Recovery Strategy for the False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis) in Canada - 2014

Species at Risk Act
Recovery Strategy Series

False Hop Sedge

Photo: False Hop Sedge

Table of Contents


Document Information

Recovery Strategy for the False Hop Sedge in Canada

Recommended citation:

Environment Canada. 2014. Recovery Strategy for the False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis) in Canada, Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series, Environment Canada, Ottawa, vi + 28 pages.

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 Species at Risk Public Registry.

Cover illustration: © Matthew Wild, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Également disponible en français sous le titre :
« Programme de rétablissement du carexfaux-lupulina (Carex lupuliformis) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2014. All rights reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-100-23097-9
Catalogue no.: En3-4/176-2014E-PDF

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

Preface

The federal, provincial and territorial government signatories under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996) agreed to establish complementary legislation and programs that provide for effective protection of species at risk throughout Canada. Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) (S.C. 2002, c. 29), the federal competent ministers are responsible for the preparation of recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species and are required to report on progress within five years.

The Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the False Hop Sedge and has developed this strategy, as per section 37 of SARA. The recovery strategy was prepared in cooperation with the governments of Ontario (Ministry of Natural Resources) and Quebec (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs).

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of the 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. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the False Hop Sedge and Canadian society as a whole.

This recovery strategy will be followed by one or more action plans that will provide information on recovery measures to be taken by Environment Canada or other jurisdictions or organizations involved in the conservation of the species. Implementation of this strategy is subject to appropriations, priorities and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.

Acknowledgments

This recovery strategy was prepared by Vincent Carignan and Matthew Wild (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Quebec Region) and Kathy Saint-Laurent (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region) based on a draft by Nicole Lavoie (consulting botanist). Many people contributed to the document, including members of the advisory committee for the recovery of False Hop Sedge in Canada [Patricia Désilets (Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec), Kate MacIntyre and Allen Woodliffe (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) and Andrée Nault (research team of Montréal’s Biodôme)], Alain Branchaud and Karine Picard (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Quebec Region), Kate Hayes (formerly with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region), Angela Darwin, Madeline Austen, Graham Bryan, Lesley Dunn and Dalia Al-Ali (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region), Marie­José Ribeyron (formerly with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – National Capital Region), Tanys Uhmann (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – National Capital Region), Jacques Labrecque, Nadia Cavallin, Jacques Cayouette, Guy Jolicoeur and Line Couillard (Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec), Bree Walpole, Eric Snyder and Michael J. Oldham (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), Jacinthe Letendre and Stéphanie Pellerin (Institut de recherche en biologie végétale), as well as Diane Amirault-Langlais and Marjorie Mercure (formerly with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Quebec Region).

Executive Summary

False Hop Sedge is an herbaceous perennial in the sedge family that grows in tufts on the margins of wetlands (e.g., swamps, marshes, floodplains). The species was assessed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2000 and 2011, and has been listed as Endangered on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act since 2003.

The False Hop Sedge has a sporadic distribution in eastern North America and is at the northern limit of its range in Canada, occurring solely in the southernmost part of Ontario and Quebec. In Canada, there are 20 known populations of which 14 are currently extant. Naturally occurring individuals have been detected in 12 of these since 2009. Transplantations have been conducted in 7 extant populations, and reintroductions have taken place in 3 formerly extirpated populations. In 2009–2010, there were approximately 361 tufts of False Hop Sedge in Canada, half of which were the result of reintroduction or transplantation efforts. Following a major flooding event in Quebec during the spring of 2011, only two naturally occurring tufts remained in that province. However, in 2012, the total had climbed back to 38 natural tufts.

The main threats to False Hop Sedge have been identified as alteration of the water regime, canopy closure, invasive alien plant species, recreational and landowner activities, parasites, garbage dumping and residential development. It should also be noted that a limited number of extant populations with low abundance distributed within a restricted geographic region poses a significant challenge for the long-term persistence of the species in Canada.

The recovery of False Hop Sedge is considered technically and biologically feasible. The population and distribution objective is to maintain or, where feasible, increase the abundance and the area of occupancy of False Hop Sedge in Canada. The broad strategies to be taken to address the threats to the survival and recovery of the species are presented in the section Strategic Direction for Recovery.

The critical habitat of False Hop Sedge in Canada is partially identified in this recovery strategy. It corresponds to the suitable habitat at 13 of the 20 locations where populations of the species are found or described, including all of the populations that have benefited from reintroduction or transplantation efforts or within which the existence of suitable habitat has been recently confirmed. A schedule of studies proposes to determine the necessity of identifying critical habitat at the Amherstburg and Galt locations in Ontario as well as to establish the boundaries of the critical habitat units at the Lambeth (Ontario) and Oka (Quebec) locations.

One or more action plans will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry by 2019.

Summary of Recovery Feasibility

In considering the criteria established by Government of Canada (2009), the competent minister must determine whether the recovery of the listed wildlife species is technically and biologically feasible. On the basis of the criteria established in the draft SARA Policies (Government of Canada 2009), recovery of False Hop Sedge is considered biologically and technically feasible, since the responses to the following statements are “yes” or “unknown”:

  1. Individuals of the wildlife species that are capable of reproduction are available now or in the foreseeable future to sustain the population or improve its abundance.
    Yes. Inventories conducted since 2005 have located new False Hop Sedge populations and natural seed and seedling production has recently been observed at 11 extant populations in Canada. Seedlings were produced ex situ in Quebec (up until 2010) and Ontario.
  2. Sufficient suitable habitat is available to support the species or could be made available through habitat management or restoration.
    Yes. In Ontario, suitable habitat is found at least at 7 of the 9 locations that are currently occupied by populations, and more than 35 wetlands showing similarities to habitats supporting extant populations have been identified elsewhere in the province. In Quebec, 9 potential wetlands have been identified along the Ottawa River and 3 along the Richelieu River (Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin 2006). These wetlands are located near extant or historical populations along a 10-km stretch of the Ottawa River and a 20-km stretch of the Richelieu River.
  3. The primary threats to the species or its habitat (including threats outside Canada) can be avoided or mitigated.
    Yes. The threats with the highest level of concern (e.g. canopy closure, alteration of water regime) can be avoided or mitigated through recovery activities such as habitat protection and stewardship. It should also be noted that a limited number of extant populations (14) with low abundance (< 400 individuals total) distributed within a restricted geographic region poses a significant challenge for the long-term persistence of the species.
  4. Recovery techniques exist to achieve the population and distribution objectives or can be expected to be developed within a reasonable timeframe.
    Yes. Although habitat restoration (e.g. clearing competing vegetation) and reintroduction or transplantation of False Hop Sedge individuals have been successfully carried out in the field (Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin 2006, Letendre et al. 2007), the outcome of such efforts can be moderated by the fact that the species is at the northern limit of its range in Canada. In 2010, the survival rate of transplanted individuals ranged from 17 to 82%, depending on the population, and the rate of survival of seed-producing individuals ranged from 15 to 60% (COSEWIC 2011).

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1. COSEWIC[1] Species Assessment Information

Date of Assessment:
November 2011

Common Name:
False Hop Sedge

Scientific Name:
Carex lupuliformis

COSEWIC Status:
Endangered

Reason for Designation:
In Canada, this rare sedge is found in southern Ontario and Quebec where fewer than 250 mature plants have been found.  There have been substantial historical population losses attributed to residential development and other forms of land use. Continued declines are attributed to late season flooding, land drainage, invasive alien species, recreation, erosion, garbage dumping, water regime regulation, and residential and urban development. Recovery efforts have included re introduction at three sites in Quebec.

Canadian Occurrence:
Ontario, Quebec

COSEWIC Status History:
Designated Threatened in April 1997. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2000 and November 2011.

2. Species Status Information

Less than 1% of the global False Hop Sedge population is found in Canada (Labrecque 1998). The species is listed as Endangered [2] on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) (S.C. 2002, c. 29). It is listed as Threatened [3] in Quebec under the Act respecting threatened or vulnerable species (R.S.Q. c. E-12.01) and as Endangered in Ontario under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (S.O. 2007, c.  6).

In the most recent NatureServe assessment (dating from 2000), the species was assigned a global conservation status rank of G4 (apparently secure), a national rank of N4 (apparently secure) in the United States and N2 (imperiled) in Canada, and a subnational rank of S1 (critically imperiled) in Ontario and Quebec (NatureServe 2010; see Appendix A for definitions of ranks).

3. Species Information

3.1 Species Description

Based on COSEWIC (2011) and references cited therein, False Hop Sedge is a perennial herbaceous plant in the Cyperaceae family that reaches a height between 50 and 130 cm. It grows in tufts comprising 5 to 30 stems arising from a sympodial rhizome [4]. The leaves (i.e., blades) are smooth, erect and 30 to 80 cm long. Flowering begins in late June with a flower measuring 6 to 40 cm across and bearing 1 to 6 elongated spikes. Fruiting occurs from mid-July to late October in Canada. The fruit casing  is glossy. The plant's fruits contain a single seed, are trigonous (have a triangular cross-section). The fruit bears a prominent nipple-like knobs, a characteristic that can be used to distinguish it from Hop Sedge (Carex lupulina), which is otherwise virtually identical during the vegetative stage.

3.2 Population and Distribution

False Hop Sedge is a species with a sporadic distribution in eastern North America and is at the northern limit of its distribution in Canada. Its range in the United States includes all states from Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas eastward to New York. In Canada, it occurs solely in the southernmost part of Ontario and Quebec (Figure 1).

According to COSEWIC (2011), the species’ Canadian extent of occurrence is about 23, 900 km2 (~ 41, 800 km2 when including reintroduction sites). This area has declined by about 21, 550 km2 since the last report (Labrecque 1998), primarily owing to the extirpation of the populations in the Ottawa River sector in Quebec. When the sites where reintroduction has taken place are factored in, the reduction is 3,540 km2. The species’ current area of occupancy in Canada is less than 0.01 km2.

There are 20 known populations in Canada of which 14 are currently extant. Naturally occurring individuals have been detected in 12 of these since 2009 (Appendix B). In Ontario, all populations are concentrated in Middlesex and Elgin counties. In Quebec, they are located along a 20-km stretch of the Richelieu River, near Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and along a 10-km stretch of the Ottawa River.

Figure 1: Distribution of False Hop Sedge in North America. Map by Y. Lachance, reproduced with permission of Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec (in COSEWIC 2011).

Distribution of False Hop Sedge in North America

In order to increase the resilience of the species, individuals have been transplanted in 7 of the extant populations (2 in Quebec, 5 in Ontario) and reintroduced at 3 of the sites of extirpated populations (all 3 in Quebec). The necessity of such recovery measures became evident following the major flooding of the Richelieu River in Quebec during spring 2011, after which only 2 naturally occurring individuals were found (Stéphanie Pellerin, personal communication). Had this species not benefited from reintroduction efforts and augmentation of its numbers by transplantations since 2006, it would have been nearly extirpated in the Province of Quebec today. It should, however, be noted that the species tends to re-establish after such events. In fact, there were 38 tufts of sedge when inventories were conducted along the Richelieu in 2012 (Stéphanie Pellerin, personal communication).

In 2009–2010, there were 361 mature individuals (142, if transplants are excluded) in the extant populations. Population abundance can fluctuate from year to year and, despite recurrent monitoring of populations, no clear trend is discernable. A number of factors explain this situation. First, the data available prior to 2005 were primarily estimates and based solely on fruiting individuals which vary as a function of hydrological conditions (Letendre et al. 2007). Second, it is almost impossible to identify vegetative (seedless) individuals of the species. Hence, permanent marking of plants is essential for tracking population trends. This approach has been used since 2005 for individuals in Quebec’s populations where more than 180 individuals have been marked [5], and the fluctuations observed indicate a downward trend (see Appendix B).

3.3 Needs of False Hop Sedge

The False Hop Sedge colonizes a transition zone along the natural shorelines of various types of wetland, some of which are subject to periodic short-term flooding or ice scouring (COSEWIC 2011). These types of habitat favour species that prefer high light exposure and, indeed, the vigour of the False Hop Sedge decreases as the woody vegetation grows more dense (Letendre et al. 2007). According to COSEWIC (2011), False Hop Sedge appears to have more specialized habitat requirements than most riparian species, which could partly account for its rarity.

In Ontario, wetlands that are currently colonized by False Hop Sedge are vernal pools as well as isolated marshes within wooded swamps that are unconnected to any major streams (Labrecque 1998; COSEWIC 2011). The wooded swamps within which these habitats are imbedded likely provide dispersal habitat and support the hydrological processes that maintain them (Eric Snyder, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, personal communication). At these locations, False Hop Sedge is found in areas with limited competition from herbaceous and shrubby plants. However, the most frequently observed associated species are Bog Hemp (Boehmeria cylindrica), Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), Hop Sedge (Carex lupulina), Clearweed (Pilea pumila), Beggarticks (Bidens spp.), Knotweed (Polygonum persicaria), Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) as well as Red Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), Red Maple (Acer rubrum) or Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) (Labrecque, 1998). The soil is composed of a clay loam (Labrecque 1998).

In Quebec, False Hop Sedge has only been observed in Silver Maple swamps or shrub swamps in small isolated bays that are sheltered from currents but near a natural shoreline subjected to periodic flooding of short duration. Associated species include Red Ash, Black Willow (Salix nigra), Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea), Bog Hemp, Rice Cutgrass, Water Parsnip (Sium suave), Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) and Hop Sedge. Except in the case of the Lacolle population, which is located 50 m from a river, the tufts are very close to water (10 – 15 m) during low-flow periods. The soil is composed of a gleysol [6] of recent alluvia with textures ranging from sandy loam to clay loam (Labrecque 1998) with poor drainage (COSEWIC 2011).

The preceding habitat characteristics and species associations are based on a subset of locations occupied by the species and may not necessarily represent conditions that are optimal for this species, which has a very limited distribution in Canada and is at the northern limit of its distribution. The current distribution of the species could, in certain instances, be the result of historical artifacts related to landscape development.

A persistent seed bank (Templeton and Levin 1979) plays a crucial role in maintaining False Hop Sedge populations. Aside from the fact that the seeds are dispersed primarily by water, little is known about seed dispersal dynamics. It is nonetheless likely that mature seeds fall into the water and are carried over long distances during flooding, thereby ensuring local dispersal (Labrecque 1998) and colonization of suitable habitats that become available (COSEWIC 2011). Despite this, it is assumed that no genetic exchange takes place between the Ontario and Quebec populations since they are hydrologically isolated (COSEWIC 2011).

4. Threats

4.1 Threat Assessment

Table 1. Threat Assessment
ThreatLevel of Concern1ExtentOccurrenceFrequencySeverity2Causal Certainty3
Habitat loss or degradation
Alteration of water regimeHighWidespreadCurrentContinuousHigh/
Moderate4
High
Recreational and landowner activitiesMediumWidespreadCurrentContinuousModerateMedium
Residential developmentLowLocalizedHistoricalContinuousHigh/
Moderate
High
Changes in ecological dynamics or natural processes
Canopy closureHighLocalizedCurrentContinuousHigh/
Moderate
High
Alien, invasive or introduced species/genome
Invasive alien plant speciesMediumWidespreadCurrentContinuousUnknownHigh
ParasitesLowWidespreadCurrentContinuousUnknownLow
Pollution
Garbage dumpingLowLocalizedCurrentContinuousLowLow

1 Level of Concern: signifies that managing the threat is of high, medium or low concern for the recovery of the species, consistent with the population and distribution objectives. This criterion considers the assessment of all the information in the table. Threats with a low Level of Concern are listed and described but may not be specifically addressed in the recovery approaches.

2 Severity: reflects the population-level effect (High: very large population-level effect, Moderate, Low, Unknown).

3 Causal Certainty: reflects the degree of evidence that is known for the threat (High: available evidence strongly links the threat to stresses on population viability; Medium: there is a correlation between the threat and population viability, e.g. expert opinion; Low: the threat is assumed or plausible).

4 Each threat assessment criterion is assessed for each population and for the entire range. When two qualifiers are indicated in a box, it means the identified threat does not have the same impact at both levels (scale of populations/entire range).

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4.2 Description of Threats

The threats listed below are presented in decreasing order of the level of concern. It should also be noted, however, that a limited number of extant populations (14) with low abundance (< 400 individuals total) distributed within a restricted geographic region poses a significant challenge for the long-term persistence of the False Hop Sedge.

Alteration of the water regime

Natural fluctuations in water levels as well as drought periods appear to play a crucial role in the establishment and maintenance of False Hop Sedge and its habitat. Indeed, episodic high-water levels can provide suitable habitat by removing competing plant species and by eroding more forested riparian habitats, thereby creating openings that are suitable for the establishment of new individuals (Labrecque 1998; Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin 2006; Jolicoeur and Couillard 2006; COSEWIC 2011).  However, excessive water saturation of the substrate does not favour the expansion of Silver Maple swamps (Jean Morin, personal communication) and appears to impede the emergence of seedlings and reduce the vigour of individuals (Letendre et al. 2007). Indeed, it has been shown that high water levels such as those observed on the Richelieu River since the 2000s (and particularly during the spring 2011 floods) cause the loss of False Hop Sedge plants (Letendre et al. 2007; Stephanie Pellerin, personal communication). Locations where the suitable habitat consists solely of a narrow strip of vegetation hemmed in along the river by private residences (e.g., Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois, McGillivray Bay) are more at risk from this threat.

Dam construction can exacerbate the negative effects of high water levels. In Quebec, the construction of the Carillon Dam in the 1950s altered the hydrological regime of the Ottawa River. The shoreline has been eroded in areas upstream of the dam. The dam may have also caused the extirpation of the populations in the Lac des Deux-Montagnes region (Jolicoeur and Couillard 2006).The threat of dam construction remains along the Richelieu River in Quebec but is unlikely in Ontario since most populations are found in woodland vernal pools.

In several Ontario populations, surface or subsurface drains (agricultural and/or municipal) are situated right next to most extant populations and appear to have dried the soils at the West Lorne and London locations. In Quebec, the location of extant populations within 10 – 15 m of large watercourses suggests that drainage is not a threat. However, the sites of some extirpated populations where reintroductions are being considered are more vulnerable as they are further away from these watercourses. Changes in the hydrological conditions of the habitat can promote the growth of competing plant species in the shrub and herb layers, which can be detrimental to False Hop Sedge. The decline observed in several populations in Ontario and Quebec appears to be related to this factor (COSEWIC 2011).

Canopy closure

False Hop Sedge is a shade-intolerant species and, as such, is threatened by vegetation succession (COSEWIC 2011). This appears to have been the cause of the extirpation of the Grande Baie d ’Oka and Rigaud (Quebec) populations as well as the Amherstburg (Ontario) population (Labrecque 1998). As found in many other species of Carex, the seeds may nonetheless remain viable in the soil for more than 10 years (Leck and Shutz 2005) and germinate following disturbance of the soil or opening of the canopy. This situation was observed at the Mount Brydges (Ontario) population where forest harvesting created openings in the canopy, promoting a dramatic increase in the number of individuals at this location (from 25–30 in 1992 to 1,075 in 2003). However, competition by herbaceous vegetation and closing of the canopy in subsequent years reduced the number of individuals to 29 in 2009.

Invasive alien plant species

Invasive alien plants can affect the survival of False Hop Sedge by competing with it for sunlight and nutrients as well as by acting as a barrier to seed dispersal (COSEWIC 2011). The absence of water level fluctuations or low water levels is conducive to the establishment of invasive plants (Hudon et al. 2005). Species that may be more problematic are Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Reed Canary Grass, Reed Manna Grass (Glyceria maxima) and Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). All the individuals at the Pointe du Gouvernement sector of the Henryville (Quebec) population appear to have disappeared due to the establishment of a dense stand of Reed Canary Grass (COSEWIC 2011). European Water-chestnut (Trapa natans), although not currently present at False Hop Sedge populations, occurs in some areas along a tributary of the Richelieu River (Quebec) as well as upstream of the Carillon dam on the Ottawa River on the Ontario side. This species forms a dense carpet on the water surface that could eventually invade the False Hop Sedge's populations and inhibit its growth and dispersal.

Recreational and landowner activities

A number of populations are located in areas where mortality through trampling of the plants is a threat because of public access or landowner activities (e.g., grazing, hunting, clearing of underbrush and tree harvesting). All-terrain vehicle (ATV) use has been observed near two populations in Quebec (Carillon Island and Henryville (Labrecque 1998)). Proximity of False Hop Sedge to residences or recreational areas also increases the risk of vandalism, as was observed in the Parc national d’Oka, where a number of transplanted tufts were pulled up by park users.

Parasites

False Hop Sedge and other members of this plant family are hosts of a dipteran [7] parasite. The larvae of this parasite develop inside the fruit, causing a deformity that affects the position of the fruit casing. This phenomenon affects all extant Canadian populations, but more so the one at Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu (COSEWIC 2011). The effect this parasite has on the species is unknown (Labrecque 1998). In addition, an alien aphid (Ceruraphis eriophori) has been observed on several plants in Quebec and may be present in Ontario. The presence of the aphids appears to be linked to premature drying of plants (Letendre et al. 2007) and appears to be correlated with the drying and mortality of a number of individuals transplanted in Quebec in 2006. It is possible the aphid could have a significant impact on the species’ long-term survival (COSEWIC 2011). A sawfly (Pachynematus corniger) has also been observed feeding on the leaves of False Hop Sedge in Quebec. The impact of sawfly feeding on the survival of False Hop Sedge plants has not been studied, but it appears to reduce the plants’ vigour (COSEWIC 2011).

Garbage dumping

Garbage or other waste/debris can impede the growth of False Hop Sedge. This has been observed around the population in London (Ontario) and the populations along the Richelieu River in Quebec, where debris consist of floating materials deposited along the shoreline by flood waters and waves (COSEWIC 2011).

Residential development

Residential development affects populations through habitat loss and degradation. Nearly two thirds of the shoreline of the Richelieu River have been altered, mainly as a result of residential development and the construction of marinas. Shoreline development likely explains the extirpation of the Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois, Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix, Iberville and Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu populations (Labrecque 1998). This threat is more limited now because of various legislative measures that protect wetlands. The COSEWIC status report (COSEWIC 2011) mentions residential development near the London (Ontario) population; however, this does not appear to be a major threat at present because the city owns the site and is not likely to develop it.

5. Population and Distribution Objective

The population and distribution objective is to maintain and, as far as possible, increase the abundance and area of occupancy of the False Hop Sedge in Canada. At the present time, it is not possible to establish a quantifiable objective regarding the appropriate abundance of individual populations or the overall population in Canada but this may become possible at a later point.

In the southernmost part of Ontario and Quebec, a high rate of wetland loss was observed during the last century along with significant alteration of riparian habitats colonized by False Hop Sedge. This has resulted in the persistence of very few individuals within a limited number of populations, therefore increasing the vulnerability of the species to catastrophic events. For example, during the spring of 2011, severe flooding took place along the Richelieu River, wiping out all but two of the naturally occurring individuals. Had reintroduction or transplantation efforts not been undertaken in previous years, the species would be nearly extirpated from the Province of Quebec today. At the same time, such events can generate suitable habitats that can be colonized by the species if sufficient seed-producing individuals survive. Extant sites may also bounce back from such events if the seed banks are not flooded for an extended period.

The objective of the federal recovery strategy corresponds to those set out in the Government of Quebec’s conservation plan for the False Hop Sedge (Jolicoeur and Couillard 2006), which are to 1) protect and ensure the long-term persistence of all extant populations; and 2) introduce or reintroduce the species, if feasible, in the physiographic units [8] where it has become extirpated. No similar conservation plan has yet been prepared by the Province of Ontario.

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6. Broad Strategies and Approaches for Meeting Recovery Objectives

6.1 Actions Already Completed or Currently Underway

Conservation of the Species, its Suitable Habitat and the Adjacent Riparian Zone

  • Seeds were sent to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s seed bank in Saskatoon. More than 2,500 fruit s obtained from nearly all the populations in Canada (except Ailsa Craig and Lambeth in Ontario) were also sent to the Millenium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardensin Kew (England) for long-term conservation. Seeds have been collected in Ontario since 2006 and seedlings have been grown to reintroduce individuals in certain populations in Quebec since 2010.
  • Habitats have been restored and individuals were reintroduced in the sites of 3 extirpated populations in Quebec (Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois, Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu and Grande Baie d ’Oka) and transplanted in 2 populations in Quebec ( Henryville and McGillivray Bay) and 5 populations in Ontario (West Elgin, West Lorne, London and Mount Brydges). In 2010, the survival of transplanted individuals ranged from 17 to 82%, and the survival of seed-producing individuals ranged from 15 to 60% (COSEWIC 2011).
  • A portion of the Henryville population is legally designated as the Marcel-Raymond Ecological reserve as well as a plant habitat[9] (Baie-des-Anglais) under the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened and Vulnerable Species.
  • In revising their regional development plan, the Haut-Richelieu, Deux-Montagnes and Argenteuil regional county municipalities designated three suitable False Hop Sedge habitats as ecologically significant areas. In these areas, only developments devoted to education, such as interpretive trails, can be authorized.
  • The Samuel-de-Champlain biodiversity reserve in Quebec (Natural Heritage Conservation Act R.S.Q. c. C-61.01) was designated in 2011 to protect 487 ha of wetlands in the Richelieu River (Quebec) sector between Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and the United States border.
  • In Ontario, the habitat of the False Hop Sedge is protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007.

Surveys and Monitoring

  • Since 2005, the extant populations of Quebec have been surveyed and mapped every year or two and a stewardship approach has been recommended for each (Jolicoeur and Couillard 2006).
  • Nine new locations suitable for the reintroduction of the species have been identified along the Ottawa River (Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin 2006; Letendre et al. 2007).
  • In 2009, surveys were conducted at all the extant populations in Ontario as well as the extirpated Amherstburg site.

Communication and Partnerships

  • Outreach activities directed at the general public and more specifically at owners of properties located near False Hop Sedge populations of the Richelieu River region have been carried out annually since 2006 (e.g. Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin 2006; Letendre et al. 2007).

6.2 Strategic Direction for Recovery

Table 2. Recovery Planning for the False Hop Sedge
Threat or LimitationBroad Strategy to RecoveryPriorityGeneral Description of Research and Management Approaches
AllConservation of the species, its suitable habitat and the adjacent riparian zoneHigh
  • Apply legal and stewardship measures within the suitable habitat and in the adjacent areas in order to reduce the impacts of the main threats.
  • Continue or implement management approaches to increase the abundance of the species and the area of suitable habitat, where feasible:
    • ex situ cultivation of the species using artificial propagation techniques;
    • restoration of habitats;
    • reintroductions in the sites of historical or extirpated populations;
    • transplantations in extant populations.
Gaps in knowledge related to demographics and biologySurvey and monitoringHigh
  • Develop and implement a standard inventory and monitoring protocol for collection of comparable data in Ontario and Quebec, including
    • Marking of all naturally occurring individuals at extant populations as well as reintroduced or
      transplanted individuals in order to better monitor population dynamics and trends.
    • Gather georeferenced data on individual tufts as well as on the area of occupancy for the tufts.
  • Conduct a regular inventory of suitable habitat outside of known localities.
All; Gaps in knowledge related to demographics and biologyResearchHigh
  • Develop techniques to increase the vigour and persistence of transplants:
    • Study the species’ capacities to adapt to ecological conditions (e.g., availability of light, frequency and length of flooding events) at the northern edge of its distribution
  • Study the species’ population dynamics
    • Investigate the viability of seeds in the soil
    • Determine how seed dispersal influences population dynamics
    • Conduct a population viability analysis
  • Study genetic aspects that could limit our ability to recover the species (e.g., hybridization).
AllCommunication and partnershipsMedium
  • Develop and implement a communication strategy for partner agencies, interest groups, private landowners and the general public.

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7. Critical Habitat

7.1 Identification of the Species’ Critical Habitat

The False Hop Sedge colonizes natural shorelines of various types of wetlands. In Canada, biophysical attributes of suitable habitat for this species include the following:

For all populations

  • Sufficient light to ensure the optimal germination of seeds as well as the vigour and survival of individual plants
  • Reduced competition from other species (herbaceous or shrubs) that impede the growth of individual plants
  • Adequate water table so as not to encourage competition from other species or impede growth

For populations in Ontario

  • Wooded swamps and wooded swamp edges, including the vernal pools and isolated marshes within them.
  • Associated species such as Bog Hemp, Rice Cutgrass, Hop Sedge, Clearweed, Beggarticks, Knotweed, Common Burdock as well as Red Ash, Red Maple or Silver Maple.
  • A soil composed of a clay loam.

For populations in Quebec

  • Silver Maple swamps or shrub swamp in small isolated bays that are sheltered from currents but near a natural shoreline subjected to periodic flooding of short duration.
  • Associated species such as Reed Canary Grass, Bog Hemp, Rice Cutgrass, Water Parsnip, Prairie Cordgrass or Hop Sedge.
  • A soil composed of a gleysol with recent alluvia, with textures ranging from sandy loam to clay loam.

The critical habitat of False Hop Sedge in Canada is partially identified in this recovery strategy. It corresponds to the suitable habitat at 13 of the 20 locations where populations of the species are found or described, including all of the populations that have benefited from reintroduction or transplantation efforts or within which the existence of suitable habitat has been recently confirmed. Of the 7 remaining locations, 4 need further investigations to determine whether the species or suitable habitat is still present or to establish their area of occupancy (quality ranking codes E and H) and a schedule of studies is proposed to that effect in section 7.2. Three locations no longer provide suitable habitat (code X) and will not be identified as critical habitat unless restoration efforts are undertaken.

In Quebec, critical habitat is identified at 7 locations (6 with extant populations, 3 of which have benefited from transplantations efforts and 3 that have benefited from reintroductions; and 1 in which the population is extirpated but suitable habitat is still available). Six of these populations are identified as priority conservation targets in the Government of Quebec’s conservation plan for the False Hop Sedge, plus the seventh population, the Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois population, which is included in the federal recovery strategy because successful reintroduction efforts started after the publication of the provincial conservation plan in 2006. In Ontario, critical habitat is identified at 6 of the 7 locations hosting extant False Hop Sedge populations. Greater accuracy regarding the boundaries of the Lambeth location is necessary for it to be identified as critical habitat. The presence of suitable habitat must also be verified at the Galt and Amherstburg locations to determine whether restoration and reintroduction efforts are warranted or feasible.

The boundaries of critical habitat units at each location correspond to the extent of the woodlot and associated wetlands containing suitable False Hop Sedge habitat. Any element contained within the boundaries that does not correspond to the biophysical attributes of suitable habitat (e.g., agricultural field, road) is not considered critical habitat. Appendix D lists the 13 critical habitat units identified for Quebec and Ontario, their status (extant, have benefited from reintroduction or transplantation efforts or not) as well as geographic coordinates (1 x 1 km resolution). No maps or specific coordinates are provided for this species’ critical habitat as the data is considered to be sensitive in some jurisdictions.

7.2 Schedule of Studies to Identify Critical Habitat

Table 3. Schedule of Studies
Description of ActivityRationaleTimeline
Determine whether individuals and/or suitable habitat are still present at the Galt and Amherstburg (Ontario) populations; establish the boundaries of the critical habitat at the Lambeth (Ontario) and Oka (Quebec) populations.Identification of additional critical habitat units2014–2019

7.3 Examples of Activities Likely to Result in Destruction of Critical Habitat

Habitat destruction is determined on a case-by-case basis. Destruction would occur if an element of the critical habitat was permanently or temporarily deteriorated to the point that the habitat can no longer serve its purpose when the species needs it. Destruction can result from one or several activities occurring at a given point or from the cumulative effects of one or more activities over a prolonged period (Government of Canada 2009).

The critical habitat of False Hop Sedge may be destroyed through two main mechanisms associated with human activities.

Changes in the water regime

  • Changes in water levels due to drainage, dam construction/regulation of watercourses or similar activities can cause shoreline erosion, drying or excessive saturation of the substrate, or can indirectly affect canopy closure. This can make a site unfavourable for the germination of seeds or the growth of individuals, which require soil with a suitable level of water saturation. In addition, plants may experience a reduction in vigour due to increased competition from other plant species. Drier sites are also more easily colonized by competing plants, especially invasive species, which can lead to closure of the vegetation and increased shading.

Habitat loss or degradation

  • Infrastructure development (e.g., roads, trails, houses, wharves, bank stabilisation structures) and land use changes (e.g., wood harvesting, mowing, haying) can cause the direct destruction and/or fragmentation of habitat, thus leading to both a reduction in the quantity of available suitable habitat and of the connectivity between populations.
  • Tree harvesting and recreational activities can, under some circumstances, alter the soil structure through compaction caused by the passage of machinery or by trampling, which can negatively affect the growth of individuals or lead to difficulties with seed germination.
  • Garbage or waste dumping can prevent the production of seeds or affect the vigour of the plants.

These examples do not represent an exhaustive list of the activities likely to destroy the critical habitat of False Hop Sedge.

8. Measuring Progress

The performance indicator presented below provides a way to define and measure progress in achieving the population and distribution objectives.

  • The abundance of False Hop Sedge and the area of occupancy in Canada are maintained and, where feasible, increased.

9. Statement on Action Plans

One or more action plans will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry by 2019.

10. References

Bachand-Lavallée, V. and S. Pellerin. 2006. Conservation du carex faux-lupulina, une espèce en voie de disparition au Canada. Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Montréal. 34 pp.

CDPNQ. 2011. Données sur le carex faux-lupulina. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec. Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec.

COSEWIC. 2011. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the False Hop Sedge Carex lupuliformis in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 36 pp. Species at Risk Public Registry.

Government of Canada. 2009. Environment Canada. 2009. Species at Risk Act Policies (PDF format, 645 KB). Environment Canada. 38 pp.

Hill, S.R. 2006. Conservation Assessment for the False Hop Sedge (Carex lupuliformis Sartwell ex Dewey). Illinois Natural History Survey, Center for Wildlife and Plant Ecology Technical Report 2006 (11), Champaign, Illinois. 40 pp.

Hudon, C., P. Gagnon, and M. Jean. 2005. Hydrological factors controlling the spread of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) in the St. Lawrence River (Quebec, Canada). EcoScience 12 : 347-357.

Jolicoeur, G. and L. Couillard. 2006. Plan de conservation du carex faux-lupulina (Carex lupuliformis), Espèce menacée au Québec. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs, Direction du patrimoine écologique et des parcs, Québec. 12 pp.

Labrecque, J. 1998. La situation du carex faux-lupulina (Carex lupuliformis) au Canada.  Québec: Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune, Direction de la conservation et du patrimoine écologique. 33 pp.

Leck, M.A., and Schutz, W. 2005. Regeneration of Cyperaceae, with particular reference to seed ecology and seed banks. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics 7 (2) : 95-133.

Letendre, J., Pellerin, S. and S. Bailleul. 2007. Conservation du carex faux-lupulina, une espèce en voie de disparition au Canada. Institut de recherche en biologie végétale. 31 pp.

Li, T., J. Bissonnette, J.P. Ducruc, V. Gerardin and L. Couillard. 1994. Le cadre écologique de référence du Québec : les régions naturelles. Overview presentation. Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune du Québec. 20 pp.

NatureServe. 2004. A Habitat-Based Strategy for Delimiting Plant Element Populations: Guidance from the 2004 Working Group. 15 pp.

NatureServe. 2010. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available (NatureServe Explorer website) (accessed January 26, 2011).

Templeton, A.R. and D.A. Levin. 1979. Evolutionary consequences of seed pools. American Naturalist 114: 232-249.

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Appendix A: Definition of NatureServe Ranks

G4 and N4 (Apparently Secure) -- Uncommon species but not a rare one; cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.

N2 (Imperiled) -- Imperiled in the target jurisdiction because of the species’ rarity due to a very restricted range, very few populations, steep declines, or other factors making it very vulnerable to extirpation from the target jurisdiction.

S1 (Critically Imperiled) -- Critically imperiled in the target jurisdiction because of the species’ extreme rarity or because of one or more factor s such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the target jurisdiction.

Appendix B. False Hop Sedge populations in Canada

Table B-1: False Hop Sedge Populations in Canada
Accessible version of Table B-1
Name of Population (NHIC or CDPNQ ID)1ProvinceCountyStatus of Population and Quality Rank2Inventory YearNumber of Natural Plants (fruiting stems)Number of Transplants (fruiting stems)
Mount Brydges (5803)OntarioMiddlesexExtant (A)199225–30 
20051075 
200929 (43) 
West Lorne (5802)OntarioElginExtant (A)1993~ 100 
200563 
200920 (59) 
West Elgin (92901)OntarioElginExtant (A)2005? (~ 150) 
200939 (132)63 (91)
Ailsa Craig (NA)OntarioMiddlesexExtant (B)200919 
London (5804)OntarioMiddlesexExtant (D)199212 (~ 150) 
2002> 12 
200528 
20095 (4) 
Rodney (5805)OntarioElginExtant (D)1993±93 
20022 
200526 
20091 (2) 
Lambeth (NA)OntarioMiddlesexExtant
(E)
2009? 
Amherstburg (2938)OntarioEssexHistorical (H)1985~ 100 
20020 
20050 
20090 
Galt (2937)OntarioWaterlooHistorical (H)1902Herbarium 
Grande Baie d’Oka (6867)QuebecDeux-MontagnesExtant - reintroduction (Cr)1935Herbarium 
1992Herbarium 
20060 
20070 
20080 
2009022 (1)
2010022 (121)
2011051
Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois (6872)QuebecHaut-RichelieuExtant - reintroduction (Cr)1938Herbarium 
19920 
2007061 (120)
2008019 (6)
2009015 (17)
2010013 (20)
201109
McGillivray Bay (6876)QuebecHaut-RichelieuExtant (C)19945 
200125 
200318 
2005> 10 
20079 (?)50 (16)
200812 (41)16 (21)
20096 (22)26 (66)
20104 (3)24 (7)
20111 (3)8 (0)
Henryville3 (6874)QuebecHaut-RichelieuExtant(C)1991? 
1992~ 13 
199719 
200019 
20043 
200524 
200618 (27) 
200717 (33)25 (1)
200820 (178)54 (1)
200926 (175)46 (44)
201022 (148)26 (55)
20113 (0)5 (0)
Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu (6873)QuebecHaut-Richelieu Extant (D)19925 
20040 
20050 
2007010 (24)
2008033 (99)
2009018 (88)
20101 (2)71 (102)
20111 (1)33 (0)
Lacolle (15349)QuebecHaut-RichelieuExtant (D)20057 
20067 
20071 
20081 (2) 
20092 (1) 
Oka (18675)QuebecDeux-MontagnesExtant (E)2008? 
Carillon Island (6875)QuebecArgenteuilExtirpated (X)19922–10 
20010 
20020 
20060 
20070 
Rigaud (6868)QuebecVaudreuil-SoulangesExtirpated (X)1934Herbarium 
20070 
Iberville (6869)QuebecHaut-RichelieuExtirpated (X)1938Herbarium 
19920 
Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix (6871)QuebecHaut-RichelieuExtirpated (X)1972Herbarium 
19920 

Sources: Bachand-Lavallée and Pellerin (2006), Letendre et al. (2007), CDPNQ (2011) and COSEWIC (2011).

1 CDPNQ (Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec); Natural Heritage Information Center (Natural Heritage Information Center)

2 Provides an assessment of the estimated viability or probability of persistence of the population (see Appendix C).

3 Following a review of the data by the CDPNQ in 2011, individuals from the Pointe du Gouvernement and Marcel-Raymond Ecological Reserve are considered to be part of the same population. No individuals have been detected in the Pointe du Gouvernement sector since 1992 and no individuals have been transplanted there.

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Appendix C: Definition of Quality Ranks of False Hop Sedge Populations

Quality RankDefinition
A (Excellent)More than 25 tufts in a floodplain forest covering at least 400 ha that is not affected by artificial regulation of water levels and that is subject to only minimal disturbance from human activities.
B (Good)From 12 to 25 tufts in a floodplain forest covering at least 400 ha that is subject to moderate disturbance from human activities, or a smaller habitat (more than 200 ha with little or no disturbance).
C (Fair)From 6 to 11 tufts in a 200-ha habitat that is significantly disturbed by human activities and has an intact natural flooding regime.
D (Low)From 1 to 5 tufts in a heavily degraded habitat of any size; major disturbances caused by erosion, forest clearing, marina construction or altered natural flooding regime, or drainage.
E (Recent)Recent population; the observation of the population dates back less than 25 years, but no information on its demographics is available.
F (Not relocated)Population not relocated during inventories conducted in the past 20 years (fail to find).
H (Historical)The observation (inventories) of the population dates back more than 20 years.
X (Extirpated)Extirpated population. No individuals of the species have been found for more than 20 years. The habitat may no longer be suitable. After three subsequent failures to find the population, it is classified as extirpated even if suitable habitat is still present.
r (Reintroduction)Population resulting from the reintroduction of individuals into a location from which the population has officially been extirpated.

Appendix D. Critical Habitat of False Hop Sedge in Canada

Table D-1: Description of the 1 x 1 km Standardized UTM Squares Containing Critical Habitat and Critical Habitat Units for the False Hop Sedge in Quebec
Accessible version of Table D-1
Name of the Critical Habitat Unit1 x 1 km UTM Square ID1UTM Square Coordinates2DescriptionLand Tenure3
EastingNorthing
Henryville18XR30_70
18XR30_71
18XQ39_79
18XQ39_89
637000
637000
637000
638000
5000000
5001000
4999000
4999000
Extant population where transplantation efforts have been undertaken (Marcel-Raymond Ecological Reserve sector); location is identified as a conservation target in the provincial conservation planNon-federal
McGillivray Bay18XQ39_67
18XQ39_77
18XQ39_78
18XQ39_79
636000
637000
637000
637000
4997000
4997000
4998000
4999000
Extant population where transplantation efforts have been undertaken ; location is identified as a conservation target in the provincial conservation planNon-federal
Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu18XR30_67
18XR30_68
636000
636000
5007000
5008000
Extant population where transplantation efforts have been undertaken; location is identified as a conservation target in the provincial conservation planNon-federal
Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois18XR30_766370005006000Extant population with suitable habitat where reintroduction efforts have been undertakenNon-federal
Lacolle18XQ28_94
18XQ28_95
629000
629000
4984000
4985000
Extant population; location is identified as a conservation target in the provincial conservation planNon-federal
Grande Baie d’Oka18WR73_65
18WR73_66
18WR73_76
576000
576000
577000
5035000
5036000
5036000
Extant population with suitable habitat where reintroduction efforts have been undertaken; location is identified as a conservation target in the provincial conservation plan (Oka national park)Non-federal
Carillon Island18WR53_59
18WR53_69
18WR54_50
18WR54_60
555000
556000
555000
556000
5039000
5039000
5040000
5040000
Extirpated population with suitable habitat; location is identified as a conservation target in the provincial conservation plan; suitable habitat covers part of the Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary situated on private landsNon-federal

1 Square ID is based on the standard Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Military Grid Reference System (see Finding UTM References), where the first two digits represent the UTM Zone, the following two letters indicate the 100 x 100 km standardized UTM grid, followed by two digits to represent the 10 x 10 km standardized UTM grid and two final digits to represent the 1 x 1 km standardized UTM square containing all or a portion of the critical habitat unit. This unique alphanumeric code is based on the methodology produced from the Breeding Bird Atlases of Canada (See Bird Studies Canada for more information on breeding bird atlases). Refer to section 7.1 for a description of how critical habitat is defined. Field verification may be required to determine the precise area of critical habitat.

2 The listed coordinates represent the southwest corner of the 1 x 1 km standardized UTM squares containing all or a portion of the critical habitat unit. The coordinates may not fall within critical habitat and are provided as a general location only.

3 Land tenure is provided as an approximation of land ownership of the critical habitat unit and should be used for guidance purposes only. Accurate land tenure will require cross referencing critical habitat boundaries with surveyed land unit information.

Table D-2: Description of the 1 x 1 km Standardized UTM Squares Containing Critical Habitat and Critical Habitat Units for the False Hop Sedge in Ontario
Accessible version of Table D-2
Name of the Critical Habitat Unit1 x 1 km UTM square ID1UTM Square Coordinates2DescriptionLand Tenure3
EastingNorthing
Rodney17MH41_18
17MH41_19
17MH41_28
17MH41_29
441000
441000
442000
442000
4718000
4719000
4718000
4719000
Extant populationNon-federal
West Elgin17MH41_57
17MH41_58
17MH41_67
17MH41_68
17MH41_77
17MH41_78
445000
445000
446000
446000
447000
447000
4717000
4718000
4717000
4718000
4717000
4718000
Extant population where transplantation efforts have been undertakenNon-federal
West Lorne17MH42_45
17MH42_54
17MH42_55
17MH42_64
17MH42_65
444000
445000
445000
446000
446000
4725000
4724000
4725000
4724000
4725000
Extant populationNon-federal
Mount Brydges17MH54_18
17MH54_28
451000
452000
4748000
4748000
Extant populationNon-federal
Ailsa Craig17MH58_50
17MH58_60
455000
456000
4780000
4780000
Extant populationNon-federal
London17MH75_444740004754000Extant populationNon-federal

1 Square ID is based on the standard Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Military Grid Reference System (see Finding UTM References), where the first two digits represent the UTM Zone, the following two letters indicate the 100 x 100 km standardized UTM grid, followed by two digits to represent the 10 x 10 km standardized UTM grid and two final digits to represent the 1 x 1 km standardized UTM squares containing all or a portion of the critical habitat unit. This unique alphanumeric code is based on the methodology produced from the Breeding Bird Atlases of Canada (See Bird Studies Canada for more information on breeding bird atlases). Refer to section 7.1 for a description of how critical habitat is defined. Field verification may be required to determine the precise area of critical habitat.

2 The listed coordinates represent the southwest corner of the 1 x 1 km standardized UTM squares containing all or a portion of the critical habitat unit. The coordinates may not fall within critical habitat and are provided as a general location only.

3 Land tenure is provided as an approximation of land ownership of the critical habitat unit and should be used for guidance purposes only. Accurate land tenure will require cross referencing critical habitat boundaries with surveyed land unit information.

Appendix E: Effects on the Environment and Other Species

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 their habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly in the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of False Hop Sedge. 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.

The recovery activities recommended in this document should not have any negative impacts on other non-target indigenous species, natural communities and/or ecological processes. They may actually prove to be beneficial for the other species at risk that share the False Hop Sedge’s habitat. These include four fish species: the Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida) (COSEWIC status: Threatened), the Channel Darter (Percina copelandi) (COSEWIC status: Threatened), the River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) (COSEWIC status: Special Concern), and the Grass Pickerel (Esox americanus vermiculatus) (COSEWIC status: Special Concern); two turtles: the Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera) (COSEWIC status: Threatened) and the Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica) (COSEWIC status: Special Concern); and one bird: the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) (COSEWIC status: Threatened). Other threatened or vulnerable plant species as designated by the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (Ontario) and the Act respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species (Quebec) are likewise associated with False Hop Sedge habitats in Canada. The list for Ontario includes Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis), Frank’s Sedge (Carex frankii), Narrow-leaved Cattail Sedge (Carex squarrosa), Ribbed Sedge (Carex virescens), Pumpkin Ash (Fraxinus profunda), and Short’s Sedge (Carex shortiana). The list for Quebec is as follows: Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolour); Lowland Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia hybrida); Yellow Water Buttercup (Ranunculus flabellaris), Small Beggarticks (Bidens cf. discoidea), Palegreen Orchid (Platanthera flava var. herbiola), and Golden Hedgehyssop (Gratiola aurea).

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1 Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

2 Endangered species: A wildlife species facing imminent extinction in Canada or globally.

3 Threatened species: A species at risk of extinction.

4 Refers to the way the stems develop successively and remain connected.

5 In Quebec, all naturally occurring and transplanted individuals are currently marked. For transplanted individuals, stakes are removed after three years of absence whereas stakes are never removed for naturally occurring individuals (Stéphanie Pellerin, personal communication).

6 Soils of Canada

7 Insects of the order Diptera, also known as the true flies, characterized by a single pair of wings; includes houseflies, mosquitoes and gnats.

8 According to the Cadre écologique de référence of Quebec’s Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (Li et al. 1994), physiographic units correspond to landscape elements measuring in the order of 1000 km2.

9 According to section 17 of the Act "No person may, in the habitat of a threatened or vulnerable plant species, carry on an activity that may alter the existing ecosystem, the present biological diversity or the physical or chemical components peculiar to that habitat."