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Recovery Strategy for Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Canada

Species at Risk Act recovery strategy series, recovery strategy for the Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Canada.

Species at Risk Act
Recovery strategy series
Adopted under Section 44 of SARA


November 2010

About the Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series

What is the Species at Risk Act (SARA)?

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

What is recovery?

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

What is a recovery strategy?

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

Recovery strategy development is a commitment of all provinces and territories and of the three federal agencies - Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada - under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk. Sections 37–46 of SARA outline both the required content and the process for developing recovery strategies published in this series.

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

What's next?

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

The series

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

To learn more

To learn more about the Species at Risk Act and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry.

Recovery strategy for the Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Canada

November 2010

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 Ontario has provided the Recovery Strategy for Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Ontario to the Government of Canada. The federal Minister of the Environment as the competent minister under SARA incorporates the provincial recovery strategy, in part, into the federal strategy, pursuant to section 44(2) of the Species at Risk Act, with exceptions and modifications as detailed within the body of this document.

The finalized recovery strategy, once included in the Species at Risk Public Registry, will be the SARA recovery strategy for this species.

The federal Minister of the Environment's recovery strategy for Deerberry consists of two parts:

  1. The federal text which completes the proposed recovery strategy in terms of meeting the requirements of subsection 41(1) of SARA.
  2. Recovery Strategy for Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Ontario, prepared by the National Deerberry Recovery Team for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (attached as Appendix III).

Recommended citation:

Parks Canada Agency. 2010. Recovery Strategy for Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) in Canada [Final Version]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency. Ottawa. iv+ 15 pp.

Additional copies:

Additional copies can be downloaded from the SARA Public Registry.

Cover illustration:

St. Lawrence Islands National Park

Également disponible en français sous le titre « Programme de rétablissement pour l'airelle à longues étamines (Vaccinium stamineum) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2010. All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-100-17293-4
Catalogue no.: En3-4/82-2010E-PDF

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

Recommendation and Approval Statement

Recovery Strategy for the Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum ) in Canada

Recommended by and Approved by signatures from November 9th 2010.


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. The Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) (SARA) requires that federal competent ministers prepare recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species.

The Minister of the Environment as the competent minister under SARA presents this document as the recovery strategy for Deerberry as required under SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions responsible for the species. The Minister invites other jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved in recovering the species to use this recovery strategy as advice to guide their actions.

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

This recovery strategy will be the basis for one or more action plans that will provide further details regarding measures to be taken to support protection and recovery of the species. Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the actions identified in this strategy. In the spirit of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, all Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the species and of Canadian society as a whole. The Minister of the Environment will report on progress within five years.


The Parks Canada Agency would like to acknowledge the work of Josh Van Wieren (St. Lawrence Islands National Park Ecologist) for writing this report, Greg Saunders (St. Lawrence Islands National Park Ecosystem Data Technician) for the Geographic Information System (GIS) support and map design, and Shaun Thompson, Briar Howes, Kara Vlasman, Kent Prior, Michele Rodrick, Kim Borg, Gary Allen for their review and input.

Strategic environmental assessment statement

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all Species at Risk Act recovery strategies, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (2004). 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 their intended benefits. Environmental effects, including impacts to non-target species and the environment, were considered during recovery planning. The SEA is incorporated directly into the strategy and also summarized below.

Recovery actions identified in the Recovery Strategy are expected to positively affect or have no significant adverse environmental impacts on the community in which Deerberry resides. Most of the recovery actions involve stewardship, outreach, collaboration, monitoring, research or management planning. These actions will not only improve the state of knowledge for Deerberry and the ecosystems in which it is found, but will also promote landowner stewardship and collaboration among conservation partners in Canada and the United States. Monitoring the results of different recovery approaches will provide insights into the health of Deerberry and the overall health of the broader ecological community. Recovery approaches that are targeted to meet the four recovery objectives will involve physical disturbances resulting in environmental impacts (e.g.: studying the effect of fire on Deerberry propagation, small-scale removal of flora). The impacts of each of these approaches were considered in the drafting of the recovery strategy and mitigations were identified where necessary. Most of these actions will focus on mitigating known stresses to Deerberry and will have positive environmental impacts on other species and the ecological community.


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

Residence descriptions, or the rationale for why the residence concept does not apply to a given species, are posted on the SARA public registry.


This Recovery Strategy addresses the recovery of Deerberry. In Canada, this species is found only in Ontario: in the Niagara Region and the St. Lawrence Thousand Islands area.

The Parks Canada Agency, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Environment Canada worked in cooperation to develop the federal Recovery Strategy for Deerberry. The proposed federal recovery strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41) and fulfills commitments of all jurisdictions for recovery planning under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996) in Canada.

Recovery feasibility summary

The recovery of Deerberry in Canada is considered feasible based on the criteria set outlined by the 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.
    Unknown. Individuals capable of reproduction are currently available and these individuals contain a diverse genetic pool to support long-term persistence. Although seeds have been taken from plants and successfully propagated in a greenhouse, very little reproduction has been noted in wild Canadian Deerberry populations.

  2. Sufficient suitable habitat is available to support the species or could be made available through habitat management or restoration.
    Yes. There is currently enough habitat in both the Thousand Islands Region and the Niagara Region to support Deerberry recovery. Much of the available habitat or potential habitat would benefit from restoration efforts (such as prescribed burns or canopy thinning) to promote more suitable light and moisture conditions.

  3. The primary threats to the species or its habitat (including threats outside Canada) can be avoided or mitigated.
    Yes. All significant threats to both the species and its habitat can be avoided and / or mitigated.

  4. Recovery techniques exist to achieve the population and distribution objectives or can be expected to be developed within a reasonable timeframe.
    Unknown. Recovery techniques are currently being used and refined. Considerable work still needs to be completed to better understand certain recovery techniques (e.g. propagation and prescribed burning techniques); however, previous and ongoing work suggests that these recovery techniques will likely prove to be effective.