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COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population Carolinian population in Canada (2019-03-14)
    Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) is one of the largest snakes in Canada, reaching a maximum snout-vent length of approximately 190 cm and a maximum length of 255 cm. The colour pattern of mature Gray Ratsnakes is variable. In Canada, mature Gray Ratsnakes are typically plain, shiny black with white, yellow, orange or red colouration on the skin between the scales. The labial scales, chin and throat are white and the ventral surface is white ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) in Canada (2019-03-14)
    Red-headed Woodpecker is a medium-sized bird, approximately 20 cm long. It is easily recognized by its crimson head, neck, throat, and upper breast, which contrast with its stark white and black upperparts. In flight, large white patches are visible on the wings, formed by the inner secondaries and tertial feathers. Red-headed Woodpecker is sexually monomorphic, with males and females externally indistinguishable. Juvenile birds are recognizable ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Yellow False Foxglove bundle Smooth Yellow False Foxglove, Aureolaria flava, Fern-leaved Yellow False Foxglove Aureolaria pedicularia, Downy Yellow False Foxglove Aureolaria virginica in Canada (2019-03-13)
    The three species of Yellow False Foxglove that occur in Canada are herbaceous plants with showy yellow flowers. The Smooth Yellow False Foxglove (Aureolaria flava) has smooth stems whereas the stems and leaves of the Downy Yellow False Foxglove (Aureolaria virginica) are covered by fine downy hairs. The stems and leaves of the Fern-leaved Yellow False Foxglove (Aureolaria pedicularia) are covered
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Striped Whitelip (Webbhelix multilineata) in Canada (2019-03-11)
    Striped Whitelip is a large land snail (adult shell width 2.0 to 2.5 cm) with a round, but slightly flattened, thin pale-yellow shell that has dark spiral bands. This species is part of the unique fauna of the Carolinian Forest in Canada and has significance for ecosystem function through nutrient cycling. The range-edge population in Canada is important for the global conservation of this species. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by t ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Red-tailed Leafhopper (Aflexia rubranura) Prairie Population, Great Lakes Plains Population in Canada (2019-03-08)
    Red-tailed Leafhopper is a small (3 to 4 mm length) member of the leafhopper family, Cicadellidae (Order Hemiptera). They are predominately tan-coloured, with distinctive black transverse bars and spots on the head and thorax. The species is aptly named for the prominent red segment at the tip of the abdomen on adult males. Males and most females have shortened and non-functional wings, although occasionally some females develop longer wings and ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Tall Bugbane (Actaea elata) in Canada (2019-03-06)
    Tall Bugbane is a large (100-180 cm tall) perennial herb. Its erect stems arise from a woody, short, dark, tuberous rhizome. The deeply-lobed leaves are up to 80 cm long. The many small creamy-white flowers form a distinctive wand-like inflorescence, 7-17 cm long. The follicles (a type of dry fruit) resemble short, hairy pea pods. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the Minister on October 15th, 2018.
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Tall Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus elatior) in Canada (2019-03-06)
    Tall Woolly-heads is a small, annual herb rarely growing more than 10 cm tall in Canada. It is green to silvery green when young and silvery grey when mature. It is generally covered with a dense mat of silky-woolly hairs. Its upper leaves densely cup the flower heads. The small, globular flower heads (6-8 mm in diameter) are arranged on a dome-like structure called the receptacle. The individual flowers lack obvious petals and are tightly cluste ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) in Canada (2019-02-26)
    Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) is a medium-sized songbird, 18-20 cm in length. Adults are a deep brownish-olive above, with whitish extending from the throat, centre of breast and belly to the undertail coverts, contrasting sharply with the dark flanks and sides of the breast to appear vested. White tufts are also often visible above the wings on each side of the rump. The wings are dark with indistinct pale wing bars, and the bill is ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) in Canada (2019-02-25)
    This aerial insectivore is a long-distance migrant, breeding in central and eastern Canada and the eastern United States, and wintering in South America. It is sometimes mistaken for a swallow, as both soar through the air feeding on small insects. Chimney Swift is distinguished by its cigar-shaped body, long and narrow pointed wings, short and spiny tail, and rapid wing beats and jerky flight. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the M ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Acuteleaf Small Limestone Moss (Seligeria acutifolia) in Canada (2019-02-22)
    Acuteleaf Small Limestone Moss (Seligeria acutifolia) is a minute, upright, light-green-coloured moss that forms sparse colonies on vertical surfaces of limestone bedrock. Characters distinguishing it from closely related species include the highly differentiated specialized leaves (known as perichaetial leaves) surrounding the female reproductive organ, and the short, stout stalks (setae) supporting the spore-bearing capsules. Note: This COSEWI
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Smoker’s Lung Lichen (Lobaria retigera) in Canada (2019-02-22)
    The Smoker’s Lung Lichenis a rare cyanolichen, strongly associated with humid mature to old growth forests and is characterized by a net-ridged/reticulate dark upper surface and abundant grain-like vegetative propagules called isidia. The lower surface is tomentose (dark pigmented tangled hyphae), and the tomentum is interrupted by white patches that give a characteristic contrasting dark-light pattern. The spore-bearing fruit bodies, apothecia, ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus in Canada (2019-02-14)
    Lumpfish is a member of the Cyclopteridae family and is the only species of the genus Cyclopterus. It is a thick, almost ball-shaped fish. The color is variable, often matching surroundings, especially in the young. Breeding males have a dark blue body, orange to red fins and belly, plus a metallic silver patch behind each pectoral fin. Their unusual appearance and wide distribution in the North Atlantic has led to the use of an unusually large ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) in Canada (2019-02-12)
    Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) is the most frequently seen member of the nightjar family. It pursues and catches flying insects on the wing, and is most active from dusk to dawn. It is extremely well-camouflaged by its mottled brown plumage when perched on the ground or horizontal surfaces. Common Nighthawk is most often seen in flight, when it can be recognized by its distinctive bounding flight, white bar near the end of the wing, and nasa ...
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) and the Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta picta) in Canada (2019-02-11)
    Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) is a small to medium-sized freshwater turtle widespread across North America. In eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, two subspecies are recognized: Midland Painted Turtle (C. p. marginata) and Eastern Painted Turtle (C. p. picta). Painted Turtles play multiple ecological roles in aquatic ecosystems, including nutrient cycling and seed dispersal, and a
  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus (pealei (2019-02-08)
    The Peregrine Falcon is a crow-sized raptor with long, pointed wings. Sexes are best distinguished by size, with females being on average 15-20% longer and 40-50% heavier than males. Adults have bluish-grey or darker upperparts, and pale underparts with variable amounts of dark spotting and barring. Immatures have upperparts that vary from pale to slate or chocolate brown, and underparts that are buffy with blackish streaks. A dark malar stripe e ...

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