Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla) in Canada
Species at Risk Act (SARA)
Recovery Strategy Series
Adopted under Section 44 of SARA
Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla) in Canada
Silver Hair Moss
- Strategic environmental assessment
- Species at Risk Act requirements
- Appendix 1
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 (Species at Risk Act) 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. A period of three to four years is allowed for those species that were automatically listed when SARA came into force.
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.
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 SARA and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry and the website of the Recovery Secretariat (www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/default_e.cfm).
Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss
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 Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia (Appendix 1) 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 which is not required by the Act.
This recovery strategy is the recovery strategy of the Minister of the Environment of Canada for this species.
This recovery strategy for the silver hair moss in Canada consists of the
- Addition to the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia prepared by Environment Canada.
- Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia prepared by the British Columbia Bryophyte Recovery Team for the B.C. Ministry of Environment.
Environment Canada. 2008. Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. 4 pp. + Appendix.
Additional copies can be downloaded from the SARA Public Registry.
Shona Ellis/University of Britsh Columbia (UBC)
Également disponible en français sous le titre « Programme de rétablissement de la fabronie naine (Fabronia pusillia) au Canada »
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2008. All rights reserved.
Catalogue no. En3-4/58-2008E-PDF
Content (excluding the illustrations) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.
Addition to the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia
This recovery strategy has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions responsible for the silver hair moss. Environment Canada has reviewed and accepts this document as its recovery strategy for the silver hair moss, as required under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This recovery strategy also constitutes advice to other jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved in recovering the species.
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 details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation and recovery of the species. The Minister of the Environment will report on progress within five years as required under SARA.
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 or any other jurisdiction alone. In the spirit of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of the Environment invites all responsible jurisdictions and Canadians to join Environment Canada in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the silver hair moss and Canadian society as a whole.
Strategic environmental assessment
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 on non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.
This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the silver hair moss. The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered. The SEA concluded that this strategy will clearly benefit the environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects.
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.
The silver hair moss was listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as Endangered in June 2003.
SARA section 37 requires the competent minister to prepare a recovery strategy for all listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species. 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 British Columbia Ministry of Environment led the development of this recovery strategy for the species in cooperation with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Pacific and Yukon Region. The strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41).
Species at Risk Act requirements
The following sections address specific requirements of SARA that are not addressed in the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss in British Columbia (Appendix 1).
Opportunities for consultation will be afforded through posting on the SARA public registry. As there are currently no known occurrences of this species, no landowners will be directly affected by the advice provided in this recovery strategy. The individuals in Canada who are considered experts on the biology of the species were members of the recovery team or were consulted for information in the course of drafting this strategy.
Section 5 of the following recovery strategy discusses the challenges related to determining the feasibility of recovering this species.
Under the Species at Risk Act (S. 40), the competent minister is required to determine whether the recovery of the listed species is technically and biologically feasible. Given the available information, and bearing in mind the uncertainty of this species’ existence in Canada, the Minister has followed the guidance of the federal feasibility policy, and determined that recovery is feasible at this time. This decision may be revisited as more information becomes available. As the lead agency, the Government of British Columbia has determined that it is unknown whether recovery is feasible.
3. Socio-economic considerations
The Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss in British Columbia contains a short statement on socio-economic considerations. As a socio-economic analysis is not required under Section 41(1) of SARA, the Socio-economic Considerations section of the Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss in British Columbia is not considered part of the Minister of Environment's recovery strategy for this species.
Appendix 1: Recovery strategy for the silver hair moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia
Prepared by the British Columbia bryophyte recovery team
Photo by Shona Ellis / UBC.
About the British Columbia recovery strategy series
This series presents the recovery strategies that are prepared as advice to the Province of British Columbia on the general strategic approach required to recover species at risk. The Province prepares recovery strategies to meet our commitments to recover species at risk under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada, and the Canada – British Columbia Agreement on Species at Risk.
What is recovery?
Species at risk 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 a species’ persistence in the wild.
What is a recovery strategy?
A recovery strategy represents the best available scientific knowledge on what is required to achieve recovery of a species or ecosystem. A recovery strategy outlines what is and what is not known about a species or ecosystem; it also identifies threats to the species or ecosystem, and what should be done to mitigate those threats. Recovery strategies set recovery goals and objectives, and recommend approaches to recover the species or ecosystem.
Recovery strategies are usually prepared by a recovery team with members from agencies responsible for the management of the species or ecosystem, experts from other agencies, universities, conservation groups, aboriginal groups, and stakeholder groups as appropriate.
In most cases, one or more action plan(s) will be developed to define and guide implementation of the recovery strategy. Action plans include more detailed information about what needs to be done to meet the objectives of the recovery strategy. However, the recovery strategy provides valuable information on threats to the species and their recovery needs that may be used by individuals, communities, land users, and conservationists interested in species at risk recovery.
For more information
To learn more about species at risk recovery in British Columbia, please visit the Ministry of Environment Recovery Planning webpage.
Recovery strategy for the silver hair moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia
Prepared by the British Columbia bryophyte recovery team
This recovery strategy has been prepared by the British Columbia Bryophyte Recovery Team, as advice to the responsible jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved in recovering the species. The British Columbia Ministry of Environment has received this advice as part of fulfilling its commitments under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada, and the Canada – British Columbia Agreement on Species at Risk.
This document identifies the recovery strategies that are deemed necessary, based on the best available scientific and traditional information, to recover silver hair moss populations in British Columbia. Recovery actions to achieve the goals and objectives identified herein are subject to the priorities and budgetary constraints of participatory agencies and organizations. These goals, objectives, and recovery approaches may be modified in the future to accommodate new objectives and findings.
The responsible jurisdictions and all members of the recovery team have had an opportunity to review this document. However, this document does not necessarily represent the official positions of the agencies or the personal views of all individuals on the recovery team.
Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that may be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy. The Ministry of Environment encourages all British Columbians to participate in the recovery of silver hair moss.
Recovery team members
British Columbia bryophyte recovery team
Ted Lea (chair), Vegetation Ecologist, Ecosystems Branch, B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC
Brenda Costanzo, Plant Species at Risk Biologist, Ecosystems Branch, B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC
Karen Golinski Ph.D., private consultant
Terry McIntosh Ph.D., Botanist, Biospherics Environmental Inc., Vancouver, BC
Mike Ryan, B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Kamloops, BC
Wilf Schofield, Professor Emeritus, UBC Department of Botany, Vancouver, BC
The British Columbia Ministry of Environment is responsible for producing a recovery strategy for silver hair moss under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada. Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service participated in the development of this recovery strategy.
This document was prepared by Terry McIntosh on behalf of the B.C. Bryophyte Recovery Team. Funding was provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and the B.C. Conservation Foundation.
The silver hair moss is a tiny, creeping moss that grows in thin, flat mats over rock surfaces. It has been found in western North America, Mexico, Europe, and North Africa. In North America, it has been reported from southern British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. This species is restricted to southern British Columbia where it has been found at two locations: below McKee Peak at the west end of Sumas Mountain east of Abbotsford, and in the Arrow Lakes area in the southwestern part of the province, where it has probably been extirpated. Detailed population data are not available as this species has not been seen since its first report.
Little is known about the biological attributes that may influence the recovery potential of the silver hair moss. It does not appear to produce spores frequently in its Canadian range. In British Columbia, itis restricted to semi-shaded, sandstone rock faces or crevices, often alongside other species of mosses. Potential threats include urban development, recreation activities, and rock face degradation.
The critical habitat of this species cannot be identified until the species’ presence is reconfirmed. The potential habitat in Canada can generally be described as semi-shaded, sandstone rock faces or crevices, in low elevation, probably summer dry environments. Ecological studies and inventory could be completed.
The recovery goal is to confirm the presence of silver hair moss in Canada, and to protect and maintain any extant populations. Because the original population has not been rediscovered, there are no data for the habitat and ecology of this species in Canada; thus, current population viability cannot be estimated. Therefore, overall recovery feasibility is unknown until the species is rediscovered through inventory.
Recovery objectives include to inventory sites to relocate the original population; to implement habitat protection and threat mitigation for any extant populations; and to conduct scientific research on the ecology and habitat requirements of the populations, plus research on threats to the populations if found or rediscovered.
The broad strategy to address threats includes inventory to relocate the species, and if found, protect any extant populations and habitats by establishing stewardship agreements and covenants on private land, or other mechanisms on Crown land. Also, if the species is rediscovered, to conduct research on existing populations and habitats, potential threats to the habitats, known and potential threats, and changes in population attributes; and to initiate an education/stewardship program.
For successful implementation in protecting species at risk, there will be a strong need for stewardship on various land tenures.
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