Species Profile

Mapleleaf Saskatchewan – Nelson Rivers population

Scientific Name: Quadrula quadrula
Other/Previous Names: Mapleleaf Mussel (Saskatchewan - Nelson population),Mapleleaf (Saskatchewan - Nelson population)
Taxonomy Group: Molluscs
COSEWIC Range: Manitoba
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2016
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B2ab(ii,iii,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This heavy-shelled mussel has a small range and few locations, and occurs in habitat projected to continue to decline in quality. Present and ongoing threats include pollution from agricultural effluent, urban wastewater, and industrial sources. The arrival and establishment of invasive Zebra Mussel in 2013 represents a new threat of likely high severity. This change in status is a result of new surveys revealing previously unknown locations.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in April 2006. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2016.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2013-03-08

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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Description

Mapleleaf, Quadrula quadrula, is a freshwater mussel. The shell is thick, squarish in outline and ranges in colour from yellowish green through light brown to dark brown. Typically, the species can be recognized by two rows of raised bumps or knots extending in a v-shape from the umbo (the beak that protrudes above the hinge of each valve) to the ventral edge of the shell. There are occasional deviations from this nodule pattern. Canadian specimens reach 130 mm in length, 100 mm in height and 50 mm in width. The interior of the shell is white with heavy hinge teeth. [Updated 22/01/2018]

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Distribution and Population

In the United States, this species occurs throughout the Ohio-Mississippi drainages ranging from Texas to Alabama in the south to Minnesota and Pennsylvania in the north. Its distribution extends into the Great Lakes drainage in Minnesota and Wisconsin to New York and into the Red River drainage in Minnesota and North Dakota. In Canada, this species is limited in southern Ontario to the coastal areas and medium to large rivers of the Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario watersheds. In Manitoba, the species is found in the Red River and some tributaries, the Assiniboine River, and Lake Winnipeg and some tributaries. In Ontario, Q. quadrula is restricted to a few coastal areas and rivers draining into Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Ontario. A rough estimate for total population size in Ontario is at least 6 million individuals. The mussel community in this region is in decline with many species considered extirpated from areas they once occupied. Comparison with historical records indicates some reduction in the distribution of this species in Ontario. Recent studies indicate that Q. quadrula is abundant in some areas where it does occur and may be increasing its distribution within the Sydenham River, lower Thames River, and lower Grand River, but with current threats the overall trend may be a slow continuing decline over the next 3 generations. In Manitoba, although the population size is estimated to range between roughly 1 million and 4 million, densities are generally low and appear to be in decline in some areas. The species occurs in the Red River and in the lower reaches of some of its tributaries, the Assiniboine River, and the lower reaches of some tributaries draining into Lake Winnipeg. Comparison with historical records of distribution indicates that the freshwater mussel community in Manitoba is in decline. Where Q. quadrula does occur in Manitoba it is never abundant with many fresh empty valves indicating high levels of recent mortality. [Updated 22/01/2018]

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Habitat

Quadrula quadrula occurs in a variety of habitats ranging from medium to large rivers with slow to moderate current, to lakes and reservoirs in mud, sand, or gravel bottoms. In Ontario and Manitoba, Q. quadrula is most typically recovered from medium to large rivers in firmly packed coarse gravel and sand to firmly packed clay/mud bottom.[Updated 22/01/2018]

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Biology

Quadrula quadrula is dioecious (separate sexes) but sexes cannot be distinguished based on shell morphology. Larvae, called glochidia, are brooded in the gills by the female and are parasitic on catfishes. Known fish hosts are the Flathead Catfish, which does not occur in Canada, and the Channel Catfish, which does occur in Canada. Development on the fish host requires approximately 50-60 days. During this time, the larval mussel transforms to a juvenile, then drops off the fish host and grows to adult size and maturity. Like other freshwater mussels, Q. quadrula feeds on algae and bacteria filtered from the water column and bottom. Quadrula quadrula is a long-lived species with individuals from Manitoba living up to 64 years and averaging 22 years of age, with a generation time of roughly 20 years.[Updated 22/01/2018]

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Threats

Like almost all North American freshwater mussels, this species is threatened by habitat loss and degradation and the effects of invasive species, particularly Zebra and Quagga mussels in Ontario. Zebra Mussels now threaten Q. quadrula in Manitoba, with Zebra Mussel populations becoming established in the Red River, Lake Winnipeg, and in reservoirs in the Red River watershed in North Dakota and Minnesota. Habitat changes associated with Zebra Mussels and modifications to the banks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers (e.g., rip-rap and dikes) that alter the flow hydrology of these rivers are threats. In both Ontario and Manitoba, Q. quadrula occurs in areas affected by industrial and municipal pollution and agricultural runoff.[Updated 22/01/2018]

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Mapleleaf, Saskatchewan – Nelson Rivers population, 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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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.

38 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Mapleleaf , Saskatchewan – Nelson Rivers population (2018-01-18)

    This heavy-shelled mussel has a small range and few locations, and occurs in habitat projected to continue to decline in quality. Present and ongoing threats include pollution from agricultural effluent, urban wastewater, and industrial sources. The arrival and establishment of invasive Zebra Mussel in 2013 represents a new threat of likely high severity. This change in status is a result of new surveys revealing previously unknown locations.
  • Response Statements - Mapleleaf Mussel (2006-11-29)

    Small area of occupancy; all localities but one are in one system, the Red Assiniboine drainage, and a major event could extirpate the population; no evidence for recruitment (few small individuals); numerous threats including degrading water quality from agriculture, domestic waste, commercial and industrial activities. 

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act(volume 146, number 14, 2012) (2012-07-04)

    His 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 147, number 7, 2013) (2013-03-27)

    This Order adds seven aquatic species to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and reclassifies two species on Schedule 1 of SARA (Schedule 1). This Order also amends Schedule 1 by striking out one species previously listed as a single designatable unit and adding two new designatable units of the same species in its place. One designatable unit of a terrestrial species, currently also listed as part of a broader designatable unit, is struck out to eliminate duplication. These amendments are being made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment with advice from the other competent minister, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. A related Order under section 76 of SARA will exempt activities authorized under the Fisheries Act from the prohibitions of SARA for a period of one year for one of the species being added to Schedule 1 (Westslope Cutthroat Trout).
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (Volume 153, Number 17, 2019) (2019-08-21)

    Biodiversity is rapidly declining at all scales, from local to global, as a result of a variety of human activities that increase the rates of species extinction. Current extinction rates are estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural background rate. Higher species diversity positively supports healthy and productive ecosystems that are more resilient to disturbances, and, given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to a declining resilience of ecosystem functions and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, pharmaceutical products, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are vital to the health of all Canadians and are important for Canada’s economic well-being. Biodiversity loss can therefore result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects on Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2006 (2006-08-30)

    2006 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2016 to 2017 (2017-10-24)

    Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 40 wildlife species; of these, the majority (78 %) were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 73 species assessed 11 were assigned the status of Not at Risk (8 re-assessments and 3 new assessments). To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 735 wildlife species in various risk categories including 321 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 219 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated (i.e. - no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition 16 species have been assessed as Extinct, 58 have been designated as Data Deficient and 186 were assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#17-HCAA-01366), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-02-05)

    The activities associated with the proposed project below that are likely to result in incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population), a contravention of section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), are: the placement of 500 linear metres of riprap extending 12.8 m below the normal winter water level along the west bank of the Assiniboine River. The proposed project, of which the activities authorized are a part of, involves the emergency stabilization of the bank and shoreline below a municipal road. The Long Plain First Nation community is requesting an emergency authorization to complete the immediate placement of a 500 m long riprap revetment extending up to 12.8 m below the normal winter water level (6400 m2) along the west bank of the Assiniboine River at Long Plain, Manitoba. The shoreline stabilization work is proposed to prevent the ongoing erosion of the river bank, which has affected the stability of the upper bank, and subsequently impacted a municipal road and utilities. In April of 2017, it was identified that the movement of the head scarp had severed an existing 200 mm treated wastewater discharge pipe running under the municipal road. Engineering consultants have stated that there is a 100% probability of additional bank failure, and that there are no suitable alternatives or temporary measures that can be implemented.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#17-HCAA-01543), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-02-05)

    The activities associated with the proposed project below that are likely to result in incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population), a contravention of section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), are: the placement of 375 linear metres of riprap extending 10.5 m below the normal winter water level along the west bank of the Assiniboine River. The proposed project, of which the activities authorized are a part of, involves the emergency stabilization of the bank and shoreline below a municipal road. The Proponent is requesting an emergency authorization to complete the immediate placement of a 375 m long, riprap revetment extending up to 10.5 m below the normal winter water level along the west bank of the Assiniboine River near Treherne, Manitoba. The shoreline stabilization work is proposed to prevent the ongoing erosion of the river bank, which has affected the stability of the upper bank and a municipal road. The road has required maintenance from the Proponent since the 2011 flood on the Assiniboine River. A bank failure in 2017 required the Proponent to rebuild the road to secure short-term access. Engineering consultants have stated that there is a 100% probability of additional bank failure, and that there are no suitable alternatives or temporary measures that can be implemented. The road is the only access for emergency services to local residents.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#18-HCAA-01228), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-06-05)

    The activities associated with the proposed project below that are likely to result in the incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population), a contravention of section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), are: the placement of a 200 m long rip rap blanket extending below the normal winter water level along the north bank of the Assiniboine River near Saint Eustache in the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier. The proposed project, of which the activities are a part of, involves the stabilization of a portion of the Assiniboine River Dikes. Manitoba Infrastructure is requesting to stabilize 200 linear metres along the dike to address an erosion and stability issue between the edge of the river and the toe of the dike. A riprap blanket of Class 450 will be placed from the top of the bank at 245 m elevation down to into the channel to 238.5 m elevation. If the erosion and stability issue is not addressed, the dike could breach, resulting in significant overland flooding, which could impact dwellings and farmland.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#19-HCAA-00115 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2021-01-04)

    This activity involves the stabilization of a failed/eroded bank of the Assiniboine River shoreline along Wellington Crescent within the City of Winnipeg. The bank slopes have experienced slope failure, which requires a combination of mechanical stabilization, road relocation, and erosion protection in order to protect the integrity of City infrastructure. As part of the works, approximately 12,645 m2 (1,057 linear metres) of rip rap will be placed below the Ordinary High Water Mark resulting in a footprint of 4,235 m2 below the ice level of the Unregulated Winter Water Level. The rip rap blanket will be capped with smaller coarse substrate. In order to minimize the impacts on bank vegetation, a two metre wide temporary working platform totaling 2,435 m2 will be used to install the shoreline stabilization measures. Within the footprint of the rip rap, 4,235 m2 is below the winter ice level, and 480 m2 is considered potential habitat for Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers populations) (Mapleleaf from this point forward), a species at risk.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#DFO-17-HCAA-00303), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2017-04-14)

    Canadian Pacific (CP) has requested an emergency authorization to complete immediate placement of a 140m long, 600mm thick riprap blanket extending up to 10m below the annual high water mark along the right bank of the Assiniboine River in Brandon, Manitoba. The work is to prevent ongoing shoreline erosion of the riverbank adjacent to a dike along the CP rail yard site. CP believes that further erosion will increase the likelihood of accelerated movement of the riverbank and subsequent movement of the dike, placing the CP Brandon yard and its infrastructure at a risk.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#DFO-17-HCAA-00829), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2017-08-29)

    Canadian Pacific (CP) has requested an authorization to complete placement of a 140 m long, 600 mm thick rip rap blanket extending up to 10 m below the annual high water mark along the right bank of the Assiniboine River in Brandon, Manitoba. The work is proposed to prevent ongoing shoreline erosion of the riverbank adjacent to a dike along the CP rail yard site. The Assiniboine River is known to be habitat for Mapleleaf. Approximately 300 m2 of vegetation disturbance will also be required to gain access to the site to complete this work. A mussel salvage operation will be conducted prior to the start of any work.
  • Explanation for issuing other simliar documents(#DFO-17-HCAA-01658), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-02-26)

    The City of Winnipeg has requested an authorization to stabilize and protect a proposed upper bank, multi-use path connecting the existing Esplanade Riel plaza ramp area with the Taché Dock access ramps, along with upper bank sidewalk widening, a retaining wall, and treetop lookout structure in the mid- to upper-bank areas. Stabilization works are to occur to the east bank of the Red River, along Taché Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The proposed project, of which the activities authorized are part of, involves stabilizing the shoreline by supplementing existing rock riprap and placing new riprap along a section of eroding shoreline. This will result in the permanent alteration of 1270 m2 of critical habitat for Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) due to the placement of riprap over existing river substrate. Additionally, existing locations that have been stabilized using riprap within the past 20 years will be sampled for the presence of Mapleleaf. Non-riprap control locations will also be sampled. A minimum of 15 sites will be surveyed in 2018, with a minimum of two transects per site. Sampling will be conducted during low water levels in summer or early fall, and be conducted by divers over a 4- to 5-day period. The timing of the survey will be conditional on water level and flow. Captured mussels will be identified by species, enumerated, and measured. Representative photographs will be taken for all species. All mussels will be released back to the area of capture. River habitat features at each sample site will be recorded, including flow pattern, water depth, and substrate type. Final site selection and survey design will be made in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk biologists.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#18-HCAA-00871 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2018-09-26)

    This permit is limited to mussel capture and relocation. The bank stabilization works will occur primarily outside of the existing Assiniboine River channel, and any construction within the river will be in marginal habitat. The mussel relocation is for an area of approximately 750 m2, which encompasses the 304 m2 that will be isolated by a temporary cofferdam to allow construction to occur in the dry. The activities associated with the proposed project below, which are likely to result in the incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population), a contravention of Section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act, are the capture and relocation of Mapleleaf, prior to impact by construction activities. The proposed project, of which the activities authorized are a part of, involves the construction of an outfall and the subsequent stabilization of the river shoreline, through the use of gabion baskets.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#18-HCAA-01285 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2018-10-12)

    This permit is limited to mussel capture and relocation. Future bank stabilization works may occur in a section of the Assiniboine River. The mussel relocation will be occurring prior to the bank stabilization to ensure that mussels are relocated when water temperatures are above or still close to 16°C. The activities associated with the proposed project, which are likely to result in the incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population), a contravention of Section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act, are the capture and relocation of Mapleleaf from an area prior to impact by future construction activities.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-HCAA-01033 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-09-03)

    The activity authorized by this permit that may cause incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population) a contravention of section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act, is the capture and relocation of Mapleleaf within the prescribed search area of approximately 1266 m2 (which includes the project footprint of 856 m2 and a buffer) within the Red River. These works are to be completed prior to installing rock rip rap below an existing rip rap blanket, for the purpose of stabilizing the riverbank below Culvert 108 (19-HCAA-00108) prior to impact by future construction activities. This permit is limited to mussel capture and relocation. Future bank stabilization works may occur in this section of the Red River. The mussel relocation will be occurring prior to bank stabilization to ensure that mussels are relocated when water temperatures are above, or close to 16°C.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-HCAA-01114 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-09-05)

    The activity authorized by the permit that may cause incidental harm to Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population), a contravention of section 32(1) of the Species at Risk Act, is the capture and relocation of Mapleleaf within the prescribed search area of approximately 3900 m2 (which includes the project footprint of 3200 m2 and a buffer) within the Red River. These works are to be completed prior to installing rock rip rap below an existing rip rap blanket, for the purpose of stabilizing the river bank below Outfall 2 (19-HCAA-00408) prior to impact by future construction activities. This permit is limited to mussel capture and relocation. Future bank stabilization works may occur in this section of the Red River. The mussel relocation will be occurring prior to bank stabilization to ensure that mussels are relocated when water temperatures are above, or close to 16°C.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-HCAA-01851 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-09-15)

    The activity is a proposal to install a water intake structure below a rip rap blanket in the Assiniboine River, nearest to the city of Winnipeg, for the purposes of taking water for use at Camp Manitou. This will require conducting a mussel relocation, which may result in the capture and relocation of Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population) (Mapleleaf from this point forward) within approximately 666 m2 of prescribed search area within the Assiniboine River. The mussel relocation will be completed prior to the installation to ensure that mussels are relocated when water temperatures are above or still close to 16°C.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-HCAA-01684 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-09-10)

    This permit is limited to mussel capture and relocation. Future bank stabilization works may occur in this section of the Assiniboine River. The mussel relocation will be occurring prior to the bank stabilization to ensure that mussels are relocated when water temperatures are above or still close to 16°C. The mussel relocation will involve the capture and relocation of Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population) (Mapleleaf from this point forward) within the Prescribed Search Area of approximately 4015 m2 (includes the project footprint of 4972 m2 and a buffer) within the Assiniboine River. These works are to be completed prior to installing rock rip rap below an existing rip rap blanket, for the purpose of stabilizing the river bank below Wellington Crescent (as part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada [DFO] authorization 19-HCAA-00115).
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PCAA-00042 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-11-04)

    The objective of the activity covered by the permit is to search the shores of the Red and Assiniboine rivers nearest to the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for empty mussel valves (both fresh dead, and old), including Mapleleaf (Quadrula quadrula) (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers population) valves. The valves of are being collected to evaluate the composition and abundance of Mapleleaf relative to other large mussel species. The activities authorized by the permit consist of the collection of empty Mapleleaf valves from the shores of the Red and Assiniboine rivers and the possession and transport of empty Mapleleaf valves.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-15-PCAA-00009), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2015-04-10)

    The purposes of the projects are three-fold: 1) Assess the status, distribution and life history of freshwater mussel species at risk (SAR) in the Sydenham and Thames rivers, 2) Conservation genetics assessment of Mapleleaf, 3) Assessment of Eastern Pondmussel distribution for upcoming COSEWIC reassessment and 4) conduct a workshop for federal and provincial government employees as well as members of conservation authorities and non-government organizations who may encounter mussel SAR during their work. The workshop will be designed around a SAR theme and will focus on the biology, ecology and identification of freshwater mussels. The workshop will include one day in the field at a site on the Sydenham River.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-15-PCAA-00018), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2015-07-10)

    The purpose of the project is to survey streams in southern Manitoba to determine presence/absence of Mapleleaf Mussel (Saskatchewan-Nelson populations) at new sites and at previously documented historic sites (i.e. > 10 years old since last observation).
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-15-PCAA-00031), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2015-08-07)

    The purposes of the project are 1. Installation of a protective cover over a natural gas pipeline resulting in the alternation of 1,080 square meters of substrate, 2. The salvage and relocation of Mapleleaf mussel from suitable habitat within 15 meters of the proposed altered area, 3. Two, three, four and five year post project monitoring surveys of the infilling of interstitial spaces in the concrete mat, covering of the mat by native substrates and the long-term re-colonization of Mapleleaf mussel on suitable habitats, if present.
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Consultation Documents

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