Species Profile

Island Marble

Scientific Name: Euchloe ausonides insulanus
Other/Previous Names: Island Marble insulanus subspecies
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Extirpated
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Extirpated


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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Habitat | Biology | Reasons for extirpation | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Island Marble

Island Marble  Photo 1
Island Marble  Photo 2

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Description

This relatively small butterfly belongs to the subfamily Pierinae, which are usually white in colour. Female Island Marbles are often yellowish, and may reflect ultraviolet. The flight of the butterfly is straight, fluttering and usually fast. When basking, the wings are closed and oriented sideways to the sun. The dappled pattern on the wing characterizes the species.

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Distribution and Population

This subspecies of the Island Marble was historically found in British Columbia, on Gabriola Island and on Vancouver Island from Nanaimo in the north, southward along the eastern edge of the island to Beacon Hill Park, Victoria. It was recorded only at lower elevations, and was apparently never common on Vancouver Island. Recently, the subspecies was found on San Juan Island in Washington State. There is the possibility that it still occurs on three small islands that are located between Vancouver and San Juan islands. There are two other subspecies of Island Marble. One of these is found in drier habitats in British Columbia, Washington and northwestern Oregon, east of the Coast Range and Cascade Mountains. The other subspecies is found in the northern Yukon and adjacent Alaska.

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Habitat

There are no published accounts of the habitat of the Island Marble. From locality labels on the 14 specimens that are known to exist in museum collections, it appears that the butterfly inhabited open grassland in Garry Oak woodland. This type of habitat still occurs on San Juan Island.

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Biology

Nothing was ever recorded about the subspecies' larval food plants. Elsewhere in the species' range, the larvae of the two other subspecies feed on wild curcifers of the genus Arabis which occur on Vancouver Island. Larvae of the extirpated subspecies probably ate Arabis hirsuta, which occurs on Vancouver Island.

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Reasons for extirpation

Because the subspecies disappeared from Canada before 1910, it is unlikely that the spread of introduced weed species and post World War I growth of the human population were factors in its extirpation. The most likely cause for its loss is the elimination of the larval food plant by grazing sheep and/or cattle in the low, flat habitat occupied by the Island Marble.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Island Marble 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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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Maritime Meadows associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team

  • Conan Webb - Chair/Contact - Parks Canada
    Phone: 250-478-5153  Send Email

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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 Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Island Marble Euchloe ausonides insulanus (2010)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Island Marble Scientific name Euchloe ausonides insulanus Status Extirpated Reason for designation * A reason for designation is not specified when a review of classification is conducted by means of a status appraisal summary. Occurrence British Columbia Status history Extirpated by 1910. Designated Extirpated in April 1999. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000 and in April 2010.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Island Marble (2010)

    This relatively small butterfly belongs to the subfamily Pierinae, which are usually white in colour. Female Island Marbles are often yellowish, and may reflect ultraviolet. The flight of the butterfly is straight, fluttering and usually fast. When basking, the wings are closed and oriented sideways to the sun. The dappled pattern on the wing characterizes the species.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Maritime Meadows associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada (2016)

    This strategy has been developed to address the recovery of seven plant and two butterfly species and their associated habitats. These species are all characterized by one or more of the following: total population decline, small distributions with decline or fluctuation, loss of habitat, declining small population sizes or very small populations or restricted distribution (COSEWIC 2003b). Unless recovery actions are initiated, these species may become extinct or extirpated from Canada.

Orders

  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2012)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)

    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”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – November 2010 (2010)

    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 4, 2011 for species undergoing normal consultations and by February 4, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.