Silver Hair Moss
Scientific Name: Fabronia pusilla
Taxonomy Group: Mosses
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2012
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This is a small species that grows among other mosses as an epiphyte on trees or on rock faces. In Canada, it is known from only one cliff in southwestern British Columbia. Although the species has not been found during recent surveys, the expanse of available habitat at the only known site, combined with the small stature of the moss, suggests that the species may still be present in Canada.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in November 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-01-12
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 Silver Hair Moss
The Silver Hair Moss is a tiny, creeping moss that grows in thin, flat mats, often mixed in with other moss species. It has narrow stems with an irregular branching pattern. The oval to lance-shaped leaves are less than 1 mm long and less than 0.5 mm wide, and each leaf tip ends in a microscopic hair-like projection. The leaves are pressed together along the length of the stems, except for the leaf ends that tend to stick out toward the end of the stem. Overall, the moss appears silvery to whitish-green.
Distribution and Population
Globally the Silver Hair Moss is found in western North America, western Europe, and northern Africa — principally in Mediterranean-type climates. In Canada, it is at the northern limit of its distribution, and has only been found at two sites in British Columbia: near Lower Arrow Lake in the Kootenay Valley, and on Sumas Mountain east of Abbotsford. The Arrow Lake site is now submerged behind a dam, and the Silver Hair Moss has not been collected from that area since the late 1800s. It was collected from Abbotsford in 1968, but was not found during three excursions to the site in 2001. The small size of the Silver Hair Moss, its habit of growing in with other mosses, and the inaccessibility of much of its potential habitat at this site, may result in Silver Hair Moss not being found during field surveys.
Silver Hair Moss grows on semi-exposed rock or the surface of tree bark. Both of the known sites in British Columbia have hot summers and cool to cold winters.
Very little is known about the biology of the Silver Hair Moss. It is autoicous — with male and female organs on the same stem — and likely does not spread vegetatively. The spores (the reproductive bodies that the new plants arise from) are likely spread by the wind, but it is not known how far they are dispersed, or how easily they germinate. The Silver Hair Moss usually grows mixed in with other moss species, which typically are larger than it is, and may out-compete it in the habitat it uses.
The Silver Hair Moss is at the northern extent of its range, and therefore vulnerable to chance events. No notable external threats to the population are known.
The Silver Hair Moss 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
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Silver Hair Moss (Fabronia pusilla) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
BC Bryophyte Recovery Team
Brenda Costanzo - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
Phone: 250-387-9611 Fax: 250-356-9145 Send Email
Recovery Progress and Activities
Summary of Progress to Date The draft recovery strategy has been completed. The species was not relocated during an inventory completed during the summer of 2005.
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.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (2 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (2 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Silver Hair Moss (2013-01-03)This is a small species that grows among other mosses as an epiphyte on trees or on rock faces. In Canada, it is known from only one cliff in southwestern British Columbia. Although the species has not been found during recent surveys, the expanse of available habitat at the only known site, combined with the small stature of the moss, suggests that the species may still be present in Canada.
Response Statements - Silver Hair Moss (2004-04-21)A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2003 (2003-10-01)May 2003 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
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).