Plants listed as endangered in B.C., Canada

On Monday, December 8, 2014, COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) declared 3 B.C. plants to be endangered.

1. Limber pine tree

This tree can live up to 1,000 years but populations are drastically declining due to the spread of white pine blister rust, a fungus. This fungus is an invasive species to B.C. and, in combination with the mountain pine beetle and climate change, is posing a serious threat to the limber pine tree species. The pine tree is restricted to high elevations in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

2. Phantom orchid

This orchid used to be listed as threatened but has been since upgraded to endangered. The phantom orchid gets its nutrients from a fungus rather than photosynthesis and sunlight. It is at risk from habitat loss and, unfortunately, cannot be cultivated.

3. Toothcup plant

This plant species is only from 2 populations in southern B.C. Some of its locations have been lost because of shoreline development. The toothcup is limited by availability of seasonally wet sites and is being threatened by invasive plant species.

One species has also been listed as ‘special concern’ by COSEWIC.

– The tiny tassel moss has been listed as a special concern species. It has a narrow range in B.C., found only in the semi-arid shrub steppe of four valleys. It has been confirmed to be found on steep slopes associated with certain glacial lake deposits. Threats to this moss include: erosion because of recreational use of land, maintenance of road cuts, and climate change.

The original news article from the Vancouver Sun can be found here.

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