PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) is a perennial plant in the aster family. Plants have as many as 30 stems up to 1.5 m tall. These are typically unbranched, smooth, and usually reddish in colour with alternate, lance-shaped leaves. The inflorescence is large and showy, up to 30 cm long, consisting of many small, bright yellow compound flower heads arranged into a panicle. Its branches are erect, and do not curve downwards like those of other large goldenrods. Flowering in Ontario starts in late August to early September and continues into mid-October.
Two small populations of this showy perennial occur in remnant tallgrass prairie habitats in southwestern Ontario. Substantial declines in the number of mature individuals and the quality of habitat have been recorded and are projected to continue. Limiting factors include the encroachment of woody plants due to the lack of regular burning of the prairie habitats and other impacts such as the spread of invasive exotic plants, and seed predation that reduces the species’ ability to reproduce.
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (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.
Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”.
COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.