Species Profile

Purple Sanicle

Scientific Name: Sanicula bipinnatifida
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2001
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: Met criteria for Endangered, B1+2c, but designated Threatened because the species is not at imminent risk of extirpation based on the lack of recent declines and evidence that several populations are maintaining steady numbers of plants.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: Geographically restricted species with small area of occupancy in Garry oak communities within a major urbanized region at risk from habitat loss and degradation and impact of exotic plants.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in May 2001.
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 Purple Sanicle

Purple Sanicle Photo 1
Purple Sanicle Photo 2

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Description

The Purple Sanicle is an erect, stout, branching, short-lived perennial ( or perhaps biennial) herb that grows 10 to 60 cm tall from a vertical taproot. The leaves are toothed, pinnately divided once or twice, or simple, and with a toothed winged leaf axis and occur at the base of the plant and on the lower stem. The inflorescence (flower head) is comprised of several to many compact umbels (flat or rounded clusters of flowers whose pedicels appear to spring from the same point). The deep purple or wine-colored flowers produce 3 to 6 mm long schizocarps (dry, compound fruit that splits at maturity) that are covered with stout, hooked prickles.

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Distribution and Population

Globally, the Purple Sanicle occurs on the west coast of North America from British Columbia to northern Baja California, Mexico. In Canada, it occurs only on southeastern Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands. Since 1949, 18 populations of the Purple Sanicle have been confirmed in Canada. Population sizes range from a single plant to over eleven hundred individuals.

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Habitat

The Purple Sanicle occurs in grass-forb (herb) meadow openings, on eroding, sandy banks on seashore cliffs, and on shrubby, grassy knolls. The species is relatively shade-intolerant, occurring on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-rich soils. The distinctive Mediterranean climate of the area is the result of the rain shadow effect created by the Olympic and Vancouver Island Mountains, which stop the clouds and rain advancing from the west. Consequently, the region on the eastern side of the mountains is characterised by warm and dry summers and mild and wet winters. Early spring conditions are moist, facilitating early germination and growth before the onset of the summer drought.

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Biology

Little research has been done on the species throughout its geographic distribution. Flowering occurs by the beginning of May and may continue to the end of June. The tiny, unisexual flowers are unspecialized and are likely pollinated by generalist insects. The species is protogynous (female flowers mature first). Seeds planted in the winter or early spring germinated in 41 days.

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Threats

Although the Purple Sanicle has a restricted range in Canada, it has no apparent biological limitations. It is limited mainly by human disturbance. There has been and continues to be extensive development on southeastern Vancouver Island. Human-induced threats include habitat alteration, development within municipal and regional parks, and competition from introduced (exotic) plants in all sites.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Purple 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.

Two populations of Purple Sanicle occur on Department of National Defence lands in British Columbia, which are federal lands protected under SARA.

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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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.

11 record(s) found.

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.

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-2007-0051), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-05-09)

    In order to protect selected populations of two SARA-listed plant species (Sanicula bipinnatifida and Lupinus densiflorus var. densiflorus), split rail fences and signs will be installed to protect these populations from habitat degradation (soil erosion and compaction facilitated by human activities), the effects of trampling (by human and canine activities) and browsing. Invasive woody species have previously been removed from this site, as encroachment of invasive species threatens the long-term persistence of these populations. This removal of invasive woody shrubs will be continued. The effects of these activities on the species at risk will be monitored by assessing the species for leaf damage during the growing season.
  • 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.

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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