Flowers border the Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. While these are red, purple paintbrush flowers are unique to Canada and can be found near Revelstoke. (Photo by Parks Canada)

Flowers border the Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. While these are red, purple paintbrush flowers are unique to Canada and can be found near Revelstoke. (Photo by Parks Canada)

Several unique-to-Canada species found near Revelstoke

The list highlights what species Canada is solely responsible for saving

The Revelstoke area has several endemic species according to a new study listing plants, insects and animals that exist in Canada and nowhere else.

The report, by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and NatureServe Canada was released in June to mark Canadian Environment Week.

It’s the first time such a list has been compiled.

READ MORE: Several unique-to-Canada species found in B.C., on Vancouver Island

“We hope the report will be a call to action,” said Dan Kraus, co-author of the study.

More than one-third of the 308 species on the list are at risk for extinction, with several already gone. Kraus said the list matters as it’s entirely up to Canadians to ensure these species survive.

“If we fail, they will be gone from the planet forever.”

According to the United Nations, one million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction globally.

READ MORE: 52 wolves have been culled since 2016 near Revelstoke

READ MORE: City of Revelstoke won’t make 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal

The highest number of endemic species in Canada, at 105, is found in B.C. Endemic refers to a native species restricted to a certain location.

One species, Thor’s Northern Caddisfly (Philocasca thor) is found in Glacier National Park and three are found near Mica Dam, including purple paintbrush (Castilleja purpurascens), crumpled tarpaper lichen (Collema coniophilum) and a liverwort (Frullania hattoriana).

The crumpled tarpaper lichen is listed as threatened, while the status of other three species is unknown.

The report notes areas on either side of Revelstoke, i.e. the Okanagan and Yoho National Park, are both hot spots for biodiversity.

Kraus said the report does highlight gaps in areas that require more data collection. For example, while there are few endemic species noted south of Revelstoke, that does not necessarily mean there are no unique species, rather it could indicate research is lacking in that area.

Kraus said one surprise in the report was how many species are at risk across Canada. While many species in southern Canada are threatened due to habitat loss, species in the north are at risk because of climate change.

The endangered caribou herds near Revelstoke were not included as they are not a subspecies. Subspecies refers to a population of a species that lives in different areas, but cannot interbreed due to geographic isolation or sexual selection.

READ MORE: U.S. caribou near Revelstoke survive first year

Other unique species in B.C. include the dwarf coastal maidenhair fern, the threatened northern Saw-whet owl brooksi subspecies, the Island snow scorpionfly, the Pacific Steller’s jay, Vancouver Island fleabane, the threatened Vancouver lamprey and the endangered Carey small limestone moss.

Kraus said the aim is to keep updating the endemic list as new species are found. In the future, the list could include endemic ecosystems, which is another measure of biodiversity.

For example, aspen parkland in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is a transitional ecosystem between boreal forest and grasslands that is unique to Canada.

Parkland is important habitat for many bird species, such as the loggerhead shrike and golden-winged warbler.

Only 10 per cent of parkland natural habitat remains intact as almost 90 per cent has been converted to farmland.

“We’ve liquidated much of the nature in Canada,” said Kraus.

To see the report and associated maps, visit storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/23b1ba2f0e2e46ce9a8c27412f414fc1.

Written with files from Shalu Mehta and Canadian Press

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Conservation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

From left to right. Jeremy, Ryan and Mitch Hunter are all third generation owners of Excel Tire, which will soon to become Trail Tire. (File)
3 generations later: Iconic Revelstoke tire business to be retread with new name

Excel Tire soon to become Trail Tire, but is still owned by the Hunter family

Ryan Bavin of Bavin Glassworks in Invermere. Photo: Submitted
Call for entries for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Deadline for registration for artists and venues is April 15

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Downtown Revelstoke on March 4, 2021. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
48 COVID-19 cases in February for Revelstoke

Since the start of the pandemic roughly one out of 30 local residents have contracted the virus

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

Most Read