Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum nahanniense
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Northwest Territories
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2014
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.
Nahanni Aster is a perennial wildflower up to 35 cm tall with white to pale pink flower heads. It typically grows in clumps of about two to ten stems from short, woody rhizomes (horizontal underground stems). The stems are branched to form an open panicle typically with one to three flower heads, but some plants have 15 or more. The number of flower heads appears to vary between sites and may be determined by growing conditions. The stems are green to reddish, often with fine woolly hairs, especially towards the base. Each flower head consists of a yellow disc, surrounded by 15 to 41 white to pale pink rays. Nahanni Aster is endemic to Canada and found only in Nahanni National Park Reserve. It may have evolved here when this part of the Mackenzie Mountains remained unglaciated while the surrounding region was still covered by ice until about 11,000 years ago.
The global population of this species is restricted to hot springs in Nahanni National Park Reserve. A very small range and population size make this endemic species susceptible to losses through natural alterations due to geothermal processes or to landslide events that may become more frequent as climate warms and permafrost melts.
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 in this reporting year (October, 2013 to September, 2014) from November 24 to November 29, 2013 and from April 27 to May 2, 2014. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species.
The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following:
Special Concern: 20
Data Deficient: 0
Not at Risk: 1
Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 25 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.
The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk.
Please submit your comments byApril 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website