Species Profile

Bear's-foot Sanicle

Scientific Name: Sanicula arctopoides
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2015
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This perennial wildflower occurs in Canada only along a 30 km stretch of coastline in extreme southeast Vancouver Island. While this wildflower can live more than 10 years, it flowers and fruits once and then dies. It occupies small areas of remaining meadow habitat, which is being modified by invasion of exotic plants. Several new sites, discovered since the species was last assessed, have reduced the risk to this plant. Most of the Canadian population occurs at one site, which is also threatened by grazing by an expanding non-migratory, newly resident Canada Goose population. Severe trampling by humans also affects a few sites. Many of the known subpopulations have relatively few individuals and may not persist. 
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in May 2001. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2015.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
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 Bear's-foot Sanicle

Bear's-foot Sanicle Photo 1

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Description

Bear’s-foot Sanicle is a tap-rooted, low-growing, herbaceous perennial wildflower. Its basal leaves, which are deeply lobed and sharply toothed, form a compact rosette. The inflorescences are compact with many bright yellow small flowers that produce fruit with hooked bristles. Bear’s-foot Sanicle is one of over 50 nationally rare species that are restricted (in Canada) to Garry Oak and associated ecosystems in southern Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands. (Updated 2016/12/15)

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Distribution and Population

In Canada, Bear’s-foot Sanicle occurs only in a 30 km length of shoreline in the vicinity of Victoria, British Columbia. Bear’s-foot Sanicle is known from nine extant subpopulations in Canada. In the United States it ranges from the San Juan Islands of Washington State, south along the coast of Washington and Oregon, to California. Subpopulations in Washington State are very small and are imperilled. The nearest US subpopulations (San Juan Islands) are approximately 25 km from the nearest Canadian subpopulation and separated by several kilometres of open ocean, making dispersal between these sites unlikely. (Updated 2016/12/15)

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Habitat

In Canada, Bear’s-foot Sanicle is restricted to drought-prone maritime meadows at low elevations along shorelines. The plants experience wide seasonal fluctuations in water availability, with abundant rains typically beginning in mid-autumn, and continuing through autumn and winter, ceasing with the onset of the summer drought, when Bear’s-foot Sanicle becomes dormant. The dry summer conditions discourage the growth of native trees and shrubs although the exotic invasive Scotch Broom is often present. Bear’s-foot Sanicle usually occurs in vegetation dominated by low (less than 20 cm tall) forbs and grasses. A few native species may be relatively common in the vegetation but exotic, invasive forbs and grasses tend to dominate. (Updated 2016/12/15)

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Biology

Bear’s-foot Sanicle is a perennial species with a monocarpic life cycle, meaning that after it flowers and fruits the whole plant dies. Germination occurs as early as December and may continue into March. Plants tend to reach maximum annual size by April or May and the small non-reproductive plants either die or become dormant in late May or early June as the summer drought deepens. Larger, older plants flower in March or April and produce ripe fruits by mid- to late June. The small dry fruits are covered with hooked bristles, which aid in dispersal, by catching on the fur and feathers of passing animals as well as on clothing. Dormant plants resprout in October or November and grow slowly through the winter months. Most seeds germinate in the first fall after dispersal, or else perish in the soil. Most seedlings live only a few months and the survivors grow slowly. Generation time is estimated at 14 years. (Updated 2016/12/15)

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Threats

The major limiting factor across the Canadian range of Bear`s-foot Sanicle is its restriction to a rare habitat type within a tiny area in Canada. The primary threat to the species is a continuing decline in habitat quality because of the increasing abundance of invasive species. Other major threats include herbivory by the increasing size of the non-migratory and newly resident population of Canada Geese at several Canadian locations of Bear’s-foot Sanicle, construction and operation activities, trampling in sites that experience high levels of human visitation and a projected decline in the suitability of occupied habitat as a result of climate change. (Updated 2016/12/15)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Bear's-foot Sanicle 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 Multi-Species at Risk in Maritime Meadows associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team

  • Conan Webb - Chair/Contact - Parks Canada
    Phone: 250-478-5153  Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date Bear’s-foot Sanicle is addressed within the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team’s (GOERT) Garry Oak Meadows Multi-species recovery strategy. The recovery goal for Bear’s-foot Sanicle is to maintain existing populations and restore or establish two new populations. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities Researchers are conducting studies on the life cycle and population dynamics of this species, including population stability and limitations. These studies are revealing important new information on aspects of the plant’s life cycle, distribution, and habitat needs. Ongoing activities include population census and monitoring, continued study of the phenology and demography of this species, critical habitat definition, and investigation of restoring or establishing new populations. Summary of Recovery Activities Known Bear’s-foot Sanicle sites are being protected. URLs Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team Backgrounder:http://www.goert.ca/docs/rsbackgrounder.pdf SARA Public Registry: Bear’s Foot Sanicle:http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=674#10

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.

18 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Bear’s-foot Sanicle Sanicula arctopoides in Canada (2016-10-13)

    Bear’s-foot Sanicle is a tap-rooted, low-growing, herbaceous perennial wildflower. Its basal leaves, which are deeply lobed and sharply toothed, form a compact rosette. The inflorescences are compact with many bright yellow small flowers that produce fruit with hooked bristles. Bear’s-foot Sanicle is one of over 50 nationally rare species that are restricted (in Canada) to Garry Oak and associated ecosystems in southern Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Bear's-foot Sanicle (2017-01-11)

    This perennial wildflower occurs in Canada only along a 30 km stretch of coastline in extreme southeast Vancouver Island. While this wildflower can live more than 10 years, it flowers and fruits once and then dies. It occupies small areas of remaining meadow habitat, which is being modified by invasion of exotic plants. Several new sites, discovered since the species was last assessed, have reduced the risk to this plant. Most of the Canadian population occurs at one site, which is also threatened by grazing by an expanding non-migratory, newly resident Canada Goose population. Severe trampling by humans also affects a few sites. Many of the known subpopulations have relatively few individuals and may not persist. 

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Maritime Meadows associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in Canada (2016-11-04)

    This strategy has been developed to address the recovery of seven plant and two butterfly species and their associated habitats. These species are all characterized by one or more of the following: total population decline, small distributions with decline or fluctuation, loss of habitat, declining small population sizes or very small populations or restricted distribution (COSEWIC 2003b). Unless recovery actions are initiated, these species may become extinct or extirpated from Canada.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act: SI/2018-40 (2018-06-13)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (Volume 153, Number 5, 2019) (2019-03-06)

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances), and, given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem can lead to a loss of individuals and species resulting in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2015-2016 (2016-10-13)

    Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 25 wildlife species; of these, the majority (68%) were re-assessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 45 species assessed, seven were assigned a status of Not at Risk (two re-assessments and five new assessments). To date, and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 724 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 320 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 209 Special Concern, and 23 Extirpated (i.e., no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 15 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 54 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 177 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#16), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-05-12)

    The SAR at each site occurs in open meadows that are being encroached by Scotch broom, English ivy, gorse, English holly, Daphne spurge, thistles and/or conifers. Our goal is to remove the invading species from the area adjacent to the selected subpopulations. Invasive removal will likely increase habitat availability and prevent future competition, should these invasive species invade further into the meadow. Also, elimination of competition is hypothesized to increase plant vigour, seed production, and over time, population size.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#17), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-05-12)

    The immediate goal of this project is to protect selected populations from habitat degradation due to invasive species and human activities, and the effects of browsing. In the case of Sanicula arctopoides and Lotus formosissimus, which occur in open meadows that are being encroached by Scotch broom, thistles and tansy ragwort, these invasive species will be removed from the area adjacent to the selected subpopulations and monitored. Mesh cages were previously installed over individuals to protect them from browsing. It is postulated that the SAR will benefit from these activities through increased habitat availability, competition reduction with encroaching invasives. Also, it is thought that the elimination of browsing will increase plant vigour, seed production, and over time, population size. Subpopulations of Seriocarpus rigidus are also thought to be threatened by competition from invasive species, although the invasives may also be providing protection from browsing. To prevent management errors and put the species at further risk, the applicants will determine the impact of this removal on predation from herbivores on a small scale. Scotch broom and other herbaceous weeds will be removed from small patches of the subpopulations that are being dominated by Scotch broom while leaving the remaining subpopulations undisturbed. Over time, the impacts of this removal will be assessed by monitoring for browsing activity and plant vigour. Sanicula bipinnatifida is being threatened by habitat degradation (soil erosion facilitated by human activities) and encroaching invasive species at the Macaulay Point site. A split-rail fence was previously installed on the crest of the upper slope of the subpopulation to redirect foot traffic to the formal pathways and away from the species at risk. Also, approximately one hectare of invasive woody species was removed from the site in 2004-05. The effects of these activities on the species at risk will be monitored by assessing the species for leaf damage throughout its growing season.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#5), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-04-01)

    The immediate goal of this project is to protect selected populations from habitat degradation and the effects of browsing. Depending on the species and the location, the habitat degradation is either from invasive species or human activities. In the case of Sanicula arctopoides and Lotus formosissimus, the proponents propose to remove the woody invasive species from the area adjacent to the selected subpopulations and place mesh cages over individuals to protect them from browsing. Removal of invasive species and elimination of browsing is expected to decrease the threat of habitat loss or degradation, and increase plant vigour and productivity, respectively. To determine the level of browsing protection the woody invasive Scotch Broom provides to Seriocarpus rigidus and to prevent future management errors and put the species at further risk, we must determine the impact of removal of Scotch Broom on predation from herbivores on a small scale. The proponents will experimentally remove Scotch Broom from small patches of the subpopulations that are being dominated by Scotch broom while leaving the remaining subpopulations undisturbed. Differences in browsing activity and plant vigour will be monitored. Sanicula bipinnatifida and Lupinus densiflorus var. densiflorus is being threatened at one site by habitat degradation (soil erosion facilitated by human activities) and encroaching invasive species. To prevent trampling and further soil erosion, the proponents will plant a living fence on the crest of the upper slope of the subpopulation to redirect foot traffic away from the species at risk.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-04-0388), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2004-07-19)

    The activity involves experimental removal of invasive species and creation of living fences from populations of five plant species at risk. The goal is to implement management activities to recover these species on federal lands. The immediate objective of this project is to protect selected populations from anthropogenic habitat degradation, competition from invasives, and the effects of browsing. Invasive species removal may expose target species to higher levels of herbivory. This activity addresses this hypothesis, which has implications for future recovery efforts, by means controlled experimental study.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0231), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-02-15)

    The immediate goal of this project is to protect selected populations from habitat degradation and the effects of browsing. Depending on the species and the location, the habitat degradation is either from invasive species or human activities. In the case of Sanicula arctopoides and Lotus formosissimus, the proponents propose to remove the woody invasive species from the area adjacent to the selected subpopulations and place mesh cages over individuals to protect them from browsing. Removal of invasive species and elimination of browsing is expected to decrease the threat of habitat loss or degradation, and increase plant vigour and productivity, respectively. To determine the level of browsing protection the woody invasive Scotch Broom provides to Seriocarpus rigidus and to prevent future management errors and put the species at further risk, we must determine the impact of removal of Scotch Broom on predation from herbivores on a small scale. The proponents will experimentally remove Scotch Broom from small patches of the subpopulations that are being dominated by Scotch broom while leaving the remaining subpopulations undisturbed. Differences in browsing activity and plant vigour will be monitored. Sanicula bipinnatifida and Lupinus densiflorus var. densiflorus is being threatened at one site by habitat degradation (soil erosion facilitated by human activities) and encroaching invasive species. To prevent trampling and further soil erosion, the proponents will plant a living fence on the crest of the upper slope of the subpopulation to redirect foot traffic away from the species at risk.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0365), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-04-13)

    The number of plants, by phenological/demographic stage, are tracked and described in marked quadrats using non-destructive sampling techniques. Where possible, plants are simply counted by phenological stage and demographic class. Occasionally, fruits are collected in order to count seeds using a dissecting microscope. In experimental establishment studies, germination, establishment and survival of selected species are documented in experimental treatment sites. These treatment sites will be restricted to sites currently unoccupied by these or other species at risk. Invasive shrubs and herbs threatening populations of the aforementioned species at risk are removed in the vicinity of plants at risk.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2007-0050), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-05-08)

    In order to protect a suite of SARA Schedule 1 plants at risk from habitat degradation at various federal properties, invasive species will be removed from the area adjacent to sub-populations of these species at risk by pulling by hand or manually cutting. Invasion of exotic species has been identified as a serious and increasing threat to these sub-populations. The invasive species biomass will be removed from the sites. Removal of invasive plants is believed to increase habitat availability for plants at risk, prevent future competition, as well as increase plant vigour, seed production and population size.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2009-0126), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-02-04)

    The goal of this project is to protect selected populations of rare species from habitat degradation due to invasive species or conifer encroachment. The species include: Bartramia stricta, Rigid Apple Moss Dryopteris arguta, Coastal Wood Fern Enthostodon fascicularis,Banded Cord-moss Epilobium densiflorum, Dense Spike-primrose Limnanthes macounii ,Macoun's Meadowfoam Lotus formosissimus, Seaside Birds-foot Lotus Lupinus densiflorus, Dense-flowered Lupine Meconella oregano, White Meconella Microseris bigelovii, Coast Microseris Minuartia pusilla, Dwarf Sandwort Ranunculus alismifolius, Water-plantain Buttercup Sanicula arctopoides, Bear's-foot Sanicle Sanicula bipinnatifida, Purple Sanicle Tortula laevipila, Twisted Oak Moss The permit proposal is for multi-year species at risk (SAR) stewardship activities at several Department of National Defence (DND) properties on Southern Vancouver Island. The SAR at each site occur in open meadows that are being encroached by invasive species such as: Scotch broom, English ivy, gorse, English holly, Daphne spurge, English hawthorn, herbaceous annual and biennial weeds, annual and perennial grasses and/or conifers. The goal is to remove the invading species from the area within and adjacent to the selected SAR populations.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2011-0174), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2011-06-06)

    The objective of the project is to replace a faulty underground line carrying salt water that has ruptured and is currently discharging salt water into a maritime meadow, threatening nearby Bear's-foot sanicle (schedule 1) as well as Victoria owl-clover. Excavation of soil is required to replace the line. All Bear's-foot sanicle plants occurring along the underground line are juveniles, and will be recovered prior to excavation and replanted once the line has been replaced and the trench has been refilled.This species is regulated under the Species at Risk Act. This location is a federal land.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species - January 2017 (2017-01-16)

    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 afforded by the prohibitions and from 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. In 2016, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the Governor in Council approved listing proposals for 44 wildlife species. It is proposed that 23 species be added to Schedule 1, 18 be reclassified or have a change made to how they are defined (two wildlife species are being split into four), one species  be removed from Schedule 1, and another two species not be added. Listing proposals were published in Canada Gazette, part I for a 30-day public comment period and final listing decisions for all 44 species are expected in the first half of 2017.Please submit your comments byMay 11, 2017, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 11, 2017, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Minister of Environment response to COSEWIC species at risk assessments: October 13, 2016 The COSEWIC Summaries of Terrestrial Species Eligible for Addition or Reclassification on Schedule 1 - January 2017

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.

Exceptions

  • Public Registry Notice for s.83 Exceptions - CFB Esquimalt (2015-03-06)

    Operations directed to ensuring that training areas are sustainable for activities related to national defence/security. Specifically, the exceptions apply to activities for the control and management of vegetation that interferes with, or restricts, training.
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