Species Profile

Behr's Hairstreak

Scientific Name: Satyrium behrii
Other/Previous Names: Behr's (Columbia) Hairstreak ,Satyrium behrii columbia
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2012
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This small butterfly is restricted to antelope-brush habitat in British Columbia, a habitat that has decreased considerably in extent in the past century and remains under threat due to land use change (conversion to viticulture, residential and commercial development) and the impact of fire. It rarely disperses much more than 120 m and persists in small, isolated fragments of habitat, which continue to decline in area and quality. Large annual fluctuations in population size, as documented for the largest Canadian population, increase the species’ vulnerability and call into question its long term viability.  
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in November 2000. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2012.
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.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Behr's Hairstreak

Behr's Hairstreak Photo 1
Behr's Hairstreak Photo 2

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Description

Behr’s Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) is a small butterfly (wingspan 2.5 – 2.9 cm) in the family Lycaenidae. The dorsal forewing and hindwing surfaces have wide black margins that surround a rich, yellowish-orange-brown patch. There is one subspecies of Behr’s Hairstreak in Canada. The larval host plant of Behr’s Hairstreak is Antelope-brush, which has special significance in Canada as a symbol used by conservation organizations for the protection of associated plant communities and grasslands within the Okanagan region. First Nations peoples within the region hold butterflies (in general) and the Antelope-brush plant significant in their cultures. Antelope-brush is also significant to the wild game management and livestock grazing industry sectors. (Updated 2017/06/02)

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Distribution and Population

The Canadian range of Behr’s Hairstreak is restricted to south-central British Columbia from Penticton in the north to Osoyoos in the south. The butterfly inhabits the low elevation (280 – 760 m above sea level) Antelope-brush plant communities on both the east and west side of the south Okanagan Valley. The species occupies an area of less than 12 km². (Updated 2017/06/02)

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Habitat

Behr’s Hairstreak is primarily recorded from the Antelope-brush/Needle-and-thread Grass plant community. Important habitat attributes include plant communities with Antelope-brush plants greater than 30 years old; sparse tree cover (particularly Ponderosa Pine, which may be required by adults for shelter during inclement weather, daytime temperature extremes, and nighttime resting); and the presence of puddling sites (mud puddles where adult butterflies obtain moisture and salt). (Updated 2017/06/02)

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Biology

Behr’s Hairstreak has one generation per year; the flight period is from mid-May through late July and peaks in mid-June. Eggs are laid singly on the leaves and branches of Antelope-brush where they overwinter. The eggs hatch in early spring, and the larvae develop from late March to late May and pupate in late spring. The pupae are attached to stems of Antelope-brush and this stage lasts approximately two weeks. Behr’s Hairstreak is not known to migrate. Adults appear to have limited dispersal capabilities and remain within close proximity to Antelope-brush habitat. Average dispersal distances for the butterfly, based on field studies completed in the south Okanagan Valley, are 80 – 120 m depending on spring weather, with a maximum-recorded dispersal of 1.2 km. (Updated 2017/06/02)

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Threats

Behr’s Hairstreak faces many threats, most of them associated with habitat conversion and associated fragmentation. The main limiting factor for Behr’s Hairstreak is the availability of high quality and older age-class Antelope-brush host plants. Adult butterflies are also limited by nectar plant availability due to short proboscis (tongue) length, which cannot reach the nectar in flowers of plant species that have a deep corolla. (Updated 2017/06/02)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Behr's Hairstreak 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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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Behr’s Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

South Okanagan Invertebrates at Risk Recovery Team

  • Orville Dyer - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 250-490-8244  Send Email
  • Jennifer Heron - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 604-222-6759  Fax: 604-660-1849  Send Email

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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

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Behr's Hairstreak (2013-01-03)

    This small butterfly is restricted to antelope-brush habitat in British Columbia, a habitat that has decreased considerably in extent in the past century and remains under threat due to land use change (conversion to viticulture, residential and commercial development) and the impact of fire. It rarely disperses much more than 120 m and persists in small, isolated fragments of habitat, which continue to decline in area and quality. Large annual fluctuations in population size, as documented for the largest Canadian population, increase the species’ vulnerability and call into question its long term viability.  

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Behr’s Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) in Canada (2016-07-07)

    Under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996), the federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to work together on legislation, programs, and policies to protect wildlife species at risk throughout Canada. In the spirit of cooperation of the Accord, the Government of British Columbia has given permission to the Government of Canada to adopt the “Recovery Strategy for the Behr’s Hairstreak (Satyrium behrii) in British Columbia” under Section 44 of the Species at Risk Act. Environment Canada has included an addition which completes the SARA requirements for this recovery strategy.

Orders

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2011-2012 (2012-10-05)

    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 (September 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) from November 21 to 25, 2011 and from April 29 to May 4, 2012. On February 3, 2012, an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee of COSEWIC also assessed the status of the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). During the current reporting period COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 67 wildlife species. 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 2011-2012 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 1 Extirpated: 4 Endangered: 29 Threatened: 10 Special Concern: 15 Data Deficient: 2 Not at Risk: 6 Total: 67 Of the 67 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 49 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment (see Table 1a).

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#21), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-06-01)

    The fieldwork for the Behr's Hairstreak consists primarily of mark-recapture studies. Sampling for larvae will also occur. In addition, the proponent proposes to collect population genetic data at various sites in the South Okanagan to assess genetic diversity and structure. Many Behr's Hairstreak sites consist of a core patch with sparse antelope brush but abundant nectar sources, surrounded by dense antelope brush. Butterflies spend most of their time near the nectar source, but since they lay their eggs sparsely on antelope brush, they regularly wander away from the core to lay their eggs. This project involves sampling larvae at various distances from the core, in order to estimate home size range. Larval sample involves collection of samples with a beating tray, counting, and immediate replacement in host plant. The mark-recapture study provides data on short-range and long-range dispersal, population estimates, and behavioural contrast between lower and higher density habitats. The mark-recapture will be carried out during the 3-4 week period covering most of Behr's flight period. This work will involve manual capture of individuals in nets, marking with a felt-tipped pen, and subsequent immediate release. The proponent proposes to collect genetic data in the form of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLP) from approximately 30 individuals at each site. The AFLP variation will be used to assess genetic diversity and level of inbreeding within sites. They will also be used to assess the degree of differentiation among sites. Genetic samples consist of a minimal piece of wing tissue, which is removed from individuals at the time of marking.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-04-0441), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-06-20)

    The project will complement a mark-recapture study conducted by the applicant in an adjacent area by providing long-range dispersal data. Participants will sample the area and record butterfly sightings. If a marked individual is observed, it will be captured in an aerial insect net either by sweeping in the air while the butterfly is in flight or by sweeping the surface of yarrow clones or antelope brush when the butterfly is resting. The netting is then flipped over the opening of net to contain the butterfly. The marking is identified and recorded while the butterfly is in the net. The butterfly is then released by opening the net to allow it to fly away on its own.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2007-0062), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-07-21)

    The proponents propose to capture 25 individual Behr's Hairstreak butterflies and collect a wing-clip sample for DNA analysis. The purpose of the analysis is to assess genetic diversity and level of inbreeding within sites and to assess the degree of differentiation among sites. These data will be used to complement an ongoing multi-year study initiated by the proponent in 2005.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2010-0129), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-03-12)

    The activity is clearing and construction associated with the Senkulmen Enterprise Park. This will include vegetation removal and construction of infrastructure (including a waste water treatment plant, a water tower and wells), roads, and buildings associated with the development.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2012 (2013-01-03)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by March 4, 2013, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations and by October 4, 2013, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations. Consultation paths.

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

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update December 2, 2021
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