COSEWIC Status Appraisal Summary on the Silver Hair Moss Fabronia pusilla in Canada – 2012

Endangered
2012

COSEWIC — Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

COSEWIC status appraisal summaries are working documents used in assigning the status of wildlife species suspected of being at risk in Canada. This document may be cited as follows:

COSEWIC. 2012. COSEWIC status appraisal summary on the Silver Hair Moss Fabronia pusilla in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. xi pp.

Production note: 
COSEWIC would like to acknowledge Judith A. Harpel for writing the status appraisal summary on the Silver Hair Moss, Fabronia pusilla, in Canada, prepared under contract with Environment Canada. This status appraisal summary was overseen and edited by René Belland, Co-chair of the IUCN Mosses and Lichens Specialist Subcommittee.

For additional copies contact:

COSEWIC Secretariat
c/o Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0H3

Tel.: 819-953-3215
Fax: 819-994-3684
Email: COSEWIC/COSEPAC@ec.gc.ca
Website: www.cosewic.gc.ca

Également disponible en français sous le titre Sommaire du statut de l’espèce du COSEPAC sur la Fabronie naine (Fabronia pusilla) au Canada.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2012.
Catalogue No. CW69-14/2-26-2012E-PDF
ISBN 978-1-100-20734-6

Top of Page


Logo of COSEWIC

COSEWIC Assessment Summary

Assessment Summary – May 2012

Common name
Silver Hair Moss

Scientific name
Fabronia pusilla

Status
Endangered

Reason for designation
This is a small species that grows among other mosses as an epiphyte on trees or on rock faces. In Canada, it is known from only one cliff in southwestern British Columbia. Although the species has not been found during recent surveys, the expanse of available habitat at the only known site, combined with the small stature of the moss, suggests that the species may still be present in Canada.

Occurrence
British Columbia

Status history
Designated Endangered in May 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012.

Haut de la page

Logo of COSEWIC

COSEWIC Status Appraisal Summary

Fabronia pusilla Raddi

Silver Hair Moss Fabronie naine

Range of occurrence in Canada: British Columbia

Current COSEWIC Assessment:

Status category:

Endangered

Date of last assessment: November 2002

Reason for designation at last assessment: Silver Hair Moss is a small species that grows among other mosses, either as an epiphyte on trees or on rock faces. In Canada, it is known from two locations: one that is now submerged and a second associated with a cliff in southwestern British Columbia. The latter is the northernmost location for this species. Although the species was not rediscovered at its extant site during recent surveys, the expanse of available habitat at the only known sites, combined with the small stature of the moss, suggests that the species may still be present in Canada.

Criteria applied at last assessment: D1

If earlier version of criteria was applied1, provide correspondence to current criteria:


SSC Recommendation:

Selected No change in status and criteria
Not selected No change in status, new criteria


Evidence (indicate as applicable):

Additional surveys on Sumas Mountain have not rediscovered the original population or located any new sites.


Wildlife species: 

Change in eligibility, taxonomy or designatable units:  no

Explanation:

There have been no changes in the designatable unit or with the taxonomy for this species.


Range:

Change in Extent of Occurrence (EO): no

Change in Area of Occupancy (AO): no

Change in number of known or inferred current locations*: no

Significant new survey information yes

Explanation:

No new populations have been found for this species in British Columbia or Canada.



Threats: 

Change in nature and/or severity of threats: no

Explanation:

Threats remain essentially the same as those stated in IUCN (2002); construction of new home sites continues in and around Sumas Mountain (Figure 1). In addition to urban development according to the Community Plan for the Sumas Mountain area; some mineral claims overlap part of Sumas Mountain Regional Park, which may pose a threat to this species.


Protection: 

Change in effective protection: yes

Explanation:

On 11 July 2008 “the Provincial Government approved the extension of the City of Abbotsford’s boundaries to include the privately owned area known as “Sumas Mountain”. As a result of this decision the Official Community Plan (OCP) guiding land use within this area was also transferred to the City of Abbotsford from the Fraser Valley Regional District”. On Feb. 10, 2011, Metro Vancouver purchased almost 67 hectares of forested property on the western flank of Sumas Mountain for Park. This new park shares a northern boundary with Sumas Mountain Regional Park and may provide additional effective protection for this species.


Rescue Effect:

Change in evidence of rescue effect:  no

Explanation:

Since the species is rare in adjacent US states, they are unlikely to be sources of recolonization for the Canadian population.


Quantitative Analysis:

Change in estimated probability of extirpation: unknown

Details: There are no data to estimate the probability of extirpation.


Summary and Additional Considerations:
In 2008 a Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss was released by Environment Canada, which included a recommended schedule of studies to identify critical habitat, for completion by 2010. Because the one presumed extant population has not been reconfirmed, and no new populations have been found at either location, studies on the ecological requirements for Silver Hair Moss have not been possible.

Discussions with members of the Recovery Team (pers. comm. 2011) did not result in new information that would change the status of this species.

At the historic location of Deer Park, Lower Arrow Lakes region, Ben Tan collected 204 bryophyte vouchers in 1977 (this was not reported in the IUCN 2002 status report); however, he did not find Fabronia pusilla. While sandstone does occur within this area, the water levels rose 12 m after the Hugh Keenleyside Dam was completed in October of 1968.

Table 1 shows the number of times that visits were made to the Sumas Mountain area, both incidental trips and trips made specifically to look for the Silver Hair Moss.

According to the 4th edition of the Mineral Resource Education Program of British Columbia map (2011), the only sandstone deposits in southwestern British Columbia occur on Sumas Mountain. Since the cliffs where the species was found are extensive in the area where it was found, it is possible that this rare moss may still be extant there.

This map also lists the Sumas Mountain sandstone deposits as being an active industrial mineral mine/quarry site. Steve Joya (pers. comm. 2011) also commented that Sumas Mountain is the only place in the region that has sandstone deposits.

* Use the IUCN definition of “location”.

1 An earlier version of the quantitative criteria was used by COSEWIC from October 1999 to May 2001 and is available on the COSEWIC website.

Top of Page

Acknowledgements and authorities contacted:

Costanzo, Brenda. Silver Hair Moss Recovery Team Chair, Plant Species at Risk Biologist, Ecosystems Branch, B.C.

Ryan, Mike, Silver Hair Moss Recovery Team.

Golinski, Karen. Silver Hair Moss Recovery Team, consultant. Victoria, B.C.

McIntosh, Terry. Botanist. Silver Hair Moss Recovery Team.

Ley, Linda. Bryologist, consultant. Ottawa.

Joya, Steve. Bryologist. Vancouver.

Top of Page

Information sources:

British Columbia Bryophyte Recovery Team. 2007. Recovery strategy for the silver hair moss (Fabronia pusilla Raddi) in British Columbia. Prepared for the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, BC. 14 pp.

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (IUCN). 2002. IUCN assessment and status report on the silver-hair moss, Fabronia pusilla, in Canada. Environ. Can., Ottawa, ON.

City of Abbotsford. 29 July 2011. Abbotsford Economic Development & Planning Services. Metro Vancouver Media Release, 20 Feb. 2011. New Metro Vancouver Park Land on Sumas Mountain. Fraser Valley Regional District.

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.

Mineral Resource Education Program of BC, 4th edition (2011).

Top of Page

Table 1. Collecting history for Sumas Mountain and targeted surveys for Silver Hair Moss, Fabronia pusilla Raddi. Based on Herbarium Records at the University of British Columbia and discussions with Terry McIntosh and Steve Joya.
SurveyorDate of surveyFound/ not foundLocation
W. Schofield1 Mar. 1964not foundSumas Mountain near Abbotsford
W. Schofield27 Feb. 1966not foundMatsqui area, near Cox, Sumas Mountain
W. Schofield18 Feb. 1967not foundSumas Mountain west end
W. Schofield23 April 1967not FoundSumas Mountain near Matsqui
W. Schofield10 Mar. 1968foundSumas Mountain west end
W. Schofield10 Mar. 1968foundSumas Mountain west end near Chilliwack Co.
W. Schofield with C. Chuang & W. Zales26 Sept. 1970not foundSumas Mountain Escarpment at west end
W. Schofield with B. Bohm28 June 1973not foundSumas Mountain Escarpment, near Chilliwack
W. Schofield24 June 1974not foundJack Macdonald Park, near base of Sumas Mountain
W. Schofield27 Mar. 1976foundSumas Mountain Escarpment
W.Schofield with T. McIntosh16 Nov. 2001not foundSumas Mountain west end
T. McIntosh28 Nov. 2001not foundSumas Mountain
T. McIntosh4 Dec. 2001not foundSumas Mountain
W. Schofield with D. Jamieson & P. Henderson28 June 2003not foundSumas Mountain Escarpment near Chilliwack Co.
T. McIntosh2003not foundSumas Mountain
T. McIntosh2003not foundSumas Mountain
T. McIntosh with Schofield25 April 2005not foundSumas Mountain west end Co.
T. McIntosh23 June 2007not foundSumas Mountain
T. McIntosh with S. Joya19 Feb. 2008not foundSumas Mountain
T. McIntosh with S. Joya3 April 2009not foundSumas Mountain
T. McIntosh2 July 2010not foundSumas Mountain

Top of Page

Figure 1.  Sumas Mountain, British Columbia showing the urban development and mining activity.

Aerial image of Sumas Mountain and surroundings, British Columbia, showing urban development and mining activity. A yellow pin marks the location of Sumas Montain.

Top of Page

Technical Summary

Fabronia pusilla (formerly Clemmys marmorata)

Silver Hair Moss | Fabronie naine

Range of occurrence in Canada: British Columbia

Demographic Information

 
Generation time (usually average age of parents in the population; indicate if another method of estimating generation time indicated in the IUCN guidelines (2008) is being used)
unknown
Is there an [observed, inferred, or projected] continuing decline in number of mature individuals?unknown
Estimated percent of continuing decline in total number of mature individuals within [5 years or 2 generations]unknown
[Observed, estimated, inferred, or suspected] percent [reduction or increase] in total number of mature individuals over the last [10 years, or 3 generations].
unknown
[Projected or suspected] percent [reduction or increase] in total number of mature individuals over the next [10 years, or 3 generations].unknown
[Observed, estimated, inferred, or suspected] percent [reduction or increase] in total number of mature individuals over any [10 years, or 3 generations] period, over a time period including both the past and the future.unknown
Are the causes of the decline clearly reversible and understood and ceased?unknown
Are there extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals?unknown

Extent and Occupancy Information

 
Estimated extent of occurrence4 km²
Index of area of occupancy (IAO)
(Always report 2x2 grid value).
4 km²
Is the total population severely fragmented?unknown
Number of “locations*” 
1.  Sumas Mtn
Known also from Deer Park (Columbia River, a historic location presumed submerged by reservoir
unknown
Is there an [observed, inferred, or projected] continuing decline in extent of occurrence?unknown
Is there an [observed, inferred, or projected] continuing decline in index of area of occupancy?
unknown
Is there an [observed, inferred, or projected] continuing decline in number of populations?unknown
Is there an [observed, inferred, or projected] continuing decline in number of locations*?unknown
Is there an [observed, inferred, or projected] continuing decline in [area, extent and/or quality] of habitat? Despite purchases of properties to maintain habitat, proliferation of road traffic, succession and increased fragmentation of habitat indicate that there will be continuing decine in extent and quality.unknown
Are there extreme fluctuations in number of populations?unknown
Are there extreme fluctuations in number of locations*?unknown
Are there extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence?unknown
Are there extreme fluctuations in index of area of occupancy?unknown

* See Definitions and Abbreviations on COSEWIC website and IUCN 2010 (PDF; 492 KB) for more information on this term.

Number of Mature Individuals (in each population)

 
PopulationN Mature Individuals
Totalunknown
Sumas Mountainunknown

Quantitative Analysis

 
Probability of extinction in the wild is at least [20% within 20 years or 5 generations, or 10% within 100 years].unknown

Threats (actual or imminent, to populations or habitats)

Continued urban development is continuing within the area, and possibly future mining activities.

Rescue Effect (immigration from outside Canada): unlikely

 
Status of outside population(s)?
Rated by NatureServe as G4, British Columbia SH, Montana as S1.
Is immigration known or possible?unknown
Would immigrants be adapted to survive in Canada?unknown
Is there sufficient habitat for immigrants in Canada?unknown
Is rescue from outside populations likely?unlikely

Current Status

COSEWIC: Endangered (2002, 2012)

Additional Sources of Information: See above

Status and Reasons for Designation

 
Status:
Endangered
Final Criteria:
D1
Status History:
Designated Endangered in November 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012
Reasons for designation:
This is a small species that grows among other mosses as an epiphyte on trees or on rock faces. In Canada, it is known from only one cliff in southwestern British Columbia. Although the species has not been found during recent surveys, the expanse of available habitat at the only known site, combined with the small stature of the moss, suggests that the species may still be present in Canada.

Applicability of Criteria

Criterion A: Not applicable. Decline data unavailable.

Criterion B: Not applicable. Decline and fluctuation data unavailable.

Criterion C: Not applicable. Decline data unavailable.

Criterion D: Meets threshold for Endangered D1, assuming that population numbers are below 250 given the search effort since the last assessment.

Criterion E: Not done.

Top of Page

Logo of COSEWIC

COSEWIC History

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) was created in 1977 as sa result of a recommendation at the Federal-Provincial Wildlife Conference held in 1976. It arose from the need for a single, official, scientifically sound, national listing of wildlife species at risk. In 1978, COSEWIC designated its first species and produced its first list of Canadian species at risk. Species designated at meetings of the full committee are added to the list. On June 5, 2003, the Species at Risk Act (SARA) was proclaimed. SARA establishes COSEWIC as an advisory body ensuring that species will continue to be assessed under a rigorous and independent scientific process.

COSEWIC Mandate

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assesses the national status of wild species, subspecies, varieties, or other designatable units that are considered to be at risk in Canada. Designations are made on native species for the following taxonomic groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, arthropods, molluscs, vascular plants, mosses, and lichens.

COSEWIC Membership

COSEWIC comprises members from each provincial and territorial government wildlife agency, four federal entities (Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Federal Biodiversity Information Partnership, chaired by the Canadian Museum of Nature), three non-government science members and the co-chairs of the species specialist subcommittees and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge subcommittee. The Committee meets to consider status reports on candidate species.

Definitions
(2012)

Wildlife Species
A species, subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and is either native to Canada or has extended its range into Canada without human intervention and has been present in Canada for at least 50 years.

Extinct (X)
A wildlife species that no longer exists.

Extirpated (XT)
A wildlife species no longer existing in the wild in Canada, but occurring elsewhere.

Endangered (E)
A wildlife species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.

Threatened (T)
A wildlife species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.

Special Concern (SC)*
A wildlife species that may become a threatened or an endangered species because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Not at Risk (NAR)**
A wildlife species that has been evaluated and found to be not at risk of extinction given the current circumstances.

Data Deficient (DD)***
A category that applies when the available information is insufficient (a) to resolve a species’ eligibility for assessment or (b) to permit an assessment of the species’ risk of extinction.

* Formerly described as “Vulnerable” from 1990 to 1999, or “Rare” prior to 1990.
** Formerly described as “Not In Any Category”, or “No Designation Required.”
*** Formerly described as “Indeterminate” from 1994 to 1999 or “ISIBD” (insufficient scientific information on which to base a designation) prior to 1994. Definition of the (DD) category revised in 2006.

The Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, provides full administrative and financial support to the COSEWIC Secretariat.