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Recovery Strategy for the Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo) Prairie Population in Canada (Proposed)

Photo of a Mormon metalmark by Allison Henderson used with permission.

Mormon Metalmark


September 2007


Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement



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 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 and the Web site of the Recovery Secretariat (http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/).

Recommended citation:

Pruss, S.D., A. Henderson, P. Fargey, and J. Tuckwell. 2007. Recovery Strategy for the Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo) Prairie Population, in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency. Ottawa. vi + 23 pp.

Additional copies:

You can download additional copies from the SARA Public Registry.

Cover illustration: Photo of a Mormon metalmark by Allison Henderson used with permission.

Également disponible en français sous le titre :

« Programme de rétablissement de la population des Prairies du mormon (Apodemia mormo) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of of Environment, September 2007. All rights reserved.

ISBN To come

Cat. no. To come

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


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 presents this document as the recovery strategy for the Mormon metalmark (Apodemia mormo) as required under SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions responsible for the species, as described in the Preface. 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.


  • Shelley Pruss, Parks Canada Agency
  • Allison Henderson, Parks Canada Agency
  • Pat Fargey, Parks Canada Agency
  • Joanne Tuckwell, Parks Canada Agency


We like to thank the following for their generous participation in a planning workshop that lead to the development of  the recovery strategy.

  • Sylvie Desjardins, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
  • Orville Dyer, British Columbia Ministry of Environment
  • Jennifer Heron, British Columbia Ministry of Environment
  • Howie Richardson, Okanagan College
  • Bryn White, Okanagan College
  • Dennis St. John, Entomologist

We would also like to thank the following for their thoughtful reviews of the strategy:

  • Gary Anweiler, University of Alberta Strickland Museum
  • Frances Bennett, Saskatchewan Environment
  • Renee Franken, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton
  • Ron Hooper, Fort Qu'Appelle
  • Sue McAdam, Saskatchewan Environment
  • Felix Sperling, University of Alberta

Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, 2004, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all Species at Risk Act (SARA) recovery strategies. 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 results of the SEA by K. Forrestall (2006) are summarized below.

This Mormon metalmark Prairie population recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the Mormon metalmark (Apodemia mormo) through increasing knowledge of its habitat requirements and the additional conservation efforts for Mormon metalmark habitat. Improved habitat conservation efforts for other species that share some habitat with the Mormon metalmarks, such as the branched umbrella plant (Eriogonum pauciflorum), will be a positive residual effect of the recovery strategy. Additional positive effects on other species could include increasing the knowledge of threats to other species, potentially improving knowledge of other species in unsurveyed areas and an overall increase in the conservation of prairie species through comprehensive prairie conservation/endangered species planning initiatives.

The potential for important negative effects on other species or ecological processes is negligible given the highly specialized and localized habitat requirements of Mormon metalmarks as well as the non-destructive nature of the recommended actions. Any sampling of the species for genetic testing will require a permit and be subject to conditions as required under SARA.

Only three privately managed cattle ranches have known Mormon metalmarks on or near them and all are within the proposed Grasslands National Park boundaries. The ranch managers and relevant rural governments, as well as the Province of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Environment) were all provided copies of the draft strategy and given opportunity to provide comments. Environment Canada and The Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of Interior, the largest land management agency in the adjacent habitat in the United States, were also given a draft copy of the strategy and provided the opportunity to comment.

The SEA concluded that this recovery strategy would have several positive effects and not cause any significant negative effects. Further project-specific environmental assessments of actions identified as a result of research conducted in this recovery strategy may be required.


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 the Mormon metalmark, Apodemia mormo Prairie population. In Canada, the Prairie population of this species can be found in Saskatchewan within Grasslands National Park of Canada (GNP) and immediately adjacent on privately managed rangelands.

The recovery strategy for the Mormon metalmark Prairie population in Canada was developed by the authors for the Parks Canada Agency on behalf of the competent minister (Minister of the Environment). The strategy was prepared in cooperation with Saskatchewan Environment, Environment Canada, and the British Columbia Ministry of Environment.

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