Species Profile

Batwing Vinyl Lichen

Scientific Name: Leptogium platynum
Taxonomy Group: Lichens
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2011
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered


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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Batwing Vinyl Lichen

Description

The Batwing Vinyl Lichen(Leptogium platynum) is a distinctive rock-dwelling ‘jellyskin’ lichen characterized by leafy, medium-sized lobes and a dark bluish upper surface usually bearing numerous fruit bodies and occasional tiny lobules which function as vegetative propagules. It is unusual among cyanolichens in its almost invariable production of both sexual and vegetative propagules. It has its northern limits in southern coastal British Columbia. (Updated 2017/08/10)

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Distribution and Population

The Batwing Vinyl Lichen is endemic to western North America, where it occurs at scattered locations in summer-dry coastal regions from southern California (32°N) northward to southern Vancouver Island, in British Columbia (49°N). Other populations have also been reported from Mexico, New Mexico and Texas. (Updated 2017/08/10)

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Habitat

This species occurs at low elevations on rock outcrops where it colonizes inclined rock faces subject to periodic seepage. Only base-rich rock types appear to be colonized, often in association with a variety of mat-forming mosses and hepatics. The Batwing Vinyl Lichen is thus restricted by a requirement for substrata with a rather high pH. (Updated 2017/08/10)

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Biology

Sexual reproduction imposes a requirement for thallus resynthesis at each generation which may partly account for the highly disjunct distribution of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen throughout its range. The lobules are relatively heavy vegetative propagules which are unlikely to disperse more than a few metres from the parent thallus. The life cycle of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen thus involves persisting for long periods via vegetative maintenance at a given site, punctuated by very rare long distance dispersal events resulting from the establishment of new thalli from fungal spores ejected from the lichen fruit bodies associating with compatible strains of cyanobacteria. (Updated 2017/08/10)

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Threats

The apparent loss of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen from three of the seven locations may be attributed to natural causes such as competition by mosses and increasingly dry summers as a result of climate change. This lichen is also vulnerable to stochastic events such as exceptionally heavy rainfall. The loss at one location is likely due to nutrient enrichment of the habitat from nearby intensive agricultural activity. The region where this lichen occurs also includes areas with a rapidly expanding human population which could lead to both loss of available habitat and increasing air pollution. (Updated 2017/08/10)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Batwing Vinyl Lichen is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

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.

6 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Batwing Vinyl Lichen Leptogium platynum in Canada (2011)

    The Batwing Vinyl Lichen (Leptogium platynum) is a distinctive rock-dwelling “jellyskin” lichen characterized by leafy, medium-sized lobes and a dark bluish upper surface usually bearing numerous fruit bodies and occasional tiny lobules which function as vegetative propagules. It is unusual among cyanolichens in its almost invariable production of both sexual and vegetative propagules. It has its northern limits in southern coastal British Columbia.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Batwing Vinyl Lichen (2011)

    This leafy lichen occurs in western North America reaching the northern limit of its range in coastal south-western British Columbia where it commonly occurs at three, possibly four, locations on Vancouver Island. The lichen grows on calcium/magnesium-rich rock outcrops and more than 80% of individuals occur at one location. It has been extirpated from three other locations. This lichen is vulnerable to stochastic events, competition from mosses and liverworts, pollution from industrial/agricultural activities, and increasingly frequent summer drought resulting from climate change.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2016)

    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 with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2017)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of the Species at Risk Act, makes the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011)

    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.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2011 (2011)

    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 and by November 8, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.