Many of us are familiar with Alberta’s species at risk – from the peregrine falcon to the whooping crane, the swift fox to the woodland caribou and more. These animals are often featured in news stories, school curriculums and more.
But species at risk aren’t just animals. In Alberta, there are 10 plant species that are at risk – plants like the endangered Porsild’s byrum, seen here – in Alberta, this moss can only be found in the Rocky Mountains. This moss and other mosses like it, play a key role in our ecosystem. Not much is known about this species of moss and biologists are working to find out more about Porsild’s byrum by gathering vital statistics through the study of some of its colonies.
In Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, other plant species at risk include the limber pine (endangered) and whitebark pine (endangered). The good news is biologists and many partners continue to work to find ways to protect, conserve and recover species that are identified as endangered, threatened, or species of special concern.
Of course, plants at risk aren’t just found in the mountains – they are located throughout our province. Other plant species include:
- Hare-footed locoweed (species of special concern)
- Slender mouse-ear-cress (endangered)
- Small-flowered sand verbena (threatened)
- Soapweed (endangered)
- Tiny Cryptantha (endangered)
- Western blue flag (species of special concern)
- Western spiderwort (endangered)
A key part of conservation and recovery is planning. Input on recovery plans from Albertans is an essential part of the planning process. Online public consultation occurs on draft recovery plans before they are finalized.
Now, until October 3, 2015, those interested in sharing ideas about slender mouse-ear-cress recovery have an opportunity to review the draft recovery plan and participate in an online survey.
For more information about many of the species at risk that occur in Alberta, check out the Guide to Endangered and Threatened Species and Species of Special Concern in Alberta.
Remember, plants are wildlife too and we need to ensure their survival to maintain a healthy ecosystem.