SOR/2017-112: Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act — Order Amending Species at Risk Act
REGISTRATION OF FEDERAL REGULATION - VIA PART II OF THE GAZETTE
June 2, 2017
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Order.) Issues Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. (see footnote 2) Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. (see footnote 3) Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (see footnote 4) (i... (Click for more)
Published on June 15, 2017
SOR/2017-112: Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act — Order Amending Species at Risk Act
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Order.) Issues Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. (see footnote 2) Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. (see footnote 3) Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (see footnote 4) (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances). 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. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a non-government, independent body of scientific experts, has assessed the following 14 species as being at risk in Canada: American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) Blue Felt Lichen (Degelia plumbea) Butler’s Gartersnake (Thamnophis butleri) Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris lacustris) Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia) Goldencrest (Lophiola aurea) Hine’s Emerald (Somatochlora hineana) Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle (Brychius hungerfordi) Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) [Carolinian population] Pitcher’s Thistle (Cirsium pitcheri) Purple Twayblade (Liparis liliifolia) Skillet Clubtail (Gomphus ventricosus) Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) [Adirondack / Appalachian population] Pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act (“SARA” or the “Act”), the Governor in Council (GIC) (see footnote 5) is making the Order Amending Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act to add or reclassify these species to Schedule 1 of the Act. Background Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of its national identity and history. Wildlife is valued by Canadians for aesthetic, cultural, spiritual, recreational, educational, historical, subsistence, medical, ecological and scientific reasons. Canadian wildlife species and ecosystems are also part of the world’s heritage. (see footnote 6) Part of the Department of the Environment’s mandate is to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, including flora and fauna. Although the responsibility for the conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared among governments, the Department of the Environment plays a leadership role as federal regulator in order to prevent species from becoming extinct (see footnote 7) or extirpated (see footnote 8) from Canada. The Parks Canada Agency contributes to the protection and conservation of these species within its network of protected heritage places, (see footnote 9) including national parks and national marine conservation areas. The primary federal legislative mechanism for delivering on this responsibility is Canada’s Species at Risk Act. The purposes of SARA are to prevent wildlife species from becoming extirpated from Canada or extinct; to provide for recovery of wildlife species that are listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened; and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened. At the time of proclamation in 2003, the official list of wildlife species at risk (Schedule 1 of SARA) included 233 species. Since then, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the GIC has amended the list on a number of occasions to add, remove or reclassify species. There are currently 532 species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, which classifies those species as being extirpated, endangered, threatened, or special concern. (see footnote 10) With the proclamation of SARA in 2003, the Act established the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as the body responsible for providing the Minister of the Environment with assessments of the status of Canadian wildlife species that are potentially at risk of disappearing from Canada. The assessments are carried out in accordance with section 15 of SARA, which, among other provisions, requires COSEWIC to determine the status of species it considers and identify existing and potential threats. COSEWIC meets twice annually to review information collected on wildlife species and assigns each wildlife species to one of seven categories: extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened, special concern, data deficient, or not at risk. (see footnote 11) After COSEWIC provides its assessments of species at risk to the Minister of the Environment, the Minister has 90 days to post a response statement on the Species at Risk Public Registry indicating how the Minister intends to respond to the assessment and related anticipated timelines. These statements outline the extent of consultations on proposed changes to Schedule 1 of SARA. Subsequent to the consultations and required analysis being carried out, the Governor in Council formally acknowledges its receipt of the COSEWIC assessments. This then triggers a regulatory process through a proposed Order whereby the Governor in Council may, within nine months of the receipt, on the recommendation of the Minister (1) add a wildlife species to Schedule 1 of SARA according to COSEWIC’s status assessment; (2) not add the wildlife species to Schedule 1; or (3) refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. If the Governor in Council does not decide within nine months of its formal receipt of the COSEWIC assessments, SARA states that the Minister shall amend Schedule 1 according to those assessments. This timeline does not apply to reclassifications or removal of a listed species from Schedule 1. Reclassification allows Schedule 1 of SARA to be consistent with the best available scientific information, as provided by COSEWIC, thus allowing for better decision-making regarding the species in terms of its conservation prioritization. Species can be proposed for up-listing when populations have declined since their last assessment. When species populations recover, they can be proposed for down-listing to ensure that the species are protected according to the purposes of SARA while minimizing impacts on stakeholders and resources. Upon listing, wildlife species benefit from various levels of protection, which vary depending on their status. Table 1 below summarizes the various protections afforded following listing to Schedule 1 of SARA. Table 1: Summary of protections offered to wildlife species and their residences immediately upon their addition to Schedule 1 of SARA This table shows the Summary of Protections Offered to Wildlife Species and their residences immediately upon their Addition to Schedule 1 of SARA. Species status Application of general prohibitions by type of species and their location Application of general prohibitions by type of species and their location Application of general prohibitions by type of species and their location General prohibitions General prohibitions Species status Species protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 Aquatic species All other listed species Protection of individuals (SARA, section 32) Residence protection (SARA, section 33) Special concern SARA’s general prohibitions are not applicable (SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply for species of special concern). SARA’s general prohibitions are not applicable (SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply for species of special concern). SARA’s general prohibitions are not applicable (SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply for species of special concern). SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply. SARA’s residence protection does not apply. Threatened, endangered, and extirpated General prohibitions apply everywhere in Canada for migratory birds. General prohibitions apply everywhere in Canada for aquatic species. In the provinces, general prohibitions apply only on federal lands. (see footnote 12) In the territories, general prohibitions apply only on federal lands under the authority of the Minister of the Environment or the Parks Canada Agency. Protection for individuals of the species against being killed, harmed, harassed, captured or taken. Prohibition against the possession, collection, buying and selling or trading of an individual of the species or any part or derivative of this individual. It is an offence to damage or destroy the residence of one or more individuals of a species. The residence of extirpated species is only protected if a recovery strategy recommends reintroduction into the wild. On non-federal lands, listed species that are not an aquatic species or a migratory bird protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 can only be protected under SARA by an order made by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment. (see footnote 13) The Minister of the Environment must recommend that such an order be made if the Minister is of the opinion that the laws of the province or territory do not effectively protect the species or the residences of its individuals. I- Recovery planning Listing a species under an endangered, threatened or extirpated status triggers mandatory recovery planning, by the competent minister, in order to address threats to the survival or recovery of these listed species. SARA states that a proposed recovery strategy must be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry (SAR Registry) endangered species: within one year of listing; threatened species: within two years of listing; and extirpated species: within two years of listing. In preparing the recovery strategy, the competent minister must determine whether the recovery of the listed wildlife species is technically and biologically feasible. If it is not feasible, the recovery strategy must include a description of the species needs and, to the extent possible, an identification of its critical habitat, and the reasons why its recovery is not feasible. For wildlife species for which there has been a determination that recovery is feasible, recovery strategies include a description of the species and its needs; an identification of the threats to the survival of the species and threats to its habitat, and a description of the broad strategy to be taken to address those threats; an identification of critical habitat (i.e. the habitat necessary for a listed wildlife species’ recovery or survival); examples of activities that are likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat; a schedule of studies to identify critical habitat where available information is inadequate; a statement of the population and distribution objectives for the species (i.e. the number of individuals, populations and/or geographic distribution of the species required to successfully recover the species); a general description of the research and management activities needed to meet those objectives; and a statement of the time frame for the development of one or more action plans. Recovery strategies must be prepared in cooperation with appropriate provincial or territorial governments; other federal ministers with authority over federal lands where the species is found; relevant wildlife management boards authorized by a land claims agreement; directly affected Aboriginal organizations; and any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate. Recovery strategies must also be prepared in consultation with landowners (including provinces and territories) or other persons whom the competent minister considers to be directly affected by the strategy. The competent minister must prepare one or more action plans based on the recovery strategy. Action plans are also prepared in cooperation and consultation with the above-mentioned individuals or organizations. SARA does not mandate timelines for their preparation or implementation; rather, these are set out in the recovery strategy. Action plans must include an identification of critical habitat, to the extent possible, if not already identified, and consistent with the recovery strategy; examples of activities likely to destroy critical habitat; a statement of the measures that are proposed to protect the species’ critical habitat, including entering into conservation agreements under section 11 of SARA; an identification of any portions of critical habitat that have not been protected; methods to be used to monitor the recovery of the species and its long-term viability; an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and the benefits from its implementation; and any other matters that are prescribed by the regulations. II- Protection of critical habitat Requirements under SARA for the protection of critical habitat depends on whether the species are aquatic, migratory birds protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) or other species as well as whether these species are found on federal lands, in the exclusive economic zone, on the continental shelf of Canada or elsewhere in Canada. When critical habitat or portions of critical habitat have been identified on federal lands, in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or on the continental shelf of Canada, SARA requires that it be legally protected within 180 days of its identification in the recovery strategy or action plan. Protection can be achieved through provisions in or measures under SARA or any other Act of Parliament, including conservation agreements under section 11 of the Act. If critical habitat is located in a migratory bird sanctuary (MBS) under the MBCA, in a national park included in Schedule 1 of the Canada National Parks Act (CNPA), in the Rouge National Urban Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, in a marine protected area under the Oceans Act, or in a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act (CWA), the competent minister must publish a description of that critical habitat in the Canada Gazette within 90 days of the date that the critical habitat was identified in a final recovery strategy or action plan. Subsection 58(1) of SARA, which prohibits the destruction of critical habitat, applies to the critical habitat described in the Canada Gazette 90 days after its publication. In the case of critical habitat identified on federal land but not found in the protected areas listed above, the competent minister must, within 180 days following the identification of this habitat in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, either make a ministerial order to apply subsection 58(1) of SARA, prohibiting the destruction of this critical habitat, or publish on the SAR Public Registry a statement explaining how the critical habitat (or portions of it) is protected under another Act of Parliament, including conservation agreements under section 11 of the Act. If the critical habitat of a migratory bird species protected by the MBCA is located outside federal lands, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf of Canada or a migratory bird sanctuary under the MBCA, the critical habitat will be protected only once the Governor in Council has made an order to that effect, following recommendation from the competent minister. For portions of critical habitat on non-federal lands, SARA contemplates the protection of the critical habitat by other governments (e.g. provinces and territories). In the event that critical habitat is not protected in these areas, the Governor in Council may, by order, prohibit the destruction of that critical habitat. In cases where the Minister of the Environment is of the opinion that critical habitat on non-federal lands is not effectively protected by the laws of a province or territory, by another measure under SARA (including agreements under section 11) or through any other federal legislation, the Minister must recommend an order to the Governor in Council. Before making the recommendation, the Minister must consult with the appropriate provincial or territorial ministers. In all cases, the Governor in Council makes the final decision whether to proceed with an order to protect the critical habitat in question. (see footnote 14) III- SARA permits A person intending to engage in an activity affecting a listed species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals and that is prohibited under SARA may apply to the competent minister (see footnote 15) for a permit under section 73 of the Act. A permit may be issued if the Minister is of the opinion that the activity meets one of these three purposes: (a) the activity is scientific research relating to the conservation of the species and conducted by qualified persons; (b) the activity benefits the species or is required to enhance its chance of survival in the wild; or (c) affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity. (see footnote 16) Additionally, the permit may only be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the following preconditions are met: (a) all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered, and the best solution has been adopted; (b) all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals; and (c) the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Section 74 of SARA allows for a competent minister to issue permits under another Act of Parliament (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act) to engage in an activity that affects a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals, and have the same effect as those issued under subsection 73(1) of SARA, if certain conditions are met. This is meant to reduce the need for multiple authorizations. IV- Management of special concern species The addition of a species as special concern to Schedule 1 of SARA serves as an early indication that the species requires attention. Triggering the development of a management plan at this stage helps enable the species to be managed proactively, maximizes the probability of success, and is expected to avoid higher-cost measures in the future. SARA does not require that critical habitat be identified for species of special concern. The management plan includes conservation measures deemed appropriate to preserve the wildlife species and avoid a decline of its populations. It is developed in cooperation with the appropriate provincial and territorial minister, other federal government ministers, Aboriginal organizations and in consultation with any other affected or interested stakeholders. The management plan for a species must be posted within three years of the species being listed. V- New designatable units Through the definition of wildlife species as a “species, subspecies, varieties or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism”, the Species at Risk Act recognizes that conservation of biological diversity requires protection for taxonomic entities below the species level (i.e. designatable units), and gives COSEWIC a mandate to assess those entities when warranted. These designatable units and their proposed classification (e.g. endangered, threatened, species of special concern) are presented in COSEWIC assessments in the same way as with other wildlife species. In some cases, based on scientific evidence, wildlife species that were previously assessed may be reassessed and recognized to include fewer, additional or different designatable units. COSEWIC will publish assessments and classifications for any designatable units that may or may not correspond to the previously recognized wildlife species. Should COSEWIC assess a newly defined designatable unit at the same classification level as the originally listed wildlife species, Schedule 1 may be amended to reflect this more current listing of the species, consistent with the best available scientific information. Objectives The objective of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (the Order) is to help maintain Canada’s biodiversity and the health of Canadian ecosystems by preventing wildlife species from becoming extirpated or extinct from Canada and contribute to their recovery. Description The Order adds eight terrestrial species to Schedule 1 of SARA and reclassifies six currently listed species, as shown in Table 2 below. These species were grouped together because they are found primarily in the same geographical area, namely in central and eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador). A description of each species, its ranges and threats is found in Schedule 1. Additional information on these species can also be found in the COSEWIC status reports. (see footnote 17) Table 2 — Modifications to Schedule 1 of SARA for 14 wildlife species This table shows the modifications to Schedule1 of SARA for 14 wildlife species. Legal Population Name Scientific Name Modification Range Amphibians Salamander, Jefferson Ambystoma jeffersonianum Up-listing from threatened to endangered Ontario Salamander, Northern Dusky Desmognathus fuscus New listing as endangered Ontario Salamander, Spring (Adirondack / Appalachian population) (see footnote 18) Gyrinophilus porphyriticus New listing as threatened Quebec Arthropods Beetle, American Burying Nicrophorus americanus New listing as extirpated Ontario, Quebec Beetle, Hungerford’s Crawling Water Brychius hungerfordi New listing as endangered Ontario Clubtail, Skillet Gomphus ventricosus New listing as endangered New Brunswick Emerald, Hine’s Somatochlora hineana New listing as endangered Ontario Lichens Lichen, Blue Felt Degelia plumbea New listing as special concern New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador Plants Baccharis, Eastern Baccharis halimifolia New listing as threatened Nova Scotia Goldencrest Lophiola aurea Down-listing from threatened to special concern Nova Scotia Iris, Dwarf Lake Iris lacustris Down-listing from threatened to special concern Ontario Thistle, Pitcher’s Cirsium pitcheri Down-listing from endangered to special concern Ontario Twayblade, Purple Liparis liliifolia Down-listing from endangered to threatened Ontario, Quebec Reptiles Gartersnake, Butler’s Thamnophis butleri Up-listing from threatened to endangered Ontario Benefits and costs The quantitative and qualitative incremental impacts (benefits and costs) of the Order were analyzed. Incremental impacts are defined as the differences between the baseline scenario and a scenario in which the Order is implemented over the same period. The baseline scenario includes activities ongoing on federal lands where a species is found and incorporates any projected changes over the next 10 years (2017–2026) that would occur without the Order in place. An analytical period of 10 years (2017–2026) was selected, as the status of the species must be reassessed by COSEWIC every 10 years. (see footnote 19) Costs provided in present value terms are discounted at 3% to a base year of 2017. All costs are in 2016 constant dollars. Benefits Overall, the Order is expected to benefit the environment and culture of Canadians. Endangered, threatened and extirpated species will benefit from the development of recovery strategies and action plans that identify the main threats to species’ survival, as well as identify, when possible, the habitat that is necessary for their survival and recovery in Canada. Special concern species will benefit from the development of a management plan, which includes measures for the conservation of the species. These documents will enable coordinated action by responsible land management authorities wherever the species are found in Canada. Improved coordination among authorities increases the likelihood of species survival. This process will also provide an opportunity to consider the impact of measures to recover the species and to consult with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. These activities may be augmented by actions from local governments, stakeholders and/or Indigenous Peoples to protect species and habitats, for example, through projects funded through the Habitat Stewardship Program, which requires support and matching funds from other sources. These projects enhance the ability to understand and respond effectively to the conservation needs of these species and their habitats. The special concern designation will also serve as an early indication that the species requires attention due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats, and will help enable the species to be managed proactively, maximizing the probability of success and potentially preventing higher-cost measures in the future. For species that are being down-listed to special concern, an incremental benefit will be that management efforts for the species reflect the best available scientific information, as provided by COSEWIC, in order to ensure that the species are protected according to the purposes of SARA, while minimizing impacts on Indigenous Peoples, stakeholders and resources. Since for these species SARA’s general prohibitions no longer apply, there are avoided costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders who no longer need to apply for a permit or mitigate their practices to respect the prohibitions. A benefit of reclassifying species from threatened to endangered or vice versa will be that the designation will be consistent with the best available scientific information, as provided by COSEWIC, thus allowing for better decision-making regarding the species in terms of its conservation prioritization. For Butler’s Gartersnake and the Jefferson Salamander, which are being up-listed from threatened to endangered, this will also provide national recognition that these species are facing higher risks of extirpation or extinction. It is also important to note that preventing the extirpation of a given species is an integral part of maintaining biodiversity in Canada and conserving Canada’s natural heritage. More diverse ecosystems are generally more stable, and thus the benefits (goods and services) they provide are also more stable over time. (see footnote 20) Largely due to the low costs estimated to be associated with the Order (see below), a complete analysis of how Canadians benefit from the ecosystem goods and services associated with these species was not conducted. Costs In terms of incremental costs, the following matters were considered: Costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders of complying with general prohibitions; Federal government costs for recovery strategy, action plan or management plan development, permit applications and issuance, compliance promotion and enforcement; There may also be costs to Indigenous peoples and stakeholders of voluntarily participating in the process of recovery strategy, action plan or management plan development. These costs could vary widely depending upon the species in question and the chosen level of engagement, and so could not be estimated. Potential implications of a ministerial critical habitat protection order on federal lands, if one is required in the future. As indicated above, if critical habitat is identified on federal land, protection must be afforded either by ensuring that the critical habitat is protected under existing federal laws including conservation agreements under section 11 of SARA or, if it is not already protected under federal laws, by issuing a ministerial order to prohibit the destruction of critical habitat. Since critical habitat is only identified in a recovery strategy or action plan following the listing stage, the extent of critical habitat identification is unknown. Thus, the need for, and the form of, future critical habitat protection measures on federal lands are not known at the time of the listing. Hence, the analysis of potential changes to critical habitat protections resulting from this Order is illustrative, based upon best available information at this stage. It is important to note a distinction regarding critical habitat on non-federal lands. If any critical habitat identified on non-federal lands is, in the opinion of the minister, insufficiently protected, the minister must make a recommendation to the Governor in Council for a critical habitat protection order. The Governor in Council has the discretion to determine the scope of the order and whether or not an order should be made. As a result, the potential for critical habitat protection on non-federal lands is not considered an incremental impact of the Order. The Department of the Environment’s assessment of the Order indicated that the cost impacts will be low. This is because each species falls within at least one of four groups associated with minimal costs and impacts on Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders, as described below. 1. Listing or reclassification as special concern Four species will be listed or reclassified as special concern: Blue Felt Lichen, Dwarf Lake Iris, Goldencrest and Pitcher’s Thistle. As previously indicated, SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply to special concern species, meaning that this listing does not create any incremental costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. The identification of critical habitat is also not required. However, a management plan must be prepared and published within three years of listing for these species. The development of management plans is expected to cost the Government of Canada approximately $10,000 per species, for an undiscounted total of $40,000 for all species in this group. 2. Reclassification from threatened to endangered or vice versa Three species will be reclassified between threatened and endangered designations: Butler’s Gartersnake, Jefferson Salamander and Purple Twayblade. Endangered and threatened species receive identical protections. They also have the same requirements for preparing recovery strategies, action plans and identifying critical habitat. The only difference between the two statuses is the mandated timelines to publish the recovery strategies, which is one year for endangered species and two years for threatened species. Therefore, these reclassifications may result in minimal costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Updates to recovery strategies and action plans for these species may be required following reclassification. However, the cost of updating these documents will be less than the development of new recovery strategies and action plans. It is estimated that the cost to government of updating recovery strategies and action plans is $20,000 per species, resulting in an estimated total cost of $60,000 for the three species in this group. 3. Species that are not found on federal lands The following species have not been found on federal lands, were not previously listed in Schedule 1 of SARA and were assessed by COSEWIC as endangered, threatened or extirpated: American Burying Beetle, Eastern Baccharis, Hine’s Emerald, Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle, and Northern Dusky Salamander (Carolinian population). One species — the Spring Salamander — is being divided into two populations and the newly recognized Adirondack / Appalachian population will be designated as threatened. Given that search efforts have not recorded any populations of these species on federal lands, the general prohibitions are not expected to be triggered, resulting in no new impacts on Indigenous Peoples or stakeholders. Additionally, no critical habitat is likely to be identified for these species on federal lands in the future, limiting the possibility for a ministerial critical habitat protection order. Efforts to recover these species through the development of both a recovery strategy and action plan is estimated to cost Government of Canada between $40,000 and $50,000 per species. The total undiscounted cost to the Government of Canada for the species in this group is then estimated at between $240,000 and $300,000. 4. Species that are known to be found on one federal property The Skillet Clubtail, which was assessed by COSEWIC as endangered, may occur in the Portobello Creek National Wildlife Area (NWA) in New Brunswick. The Skillet Clubtail prefers clean, large, medium- to slow-running waters with fine substrate, usually having a significant component of silt and/or clay. Such habitats are usually confined to segments of larger running waters where they flow through rich soils at a low gradient, and it is a comparatively rare type of habitat in southeastern Canada. Larvae of this species require clear or naturally turbid unpolluted running waters, with the appropriate substrate believed to be fine sand, clay and/or silt. Pollution is a potential threat, particularly from broadcast pesticides used in agriculture or forestry management. Clearing and insecticidal spraying of forests surrounding rivers may have a negative impact on adult populations. Although the SARA general prohibitions will apply in the NWA upon listing, the Wildlife Area Regulations (WAR) under the Canada Wildlife Act (CWA) already afford species certain protections in NWAs by prohibiting hunting, possession, damage, destruction or molestation of species, eggs and nests. (see footnote 21) Therefore, in most cases, the SARA general prohibitions will not result in incremental changes within the NWA. A person wishing to perform an activity in any NWA is already required to obtain a permit under the Wildlife Area Regulations, so a separate permit under SARA will likely not be required. Therefore, if critical habitat for this species is identified in the NWA following its listing, the incremental change due to the Order will likely be small. It is estimated that the development of a recovery plan and action plan for the Skillet Clubtail will cost the Government of Canada approximately $40,000 to $50,000. 5. Cost summary Given the analysis above, the overall costs to the Government of Canada of listing these species are anticipated to be low and low costs are anticipated for Indigenous peoples and stakeholders. Costs will arise from the development of recovery strategies, action plans or management plans that are required when a species is listed under SARA, and from compliance promotion and enforcement activities. Based on the list of species included in the Order, an overall cost to the federal government is estimated at $508,000 to $570,000 in present value terms over 10 years (2017–2026), discounted at 3% to a base year of 2017. Of this amount, approximately $162,000 (present value) over 10 years is estimated for compliance promotion and enforcement activities. This number reflects an estimated cost of $5,000 for compliance promotion in the first year, and an annual enforcement cost of approximately $18,000 for 10 years. The extent of future critical habitat protection is undetermined at this stage, but an analysis of species occurrences relative to land tenure and current protections suggests that no associated costs are expected. There could be some implications for projects (see footnote 22) required to undergo an environmental assessment by or under an Act of Parliament (hereafter referred to as federal EA). However, any costs are expected to be minimal relative to the total costs of performing a federal EA. Once a species is listed in SARA Schedule 1, under any designation, additional requirements under section 79 of SARA are triggered for project proponents and government officials undertaking a federal EA. These requirements include identifying all adverse effects that the project could have on the species and its critical habitat and, if the project is carried out, to ensure that measures are taken to avoid or lessen those effects and to monitor them. However, the Department of the Environment always recommends to proponents in EA guidelines (early in the EA process) to evaluate effects on species already assessed by COSEWIC that may become listed on Schedule 1 of SARA in the near future. “One-for-One” Rule The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply because the additions to Schedule 1 of SARA do not impose new administrative costs on business. Small business lens The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there is no anticipated impact on small businesses. Consultation Under SARA, the scientific assessment of wildlife species’ status conducted by COSEWIC and the decision made by the Governor in Council to afford legal protection by placing a wildlife species on Schedule 1 of the Act are two distinct processes. This separation guarantees that scientists may work independently when assessing the biological status of wildlife species and that Canadians have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in determining whether or not wildlife species will be listed under SARA and thus receive legal protections. The Government of Canada recognizes that the conservation of wildlife is a joint responsibility and that the best way to secure the survival of species at risk and their habitats is through the active participation of all those concerned. SARA’s preamble stipulates that all Canadians have a role to play in preventing the disappearance of wildlife species from our lands. One of the ways that Canadians can get involved is by sharing comments concerning the addition or reclassification of terrestrial species to Schedule 1 of SARA. Comments are considered in relation to the potential consequences of whether or not a species is included on Schedule 1, and comments received from those who will be most affected by the proposed changes are given particular attention. All comments received feed into the proposed listing recommendations from the Minister to the Governor in Council. The Department of the Environment begins initial public consultations with the posting of the Minister’s response statements on the Species at Risk Public Registry within 90 days of receiving a copy of an assessment of the status of a wildlife species from COSEWIC. Indigenous peoples, stakeholders, organizations, and the general public are also consulted by means of a publicly posted document titled Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species. This was published in December 2011 (10 species (see footnote 23)) and December 2012 (4 species (see footnote 24)) for the species included in this Order. The consultation documents provide information on the species, including the reason for their designation, a biological description and location information. They also provided an overview of the listing process. These documents were distributed directly to over 3 600 individuals and organizations, including Indigenous peoples and organizations, provincial and territorial governments, various industrial sectors, resource users, landowners and environmental non-governmental organizations with an interest in a particular species. Consultations prior to results summary A total of 10 written comments were received from 9 different Indigenous organizations and stakeholders. Most comments were generally supportive of COSEWIC’s assessments and of adding the species to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. A few stakeholders expressed their interest in contributing to the recovery planning process or highlighted ways that they are taking action to protect some of the species. Comments were received from two Indigenous organizations, three environmental nongovernmental organizations, one business, one federal government department and two individuals. One individual opposed the delisting of the Dwarf Lake Iris, indicating that the species and its habitat are under real threat. The Department of the Environment responded to clarify that the COSEWIC assessment suggests the species be down-listed from threatened to special concern as opposed to being delisted. The Department also highlighted that recent survey efforts had resulted in an increased number of known populations and plants, and that this new data allowed COSEWIC to determine that the species faces a lower risk of disappearing from the wild. Public comment period following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I The proposed Order and accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 22, 2016, for a 30-day comment period. Links to these documents were also posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry and a notice of the consultation period was sent using social media via Twitter. Six respondents provided feedback during this consultation period. Of these, one First Nation, an indigenous organization, and a public utility company indicated that they had no further comment to provide concerning the specific species in their respective province. Another First Nation highlighted their limited capacity to respond to these consultation efforts. They also expressed their ongoing commitment to a partnership to address the knowledge gaps identified in the management plan of the Spring Salamander (Adirondack/Appalachian population). One provincial government department opposed the proposal for the Spring Salamander (Adirondack/Appalachian population) and the American Burying Beetle. In their view, these species are already sufficiently protected. The Department of the Environment notes that, in their assessment report of the Spring Salamander (Adirondack/Appalachian population), COSEWIC stated that the species’ habitat is threatened by several kinds of development that may alter either the water availability in the streams where this species occurs or affect its habitat by reducing shade, altering stream temperatures and increasing silt. In the case of the American Burying Beetle, this species is proposed for listing as extirpated, meaning that no individuals of this species remain alive in Canada. One environmental non-governmental organization expressed their support for the listing proposals of all the species in the proposed Order. The Department also received a letter from the Chair of COSEWIC requesting that the assessment of the Spring Salamander (Carolinian population) be referred-back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. When COSEWIC assessed the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) in 2011, it assigned a status of extirpated to the Carolinian population. Since that time, new information has become available regarding this population and COSEWIC has requested the opportunity to consider it in their assessment of the status of the species. Therefore, the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) Carolinian population has been removed from the Order. The Department of the Environment is committed to a collaborative process throughout the assessment, listing and recovery planning processes. The results of the public consultations are of great significance to the process of listing species at risk. The Department of the Environment carefully reviews the comments it receives to gain a better understanding of the benefits and costs of changing the List. Detailed results of the prior consultation and public comments from the Canada Gazette, Part I, for all 14 species are provided in Annex 1. Rationale Biodiversity is crucial to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency, yet is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. (see footnote 25) The Order supports the survival and recovery of 14 species at risk in Canada, thus contributing to the maintenance of biodiversity in Canada. In the case of endangered or threatened species, they will be protected on federal lands through the general prohibitions of SARA, including prohibitions on killing, harming, harassing, capturing, possessing, collecting, buying, selling and trading. In addition, these species will benefit from the development of recovery strategies and action plans that identify the main threats to species survival, as well as identify, when possible, the critical habitat that is necessary for their survival and recovery in Canada. Species listed as special concern will benefit from the development of a management plan, which includes measures for the conservation of the species. In 1992, Canada signed the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which committed the federal government to “[conserve] biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out the utilization of genetic resources”. (see footnote 26) The Species at Risk Act (SARA) was designed as a key tool for the conservation and protection of Canada’s biological diversity and the Order helps fulfill this important commitment under the CBD. The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) concluded that the Order results in important positive environmental effects. Specifically, that the protection of wild animal and plant species at risk contributes to national biodiversity and protects ecosystems productivity, health and resiliency. Given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services. These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. For example, carbon sequestration can help mitigate climate change related economic repercussions such as property damage due to floods or other weather events. (see footnote 27) Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects. This proposal has direct links with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2016–2019 (FSDS). (see footnote 28) The amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA will have important environmental effects and support the goal of “Healthy wildlife populations” of the FSDS. Under this goal, these amendments will help fulfill the target that “By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.” The overall costs to Government of listing these species are limited to Government actions related to recovery and management plan development, and are anticipated to be low and to be covered by existing program funding. Implementation, enforcement and service standards Following the listing, the Department of the Environment and the Parks Canada Agency will implement a compliance promotion plan. Compliance promotion initiatives are proactive measures that encourage voluntary compliance with the law through education and outreach activities and raise awareness and understanding of the prohibitions. Potentially affected Indigenous peoples and stakeholders will be reached to increase their awareness and understanding of the Order; promote the adoption of behaviours that will contribute to the overall conservation and protection of wildlife at risk; achieve their compliance with the Order; and enhance their knowledge regarding species at risk. These objectives will be accomplished through the creation and dissemination of information products explaining the new prohibitions applicable on federal lands where they relate to those 14 species, the recovery planning process that follows listing and how stakeholders can get involved, as well as general information on each of the species. These resources will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry. Mail-outs and presentations to targeted audiences may also be considered as appropriate. In Parks Canada Heritage Places, (see footnote 29) front line staff is given the appropriate information regarding the species at risk found within their sites to inform visitors on prevention measures and engage them in the protection and conservation of species at risk. SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including fines or imprisonment, seizure and forfeiture of things seized or of the proceeds of their disposition. Alternative measures agreements may also be used to deal with an alleged offender under certain conditions. SARA also provides for inspections and search and seizure operations by enforcement officers designated under SARA. Under the penalty provisions of the Act, a corporation found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $300,000, a non-profit corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 and any other person is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. A corporation found guilty of an indictable offence is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both. The Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, which came into effect on June 19, 2013, impose a 90-day timeline on the Government to either issue or refuse permits under section 73 of SARA to authorize activities that may affect listed wildlife species. The 90-day timeline may not apply in certain circumstances. These Regulations contribute to consistency, predictability and transparency in the SARA permitting process by providing applicants with clear and measurable service standards. The Department of the Environment measures its service performance annually and performance information is posted on the department’s website (see footnote 30) no later than June 1 for the preceding fiscal year. Contact Mary Jane Roberts Director Species at Risk Act Management and Regulatory Affairs Canadian Wildlife Service Department of Environment and Climate Change Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 Telephone: 1-800-668-6767 Email: [email protected] Annex 1 — Description of species being added or reclassified to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act American Burying Beetle COSEWIC assessed this species as extirpated in November 2011. About this species The American Burying Beetle is a carrion-feeding beetle. It is one of the most striking beetle species in Canada due to its large size and the brilliant orange markings on its otherwise black body. The species’ reproduction is completely dependent upon the availability of a carcass which can be entombed in a manner suitable for feeding larvae. The species requires well-drained humic or loamy soils without impediments to digging in order to quickly excavate the brood chamber in which to lay its eggs. Soils of this type occur principally in undisturbed deciduous forest and grassland habitat. There is ongoing discussion regarding the cause of the decline in the range and abundance of the American Burying Beetle. Habitat alteration and fragmentation is generally considered to be the primary cause for decline. Fragmentation increases the need for species’ movement across unsuitable habitats and over roads. The development of dense understory in cleared forest areas increases the difficulty of burying the brood carcass, making the species more vulnerable to predation. The use of artificial lighting, which may affect the species’ behaviour, roadkill of wandering adults, and mortality due to the use of insecticides are also possible causes of the species’ decline. Direct predation may also have played a minor part in its decline, while reduction of brood carcass resources may be a major factor. Consultations Four comments were received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2012 consultation document, but no comments specific to the American Burying Beetle were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. One opposing comment was received from a provincial government department concerning the proposal for the American Burying Beetle. Listing rationale There is sufficient information to document that no individuals of the wildlife species remain alive in Canada. The species offers a rich resource for behavioural study, particularly as it is a member of one of the few insect groups that exhibit parental behaviour. Having been recognized as having suffered an extraordinary and presumably anthropogenic decline, the species offers the potential for enlightenment regarding human impacts on invertebrate species, and other ecological subjects. As a representative of the invertebrate megafauna, with intriguing behaviour, the species has great potential for bringing the plight of lesser-known organisms to the public eye. Blue Felt Lichen COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern in November 2010. About this species The Blue Felt Lichen is a large, blue-grey, leafy lichen that has long, 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 cm in diameter. This lichen occurs most commonly in mixed coniferous/deciduous to deciduous-dominated humid woodlands. It grows on the trunks of mature broad-leaved trees in moist habitats or in close proximity to stream and lake margins, depending heavily on the humid microclimate within these woodlands. This lichen occurs mostly in eastern North America and in Europe. In the United States, it is found in Maine. In Canada, this species occurs in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and more frequently in Nova Scotia. Currently, there are 100 occurrences of the Blue Felt Lichen in Canada (an occurrence is defined as a place where this lichen occurs that is more than 1 km from a second occurrence). In the United States, only two occurrences have been reported in Maine, and a noticeable decline has also been recorded in Sweden, Luxembourg, and many locations in France, North Africa and Eastern Europe. Reduction in humidity of current habitat (through logging and stand fragmentation), development (industrial, road and housing), decline in fog frequency, acid rain and air pollution (likely to increase locally with newly planned industrial developments) are all threatening the survival of the Blue Felt Lichen. Also, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the browsing of the lichen’s host tree by a high density moose population is another concern. Consultations Three comments were received supporting the addition of the Blue Felt Lichen to Schedule 1 of SARA. A business offered to make a positive contribution to recovery efforts. It will produce educational materials, offer training to field staff and include the lichen in its inventory efforts. An environmental non-governmental organization indicated it looks forward to being involved in the development of a management plan for the species. Finally, a First Nation indicated its support of the listing of the species and expressed its interest in receiving further communications on the species in the future. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Blue Felt Lichen were received. Listing rationale This wildlife species is a conspicuous component of the lichen flora of Atlantic Canadian woodlands and one which may be useful to monitor biological responses that assess changes in the environment, including acid levels in precipitation and air pollution. Blue Felt Lichen also provides sustenance and protection for a wide range of invertebrates that, in turn, provide food for resident and migratory birds. Butler’s Gartersnake Butler’s Gartersnake was listed as threatened in Schedule 1 of SARA in June 2003. COSEWIC re-assessed its status in November 2010 and proposed to up-list the species to endangered. About this species Butler’s Gartersnake is a small, non-aggressive, short-headed gartersnake with three yellowish stripes, one dorsal and two lateral which facilitate its identification (total length of 25–57 cm, with a record of 69.2 cm). The dorsal stripe may also be white to cream in colour. It is often confused with two other Thamnophis species coexisting in its range, the Eastern Gartersnake, T. sirtalis, and the Eastern Ribbonsnake, T. sauritus. The characteristic habitat of Butler’s Gartersnake includes old fields, disturbed sites, urban and industrial sites and tall grass prairie. Essential habitat components include a dense cover of grasses or herbs with a heavy thatch layer and an abundance of earthworms as prey. The species is difficult to find in its preferred habitat outside of the mating season and is then more frequently observed under rocks and debris. It is assumed that this snake hibernates in small mammal burrows, ant mounds, loose fill and/or crayfish burrows. Butler’s Gartersnake is restricted to North America, in areas between and below the lower Great Lakes. The entire Canadian range of the extant species is restricted to four geographically isolated regions of southwestern Ontario. This population in Ontario represents 16% of its global distribution. More specifically, this wildlife species has been found in Windsor–Sarnia (Essex, Chatham-Kent and Lambton counties), Skunk’s Misery (Middlesex and Lambton counties), Luther Marsh (Dufferin and Wellington counties), and Parkhill (Middlesex County). The major threats to the survival of this wildlife species include agricultural practices and increased urbanization, both contributing to the loss of habitat, which results in patchy habitats that are fragmented, small, and isolated. Other threats include the possibility of illegal collection for personal pet collections in some areas, and road mortality. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to Butler’s Gartersnake were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to Butler’s Gartersnake were received. Rationale for up-listing The entire Canadian distribution of Butler’s Gartersnake is limited to four regions within Ontario, which represent 16% of its global range. Many of the sites where the species was found when the previous COSEWIC assessment was done have since been developed, are proposed for development or produced no specimens. In addition to the population declines observed, the major threats faced by the species combined with the small isolated populations justify up-listing the status of the species to endangered to provide national recognition that this species is facing imminent extirpation or extinction. Dwarf Lake Iris Dwarf Lake Iris was listed as threatened in Schedule 1 of SARA in November 2004. COSEWIC re-assessed its status in November 2010 and proposed to down-list the species to special concern. About this species Dwarf Lake Iris is a perennial, small in stature (up to 20 cm in height), with flat, strap-shaped leaves (0.5–1.0 cm wide and 6–18 cm long) that grow all in one plane, spreading somewhat like a fan. In Canada, Dwarf Lake Iris grows on alvars, (see footnote 31) dolostone bedrock shorelines, sand or gravel beach ridges, and in openings in coniferous woodlands. The majority of populations are within 500 m of the shore of Lake Huron, but the largest ones occur up to several kilometres from the lake. There are 40 extant populations in Canada (all in Ontario) totalling about 50 million stems, as well as 80 sites in Michigan and 15 in Wisconsin. The current Canadian range runs from southern Bruce County north to Tobermory and along the south shore of Manitoulin Island from the Owen Channel to the Carter Bay area, with a disjunct population at Belanger Bay. Wildfire has likely played an important role in creating habitat. In the absence of fire, natural succession eventually causes conditions to become unsuitable for Dwarf Lake Iris. Roughly 37% of the Canadian population is on land in protected areas. Threats to the survival of the Dwarf Lake Iris include shoreline development and road construction, loss of habitat from fire suppression, and trampling from all-terrain vehicles (ATV), heavy machinery, pedestrians and bicycles. In some cases, shoreline development, as well as ATV and foot traffic, has improved habitat by opening the canopy and creating new open ground. The species also present limiting factors such as an inability to grow in the shade, a lack of insect pollinators, a low genetic diversity and a low dispersal ability. Consultations One comment was received from an individual opposing the delisting of the Dwarf Lake Iris, indicating that the species and its habitat are under real threat. The Department of the Environment responded to clarify that the COSEWIC assessment suggests the species be down-listed from threatened to special concern as opposed to being delisted. In the response, the Department highlighted that recent survey efforts had resulted in an increased number of known populations and plants, and that this new data allows COSEWIC to determine that the species faces a lower risk of disappearing from the wild. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Dwarf Lake Iris were received. Rationale for down-listing New information about the distribution of Dwarf Lake Iris is now available and shows the species to be much more extensive and abundant than previously reported, justifying the species to be down-listed to a special concern status. In 2004, COSEWIC estimated the total Dwarf Lake Iris population in Ontario to be approximately one million ramets. (see footnote 32) However, with the discovery of new populations, more comprehensive surveys of previously known sites, and a re-evaluation of existing data, the population is now estimated at over 50 million ramets. In its 2010 assessment, COSEWIC notes that this increase is not the result of growth by the species, but a result of better surveying. Eastern Baccharis COSEWIC assessed this species as threatened in November 2011. About this species Eastern Baccharis is a perennial, salt marsh shrub of the Aster family, the only native representative of its genus and subtribe in Canada. In Canada, it is 1 to 3 m tall and deciduous with alternate gray-green leaves. Male and female flowers occur on different plants. It blooms in late summer with inflorescences of tiny flowers that can be very numerous on larger shrubs. Eastern Baccharis contains an array of compounds that may be used medicinally, including some with potential for cancer treatment, but formal investigation of their properties has been limited. American First Nations have used some species in the treatment of sores and wounds, and as antibacterials and emetics. In Canada, Eastern Baccharis is rare and localized — the total number of mature individuals in Canada is estimated at 2 850 and they are found along the extreme southwestern coast of Nova Scotia. The species is located more than 400 km away from the next nearest occurrence in northern Massachusetts. The species is restricted to open margins of well-developed salt marshes within harbours or bays that provide protection from wind and waves. Habitat loss from coastal development, primarily for cottages or residences, is the only imminent threat to the species. Its habitat along the margin of coastal forest makes it especially prone to clearance by landowners seeking water views or access. Death of individual plants from apparent saltwater inundation was observed very locally and habitat loss from sea level rise may be a future threat. Localized impacts from cattle grazing were also observed at one site. Consultations Although four comments were received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2012 consultation document, no comments specific to the Eastern Baccharis were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Eastern Baccharis were received. Listing rationale The extreme concentration of the population (~88% of total) in two dense areas of occurrence totaling 11.5 ha means that development, sea level rise or chance events in those areas could substantially reduce the entire Canadian population. Observations suggest that establishment from seed is uncommon, meaning that new seedlings are a rare occurrence. Rather, new shoots sprout from the bases of mature shrubs and the species can also spread via the rooting of low branches. This raises the significance of any threat that would remove mature individuals. Goldencrest Goldencrest was listed as threatened in Schedule 1 of SARA in June 2003. COSEWIC re-assessed its status in May 2012 and proposed to down-list the species to special concern. About this species Goldencrest is a perennial herb within the Bloodwort Family (Haemodoraceae). The plants possess erect, linear, blue-green leaves arranged predominantly in basal rosettes with yellow flowers that develop into round, many-seeded capsules. It is the only member of a distinctive genus and is globally uncommon with a very small range. In Canada, Goldencrest occurs on open lakeshores and graminoid-dominated peatlands. It prevails in low nutrient, acidic conditions while flooding, wave action and ice scour prevent dominance of more competitive species. It can be found on lakeshore substrates often covered by a thin organic layer; however, elsewhere it is found on wet acidic soils in bogs, pocosins (freshwater wetlands with deep sandy and peaty soils), wet savannahs, pine barrens and sometimes in nearby anthropogenically disturbed habitats such as roadside ditches. Goldencrest is endemic to the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains. In the United States, it is known from Louisiana to Georgia, North Carolina, Delaware (where it is extirpated), and New Jersey. In Canada, the nine populations (seven known extant) are restricted to two regions of southern Nova Scotia. It is exceptionally disjunct among a suite of other southern species of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with Nova Scotia populations separated by more than 800 km from the nearest known sites in New Jersey. Shoreline development is the most serious threat to Goldencrest populations. The threat of shoreline development has been somewhat mitigated by the creation of a provincial nature reserve. Other potential future threats are eutrophication, invasive species and peat mining. Consultations Four comments were received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2012 consultation document, but no comments specific to Goldencrest were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Goldencrest were received. Rationale for down-listing Revisions to the COSEWIC assessment criteria since the species’ last assessment account, in part, for the change in its risk status. Recent intensive surveys have also determined that the population is larger than previously thought. However, the species is subject to ongoing threats from development and habitat alteration, as well as the potential for future threats associated with eutrophication, invasive species and peat mining, which justifies maintaining a special concern status. Hine’s Emerald COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in May 2011. About this species The Hine’s Emerald is a dragonfly in the family Corduliidae, the emeralds. Adults have brilliant green eyes, a metallic green thorax with two lateral yellow stripes, and a blackish-brown abdomen. It undergoes incomplete metamorphosis involving three stages: egg, larva (nymph) and adult. Mated females lay eggs in muck and/or shallow water and the eggs hatch into aquatic larvae that live in the wetland for 3–5 years before emerging as adults. It is a globally rare species. Hine’s Emerald is restricted to calcareous wetlands (marshes, sedge meadows, and fens) dominated by graminoid vegetation and fed primarily by groundwater from intermittent seeps. The presence of crayfish burrows likely represents a critical component of Hine’s Emerald habitat and may be a factor limiting its distribution. The extant global range of Hine’s Emerald includes Ontario and four states in the United States: Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri. Historically, it was also known from Ohio, Indiana and Alabama, where it is now thought to be extirpated. In Ontario, Hine’s Emerald is known from only a single site: the Minesing Wetlands in Simcoe County, west of Barrie. The species is threatened by changes in surface and sub-surface hydrology as it may reduce or eliminate potential larval habitat. Proposed housing developments in the uplands where the only known Canadian population of Hine’s Emerald is found are expected to reduce the baseflow of water to the wetlands, thus impacting larval habitat. Contamination of groundwater by agricultural pesticides and nutrient management, faulty or degraded septic beds and potential future development pressures are also potential threats to Hine’s Emerald habitat. Another threat is the likely invasion of European Common Reed, which forms dense stands in fens, virtually eliminating native biodiversity. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to Hine’s Emerald were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Hine’s Emerald were received. Listing rationale This dragonfly, which is rare throughout its range, is known from only one Canadian location where habitat decline is considered likely due to urban development, groundwater contamination, and invasive species. Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in May 2011. About this species Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle is a small insect which is 3.7–4.4 mm in length and yellowish-brown in colour with irregular dark stripes on the back. The larvae are long and slender with a distinctive curved hook at the tip of the abdomen. Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle is a specialist of small to medium-sized streams characterized by a moderate to fast flow, good stream aeration, cool temperatures (15°C to 25°C), inorganic substrate, and alkaline water conditions. The presence of the alga Dichotomosiphon may be a critical component of the habitat because the beetle larvae appear to be very dependent upon it as a food source. Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle is endemic to the Great Lakes region, with approximately 40% of its distribution in Canada, all in Ontario. The species is restricted to five streams in three counties (Emmet, Montmorency and Presque Isle) in northern Michigan and to three rivers (the Rankin, the North Saugeen and the Saugeen) in Bruce County, Ontario. Over the last 10 years, the possible loss of one of three locations in Ontario has been documented. Threats to this wildlife species include any activities that degrade water quality, or remove or disrupt the pools and the shallow rapids in streams in which it lives. Other threats include alternations to stream flow as a result of waterpower development and management; removal of large amounts of water; discharge of storm water; and other activities that will alter the hydrology, temperature, substrate and water chemistry of the stream. In addition, a proposed landfill expansion near the Saugeen River location could have impacts on groundwater quality, which may result in negative direct or indirect effects upon the Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle population at this location. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle were received. Listing rationale A probable early postglacial relict, this water beetle is endemic to the upper Great Lakes and is listed as endangered in the United States. In Canada, it is restricted to a small area and is known from only three locations in Ontario. This species has declined and may be extirpated at the North Saugeen River. It is threatened by further planned developments at the North Saugeen and Saugeen River locations, by hydrological alterations at the Rankin River location, and by continuing declines in water quality due to events associated with increasing human population at all locations. Jefferson Salamander COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in November 2010. About this species At 11 to 18 cm long, the Jefferson Salamander is a large salamander with a slender body, a relatively long snout and long toes. It is dark brownish-grey on top and has a paler belly. Jefferson Salamanders inhabit deciduous forests with suitable breeding areas like limestone sinkhole ponds, kettle ponds and other natural basins. These bodies of water are often temporary (drying in late summer) and are fed by spring runoff, groundwater, or springs. In Canada, the species is associated with mature, Carolinian forests, which have permanent or temporary ponds for breeding. Currently, suitable habitat is available only on the fragmented deciduous woodlots of marginal agricultural land. Terrestrial habitat is in mature woodlands that have small mammal burrows or rock fissures that enable adults to over-winter underground below the frost line. Jefferson Salamanders are found in parts of eastern North America. In the United States, they have been reported in 13 of the northeastern states. In Canada, the species is found only in isolated populations. Its distribution is not completely known, but is confirmed to exist in 13 localities in three main areas of southern Ontario mostly associated with the Niagara Escarpment and Carolinian forest regions. Estimation of population sizes is difficult because of the presence of unisexuals that are morphologically similar to female Jefferson Salamanders. In Ontario, the Jefferson Salamander is limited by the availability of suitable habitat that includes deciduous or mixed forested upland areas associated with fishless ponds that are most often temporary or vernal pools. Threats include the partial or absolute elimination of suitable habitat, construction of barriers (e.g. roads) across migratory routes to or from breeding ponds, stocking fish in breeding ponds and reduction of the hydro period of breeding ponds so larvae do not have time to complete their development. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to the Jefferson Salamander were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Jefferson Salamander were received. Listing rationale This salamander has a restricted range within populated and highly modified areas. Over the past three generations, the species has disappeared from many historic locations and the remaining locations are threatened by development, loss of habitat and, potentially, the presence of sperm-stealing unisexual populations of salamanders. The habitat that remains is fragmented and under pressure from urban expansion. Northern Dusky Salamander (Carolinian population) COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in May 2012. About this species The Northern Dusky Salamander is a member of the family Plethodontidae (lungless salamanders). Adults are usually brownish with a light dorsal stripe that continues onto the first portion of the tail. The body is sparsely covered with dark spots that are concentrated on the sides and becomes white or grey on the underside. Old individuals tend to be uniformly dark brown or black. Both adults and larvae have larger hind legs than forelegs and a pale line extending from the eye to the rear of the jaw. The Northern Dusky Salamander inhabits the vicinity of springs, seepages, and small tributaries of clear headwater streams in forested habitats. The species takes refuge under protective cover (rocks, logs, moss or leaf litter) or in cool subterranean retreats near stream edges. It forages along the streamside, mostly in terrestrial habitat. The larvae are limited to aquatic micro-environments between rocks in the streambed. During winter, the larvae remain in shallow running water while the adults stay in subterranean refuges with constant water flow. The Northern Dusky Salamander is distributed throughout the mountainous regions of eastern North America. The Carolinian population is restricted to a small area in the Niagara Gorge in Ontario, whereas the Quebec / New Brunswick population occurs in three large areas in Quebec (the Adirondack Piedmont, the Appalachian uplift, and the north shore of the St. Lawrence River), and scattered areas in southern New Brunswick. Changes in water supply and quality due to human activities are the main threats to the Northern Dusky Salamander in Canada. Runoff from urban, industrial and agricultural areas, heavy metal contamination from atmospheric sources, and acidification can contaminate the aquatic habitat. Siltation caused by timber harvesting can also be detrimental as it removes the small interstitial spaces between rocks where the salamanders forage, shelter, nest, and overwinter. Finally, the introduction of predatory fish, particularly Brook Trout, is a threat to the species. Consultations Four comments were received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2012 consultation document, but no comments specific to the Northern Dusky Salamander were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Northern Dusky Salamander were received. Listing rationale The Carolinian population of this species is restricted to one small creek along the escarpment of the Niagara Gorge, downstream from Niagara Falls, and is sustained by groundwater seepage on the steep slope of a gorge vulnerable to erosion, atmospheric deposition of pollutants and habitat acidification. The population is small and susceptible to ecological, demographic and genetic stochasticity. (see footnote 33) Pitcher’s Thistle Pitcher’s Thistle was listed as threatened in Schedule 1 of SARA in June 2003. COSEWIC re-assessed the species in November 2010 and proposed to down-list its status to special concern. About this species Pitcher’s Thistle is a perennial herb that flowers only once in its lifetime, and is usually seen as a ring of basal leaves generally 15–30 cm in diameter. The plants have a distinct whitish-green colour from the layer of fine hairs that covers the surface of the leaves. The leaves are narrow and deeply divided, with a spine at the tip of each linear division. The plant has no means of vegetative reproduction. Pitcher’s Thistle is found only on sand dunes and sandy beaches. Optimal Pitcher’s Thistle habitat is open, dry, loose sand with sparse or no vegetation immediately surrounding or shading the thistles. The habitat is dynamic due to effects from wind, water, and ice that move sand, causing the build-up of mounds, burial of vegetation, exposure of roots, and blowouts. Natural succession may cause habitat to become unsuitable when vegetation becomes too dense. In Canada, this wildlife species is only found in Ontario. In the United States, it is found in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. There are 30 extant populations in Canada: 2 on Lake Superior, 20 on Manitoulin Island, 5 on islands surrounding Manitoulin Island, and 3 on Southern Lake Huron. Natural succession and filling in of vegetation are the primary threat to the species, compounded by nibbling by White-tailed Deer, Snowshoe Hare and Canada Geese, and/or recreational ATV use in the species’ habitat. Trampling may also be causing a decline at one population. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to Pitcher’s Thistle were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Pitcher’s Thistle were received. Rationale for down-listing Considerable fieldwork undertaken since 2000 has greatly increased the number of confirmed Canadian populations from about 10 to 30. Annual monitoring shows a multi-year increase in numbers of plants in most populations. In the total Canadian population, 15 populations show a steady increase in numbers; 7 have natural fluctuations from flowering and die-off; 3 are stable; and only 5 currently show serious declines. This species is at continued but reduced risk because of its specialized life history of flowering and reproducing only once at age 3–11 years before dying. It also exists in mainly small populations that undergo fluctuation and ongoing habitat impacts from successional vegetation crowding compounded by nibbling by other species and ATV use in the species’ habitat. Purple Twayblade Purple Twayblade was listed as endangered in Schedule 1 of SARA in June 2003. COSEWIC re-assessed the species in November 2010 and proposed to down-list its status to threatened. About this species The Purple Twayblade is a terrestrial perennial orchid arising from a bulbous corm. (see footnote 34) The plant attains a height of about 25 cm. A flowering stalk of 5 to 33 flowers arises from the centre of two oval to elliptical fleshy leaves. Flowers consist of a prominent, broad, violet-mauve lip (10–14 mm long) streaked with a fine network of reddish-purple veins. Because Purple Twayblade is a rare orchid, it is of considerable interest to naturalists and photographers. Purple Twayblade is found in a wide variety of plant communities and soil conditions. Although it is generally found in dry to moderately moist conditions, it has recently been reported from wetlands in Canada. Canadian occurrences are from open oak woodland and savannah, mixed deciduous forest, shrub thicket, shrub alvar, deciduous swamp, and conifer plantation. The presence of a specific fungal associate may be more important than substrate conditions. The Purple Twayblade is restricted to North America. It occurs primarily in the United States, from New England and Minnesota, south to Arkansas and Alabama. In Canada, it is found mainly in southern Ontario and in southern Quebec. The discovery of several new populations in recent years has extended its known range in Canada. Threats to the species include housing development and urbanization, invasive species and potentially small population sizes. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to Purple Twayblade were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Purple Twayblade were received. Rationale for down-listing The discovery of several new populations in recent years has extended the Purple Twayblade’s known range in Canada. However, the few individuals present in the majority of the populations and the overall small size of the entire Canadian population places the species at continued risk from chance events. In addition, this species faces continued impacts from habitat loss, pesticide use, and the collection of the plants by wildflower enthusiasts. Skillet Clubtail COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in November 2010. About this species The Skillet Clubtail is one of the most striking dragonfly wildlife species in Canada due to the almost circular expansion at the end of its otherwise slim abdomen. It is dark brown and black, with strong yellow markings on the dorsal abdomen, greenish-yellow markings on the thorax, dark green eyes and clear wings. It is a specialist of clean, large, medium- to slow-running waters with fine substrate, usually having a significant component of silt and/or clay. Such habitats are usually confined to segments of larger running waters where they flow through rich soils at a low gradient, which is comparatively rare in southeastern Canada. Examples with clean water are particularly rare because such rivers are often surrounded by agricultural landscapes. Habitat of the largest known population is likely declining. The Skillet Clubtail’s occurrence is limited to North America. In Canada, it has been historically reported in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, but it is currently only known to be found in New Brunswick. The Canadian population is likely stable at present, but has declined by 40% from 60 years ago. Human-induced habitat change represents the greatest potential threat to the wildlife species. Eutrophication due to excessive nutrient input from sewage or sedimentation due to agricultural or forestry runoff, pesticides and herbicides, and accidental or illegal dumping of chemicals may kill larvae in rivers. Invasive species are another threat to the species, as they can alter the ecosystem on which the species depends for its survival. Predation, recreational use of waters, and construction along shorelines are all significant threats to the species due to their impacts on emerging larvae. In this case, waves from passing boats during the hours of emergence may kill the emerging dragonflies, but the importance of this threat is unknown. Another potentially serious impact on the aquatic habitat is a rise in sea level, as the downstream limit of the Saint John, New Brunswick, population is within 5 km of saline influence, and this influence will move upstream with noticeable effects likely over the next decade. Consultations One comment regarding listing the Skillet Clubtail was received from a Canadian logging company conducting forest management work. This company did not oppose the listing of this wildlife species. The business acknowledges this wildlife species is in the province, but it is not present in the type of ecosystem where the business conducts its work. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. No comments specific to the Skillet Clubtail were received. Listing rationale The Skillet Clubtail is an indicator of large, clean, running water habitats, with fine sand, clay or silt and may be expected to occur with other wildlife species requiring similar habitat. It reaches its northern range limit in Canada and its global viability may be dependent upon the level of human impact on Canadian waters. The location where this wildlife species is found is one of the most biodiverse regions in Atlantic Canada. Spring Salamander (Adirondack/Appalachian population) Spring Salamander was listed as special concern in Schedule 1 of SARA in June 2003. COSEWIC re-assessed the species in May 2011 and split it into two designatable units, following the determination that a new extirpated population has historically existed in the Niagara region in Ontario. The Adirondack/Appalachian population is proposed to be designated as threatened. About this species The Spring Salamander is among the largest species in the family Plethodontidae (lungless salamanders), reaching 23 cm in total length. Adults are usually pink or orange and possess dark and diffused reticulation, spots or streaks. The Adirondack/Appalachian population of Spring Salamander occurs in clear, cool headwater streams in the Appalachians and Adirondacks of southeastern Quebec. Both adults and juveniles take refuge in interstitial spaces among rocks in the streambed. Abundant forest cover is required to maintain essential habitat features. The species has a patchy distribution in high-elevation streams along the Appalachian uplift of eastern North America. Its Canadian range extends from the United States border to Kinnear’s Mills in Quebec. The Canadian distribution includes between 0.7% and 8.6% of the global range and is limited to elevations above 100 m on the outskirts of the Appalachian Mountains. The wildlife species’ habitat is threatened by several kinds of development that may alter water availability in the streams. Similarly, forestry activities affect the salamander’s habitat by reducing shade, altering stream temperatures and increasing silt. Introduction of predatory game fish is also a severe threat to the species’ larvae and adults. Consultations One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, but no comments specific to Spring Salamander (Adirondack/Appalachian population) were received. Following the publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, one comment was received supporting the listing of all the species. One comment opposing the listing of the Spring Salamander (Adirondack/Appalachian population) was received from a provincial government department. One First Nation expressed their ongoing commitment to a partnership to address the knowledge gaps identified in the management plan of the Spring Salamander published in 2014. Rationale for listing The Spring Salamander occurs only in clear, cool headwater streams in the Adirondacks and Appalachians of southeastern Quebec. It acts as a prevalent predator, and is thus an important part of the overall ecosystems. In addition, some populations are geographically isolated and may possess unique traits. The species’ habitat is estimated to be severely fragmented, and a continuing decline in area of occupancy, habitat area and quality, number of populations and number of mature individuals due to the numerous threats faced by the species is observed and inferred. Footnote a S.C. 2002, c. 29 Footnote 1 S.C. 2002, c. 29 Footnote 2 Butchart, S. M. H., et al. 2010. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science. 328: 1164–1168. Footnote 3 Bamosky, A. D., et al. 2011. Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature 471: 51–57. Footnote 4 Hooper, D. U., et al. 2005. Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge. Ecological monographs, 75: 3–35. Footnote 5 The Governor in Council is the Governor General of Canada acting by and with the advice of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada (Cabinet). Footnote 6 Preamble to the Species at Risk Act (2003). Footnote 7 COSEWIC defines an extinct species as a wildlife species that no longer exists. http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=29E94A2D-1#e. Footnote 8 Section 2 of SARA defines an extirpated species as a wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the wild. Footnote 9 Heritage places under Parks Canada authority include places such as national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals, national marine conservation areas and the Rouge National Urban Park. Footnote 10 As of February 22, 2017. Footnote 11 More information on COSEWIC can be found on its website at www.cosewic.gc.ca. Footnote 12 Federal land means (a) land that belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada, or that Her Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above that land; (b) the internal waters of Canada and the territorial sea of Canada; and (c) reserves and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves and lands. Footnote 13 Subsection 34(2) of SARA for provinces and subsection 35(2) for territories. Footnote 14 As per SARA, section 61. Footnote 15 As per the definition in SARA, competent minister means (a) the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency with respect to individuals of the wildlife species in or on federal lands administered by that Agency; (b) the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to aquatic species, other than species mentioned in (a); and (c) the Minister of the Environment with respect to all other individuals of the wildlife species. Footnote 16 Species at Risk Act Permitting Policy (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=2983). Footnote 17 http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/search/advSearchResults_e.cfm?stype=doc&docID=18 Footnote 18 COSEWIC recognized the currently listed Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) as two separate wildlife species under SARA. The Order strikes Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) from Schedule 1 and adds this new designatable unit. The second designatable unit is referred back to COSEWIC. Footnote 19 As required by section 24 of SARA. Footnote 20 Cardinale et al., 2012. [Cardinale, J.; Emmett, Duffy; Gonzalez, Andrew; Hooper, David U.; Perrings, Charles; Venail, Patrick; Narwani, Anita; Mace, Georgina M.; Tilman, David; Wardle, David A.; Kinzig, Ann P.; Daily, Gretchen C.; Loreau, Michel; Grace, B.; Larigauderie, Anne; Srivastava, Diane S.; Naeem, Shahid.] “Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity.” Nature. 486: 56–67. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11148.html Footnote 21 Wildlife Area Regulations, section 3: (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall, in any wildlife area, (a) hunt or fish […]; (c) have in his possession any animal, carcass, nest, egg or a part of any of those things; (d) damage, destroy or remove a plant […]; (i) destroy or molest animals or carcasses, nests or eggs thereof […]; (l) disturb or remove any soil, sand, gravel or other material […]. Footnote 22 Under section 79 of SARA, a project means a designated project as defined in section 2 or section 66 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, a project as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Act or a development as defined in subsection 111(1) of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. Footnote 23 Hine’s Emerald, Hungerford’s Crawling Water Beetle, Skillet Clubtail, Blue Felt Lichen, Spring Salamander (Adirondack / Appalachian population), Jefferson Salamander, Butler’s Gartersnake, Pitcher’s Thistle, Dwarf Lake Iris and Purple Twayblade. Footnote 24 American Burying Beetle, Northern Dusky Salamander (Carolinian population), Eastern Baccharis, Goldencrest. Footnote 25 Butchart, S. M. H., et al. 2010. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science. 328: 1164–1168. Footnote 26 United Nations. 1992. Convention on Biological Diversity. www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-en.pdf. Footnote 27 OECD. 2015. The economic consequences of climate change. OECD Publishing, Paris. http://www.oecd.org/env/theeconomic-consequences-of-climate-change-9789264235410en.htm. Footnote 28 http://www.fsds-sfdd.ca/ Footnote 29 Heritage places under Parks Canada authority include places such as national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals, national marine conservation areas and Rouge National Urban Park. Footnote 30 https://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=5902EA6D-1 Footnote 31 Alvars are naturally open habitats with either a thin covering of soil or no soil over a base of limestone or dolostone. North American alvars support a distinctive set of flora and fauna, and over 60% of these alvars are located in Ontario. (Source: http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/ontario/our-work/alvars-of-ontario.html). Footnote 32 A ramet is a distinct individual that is part of a group of genetically identical individuals derived from one progenitor. Footnote 33 Unpredictable genetic changes to a population. Footnote 34 A corm is an underground stem where a plant stores its food.
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