Scientific Name: Degelia plumbea
Taxonomy Group: Lichens
Range: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
The Blue Felt Lichen, Degelia plumbea is a large, blue-grey, leafy lichen that has longitudinal ridges and crescent-shaped curves which often give it a scallop-like shape. A prominent beard-like fungal mat (hypothallus) that is usually blue-black protrudes beyond the margin of the thallus, which may exceed 10 centimetres in diameter. Vegetative propagules are lacking. Sexual reproductive structures are usually present and numerous. The fruit bodies are red-brown but often darken with age. The spore sacs (asci) within the fruit body contain 8 non-septate, colourless, oval ascospores. The photosynthetic component of this lichen is Nostoc, the most common cyanobacterial partner found in lichens.
Within Canada, this lichen occurs only in the Atlantic region. It is very rare in New Brunswick, uncommon in Newfoundland, but more frequent in Nova Scotia. It grows as an epiphyte, predominately on hardwoods in woodlands and is vulnerable to disturbance that leads to a reduction in habitat humidity. The species is also very sensitive to acid rain. Forest harvesting is a threat to the species through direct removal or through the creation of an edge effect, leading to reduced humidity within the stand. In Newfoundland, the browsing of the lichen’s host tree by a high density of moose is also of concern. Air pollution is a threat, especially in New Brunswick, but also in Nova Scotia.
The Multi-species Action Plan for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada applies to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site (KNP and NHS), including Kejimkujik National Park Seaside. The plan meets the requirements for action plans set out in the Species at Risk Act (SARA (s.47)) for species requiring an action plan and that regularly occur within these sites. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur at KNP and NHS.
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances), and, given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can therefore result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.
Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”.
COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.
As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.
Please submit your comments by
February 8, 2012 for species undergoing normal consultations
November 8, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.