Recovery Strategy for the Cliff Paintbrush (Castilleja rupicola) in Canada - 2017
Part 1 - Federal addition to the Recovery Strategy for Cliff Paintbrush (Castilleja rupicola) in British Columbia, prepared by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The federal, provincial, and territorial government signatories under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996) agreed to establish complementary legislation and programs that provide for effective protection of species at risk throughout Canada. Under the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) (SARA), the federal competent ministers are responsible for the preparation of recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered, and Threatened species and are required to report on progress within five years after the publication of the final document on the Species at Risk Public Registry.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada is the competent minister under SARA for the Cliff Paintbrush and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia as per section 39(1) of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Province of British Columbia provided the attached recovery strategy for the Cliff Paintbrush (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Environment and Climate Change Canada, or any other jurisdiction alone. All Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Cliff Paintbrush and Canadian society as a whole.
This recovery strategy will be followed by one or more action plans that will provide information on recovery measures to be taken by Environment and Climate Change Canada and other jurisdictions and/or organizations involved in the conservation of the species. Implementation of this strategy is subject to appropriations, priorities, and budgetary constraints of the participating jurisdictions and organizations.
The recovery strategy sets the strategic direction to arrest or reverse the decline of the species, including identification of critical habitat to the extent possible. It provides all Canadians with information to help take action on species conservation. When critical habitat is identified, either in a recovery strategy or an action plan, SARA requires that critical habitat then be protected.
In the case of critical habitat identified for terrestrial species including migratory birds SARA requires that critical habitat identified in a federally protected areaFootnote i be described in the Canada Gazette within 90 days after the recovery strategy or action plan that identified the critical habitat is included in the public registry. A prohibition against destruction of critical habitat under ss. 58(1) will apply 90 days after the description of the critical habitat is published in the Canada Gazette.
For critical habitat located on other federal lands, the competent minister must either make a statement on existing legal protection or make an order so that the prohibition against destruction of critical habitat applies.
If the critical habitat for a migratory bird is not within a federal protected area and is not on federal land, within the exclusive economic zone or on the continental shelf of Canada, the prohibition against destruction can only apply to those portions of the critical habitat that are habitat to which the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 applies as per SARA ss. 58(5.1) and ss. 58(5.2).
For any part of critical habitat located on non-federal lands, if the competent minister forms the opinion that any portion of critical habitat is not protected by provisions in or measures under SARA or other Acts of Parliament, or the laws of the province or territory, SARA requires that the Minister recommend that the Governor in Council make an order to prohibit destruction of critical habitat. The discretion to protect critical habitat on non-federal lands that is not otherwise protected rests with the Governor in Council.
Additions and modifications to the adopted document
The following sections have been included to address specific requirements of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) that are not addressed in the Recovery Strategy for Cliff Paintbrush (Castilleja rupicola) in British Columbia (Part 2 of this document, referred to henceforth as "the provincial recovery strategy") and/or to provide updated or additional information.
Under SARA, there are specific requirements and processes set out regarding the protection of critical habitat. The section “Existing and Recommended Approaches to Habitat Protection”, and other statements in the provincial recovery strategy referring to protection of survival/recovery habitat may not directly correspond to federal requirements. Recovery measures dealing with the protection of habitat are adopted; however, whether these measures will result in protection of critical habitat under SARA will be assessed following publication of the final federal recovery strategy.
The provincial recovery strategy for Cliff Paintbrush contains a short statement on socio-economic considerations. As a socio-economic analysis is not required under Section 41(1) of SARA, the "Socio-economic Considerations" section of the provincial recovery strategy is not considered part of the federal recovery strategy for this species.
1. Species status information
This section replaces the species status summary for Cliff Paintbrush (Table 2 in the provincial recovery strategy).
Legal Status: SARA Schedule 1 (Threatened) (2006)
|Global (G) rankNote a of Table 1||National (N) rank||Sub-national (S) rank||COSEWIC Designation||B.C. list||B.C. Conservation Framework|
|G3G4||Canada (N3), United States (N3)||Canada: |
British Columbia (S3)
|Threatened (2005)||Blue||Highest priority: 3 under goal 1Note b of Table 1|
Notes of table 1
- Note a of Table 1
Rank 1-critically imperiled; 2-imperiled, 3-vulnerable to extirpation or extinction; 4-apparently secure; 5-secure; H-possibly extirpated; NR-status not ranked
- Note b of Table 1
The three goals of the B.C. Conservation Framework are: 1. Contribute to global efforts for species and ecosystem conservation; 2. Prevent species and ecosystems from becoming at risk; 3. Maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems
2. Population and distribution
This section replaces the information summary for known records of Cliff Paintbrush in British Columbia (Table 1 in the provincial recovery strategy).
The updated information summary below (Table 2) describes the distribution and abundance of recorded populationsFootnote 1 in Canada, all occurring at high-elevation sites of the Chilliwack and Skagit River drainages in the Cascade Range of southwestern B.C. Excepting the additional Mount Outram record (Population #16), all population numbers in this section align with those provided in the provincial recovery strategy. The Mount Outram population was observed in 2006 and 2008 (B.C. Conservation Data Centre 2014); the 2008 survey estimated 120 plants. The addition of the Mount Outram record increases the estimated total population in Canada from 250 to approximately 370 plants.
Of the 16 recorded populations, 13 are considered extant, two are historical records, and one is of unknown status. Populations #1 and #2 (historical status) have not been observed in over 100 years and may be extirpated. Population #4 (unknown status) was not rediscovered during surveys in 2003. An additional subpopulation reported from Cheam Peak in 2007 (Population #3, subpopulation 2) is also of unknown status, requiring verification of location and extent of occurrence.
|Popn||Location||Last obs.||Elevation||Abundance||StatusNote c of table 1|
|2||Mt. Brunswick - Coast Mtn. Range||1912||unknown||unknown||Historical|
|3||Cheam Peak (subpopn. 1)||2006||1829-2100 m||>20 plants||Extant|
|3||Cheam Peak (subpopn. 2)||2007||2050 m||"several plants in bloom"||Unknown (Unverified)|
|4||Finlayson Peak, Skagit Valley Provincial Park (SVPP) (subpopn. 1)||1975||2150-2200 m||"few plants"||Unknown (Failed to find)|
|4||Whitworth Peak, SVPP(subpopn. 2)||1988||2150-2200 m||"few plants"||Unknown (Failed to find)|
|4||Whitworth Peak South (Unnamed mountain), SVPP (subpopn. 3)||1988||2150-2200 m||unknown||Unknown (Failed to find)|
|5||Mount Lindeman, Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park (CLPP)||1984||1981 m||"few plants"||Extant|
|6||Marmot Mountain, SVPP||2003||2020-2032 m||1 plant/ 1 m2||Extant|
|7||Mt. Brice, SVPP||2003||2120-2167 m||3 plants/ 5 m2||Extant|
|8||Mt. Rideout (Silvertip Mountain)||2003||2150-2180 m||2 plants/ 2 m2||Extant|
|9||Klesilkwa Mountain||1992||1950 m||"few plants"||Extant|
|10||Church Mountain||1984||unknown||"few plants"||Extant|
|11||Thompson Peak||1984||>2000 m||"few plants"||Extant|
|12||Mt. Liumchen, Liumchen Ecological Reserve||1984||1700-1800 m||"few plants"||Extant|
|13||Mt. McGuire||1999||1600-2000 m||"locally abundant"||Extant|
|14||Foley Peak||1999||1800-2200 m||"few plants"||Extant|
|15||MacDonald Peak, CLPP||2006||1848-1878 m||small patch (30 x 30 cm), scattered plants||Extant|
|16||Mount Outram||2010||1990-2100 m||120 plants||Extant|
Notes of table 2
- Note c of Table 2
As per Natureserve (2014) the status of Cliff Paintbrush population/subpopulations is as follows: Extant – Population has been recently verified (<40 years); Historical – Recent information verifying the continued existence of the population is lacking (i.e. records are >40 years); Unknown (failed to find) – The population has not been found despite a search by an experienced observer but appropriate habitat still remains at the site.
3. Population and distribution objectives
This section replaces the "Recovery Goal" section in the provincial recovery strategy.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has determined the Population and Distribution Objective for Cliff Paintbrush in Canada is:
To maintain the abundance of Cliff Paintbrush at all known locations throughout its range in Canada, which includes any new populations and/or subpopulations that are identified.
Abundance and distribution information for this species shows thirteen extant populations restricted to high-elevation sites of the Chilliwack and Skagit River drainages in the Cascade Range of southwestern B.C. Current knowledge suggests that Cliff Paintbrush is naturally rare in B.C. with an estimated population of 370 plants (COSEWIC 2005, Conservation Data Centre 2014). One population of "unknown" status was not reconfirmed during surveys conducted in 2003. Targeted surveys at this location for this population (#4) are recommended to determine whether it is still extant. An additional subpopulation reported from Cheam Peak in 2007 (Population #3, subpopulation 2) is also of unknown status, requiring verification of location and extent of occurrence. As Cliff Paintbrush habitat is often inaccessible, it is possible that additional populations exist and may be discovered with a continued survey effort. Cliff Paintbrush has a restricted geographic range and is naturally rare on the landscape and will likely always remain rare within Canada. With only 13 known extant populations in Canada, it is important that all known populations including any re-confirmed historical, and/or newly discovered sites (i.e., plants/populations that may be found during future inventories) are maintained.
4. Critical habitat
This section replaces the "Identification of the species' critical habitat" section in the provincial recovery strategy.
Section 41 (1)(c) of SARA requires that recovery strategies include an identification of the species' critical habitat, to the extent possible, as well as examples of activities that are likely to result in its destruction. A primary consideration in the identification of critical habitat is the amount, quality, and locations of habitat needed to achieve the population and distribution objectives.
The 2009 provincial recovery strategy for Cliff Paintbrush noted that critical habitat could not be identified at that time (nor is it required in the provincial process), owing to a lack of information on habitat and area requirements for the species. Environment and Climate Change Canada has reviewed the available information and concluded that sufficient information is available to identify critical habitat at this time. More precise boundaries may be mapped, and additional critical habitat may be added in the future if additional information supports the inclusion of areas beyond those currently identified.
Critical habitat can only be partially identified at this time. Critical habitat cannot yet be identified for population #4 (i.e., all three subpopulations at Finlayson Peak, Whitworth Peak, and Whitworth Peak south) owing to unknown "extant" status and location uncertainty. For similar reasons, critical habitat cannot yet be completely identified for Cheam Peak (i.e. Population #3, subpopulation 2). A schedule of studies (Section 6.2) outlines the activities required to identify additional critical habitat necessary to support the population and distribution objectives for the species. The identification of critical habitat will be updated when the information becomes available, either in a revised recovery strategy or action plan(s).
4.1 Identification of the species' critical habitat
Geospatial location of areas containing critical habitat
Cliff Paintbrush is found at high elevations within the Chilliwack and Skagit River drainages of southwestern British Columbia. Critical habitat is identified for thirteen extant populations of Cliff Paintbrush; these are linked with the population numbers provided in section 2 (and the provincial recovery plan, except for the added Mount Outram population):
- Cheam Peak (Population #3; Figure 1)
- Mount Lindeman (Population #5; Figure 2)
- Marmot Mountain (Population #6; Figure 3)
- Mount Brice (Population #7; Figure 4)
- Mount Rideout (Population #8; Figure 5),
- Klesilkwa Mountain (Population #9; Figure 6)
- Church Mountain (Population #10; Figure 7),
- Thompson Peak (Population #11; Figure 6)
- Liumchen Mountain (Population #12; Figure 7),
- Mount McGuire (Population #13; Figure 7)
- Foley Peak (Population #14; Figure 1)
- MacDonald Peak (Population #15; Figure 2),
- Mount Outram (Population #16; Figure 8),
The area containing critical habitat for Cliff Paintbrush is based on three additive components: (1) the area occupied by individual plants or patches of plants, including the associated potential location error from Global Positioning System (GPS) units (ranging from 5 m to 25 m uncertainty distance); (2) a 50 m (i.e., critical function zone distanceFootnote 2) to encompass immediately adjacent areas; and, (3) the entire portion of distinct ecological featuresFootnote 3 which are associated with, and are integral to, Cliff Paintbrush individual plants or patches of plants. Distinct ecological features for Cliff Paintbrush are the sparsely vegetated rocky slopes on which they occur.
Biophysical attributes of critical habitat
Within the areas identified as containing critical habitat, critical habitat is identified wherever the following biophysical attributes occur:
- sparse vegetation cover (not forested)
- above 1600 m in elevation
- exposed habitats with gravelly or stony soils and/or crevices, such as:
- rocky ridges, outcrops;
- dry to mesic cliffs;
- exposed slopes;
- scree or talus slopes.
A critical function zone of 50 m around any extant individual plant or patch of plants is also identified as critical habitat, even in portions of habitat where the biophysical attributes (as described above) are not met.
The areas containing critical habitat for Cliff Paintbrush (totalling 687.6 ha) are presented in Figures 1-8. Critical habitat for Cliff Paintbrush in Canada occurs within the shaded yellow polygon(s) (unit(s)) shown on each map, where the biophysical attributes described in the above section are present. Within these polygons, unsuitable habitat such as forested and/or dense-shrub communities, and elevations below 1600 mFootnote 4, are not identified as critical habitat, unless they occur within the 50 m critical function zone of individual plant(s) (as described above). Existing anthropogenic features (e.g., active roads or trails) do not possess the biophysical attributes required by Cliff Paintbrush and they are not identified as critical habitat. The 1 km x 1 km Universal Transverse Mercator(UTM) grid overlay shown on these figures is a standardized national grid system that highlights the general geographic area containing critical habitat, for land use planning and/or environmental assessment purposes.
4.2 Schedule of studies to identify critical habitat
This section replaces the "Recommended schedule of studies to identify critical habitat" section in the provincial recovery strategy.
The following schedule of studies (Table 3) outlines the activity required to complete the identification of critical habitat for Cliff Paintbrush; population numbers align with those provided in section 4.
|Description of activity||Rationale||Timeline|
|Conduct targeted, comprehensive surveys in areas of suitable habitat within the proximity of the observations of Cliff Paintbrush at Population #4 and Population #3 (subpopulation 2) to determine if these records are extant and to identify their location.||Critical habitat could not be identified for one population (comprised by three subpopulations) and one additional subpopulation owing to their "unknown" status, and/or the high location uncertainty associated with records. Recent, comprehensive, targeted surveys are lacking. Without further information on the status and location of these populations, it is unknown whether there is sufficient critical habitat identified for Cliff Paintbrush.||2017-2022|
4.3 Activities likely to result in destruction of critical habitat
Understanding what constitutes destruction of critical habitat is necessary for the protection and management of critical habitat. Destruction is determined on a case by case basis. Destruction would result if part of the critical habitat were degraded, either permanently or temporarily, such that it would not serve its function when needed by the species. Destruction may result from a single or multiple activities at one point in time or from the cumulative effects of one or more activities over time.
The provincial recovery strategy indicates that Cliff Paintbrush is not currently exposed to any specific threats because of their relatively isolated, high subalpine and alpine locations. Activities corresponding with potential future threats include those related to resource extraction (e.g., mining or gravel extraction, and/or road-building for resource extraction including logging), and recreational use (e.g., development of hiking trails), however at this time there are no known activities occurring that are likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat.
5. Measuring progress
The performance indicator presented below provides a way to define and measure progress towards achieving the population and distribution goal set out in the provincial recovery plan:
- The population size and abundance of Cliff Paintbrush has been maintained (or is naturally increasing) at all known locations, including any new discovered locations, throughout its range in Canada.
In addition to this performance indicator, the performance measures set out in the provincial recovery plan (Table 3) will provide pertinent information to assess interim progress towards the ultimate population and distribution goal.
6. Statement on action plans
This section replaces the "Statement on Action Plans" section in the provincial recovery strategy.
One or more action plans for Cliff Paintbrush will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry by 2022.
7. Effects on the environment and other species
This section replaces the "Effects on Other Species" section in the provincial recovery strategy.
A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making and to evaluate whether the outcomes of a recovery planning document could affect any component of the environment or any of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy's (FSDS) goals and targets.
Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below in this statement.
The recovery measures proposed are not expected to negatively affect any other species. It is likely that efforts to conserve Cliff Paintbrush will indirectly benefit other species in the area. Also, surveys to confirm existing and potential new populations of Cliff Paintbrush may have a positive effect by identifying additional locations for other possible species at risk in the area which are listed in Appendix A of the provincial recovery strategy. Recovery planning activities for Cliff Paintbrush will be implemented with consideration for all co-occurring species at risk, such that there are no negative impacts to these species or their habitats.
B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 2014. Generalized locations - Castilleja rupicola (Cliff Paintbrush). B.C. Ministry of Environment. (Accessed November 10, 2014).
B.C. Conservation Framework. 2014. Conservation Framework Summary: Castilleja rupicola. B.C. Ministry of the Environment. (Accessed November 10, 2014).
COSEWIC. 2005. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Cliff Paintbrush (Castilleja rupicola) in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 18 pp. Available:www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/status_e.cfm. (Accessed November 10, 2014).
Government of Canada. 2009. Species at Risk Act Policies, Overarching Policy Framework [Draft]. Species at Risk Act Policy and Guidelines Series. Environment Canada. Ottawa. 38 pp.
NatureServe. 2014. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. (Accessed November 10, 2014).
- Footnote i
These federally protected areas are: a national park of Canada named and described in Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act, The Rouge National Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, a marine protected area under the Oceans Act, a migratory bird sanctuary under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, 1994 or a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act see ss. 58(2) of SARA.
- Footnote 1
"Populations" are characterized as being separated by >1 km, and "sub-populations" represent records of individuals, or patches of individuals, that are within 1 km of each other unless otherwise noted.
- Footnote 2
Critical function zone distance has been defined as the threshold habitat fragment size required for maintaining constituent microhabitat properties for a species (e.g., critical light, moisture, humidity levels necessary for survival). Existing research provides a logical basis for applying a minimum critical function zone distance of 50 m for all rare plant species occurrences (see: Rationale for decision tree hierarchy)
- Footnote 3
"Distinct" ecological features are here referred to as those that are distinguishable at a scale relevant to the critical habitat identification (through use of detailed ecosystem mapping or aerial photos), which, at that scale, appear as ecologically contiguous features with relatively distinct boundaries (e.g., cliffs, banks, or slopes, drainage basins, seepage plateaus, or distinct vegetation assemblages), and which comprise the context for a species occurrence. Cliff Paintbrush has been identified at a "site" level scale (1:15,000 scale of reference).
- Footnote 4
Cliff Paintbrush has been recorded from approximately 1600 m to 2300 m in elevation, in the subalpine to alpine vegetation zones.
- Date Modified: