Eastern Mountain Avens
Scientific Name: Geum peckii
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: Nova Scotia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2010
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A2c+4c; B1ab(ii,iii)+2ab(ii,iii)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This globally imperiled species is geographically restricted in Canada to three locations of open peatland habitat in Nova Scotia. Its habitat has declined due to encroachment by woody vegetation, exacerbated by artificial drainage of sites. Portions of the habitat have also become degraded by nesting gulls. Threats including all-terrain vehicles, road maintenance and development have also impacted this species. Fewer than 9000 mature individuals remain with most found on private land.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in April 1986. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1999, May 2000, and April 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05
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.
Image of Eastern Mountain Avens
The Eastern Mountain Avens is a herbaceous perennial, 20-40 cm tall. The leaves are basal and compound with one large, rounded terminal leaflet and several very small lateral ones. The flowering stalk bears 1-5 yellow flowers. Each flower produces about 50 seeds. In Nova Scotia, the plant flowers from June until September.
Distribution and Population
Eastern Mountain Avens occurs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the U.S.A., and on Brier Island and Digby Neck of Digby County, in Nova Scotia. On Brier Island there are a small number of scattered populations, each consisting of less than several hundred individual plants. Large populations in one bog on the island have decreased over the last 40 years and currently are seriously threatened by an expanding gull colony and active drainage. A single population recently discovered on the mainland (Digby Neck) consists of about 300 flowering plants and at least as many vegetative plants.
In Nova Scotia, the Eastern Mountain Avens generally occurs in boggy terrain amongst shrub vegetation, but may be found in dryish depressions on mineral soil.
The plant flowers from June to August. The seeds mature in late August or September. Reproduction occurs through shoots from rhizomes, or from seeds. Insects, especially small flies, are the main pollinators.
Encroaching shrub and tree vegetation is causing declines in some formerly significant populations in one bog on Brier Island. The encroachment appears to have resulted from drainage ditches dug in the 1950s and an expanding gull rookery. The gulls trample plants, bring in weed seeds, and alter the nutrient levels in the area. Road ditching recently destroyed another patch of avens. Potential threats include house/cottage construction and increased ecotourism.
The Eastern Mountain Avens 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.
The Eastern Mountain Avens is protected by the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm, or collect this species.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Recovery Team
Sherman Boates - Chair/Contact - Government of Nova Scotia
Phone: 902-679-6146 Fax: 902-679-6176 Send Email
Samara Eaton - Chair/Contact - Environment Canada
Phone: 506-364-5060 Fax: 506-364-5062 Send Email
Recovery Progress and Activities
Summary of Progress to Date Recovery of Eastern Mountain Avens is being coordinated through the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Conservation and Recovery Team. However, the recovery initiates for Eastern Mountain Avens are separate from the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora recovery initiatives. Most Eastern Mountain Avens in Canada grow on Brier Island, and about one half of the island’s population is protected on land owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The rest of the plant’s distribution occurs on private land on Brier Island and the nearby “Digby Neck” of the mainland. In 2003, the Nature Conservancy of Canada conducted an inventory of Eastern Mountain Avens on Brier Island. Threats to the plant’s habitat were also assessed, as was the possibility of bog habitat restoration. The study showed that the central drainage ditch is affecting soil water conditions as far as 40 meters from the ditch; this causes the bog to become drier, which facilitates the encroachment of shrubs, thereby threatening a significant portion of Eastern Mountain Avens’ habitat on Briar Island. As well, scattered areas of gull-trampled habitat covered approximately 20-30% of the bog surface. However, ATV damage was found to be limited to only 2 or 3 main paths along the length of the bog. The study recommended several options for restoration of the bog’s water table, which are being considered. Restoring the water table to pre-ditching levels should change the habitat enough to discourage the gulls from nesting and prevent shrubs from encroaching on the Eastern Mountain Avens habitat.
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.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Action Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Residence Description (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Eastern Mountain Avens (2010-12-02)This globally imperiled species is geographically restricted in Canada to three locations of open peatland habitat in Nova Scotia. Its habitat has declined due to encroachment by woody vegetation, exacerbated by artificial drainage of sites. Portions of the habitat have also become degraded by nesting gulls. Threats including all-terrain vehicles, road maintenance and development have also impacted this species. Fewer than 9000 mature individuals remain with most found on private land.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010-09-03)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”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.
Residence Rationale - Eastern Mountain Avens (2007-01-02)Individual Eastern Mountain Avens plants do not appear to use a dwelling place similar to a nest or den, and therefore do not qualify for having a residence. There would be no additional legal protection not already afforded by protection of the individual and its critical habitat.