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Recovery Strategy for the Island Blue* (Plebejus saepiolus insulanus) in Canada (Proposed)

Recovery Strategy for the Island Blue* (Plebejus saepiolus insulanus) in Canada (Proposed)

Island Blue. Photo: Jennifer Heron.

 

Island Blue*

March 2008

Declaration from Parks Canada Agency
Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement
Residence


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 provided the Recovery Strategy for the Island Blue (also known as the Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies) in British Columbia to the Government of Canada. The federal Minister of the Environment adopts this recovery strategy under Section 44 of the Species at Risk Act with any exceptions or modifications as detailed within the body of this document.

Following the 60-day comment period starting in March 2008, and until the federal Minister of the Environment determines otherwise, this recovery strategy will be the recovery strategy of the Minister of the Environment of Canada for this species.

The Minister of the Environment of Canada's recovery strategy for the Island Blue (Plebejus saepiolus insulanus) consists of two parts:

  • The federal supplement to the provincial Strategy for the Island Blue butterfly in Canada (known as the Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies in British Columbia) prepared by the Parks Canada Agency, and
  • The Recovery Strategy for the Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies in British Columbia prepared by the British Columbia Bryophyte Recovery Team and the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment (Appendix).

* (also known as the Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies)

 

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:

Parks Canada Agency. 2008. Recovery Strategy for the Island Blue* (Plebejus saepiolus insulanus) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency. Ottawa. iv + 3 pp.
* (also known as the Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies)


Additional copies:

Additional copies can be downloaded from the SARA Public Registry.

Cover illustration: Jennifer Heron

Également disponible en français sous le titre :

« Programme de rétablissement du Bleu insulaire (Plebejus saepiolus insulanus) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment. 2008. All rights reserved.

ISBN To come

Catalogue no. To come

Species Common Name Clarification:

This species is known by two different common names. Therefore, within this document the species, of the latin name Plebejus saepiolus insulanus, may be called either “Island Blue,” or “Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies.”

While the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COWESIC) and Species at Risk Act (SARA) both use the common name “Island Blue” to refer to this species (Plebejus saepiolus insulanus), the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre uses the common name “Greenish Blue insulanussubspecies.” As the province of British Columbia compiled the following recovery strategy, the adopted recovery strategy portion of the document refers to the species as “Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies.”

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

Declaration from Parks Canada Agency

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 Island Blue (also known as the Greenish Blue insulanus subspecies) 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.

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.

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.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the Island Blue. Activities to meet recovery objectives are unlikely to result in any important negative environmental effects, as they are mostly limited to inventory, site protection, research and public education. The recovery strategy identifies current threats (Section 1.5) to the Island Blue and its habitat as well as current knowledge gaps (Section 1.7). Recovery objectives seek to increase understanding of threats and fill information gaps. Improved understanding of the ecology of this species is beneficial, as it will help to focus current and subsequent recovery planning actions and improve the probability for successful recovery. In addition to the positive effect that recovery actions may have on the Island Blue, activities may also inadvertently benefit other native butterfly species that occupy the same habitat (Section 2.8).

The greatest potential for environmental effects comes from fieldwork activities (habitat inventory, threat recording, butterfly surveys), however these effects are avoidable or can be fully mitigated with known technology and proper field procedures. In summary, the SEA process has concluded that this recovery strategy will have several positive effects on the environment. No important negative effects are expected.

Residence

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.

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