Batwing Vinyl Lichen
Scientific Name: Leptogium platynum
Taxonomy Group: Lichens
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2011
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation:
This leafy lichen occurs in western North America reaching the northern limit of its range in coastal south-western British Columbia where it commonly occurs at three, possibly four, locations on Vancouver Island. The lichen grows on calcium/magnesium-rich rock outcrops and more than 80% of individuals occur at one location. It has been extirpated from three other locations. This lichen is vulnerable to stochastic events, competition from mosses and liverworts, pollution from industrial/agricultural activities, and increasingly frequent summer drought resulting from climate change.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in May 2011.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2017-02-03
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
The Batwing Vinyl Lichen(Leptogium platynum) is a distinctive rock-dwelling ‘jellyskin’ lichen characterized by leafy, medium-sized lobes and a dark bluish upper surface usually bearing numerous fruit bodies and occasional tiny lobules which function as vegetative propagules. It is unusual among cyanolichens in its almost invariable production of both sexual and vegetative propagules. It has its northern limits in southern coastal British Columbia. [Updated by COSEWIC- May. 2011]
Distribution and Population
The Batwing Vinyl Lichen is endemic to western North America, where it occurs at scattered locations in summer-dry coastal regions from southern California (32°N) northward to southern Vancouver Island, in British Columbia (49°N). Other populations have also been reported from Mexico, New Mexico and Texas. The Batwing Vinyl Lichen has been documented in Canada from seven locations, two were found for the first time in 2009. Of the five historical locations, four were revisited in 2009 and one was not reachable. Only one of the historical sites was still found to support the Batwing Vinyl Lichen. Thus this species is currently confirmed to be extant in only three locations. Collectively these three locations have 370 thalli with a combined surface area of less than 9 m². Three hundred of these thalli are concentrated in a single location. The reasons for the disappearance of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen from more than half of the formerly known locations cannot be assigned with certainty.[Updated by COSEWIC- May. 2011]
This species occurs at low elevations on rock outcrops where it colonizes inclined rock faces subject to periodic seepage. Only base-rich rock types appear to be colonized, often in association with a variety of mat-forming mosses and hepatics. The Batwing Vinyl Lichen is thus restricted by a requirement for substrata with a rather high pH. [Updated by COSEWIC- May. 2011]
Sexual reproduction imposes a requirement for thallus resynthesis at each generation which may partly account for the highly disjunct distribution of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen throughout its range. The lobules are relatively heavy vegetative propagules which are unlikely to disperse more than a few metres from the parent thallus. The life cycle of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen thus involves persisting for long periods via vegetative maintenance at a given site, punctuated by very rare long distance dispersal events resulting from the establishment of new thalli from fungal spores ejected from the lichen fruit bodies associating with compatible strains of cyanobacteria. [Updated by COSEWIC- May. 2011]
The apparent loss of the Batwing Vinyl Lichen from three of the seven locations may be attributed to natural causes such as competition by mosses and increasingly dry summers as a result of climate change. This lichen is also vulnerable to stochastic events such as exceptionally heavy rainfall. The loss at one location is likely due to nutrient enrichment of the habitat from nearby intensive agricultural activity. The region where this lichen occurs also includes areas with a rapidly expanding human population which could lead to both loss of available habitat and increasing air pollution. [Updated by COSEWIC- May. 2011]
The Batwing Vinyl Lichen is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Batwing Vinyl Lichen (Leptogium platynum) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
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.
8 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Related Information (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Batwing Vinyl Lichen (2011-12-08)This leafy lichen occurs in western North America reaching the northern limit of its range in coastal south-western British Columbia where it commonly occurs at three, possibly four, locations on Vancouver Island. The lichen grows on calcium/magnesium-rich rock outcrops and more than 80% of individuals occur at one location. It has been extirpated from three other locations. This lichen is vulnerable to stochastic events, competition from mosses and liverworts, pollution from industrial/agricultural activities, and increasingly frequent summer drought resulting from climate change.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)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.