threats to the species are waterfront development, marsh infilling, residential pesticides and sewage as well as industrial effluents. The limited and fragmented distribution also results in an inherently high probability of extirpation at any given site.

The recovery of the Maritime Ringlet is deemed technically and biologically feasible. The population and distribution objectives are to maintain the Maritime Ringlet populations at all permanently occupied sites.  Broad strategies and approaches to achieve these objectives are presented in the Strategic direction for recovery section.

Critical habitat for the Maritime Ringlet is identified in this recovery strategy at nine of the 10 sites where permanent populations of the species are currently located (three sites in Québec, six sites in New Brunswick), including the two sites in New Brunswick where introduction efforts have been performed.

One or more action plans detailing activities for the implementation of this recovery strategy will be developed within five years of posting the final strategy on the SAR Public Registry.

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Recovery Feasibility Summary

The recovery of the Maritime Ringlet is deemed technically and biologically feasible based on SARA policies that establish four criteria on which to base the assessment (Environment Canada, 2009). Correspondingly, when the responses to the four criteria listed below are either “yes” or “unknown”, the competent ministers develop a recovery strategy, in accordance with section 41 (1) of SARA:

  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. Individuals capable of reproduction are currently found in nine populations (including two introduced populations) in New Brunswick and Québec.

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

    Yes. Sufficient habitat is available to continue to support the nine known populations. Other sites with apparently suitable habitat are also available that could potentially be used by the species.

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

    Yes. Significant threats to the population can be mitigated through recovery actions (primarily through site management and protection, stewardship and education).

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

    Yes. Recovery techniques exist and they have been demonstrated to be effective.

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1.  Cosewic Species Assessment Information

Date of Assessment: April 2009

Common Name (population): Maritime Ringlet

Scientific Name: Coenonympha nipisiquit

COSEWIC Status: Endangered

Reason for Designation: Globally, this species of Satyr butterfly is confined to 10 salt marshes in the small region of Chaleur Bay and Gaspésie. Only three populations are large enough for long term survival to be probable. All populations are expected to experience habitat loss due to both sea level rise and increased storm frequency. The New Brunswick populations are also subject to threats associated with increased urban development and the collection of host plants.

Canadian Occurrence: QC, NB

COSEWIC Status History: Designated Endangered in April 1997. Status re–examined and confirmed in May 2000 and in April 2009.

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2.  Species Status Information

The Maritime Ringlet is only found in Canada where it is listed as Endangered under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) (L.C. 2002, ch. 29) since 2003.  It is also listed as Endangered under the New Brunswick Endangered Species Act (S.N.B. 1996, c. E–9.101) and as Threatened under the Québec Act respecting threatened or vulnerable species (L.R.Q. c. E–12.01).

NatureServe (2010) attributed the global conservation rank of G1 (Critically Imperiled) for this species, the national rank of N1 (Critically Imperiled) in Canada as well as a subnational rank of S1 (Critically Imperiled) in New Brunswick and Québec. The species has not been evaluated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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3.  Species Information

3.1  Species Description

The Maritime Ringlet is a small (wing span 32–36 mm) tan to orange brown–coloured butterfly with an eye–spot on the underside of the forewing of most females and about 30% of the males (COSEWIC, 2009).  This insect is a member of the Family Nymphalidae (Brush–footed butterflies) and Subfamily Satyrinae (Satyrs).  This species is one of only two butterflies in Canada with a life cycle almost entirely limited to a salt marsh habitat.

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3.2  Population and Distribution

The Maritime Ringlet has an extremely restricted global distribution within a small area of Chaleur Bay in northern New Brunswick and the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec (Figure 1).

In Québec, the species has been reported at four sites: 1) the estuary of the Rivière Nouvelle near Nouvelle (Dion, 1995; Gouge, 2002, 2003); 2) Forillon National Park (Penouille) (Handfield, 1999; Gouge, 2003; Gilbert, 2005); 3) Saint–Omer; and 4) Saint–Siméon–de–Bonaventure.

In New Brunswick, the Maritime Ringlet is known from six locations: four natural sites within Nepisiguit Bay at Peters River (Beresford), Daly Point, Carron Point, and Bass River (Webster, 1997; New Brunswick Maritime Ringlet Recovery Team, 2005); and two introduced populations at Bas Caraquet and Rivière du Nord, about 45 km northeast of Bathurst (Webster, 2002).

The populations of the Maritime Ringlet in New Brunswick and Québec are separated by 70 to 160 km over the open waters of the Chaleur Bay and gene flow between them is unlikely. However, within each province the populations are generally clustered (Figure 1). This distribution results in a reduced probability of long–term persistence due to: 1) reduced genetic variability as a result of limited or lack of exchange of individuals; and 2) low potential for recolonization of sites that may be lost.

The Maritime Ringlet generally occurs in relatively dense populations at each site. The population size in New Brunswick is probably between 30,000 and 40,000 adults (Webster, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001) with the largest population occurring in the estuary of the Peters River in Beresford and Bathurst (estimate of 27,000 adults in a 156.4 ha marsh complex). Population estimates are available for three sites in Québec with the population near Nouvelle estimated at 26,000 adults within a 101 ha marsh complex. Only a few adults have been observed at each of the three other known sites in the province. No information is available on the former distribution of this species nor on its population trends.

Figure 1.  Location of Maritime Ringlet populations (black dots).

Figure 1 displays the locations of Maritime Ringlet populations within a small area of Chaleur Bay in northern New Brunswick and the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec.

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3.3  Needs of the Maritime Ringlet

The entire life cycle takes place within salt marshes with occasional use of neighbouring habitats, mainly for flower visitation (Webster, 1995, 1998; Sei and Porter, 2003). The primary host plant for the caterpillars is Salt–meadow Grass (Spartina patens) and much of the life–cycle of this insect is dependent on this common salt marsh plant.  Other common plants in sections of the salt marsh inhabited by this butterfly are Salt–water Cord Grass (Spartina alterniflora), Seaside Plantain (Plantago maritima), Sea Milkwort (Glaux maritima), Sea Lavender (Limonium carolinianum), Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), and Eged’s Silverweed (Argentina egedii). Adult densities and survivorship show a strong positive association with the abundance of their two principal resources, Salt–meadow Grass and Sea Lavender in all the salt marshes where this species occurs (Sei and Porter, 2003).

The salt marsh community is usually bordered either by sand dunes of varying sizes, fresh water marshes or forest communities with an adjacent and often narrow zone of marsh edge vegetation that consists of plant species more typical of drier (non–saline inundated) upland habitats. Tidal streams and ponds surrounded by dense stands of Salt–water Cord Grass are common throughout most of these salt marshes.

The Maritime Ringlet is dependent on the natural tidal regime for maintaining the salt marsh ecosystem where it occurs. Nearly all the salt marshes inhabited by the Maritime Ringlet are in estuaries or are associated with river systems flowing into harbours.

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4.  Threats

4.1  Threat assessment

Table 1. Treat assessment table.
ThreatLevel of Concern1ExtentOccurrenceFrequencySeverity2Causal Certainty3
Habitat loss and degradation
Waterfront developmentHighLocalizedImminent / Anticipated4RecurrentHighMedium
Marsh infillingHighLocalizedCurrent / UnknownRecurrentHighMedium
Recreational vehiclesMediumLocalizedAnticipatedRecurrentLowLow
Pollution
Residential pesticidesHighLocalizedImminent / AnticipatedRecurrentHighMedium
Residential sewageHighLocalizedImminent / AnticipatedRecurrentHighMedium
Industrial effluentHighLocalizedImminent / UnknownRecurrentHighMedium
Insect control programsLowLocalizedUnknownUnknownMediumUnknown
Oil spillsMediumLocalizedAnticipated / UnknownRecurrentMediumLow
Change in the ecological dynamic or natural processes
Picking of Sea LavenderLowRange–wideUnknownUnknownLowLow
Specimen collectionLowUnknownAnticipatedUnknownMediumLow
Climate and meteorological events
Climate changeLowLocalizedHistoric / AnticipatedUnknownHighMedium

1 Level of Concern: signifies that managing the threat is of (high, medium or low) concern for the recovery of the species, consistent with the population and distribution objectives. This criterion considers the assessment of all the information in the table).
2 Severity: reflects the population–level effect (High: very large population–level effect, Moderate, Low, Unknown).
3 Causal certainty: reflects the degree of evidence that is known for the threat (High: available evidence strongly links the threat to stresses on population viability; Medium: there is a correlation between the threat and population viability e.g. expert opinion; Low: the threat is assumed or plausible).
4 Each threat is evaluated at the local level (each site) and at the range wide level. When two items are present in a box, this means that the threat level if not the same for both scales (Local scale / Range wide scale).

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4.2  Description of Threats

Threats are listed in order of decreasing level of concern.

Waterfront Development

Forest and beach front properties adjacent to salt marshes are prime sites for cottages and houses. Loss of dune and forest habitat adjacent to salt marshes may have a detrimental impact on associated salt marshes as it could affect nutrient cycling between these habitats (COSEWIC, 2009). Waterfront development also increases habitat fragmentation. Continued development may eliminate corridors for dispersal amplifying the natural levels of fragmentation and isolation. This threat is greatest for populations near Bathurst Harbour and the estuary of the Peters River in New Brunswick. Currently, there is little development in or near salt marshes occupied by the Maritime Ringlet in Québec and thus this threat is minimal in this region.

Marsh Infilling

The largest populations in New Brunswick are located within urban areas. The site in the estuary of the Peters River is owned by numerous landowners and is under constant development pressure (COSEWIC, 2009). Small–scale infilling has occurred within this marsh complex resulting in the direct loss of Maritime Ringlet habitat. This threat is minimal at sites in Québec.

Residential Pesticides

Pesticide run–off into the estuary from adjacent private properties may impact the species or its habitat by altering plant communities and available food sources (COSEWIC, 2009). This potential threat is related in large part to urban development and is most significant for salt marshes of the estuary of the Peters River where there are 315 land owners. A province–wide lawn care pesticide ban came into effect in the fall of 2009. This threat is currently minimal in Québec.

Residential Sewage

The potential threat of sewage pollution is directly related to urban development (COSEWIC, 2009). The greatest threats will be for populations near Bathurst Harbour and the estuary of the Peters River in New Brunswick. Surfactants (wetting agents), such as detergents or oils and increased nutrient levels entering the estuaries from faulty septic systems or sewage treatment system failures may have negative impacts on the Maritime Ringlet or its habitat. Surfactants in the water flooding the marshes during the tide cycle may increase mortality rates of all life stages of the Maritime Ringlet, especially adults which become wet and incapable of flight. Increased nutrient levels entering the estuaries may have impacts on the salt marsh plant communities. As, there is little development in or near salt marshes occupied by the Maritime Ringlet in Québec, this threat is minimal in this region.

Industrial Effluents

A number of industries are located in Bathurst Harbour where two populations of the Maritime Ringlet exist. Industrial effluents containing surfactants or toxic chemicals entering Bathurst Harbour may have a negative impact on the Maritime Ringlet or its habitat (COSEWIC, 2009). Pollution from incoming streams and residual contamination from past industrial activities may affect the Maritime Ringlet or its habitat. This threat has been reduced following the closing of the Smurfit–Stone mill in Bathurst. This threat is minimal at sites in Québec.

Recreational Vehicles

Use of recreational vehicles on salt marshes can cause significant habitat degradation (erosion and changes in plant communities) and could cause direct mortality of immature stages and adults (COSEWIC, 2009).

Oil Spills

An oil spill (or other toxic chemicals) would directly impact a Maritime Ringlet population by causing high mortality of all life stages exposed to the spill and would likely, at least temporarily, destroy the plant community of the salt marsh, should the spill enter the estuary or harbour adjacent to a population (COSEWIC, 2009). Although the potential impact on a population would be catastrophic, the probability of occurrence at a given locality is very low.

Picking of Sea Lavender

Commercial picking of Sea Lavender for use in dried flower arrangements is a possible but minor potential threat to the Maritime Ringlet (COSEWIC, 2009). However, no commercial operations are currently under way. Picking of Sea Lavender has been observed in the marsh at Saint–Omer, Québec (S. Paradis, pers. obs.), although removal of small quantities of material for personal use should have little impact on the species.

Insect Control Programs

Insecticide use to control mosquitoes or other insects in salt marshes adjacent to developed areas is a potential threat to the Maritime Ringlet (COSEWIC, 2009). The biological control agent Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis is currently in use by some municipalities in New Brunswick (New Brunswick Maritime Ringlet Recovery Team, 2005). At present, little data is available on the impact that any of the current mosquito control agents might have on the life stages of the Maritime Ringlet.

Specimen Collection

Small populations like that at Forillon National Park could be negatively impacted by illegal specimen collection (COSEWIC, 2009).

Climate change

Projected scenarios of climate change foresee an increase in sea level and in the incidence of catastrophic natural events (COSEWIC, 2009). Higher sea level and increased incidence of severe storms may induce shoreline erosion which may alter the ecological dynamics of salt marshes and lead to severe degradation. Modified flooding regimes may have a significant impact on the plant community and all life stages of the Maritime Ringlet. Ice scouring of the substrate can also occur during winter storms in salt marshes that are not protected by barrier beaches. This is a threat to only a portion of the population of this species (Daly Point and Carron Point, NB). These kinds of events appear to be rare and episodic in nature. In addition, the interplay between the flow patterns of incoming streams and the tide cycle are critical for maintaining the salt marsh community, and thus these streams are important for the survival of the Maritime Ringlet.

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5.  Population and Distribution Objectives

The population and distribution objectives are to maintain Maritime Ringlet populations at all permanently occupied sites. The primary factor for listing the Maritime Ringlet as Endangered was its very limited and fragmented geographic distribution. Since most sites occupied by this species are largely intact and undeveloped and individuals reproduce successfully, these objectives should assure the long term persistence of the species.

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6.  Broad Strategies and General Approaches to Meet Objectives

6.1  Actions Already Completed or Currently Underway

The New Brunswick Maritime Ringlet Recovery Strategy and Action Plan have been completed (New Brunswick Maritime Ringlet Recovery Team, 2005). This document was used as a baseline to develop the general approaches to meet recovery objectives outlined in the current recovery strategy.

Surveys and Population estimates

Surveys and population estimates have been completed in most of the known salt marshes occupied by the butterfly in New Brunswick and Québec. A monitoring protocol for known New Brunswick sites has been developed (New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, 2007) and monitoring efforts have been ongoing since 2002.

Habitat mapping

Detailed vegetation maps have been completed for most occupied sites in New Brunswick and Québec (Webster, 1995, 1996, 2001; Gilbert, 2005, 2008).

Identification of pollution sources

Potential sources of pollutants have been identified in New Brunswick. Preliminary testing for surfactants (wetting agents), sewage and pesticides was done in the Peters River marsh in 2005.

Protection

Stewardship programs have been initiated in New Brunswick and Québec. A total of 86 ha of habitat (coastal and salt marsh) have been acquired at the Nouvelle site in Québec by the Société de conservation des milieux humides du Québec.

Research

Considerable research on the biology and ecology of the Maritime Ringlet has been done in New Brunswick. Preliminary genetic studies have been conducted to characterize the genetic makeup of the native populations of the Maritime Ringlet in New Brunswick and Québec (Sei and Porter, 2007).

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6.2  Strategic Direction for Recovery

Table 2. Recovery planning table.
Threat or LimitationBroad Strategy to RecoveryPriorityGeneral Description of Research and Management Approaches
AllEncourage conservation and stewardship initiatives for the species and its habitatHigh
  • Generate support for recovery actions, including habitat protection and binding stewardship agreements.
  • Promote consistent enforcement and implementation of existing protection measures and regulations.
AllReduce the main treats to the species and its habitatHigh
  • Identify and mitigate the impact of threats to populations and habitats at all sites.
  • Support and expand existing communication and awareness strategies.
Knowledge gapsMonitor and survey populations and habitatHigh
  • Conduct regular monitoring of populations at all known sites.
  • Assess population numbers and habitat changes at all known sites.
  • Survey potential sites.
Knowledge gapsAcquire the necessary knowledge on the species and its habitatMedium
  • Clarify the population dynamics of each of the known populations of the Maritime Ringlet, including genetic make–up.

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6.3  Narrative to Support the Recovery Planning Table

Stewardship programs involving landowners, municipalities, federal and provincial governments, local conservation groups and industry are an essential element for recovering this species. Several stewardship and education initiatives already exist and should be supported. Education regarding the negative impacts of infilling, the use of pesticides on residential lawns, and the use of all–terrain vehicles (ATVs) in salt marshes, should help to reduce these threats.

A comprehensive assessment of Maritime Ringlet populations and its habitat is necessary to detect changes (abundance, sex–ratios, genetic make–up, plant structure and composition, etc.) over time and assess if recovery efforts are working. Additional salt marshes in New Brunswick and Québec, and possibly in Prince Edward Island, should be assessed and surveys initiated to determine their suitability for supporting other undocumented Maritime Ringlet populations.

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7.  Critical Habitat

7.1  Identification of the Species’ Critical Habitat

Critical habitat for the Maritime Ringlet is identified in this recovery strategy at nine of the 10 sites where populations of this species are currently known, including the two sites in New Brunswick where introduction efforts have been undertaken. The site at Saint–Siméon–de–Bonaventure (Québec) does not qualify as critical habitat as only a few individuals have been observed at this location and were likely strays from the nearby Nouvelle or Saint–Omer sites.

Critical habitat is identified at each of the nine sites as the area of suitable salt marsh habitat. Suitable salt marsh habitats bio–physical attributes are as follow:

  • located within estuaries or harbours fed by one or more river and stream systems;
  • contain a mosaic of plants used as hosts for oviposition and larval development (Salt–meadow Grass) as well as nectar sources for adults (Salt–water Cord Grass, Seaside Plantain, Sea Milkwort, Sea Lavender, Seaside Goldenrod, and Eged’s Silverweed);
  • separated from adjacent sand dunes, fresh water marshes or forests by a narrow zone of marsh edge vegetation more typical of drier upland habitats, including Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Sow–thistle (Sonchus sp.), Glassworts (Salicornia spp.), Sweet gale (Myrica gale).

As freshwater marshes occur adjacent to many sections of salt marshes occupied by the Maritime Ringlet, delineation was done using air photo interpretation and ground–truthing (based on plant species composition) (Gouge, 2002; Gilbert, 2005, 2008; Webster, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001). The results of these studies were used to set the boundaries of sites containing suitable habitat. Depending on vegetation composition and disturbances, either the entire marsh is identified as a site containing critical habitat or only portions. Although adults are sometimes observed in uplands adjacent to an occupied habitat, the limits of critical habitat within a site are established as the area of transition from salt marsh to freshwater marsh habitats (based on plant species composition). Tables and figures indicating the sites of Maritime Ringlet critical habitat can be found in Appendix A.

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7.2  Activities Likely to Result in the Destruction of Critical Habitat

Anthropogenic activities that are likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat of the Maritime Ringlet include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

1) Changes in the flooding regime could cause changes in the plant community of the salt marshes with a decrease or elimination of important adult and larval resources:

  • construction of dams or other water control structures on river and stream systems associated with the estuaries or harbours of occupied salt marshes.

2) Chemical input could cause changes in the plant communities of the salt marshes with a decrease or elimination of important adult and larval resources :

  • application of residential pesticides or fertilizers resulting in surface or subsurface run–off into salt marsh habitat;
  • poorly–maintained or ineffective septic systems in nearby coastal zones resulting in influx of nutrients from residential sewage into salt marsh habitat.

3) Activities causing permanent physical loss of habitat may lead to extirpation of some populations and prevent potential dispersal among site (increased fragmentation and isolation of populations):

  • infilling of marsh habitat for waterfront development (residential, recreational, docks, etc.);
  • draining salt marsh for conversion to pasture;
  • dyking or installing water control structures to create a permanently flooded wetland.

4) Soil compaction can affect normal root function, seedling recruitment, and natural hydrologic patterns. This may prevent plant establishment therefore causing permanent physical loss of habitat.

  • ATV or other vehicule use
  • Trampling by repeated passage by foot

5) Disturbance or modification of vegetation can reduce availability of resources important to the species.

  • Commercial picking or large–scale removal of Sea Lavender for dried flower arrangements would eliminate or reduce availability of the preferred plant species as a nectar resource. Other plant species are also used (Seaside Goldenrod) but to a lesser extent.

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8.  Measuring Progress

The performance indicators presented below provide a way to define and measure progress toward achieving the population and distribution objectives. Every five years, the success of this recovery strategy with be measured against indicators outlined in subsequent action plans.

This recovery strategy will be considered to be successful if:

  • the distribution of the Maritime Ringlet is maintained (individuals are found at all known sites);
  • the population size of Maritime Ringlet is maintained at each permanently occupied site.

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9.  Statement on Action Plans

One or more action plans will be completed for Maritime Ringlet within 5 years of the posting of the recovery strategy on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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10.  References

COSEWIC. 2009. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Maritime Ringlet Coenonympha nipisiquit in Canada.  Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife of Canada. Ottawa. vii + 34 pp.

Dion, Y–P. 1995. Première mention de Coenonympha tullia nipisiquit McDunnough (Lepidoptera : Nymphalidae) pour Québec. Fabreries 20(3):105–106.

Gilbert, H. 2005. Inventaire et description de l’habitat du Satyre fauve des Maritime (Coenonympha tullia nipisquit McDunnough), papillon rare au parc national du Canada Forillon. Pour Parcs Canada. 9 pp.

Gilbert, H. 2008. L’habitat du satyre fauve des Maritimes dans les barachois de Nouvelle et de Saint–Omer : cartographie et description – Avec prospection d’habitats potentiels à Saint–Siméon–de–Bonaventure, Paspébiac et Miguasha. Bureau d’écologie appliquée, pour Environnement Canada, Service canadien de la faune, Québec. 30 pages incluant annexes.

Gouge, A. 2002. Inventaire du Satyre fauve des Maritimes (Coenonympha tullia nipisiquit) dans la région de la baie des Chaleurs au Québec.  Société de conservation des milieux humides du Québec. 7 pp.

Gouge, A. 2003. Inventaire du Satyre fauve des Maritimes (Coenonympha nipisiquit) au Québec en 2003.  Société de conservation des milieux humides du Québec. 8 pp.

Handfield, L. 1999. Guide des papillons du Québec.  Éditions Broquet.  536 pp.

NatureServe. 2010. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. (Accessed January 26th 2011).

New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources. 2007. Monitoring Protocol for the Maritime Ringlet Butterfly in New Brunswick Canada.  New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources report, Fredericton, NB. 17 pp.

New Brunswick Maritime Ringlet Recovery Team. 2005. Recovery strategy and action plan for the Maritime Ringlet (Coenonympha nipisquit) in New Brunswick.  New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources. Fredericton, New Brunswick.  48 pp.

Province of New Brunswick. 2002. New Brunswick Atlas, Second Edition Revised. Nimbus Publishing and Service New Brunswick.

Sei, M. and A.H. Porter. 2003. Microhabitat–specific early–larval survival of the maritime ringlet (Coenonympha tullia nipisiquit).  Animal Conservation 6:55–61.

Sei, M. and A.H. Porter. 2007. Delimiting species boundaries and the conservation genetics of the endangered maritime ringlet butterfly (Coenonympha nipisiquit McDunnough).  Molecular Ecology 16:3313–3325.

Webster, R.P. 1995. Ecological studies required for a recovery and management plan for the Maritime ringlet butterfly, Coenonympha inornata nipisiquit in Bathurst, New Brunswick:  A report prepared for the Endangered Species Recovery Fund, World Wildlife Fund, Canada, and the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Fish and Wildlife Branch.  Unpublished. 27 pp.

Webster, R.P. 1996. Ecological studies required for a recovery and management plan for the Maritime ringlet butterfly, Coenonympha inornata nipisiquit in Bathurst, New Brunswick: Peters River Study, 1995.  A report prepared for the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Fish and Wildlife Branch.  Unpublished. 32 pp.

Webster, R.P. 1997.  Status report on the Maritime ringlet butterfly, Coenonympha tullia nipisiquit (McDunnough).  Report prepared for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife of Canada. 30 pp.

Webster, R.P. 1998. The life history of the Maritime ringlet, Coenonympha tullia nipisiquit (Satyridae). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society. 52:345–355.

Webster, R.P. 1999. Ecological studies required for a recovery and management plan for the Maritime ringlet butterfly, Coenonympha nipisiquit in Bathurst, New Brunswick: Peters River Study, 1998.  A report prepared for the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Fish and Wildlife Branch.  Unpublished. 16 pp.

Webster, R.P. 2001. Ecological studies required for a recovery and management plan for the Maritime ringlet butterfly, Coenonympha nipisiquit in Bathurst, New Brunswick: Peters River Study, 1999. A report prepared for the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Fish and Wildlife Branch. Unpublished. 24 pp.

Webster, R.P. 2002. The establishment of new populations of the Maritime ringlet, Coenonympha nipisiquit in New Brunswick: 2001 Study. A report prepared for the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Fish and Wildlife Branch.  Unpublished. 13 pp.

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Appendix A: Maritime Ringlet critical habitat

1. Critical habitat in Québec

Table A–1. Sites containing critical habitat for the Maritime Ringlet in Québec.
Site nameLand tenurePopulation estimate and yearNational Topographic System (NTS) Map
(1: 50,000)
Latitude and longitude coordinates of polygon nodes*within which critical habitat is locatedSite description
NouvelleNon–federal26000
(2002)
22B/01A : 48.1168 N; −66.3053 W
B : 48.1145 N; −66.2751 W
C : 48.0885 N; −66.2684 W
D : 48.0883 N; −66.2744 W
Salt marsh habitat located at the mouth of the Nouvelle river east of the Miguasha Road and west of Pointe Labillois
Saint–OmerNon–federal25–28
(2003)
22B/01A : 48.1085 N; −66.2520 W
B : 48.1086 N; −66.2514 W
C : 48.1077 N; −66.2494 W
D : 48.1073 N; −66.2494 W
E : 48.1071 N; −66.2512 W
F : 48.1073 N; −66.2512 W
G : 48.1075 N; −66.2507 W
Salt marsh habitat located at the mouth of Ruisseau Robitaille (barachois de Saint–Omer), near the village of Robitaille, south of highway 132
Penouille
(Forillon National Park)
FederalProbably <100 (2007) (no solid population estimate)22A/16A : 48.8595 N; −64.4384 W
B : 48.8565 N; −64.4121 W
C : 48.8530 N; −64.4213 W
D : 48.8539 N; −64.4369 W
Salt marsh located in the Baie de Penouille, south of highway 132, north of the road located on Presqu’île de Penouille

* A single polygon with multiple nodes was drawn around the outer bounds of suitable habitat at each site. The nodes position was determined to ensure that all suitable salt marsh habitat will be included in the polygon. When a road as present between nodes, the line between nodes was modified to conform to the shape of the road in order to reduce the number of anthropogenic structures falling within a site containing critical habitat.

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Figure A–1: Location of the site containing critical habitat at Nouvelle. Critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1) that occurs within the polygon located in the Nouvelle River estuary. The polygon extends between nodes A, B, C and D and includes salt marsh habitat east of the Miguasha Road and those west of Pointe Labillois.

Figure A-1 displays the location of the site containing critical habitat in the Nouvelle River estuary. The polygon extends between nodes A, B, C and D and includes salt marsh habitat east of the Miguasha Road and those west of Pointe Labillois, Quebec.

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Figure A–2: Location of the site containing critical habitat at Saint–Omer. Critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1) that occurs within the polygon located at the mouth of Ruisseau Robitaille (barachois de Saint–Omer), near the village of Robitaille, south of highway 132.

Figure A-2 displays the location of the site containing critical habitat at Saint-Omer, Quebec, which occurs within the polygon located at the mouth of Ruisseau Robitaille (barachois de Saint-Omer), near the village of Robitaille, south of highway 132.

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Figure A–3 : Location of the site containing critical habitat at Penouille. Critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1) that occurs within the polygon outlined below. The polygon extends between nodes A, B, C, and D in the Baie de Penouille. It covers the area located south of highway 132, to the north of the road located on Presqu’île de Penouille between nodes B, C and D, then northward toward node A.

Figure A-3 displays the location of the site containing critical habitat at Penouille, Quebec. Critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitats that occur within the polygon extending between nodes A, B, C, and D in the Baie de Penouille. It covers the area located south of highway 132, to the north of the road located on Presqu'île de Penouille between nodes B, C and D, then northward toward node A.

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2. Critical habitat in New Brunswick

Table A–2. Sites containing critical habitat for the Maritime Ringlet in New Brunswick.
Site nameLand tenurePopulation estimate and yearNational Topo-graphic System
(NTS) Map (1: 50,000)
New Brunswick Atlas block reference(s)*Site centreDescription
Peters River (Beresford)Non–
federal
27,000
(early 2000s)
21P/1216D247.700 N; –65.685 WSalt marsh habitat located at the mouth of Peters River and landward of Youghall and Beresford Beaches.
Daly PointNon–
federal
9,500
(1994)
21P/1216D347.636 N; –65.625 WSalt marsh habitat located on Daly Point, the point of land extending into Bathurst Harbour west of Sand Hill.
Carron PointNon–
federal
Hundreds ?
(1996)
21P/1216D2–16D347.650 N: –65.615 WSalt marsh habitat located west of Carron Point and extending into Bathurst Harbour, north of Ronalds Cove.
Bass RiverNon–
federal
Hundreds ?
(2002)
21P/1216E247.657 N: –65.582 WSalt marsh habitat located at the mouth of Bass River, near the area where the river meets Nepisiguit Bay.
Bas Caraquet**Non–
federal
635
(1999)
21P/1510B447.804 N: –64.831 WSalt marsh habitat located north of highway 145, near the village of Bas–Caraquet.
Rivière du Nord**Non–
federal
2000
(2000)
21P/149D5–9E4–9E547.793 N: –65.083 WSalt marsh habitat located adjacent to the Rivière du Nord, from the Village Historique Acadien to the Village–
des–Poirier.

* Reference number consists of the page number and block(s) where the suitable habitat is located as identified in the 2002 edition of the New Brunswick Atlas (Province of New Brunswick, 2002). For all sites, a center point is provided to identify the approximate centre of each marsh and the NB map book square and topographic map references are provided to help locate the marsh on a map. Note that the marsh locations may not all appear in the New Brunswick Atlas, but represent location names as identified on topographic maps. Detailed maps outlining the location of the suitable habitat are presented in the Recovery Strategy and Action Plan for the Maritime Ringlet in New Brunswick (New Brunswick Maritime Ringlet Recovery Team, 2005).

** Introduced population

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Figure A–4. Location of the site containing critical habitat at Peters River. The dot (∙) represents the approximate centre of the site. Within this site, critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1).

Figure A-4 displays the location of the approximate centre of the site containing critical habitat at Peters River, New Brunswick. Critical habitat within this site includes all suitable salt marsh habitats.

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Figure A–5. Location of the site containing critical habitat at Daly Point. The dot (∙) represents the approximate centre of the site. Within this site, critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1).

Figure A-5 displays the location of the approximate centre of the site containing critical habitat at Daly Point, New Brunswick. Critical habitat within this site includes all suitable salt marsh habitats.

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Figure A–6. Location of the site containing critical habitat at Carron Point. The dot (∙) represents the approximate centre of the site. Within this site, critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1).

Figure A-6 displays the location of the approximate centre of the site containing critical habitat at Carron Point, New Brunswick. Critical habitat within this site includes all suitable salt marsh habitats.

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Figure A–7. Location of the site containing critical habitat at Bass River. The dot (∙) represents the approximate centre of the site. Within this site, critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1).

Figure A-7 displays the location of the approximate centre of the site containing critical habitat at Bass River, New Brunswick. Critical habitat within this site includes all suitable salt marsh habitats.

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Figure A–8. Location of the site containing critical habitat at Bas Caraquet. The dot (∙) represents the approximate centre of the site. Within this site, critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1).

Figure A-8 displays the location of the approximate centre of the site containing critical habitat at Bas Caraquet, New Brunswick. Critical habitat within this site includes all suitable salt marsh habitats.

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Figure A–9. Location of the site containing critical habitat at Rivière–du–Nord. The dot (∙) represents the approximate centre of the site. Within this site, critical habitat includes all suitable salt marsh habitat (as described in Section 7.1).

Figure A-9 displays the location of the approximate centre of the site containing critical habitat at Rivière-du-Nord, New Brunswick. Critical habitat within this site includes all suitable salt marsh habitats.

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Appendix B: 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, but are also summarized below in this statement.

The implementation of this recovery strategy is unlikely to result in any negative effects on other species within the habitat occupied by the Maritime Ringlet. The primary methods utilized to accomplish the goal of the recovery strategy involve mitigating or eliminating threats to the Maritime Ringlet and protection of occupied salt marshes.  This will benefit all other species living in and near salt marshes occupied by this insect, including the Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis), a species listed as “special concern” under SARA which is known to occur in the salt marsh at Nouvelle, and the Nelson’s Sharp–tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni) and the Maritime Copper (Lycaena dospassosi), a butterfly species strictly associated with salt marshes, which are both listed as "species likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable" in Québec.

The possibility that the present recovery strategy inadvertently generates negative effects on the environment and on other species was considered. The majority of recommended actions are non–intrusive in nature, including surveys and outreach. We conclude that the present recovery strategy is unlikely to produce significant negative effects.