Species Profile

Sable Island Sweat Bee

Scientific Name: Lasioglossum sablense
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: Nova Scotia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2014
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: D2
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This species is globally endemic to Sable Island, Nova Scotia, and occurs as one isolated population with a very small range and no possibility of rescue.  The island has only about 13 km2 of vegetated area that provides forage/nesting sites for this bee.  Nesting likely occurs near or within this vegetated area and sweat bees are not known to travel large distances (i.e. > 200 m) for forage. Increased frequency and severity of storms, in addition to climate change and related sea level rise, are expected to drive change which will further decrease the quality and quantity of bee habitat on the island. Eco-tourism is also a potential future threat, which may also increase the introduction and spread of invasive species. Habitat on the island is also susceptible to invasive plant species, introduced horses, and seawater flooding. 
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in November 2014.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2018-05-30

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.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Sable Island Sweat Bee 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

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

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.

14 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Sable Island Sweat Bee Lasioglossum sablense in Canada (2015-12-09)

    The Sable Island Sweat Bee, Lasioglossum sablense Gibbs, is a small (5–6 mm), dull-metallic sweat bee in the family Halictidae. The species is endemic to Canada, occurring solely on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Both sexes can be distinguished from the three other bee species (two of these sweat bees) on Sable Island by the combination of their small size and the dense lateral punctures on the dorsal part of the thorax.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Sable Island Sweat Bee (2015-12-23)

    This species is globally endemic to Sable Island, Nova Scotia, and occurs as one isolated population with a very small range and no possibility of rescue.  The island has only about 13 km2 of vegetated area that provides forage/nesting sites for this bee.  Nesting likely occurs near or within this vegetated area and sweat bees are not known to travel large distances (i.e. > 200 m) for forage. Increased frequency and severity of storms, in addition to climate change and related sea level rise, are expected to drive change which will further decrease the quality and quantity of bee habitat on the island. Eco-tourism is also a potential future threat, which may also increase the introduction and spread of invasive species. Habitat on the island is also susceptible to invasive plant species, introduced horses, and seawater flooding. 

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy and Action Plan for the Sable Island Sweat Bee (Lasioglossum sablense) in Canada (2020-12-16)

    Sable Island Sweat Bee (Lasioglossum sablense) is a small (5–6 mm), dull-metallic sweat bee in the family Halictidae, which is globally endemic to Sable Island, Nova Scotia. The species was first described in 2010 (Gibbs 2010), assessed by COSEWIC as Threated in 2014 (COSEWIC 2014) and listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2018. The rationale for an assessment as Threatened was its occurrence as one isolated population with a very small range and no possibility of rescue.

Action Plans

  • Action Plan and Recovery Strategy for the Sable Island Sweat Bee (Lasioglossum sablense) in Canada (2020-12-16)

    Sable Island Sweat Bee (Lasioglossum sablense) is a small (5–6 mm), dull-metallic sweat bee in the family Halictidae, which is globally endemic to Sable Island, Nova Scotia. The species was first described in 2010 (Gibbs 2010), assessed by COSEWIC as Threated in 2014 (COSEWIC 2014) and listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2018. The rationale for an assessment as Threatened was its occurrence as one isolated population with a very small range and no possibility of rescue.

Orders

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2014-2015 (2015-11-20)

    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 in this reporting year (October, 2014 to September, 2015) from November 23 to November 28, 2014 and from April 27 to May 1, 2015. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2014-2015 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 1 Endangered: 21 Threatened: 11 Special Concern: 21 Data Deficient: 1 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 56 Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 24 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same risk status as the previous assessment.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#KNP-2018-29200), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-07-01)

    Surveys for Lasioglossum bees will be conducted in dune habitat at the Kejimkujik Seaside. The purpose of the Lasioglossum survey is to test whether Sable Island Sweat Bee is endemic to Sable Island. This sweat bee is in the subgenus Dialictus. These small metallic bees are very difficult to identify, and without careful examination of collected specimens or DNA barcoding, many species can't be identified. Sable Island sweat bee was assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened in 2014 on the premise that it is restricted to Sable Island and is vulnerable to the risks associated with a tiny range. Surveying for Dialictus bees in dune habitat on mainland Nova Scotia has not been exhausted and many suitable dunes have not be surveyed. This project will greatly increase the search effort in suitable habitat, and surveys in the park are a small part of a larger project across Nova Scotia.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SINP-2018-2889), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-07-04)

    The purpose of this project is to conduct inventories of the major pollinators in permanent sampling plots on Sable Island and to attempt to identify nesting sites for sweat bees. Specifically, the objectives are to: (i) Identify floral associations for the major pollinators of Sable island and the distribution of floral resources in the sampling plots across the summer; and (ii) Identify nesting habitat for the two species of sweat bee on Sable Island, Lasioglossum sablense and Lasioglossum novascotae. The sampling technique will involve primarily passive observation, capture and release, and limited sweep netting of vegetation. A variety of plant species will be observed for foraging bees and insects will be captured and identified in a non-lethal observation chamber. For identifying nesting sites, a maximum of 20 Sable Island sweat bees will be placed in a collection vial containing a fluorescent powder (#1166, Shannon Luminous Materials, Inc.) for 10 seconds prior to release.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SINP-2019-32719), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-06-26)

    The purpose of this project is to study the nesting biology of the Sable Island sweat bee. Specifically, the objectives are to: (i) Locate nests; (ii) Describe nesting habitat; (iii) Identify social structure (solitary vs colonial) of the two species of sweat bee on Sable Island, Lasioglossum sablense and Lasioglossum novascotae; and (iv) If required, lethally collect ten individuals for improved DNA barcoding of the species. The sampling technique will involve primarily passive observation, capture and release, and limited sweep netting of vegetation. Individuals will be captured via targeted sweep-netting, with bee species identified in a non-lethal observation chamber. For identifying nesting sites, a maximum of 30 Sable Island sweat bees will be placed in a collection vial containing a fluorescent powder (#1166, Shannon Luminous Materials, Inc.) for 10 seconds prior to release.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SINPR-2012-12893), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-07-14)

    The purpose of this project is to conduct field inventories of the five bee species on Sable Island in order to expand on existing species distribution information and further describe and delineate important habitat for the Sable Island sweat bee. Specifically, the objectives are to: (i) Complete distribution information by searching for all bee species in vegetated areas on Sable Island that have not yet been surveyed and identify key vegetation communities where L. sablense is found; (ii) Continue to document and refine floral associations to describe important foraging habitat; and (iii) Document and describe nesting locations if possible. The sampling technique will involve primarily passive observation and capture and release. A variety of plant species will be observed for foraging bees and individuals may be temporary placed in a vial for identification or photographing. Non-destructive methods of sampling will be employed to the greatest extent possible, however in the event that visual identification to species level is not possible in the field, a small number of voucher specimens may be collected to confirm visual identifications or in circumstances where a nest location or new floral association is found. Any specimens collected will be deposited at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History or Sable Island Institute, Halifax, NS.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act : Terrestrial Species - January 2016 (2016-01-08)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments byMay 4, 2016, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 4, 2016, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website

Related Information

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) Listing Plan 2016 to 2018 (2017-09-29)

    The status of wildlife species is assessed by an independent panel of expert Canadian scientists, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 149 terrestrial species were assessed as at-risk by COSEWIC between 2009 and 2016 and are eligible for listing under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) to be considered by the Governor-in-Council (GIC) on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment: 86 species would be new additions, 54 currently listed species would be reclassified and 9 species would be updated to reflect changes in their recognized designatable units. A three-year listing plan has been developed to address all 149 terrestrial species and listing decisions for most species are anticipated by the end of 2018. Making amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA is a two-step process. The first step is for the GIC to propose an amendment through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period. The second step is for the GIC to make a final decision on whether or not to make amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA, taking into consideration comments received during the 30-day public comment period. The amendments are made through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Both orders are accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) which presents the implications of listing the species or changing their status. Publishing this plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency about the Government of Canada’s plan to make listing decisions under the Species at Risk Act. NOTE: The information presented below is intended to provide openness and transparency with respect to when terrestrial species might be considered for listing under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. It is intended to assist anyone who may wish to provide comments on such listing considerations. Given any number of factors can affect the timing of a listing decision; the Plan is subject to change. Accordingly, the Plan will be periodically updated.

Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette

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