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Amended Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada - 2015 [Proposed]

 

Species at Risk Act
Recovery Strategy Series

Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora

2015

Recovery Strategy
Pink Coreopsis
Thread-leaved Sundew
Water Pennywort
Goldencrest
Plymouth Gentian
Management Plan
Sweet Pepperbush
New Jersey Rush
Eastern Lilaeopsis
Tubercled Spike-rush
Redroot

Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora

Document Information

Cover photo

Recommended citation:

Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency. 2015. Amended Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency. Ottawa. 141 pp. + appendices.

For copies of the recovery strategy, or for additional information on species at risk, including COSEWIC Status Reports, residence descriptions, action plans, and other related recovery documents, please visit the SAR Public Registry

Cover illustrations:

Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora lakeshore habitat, Tusket River, Nova Scotia; inset photos (from left) Goldencrest, Pink Coreopsis, Thread-leaved Sundew and Plymouth Gentian. Photos from the Wildlife Division, NS Department of Natural Resources (NS DNR).

Également disponible en français sous le titre « Programme de rétablissement et plan de gestion plurispécifiques modifiés pour la flore de la plaine côtière de l'Atlantique au Canada [Proposition] »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2015. All rights reserved.

ISBN
Catalogue no.

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

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Amended Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of
Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada
[Proposed]
2015

The Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency 2010) was posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry in January 2010.

Under Sections 45 and 70 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent Minister may amend a recovery strategy and management plan, respectively, at any time. This 2015 Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (hereafter, 'Amended Recovery Strategy') is for the purposes of:

  • Amending all sections of the Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency 2010), to reflect changes in the COSEWIC status and SARA status of species
  • Amending Critical Habitat Section 2.6 of the Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency 2010), based on updated information

In some cases, additional changes have been made to the Amended Recovery Strategy to align the document with current guidelines and templates for recovery documents.

Since 2010, when the Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency 2010) was written, the status of species have changed, critical habitat schedule of studies have been completed, and additional critical habitat has been identified.

This Amended Recovery Strategy is being posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry for a 60-day comment period. At the time of final posting, the Amended Recovery Strategy will replace the 2010 Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency 2010).

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Preface

Section 37 of SARA requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species and Section 65 of SARA requires the competent minister to prepare management plans for special concern species. For the SARA-listed species of Special Concern (Vulnerable under NS Endangered Species Act (NS ESA)), their inclusion in this combined recovery strategy and management plan will also serve in lieu of a separate management plan as required under SARA (Sections 65-67) and the NS ESA (Section 15). The inclusion of Long's Bulrush and Spotted Pondweed in this document will serve as a management plan for these species as required under the NS ESA (section 15).

The Province of Nova Scotia, Environment Canada, and Parks Canada Agency led the development of this document. This recovery strategy and management plan was developed in cooperation or consultation with numerous other individuals and agencies including environmental non-government organizations, industry stakeholders, aboriginal groups, and private landowners.

This recovery strategy and management plan addresses the recovery of all 13 provincially and federally legally listed ACPF species at risk, including two Endangered species: Pink Coreopsis and Thread-leaved Sundew; the three Threatened species: Water Pennywort, Goldencrest, and Plymouth Gentian; and the five species of Special Concern (Vulnerable under the NS ESA): Sweet Pepperbush, Tubercled Spike-rush, New Jersey Rush, Eastern Lilaeopsis, and Redroot. It also addresses one species listed as Endangered under the NS ESA: Eastern Baccharis and two species listed as Vulnerable under the NS ESA: Spotted Pondweed and Long's Bulrush. Footnote 1 Note that Plymouth Gentian and Water Pennywort are listed provincially as Endangered and Goldencrest and Long's Bulrush are listed provincially as Vulnerable. The range of all species at risk in this document is primarily the United States (US), with disjunct populations in Nova Scotia (NS), Canada.

A unique aspect of this multiple species recovery strategy and management plan is that, in addition to the legally listed ACPF species, it deals with species at risk assessed under the provincial general status assessment process (colour ranks) that have not yet been assessed by COSEWIC, including species for which there is insufficient information to assess their status. Other unique aspects of this document include the diversity of habitat types and threats addressed, the collaboration and coordination among three jurisdictions, the ecosystem perspective that is maintained within this document, and the challenges and opportunities associated with the primarily private land tenure within NS (approximately 70% privately owned). There are some locations on provincial crown land and some locations on federal land.

The ACPF Recovery Team developed an initial multiple species Recovery Plan in 1998. This original plan was re-evaluated and expanded upon with the completion of a new ACPF Recovery Strategy and Action Plan in 2005. With the support of the Government of Nova Scotia, this 2015 amended recovery strategy builds on the 2010 recovery strategy and management plan which in turn was developed based on the 2005 document.

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Recovery Team Members

Sherman Boates, Wildlife Division, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (Co-Chair)

Samara Eaton, Environment Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service (Co-Chair)

Sean Blaney, Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre

Megan Crowley, Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Parks Canada Agency

Mark Elderkin, Wildlife Division, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources

Nick Hill, Fernhill Institute

Paul Keddy (scientific advisor)

Amanda Lavers, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI)

Ron MacKay, Biology Department, Mount Saint Vincent University

David MacKinnon, NS Department of Environment and Labour, Protected Areas Branch

Karen McKendry, Nova Scotia Nature Trust

Marian Munro, Curator of Botany, Nova Scotia Museum

Ruth Newell, Biology Department, Acadia University

Donald Sam, Western Region, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources

Craig Smith, Nature Conservancy of Canada

Bonnie Sutherland, Nova Scotia Nature Trust

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Acknowledgments

This document was prepared by Samara T. Eaton, J. Sherman Boates, and Mark F. Elderkin in consultation with the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Recovery Team. Individual members of the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora (ACPF) Recovery Team have assisted in the development of this document. This document builds on the 1998 ACPF Recovery Plan drafted by Ruth Newell, Donald Sam, and Nick Hill and the 2005 ACPF Recovery Strategy and Action Plan drafted by Samara Eaton, Sherman Boates, Mark Elderkin and Donald Sam. The following are thanked for their contribution to the document: NS Department of Natural Resources (NS DNR); Environment Canada; Parks Canada Agency: National Office, Atlantic Service Centre, and Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site staff, in particular Megan Crowley; NS Museum of Natural History; Acadia University, EC Smith Herbarium; Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT); Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre; Tusket River Environmental Protection Association (TREPA); Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association; Nova Scotia Power Incorporated. Thanks the many members of the public including cottage owners, nature lovers, hikers, and concerned citizens who have helped and continue to assist with the recovery of ACPF. Brad Toms is also thanked for his contribution to amending this recovery strategy.

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Executive Summary

This Amended Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada updates and replaces the Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency 2010), including the updating of critical habitat within Section 2.6.

Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora (ACPF) in Nova Scotia (NS) consists of a group of 98 taxonomically unrelated herbaceous plants including flowering plants, shrubs, and herbs. ACPF are generally small, slow growing, and occur in habitats such as lake shorelines, fens, bogs, and estuaries. They are poor competitors and therefore limited to habitats where low fertility and continuous natural disturbance minimizes competition from more aggressive but stress-intolerant herbaceous plants.

Of the 98 ACPF species, 10 are legally listed under both the Species at Risk Act (SARA)and the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act (NS ESA) and a further three are listed only under the NS ESA. An additional 13 are Red (May be at Risk), 16 are Yellow (Sensitive) and 2 are Undetermined (Data Deficient) under the provincial General Status Ranks. In Canada, ACPF species are at the northern limit of their range and for many of them the Canadian distribution is restricted to the province of NS. The focus of this multiple species recovery strategy and management plan is on the two provincially and federally legally listed Endangered species, Pink Coreopsis(Coreopsis rosea) and Thread-leaved Sundew (Drosera filiformis) and the three federally Threatened species, Water Pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata), Goldencrest (Lophiola aurea) [provincially Vulnerable], and Plymouth Gentian (Sabatia kennedyana) [provincially Endangered]. This document also addresses the five provincially and federally listed Special Concern species (Vulnerable under the NS ESA): Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), Tubercled Spike-rush (Eleocharis tuberculosa), New Jersey Rush (Juncus caesariensis), and Eastern Lilaeopsis (Lilaeopsis chinensis), and Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana) [provincially Threatened]; and three species listed under the NS ESA but not SARA:  Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halmifolia) [provincially Threatened], Spotted Pondweed (Potamogeton pulcher) [provincially Vulnerable] and Long's Bulrush (Scirpus Longii) [provincially Vulnerable] [SARA Schedule 3] (Table 1).  In addition, this document addresses Tall Beakrush (Rhynchospora macrostachya) an ACPF species assessed as Endangered by COSEWIC, but not yet listed under SARA or the NS ESA.

ACPF species are at risk as a result of both biologically limiting factors and anthropogenic threats. Biologically limiting factors include small population sizes, range limitations, and reduced sexual reproduction capabilities. However, most threats are a result of human activities that are increasingly affecting ACPF and their habitat. The majority of threats occur in two broad categories, 'habitat loss and degradation' and 'changes in ecological dynamics or natural processes'. High priority threats include cottage and residential development, shoreline alterations, nutrient pollution from animal husbandry, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, infilling, peat mining and cranberry growing. Globally, NS contains some of the largest remaining areas of intact coastal plain habitat, which highlights the importance of maintaining NS's ACPF habitat and species. With approximately 70% of the province being privately owned, the majority of ACPF species and locations occur on private land and thus a diversity of recovery approaches is required.

A multi-species approach was adopted for the recovery and conservation of ACPF. Although the primary focus of this recovery strategy and management plan is the 13 legally listed ACPF species, it is being developed within the context of all 98 ACPF species. This will not only aid in the recovery of the legally listed ACPF species at risk, but also prevent additional ACPF species from becoming at risk. It is anticipated that this approach will benefit non-target species, ecological processes, and the environment.

Due to the complexities involved in multiple species recovery planning, priorities were established within biologically relevant categories including species status, habitat, and threats. Within these categories, ranks of high, medium, or low priority were assigned. This is a unique approach that enables recovery objectives and approaches to be targeted towards more than one species at a time. It also facilitates the planning and ultimately the delivery of both efficient and effective recovery actions.

Critical habitat is fully identified for the five Endangered and Threatened ACPF species listed under SARA. Examples of activities likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat are outlined.

The recovery of ACPF is considered technically and biologically feasible. The general goal of this recovery strategy and management plan is to maintain persistent populations of ACPF species and their habitat in NS. In addition, recovery goals are presented for all high priority species in this document. However there are knowledge gaps that prevent the establishment of quantitative recovery goals and objectives (i.e. a lack of population and distribution data, limited information on basic biology).

This recovery strategy and management plan sets three recovery goals for all high priority ACPF species; including the 13 legally listed ACPF species, the 13 non-legally listed Red (May be at Risk) ranked species, and 2 species of Undetermined ranked.

The recovery objectives, to be carried out in the next 5-10 years, are to: 

  1. Protect all populations and their habitats at the 53 high priority lakeshores, 56 high priority bogs/fens, all medium priority lakeshores, 6 high priority estuaries and 7 high priority saltmarshes.
  2. Prevent, remove, and/or reduce threats to species and habitats, including all high priority threats on lakeshores, at bogs/fens, and at estuaries/coastal habitats.
  3. Determine and update information on population abundance and distribution, habitat availability and suitability, and threats.
  4. Attain information on population biology and ecological requirements needed to support conservation and recovery.
  5. Continueand/or implement stewardship activities at the 53 high priority lakeshores and 56 high priority bogs/fens and the medium priority lakeshores and three bogs/fens.
  6. Increase public awareness and education pertaining to the existence, threats, and conservation value of all high priority species and their habitats.
  7. Define needs and methods for implementing restoration for Pink Coreopsis, Water Pennywort, and Plymouth Gentian.

Approaches to recovery are outlined to achieve the recovery objectives, and are organized in three broad interrelated strategies (Information Acquisition, Management, and Stewardship). This provides a framework for future development of specific recovery actions, helps participants identify their role in the recovery process, and increases efficiency and cost effectiveness of recovery actions. The federal SARA specific requirements for an action plan will be met in a single action plan for the ACPF that will be completed within two years of the final posting of this document on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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Footnotes

Footnote 1

The 10 provincially and federally legally listed ACPF species and the one Vulnerable species under the NS ESA will be referred to hereafter as "the legally listed ACPF species".

Return to first footnote 1 referrer

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Introduction