Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Species at Risk

>>>Species at Risk
Species at Risk2016-12-13T10:35:59+00:00

Ancient Murrelet

Synthliboramphus antiquus [Special Concern/Blue-listed] This is another sensitive marine species because it nests in burrows or rock crevices.


Banded Cord-moss

Entosthodon fasicularis [Special concern / Blue-listed] At the northern extent of its range in the Pacific Northwest, this moss is also known from Europe. All the sites on Salt Spring Island occur in the vernal seeps of Garry oak woodlands.


Band-tailed Pigeon

The Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata [Special Concern/ Blue-listed] is the largest pigeon in North America, the males being slightly larger than the females and reaching up to 36 cm in length.


Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica [Threatened / Blue-Listed] Barn swallows can be found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. In our region, the barn swallow winters throughout South America and then returns to North America to breed in the summer, covering up to 14,000 miles during the round trip migration! This bird prefers open country, fields, and agricultural lands.


Batwing Vinyl

Leptogium platinum [Endangered/ Red-listed] Not exactly like a bat wing with all those crowded fruiting bodies, this curious lichen does have the same transverse wrinkles that help distinguish it from Peacock vinyl.


Barn Owl

Tyto alba [Threatened / Blue-Listed] This medium-sized owl stands 30 -37 cm (just over a foot), and has a unique light-coloured heart-shaped face with dark eyes and a light beak. Preferred feeding habitat is open fields and grasslands. Nesting commonly occurs in barns and other built structures, natural tree cavities, and nest boxes. Barn owls may roost in forest trees in winter.


Black Swift

Cypseloides niger [Endangered/Blue-listed] Adults are black and have the largest of the swift's in BC. They have a streamlined body with long narrow wings. Black Swifts nest in forested areas along rivers, choosing to nest behind waterfalls or other damp cliffs...


Blue Dasher

Pachydiplex longipennis [Blue-listed] There are 88 species of dragonflies in British Columbia (including 24 damselflies and 64 true dragonflies). Dragonflies are usually larger than damselflies and have larger eyes that are closer together than those of damselflies.


Blue-grey Taildropper

Prophysaon coeruleum [endangered / red-listed] This small slug is blue-grey in colour and may have lighter speckling. Parallel grooves and ridges are present along the back and along the sides of the foot. Total length is less than two inches. This is a forest animal with a preference for undisturbed mature forests.


Blue-Shift Speckleback

Punctelia stictica [Blue-listed] This pale grayish to pale greenish lichen is found on rocky coastal outcrops near ocean shorelines at low elevations.


Carbuncular Toad

Neofuscelia verruculifera [Red-listed] Found frequently over rock in open coastal and inland sites at lower elevations. BC to California and West Eurasia. Small to medium stratified foliose lichens...


Carolina Meadow-foxtail

Alopecurus carolinianus [Red-listed] Annual (or winter annual) tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 10-30 (40) cm tall. Found in wet to moist vernal pools, roadsides and meadows in the lowland zone. Rare on South Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.


Concentric Vinyl

Leptogium pseudofurfuraceum [Blue-listed] Unique in being our only bearded vinyl, this rare lichen growing on Garry oaks is distinct in having a ruffled margin and an underside covered in short hair-like scales.


Coast Manroot

Marah oregana [Endangered/ Red-List] Gardeners will quickly recognize this rare plant’s place in the squash family and it’s unlikely to be confused with anything else.


Common Nighthawk

Chordeiles minor [Threatened/ Yellow-Listed] The common nighthawk is a medium-sized bird (22-24 cm) with a large head and a very small bill. Nighthawks are typically crespuscular, flying at dawn and dusk to feed on flying insects. They are quite camouflaged, having a mixture of black, browns and greys through their plumage as well as barring on their chests.


Common Wood-nymph

Cercyonis pegala incana [Red-listed] This butterfly has two distinctive dark “eyes” on each forewing. It inhabits Garry oak woodlands and meadows and is declining rapidly in numbers. It feeds on wild flowers and the larvae use wild grasses and sedges.


Continuous Ribbon

Ramalina subleptocarpha [Blue-listed] This lichen is in the Ramalinaceae family. This unique ribbon-like lichen is branched from a narrow holdfast in two’s (dichotomously) and the branches can be up to 15 cm long. It is pale grey to greenish yellow, very flat and thin and never forming bundles of hyphae. It grows only on the bark of trees. It occurs south to California.


Coral Crackers

Fuscopannaria coralloidea [Red-listed] Within a tough group of lichens to identify, this species stands out with a body that resembles finely branching coral.


Double-crested Cormorant

Phalacrocorax auritus [Blue-listed] This large, black waterbird has white tufts on the sides of its head and a yellow-orange throat. It also has a characteristic crook in its neck. It is found in marine habitats such as estuaries, bays, harbours and inlets.Double-crested Cormorants nest in colonies usually on the ground on rocky, barren islands with sparse vegetation.


Dun Skipper

Euphyes vestris [Threatened / Blue-listed] This butterfly has two distinctive dark “eyes” on each forewing. It inhabits Garry oak woodlands and meadows and is declining rapidly in numbers. It feeds on wild flowers and the larvae use wild grasses and sedges.


Eared Tarpaper

Collema auriforme [Red-listed] Curious with its habit of growing on our Garry oaks, this species more commonly occurs on alkaline ground or rock in other jurisdictions. With its prominently thickened margin (like an ear) and profusion of globular propagules, it’s easy to recognize and locally rare. Known on Salt Spring Island only from one location.


Exploding Beard

Usnea intermedia [Red-listed] Usnea intermedia (western bushy beard) is a grayish-yellowish pale green, irregularly much-branching, stiff shrubby foliose lichen commonly anchored on holdfasts on trees, often on oaks. Abundant apothecia are convex discs with a ring or thallus-like margin having tendril-like fringe radiating from it. It was formerly called U. arizonica in North America.


Flaming Specklebelly

Pseudocyphellaria crocata [Blue-listed] Without a doubt, this eye-catching lichen is our showiest species and always a delight to find. In our area, it grows mostly on Garry oaks but also occasionally over rock. Known on Salt Spring Island from one location.


Fourty-five Vinyl

Leptogium intermedium [Blue-listed] This small vinyl is the second smallest of its kind found locally. In our area, it grows most commonly on old arbutus trees, sometimes with silver-rimmed crackers.


Geyer’s Onion

Allium geyeri var. tenerum [Blue-listed] Unmistakable with tiny bulbs replacing some of the flowers, this rare onion employs two strategies to survive in it’s harsh environment, releasing both seed and small plantlets.


Giant Chain Fern

Woodwardia fimbriata [Blue-listed] One of our rarest plants associated with the local Garry oaks, this violet shares the same threats as the oaks, primarily habitat loss through succession and development.


Green-sheath Sedge

Carex feta [Blue-listed] This aptly named sedge occurs in a variety of wet habitats from ditches to vernal seeps, and has recently been planted as part of the Blackburn Lake wetland restoration project.


Gray’s Desert Parsley

Allium geyeri var. tenerum [Threatened/Red-listed] On the Southern Gulf Islands, this plants best defence is its choice of habitat. Steep cliffs and protected grassland pockets keep away most of the browsing deer that target the young flowering stems.


Great Blue Heron

Phalacrocorax auritus [Blue-listed] The great blue heron is a member of the Ardeidae family, which includes herons and egrets. This family is distinguished by its long, pointed bills, stilt-like legs and slender, bendable necks. The fannini subspecies of the great blue heron occupies coastal British Columbia.


Harbour Porpoise

Phocoena phocoena vomerina [Special Concern / Blue-listed] The Harbour Porpoise is one of the smallest whales, averaging around 2 m in length. It is a shy species that is relatively short-lived (usually less than 20 years). They are grayish-white along their sides, fading to almost white on the underside. They have a small triangular dorsal fin about midway on their backs.


Harford’s Melic

Melica harfordii [Blue-listed] Perennial, strongly tufted grass which grows from from rhizomes. Found on dry slopes and open forests in the lowland zone.



Heterocodon rariflora [Blue-listed] Count yourself lucky if you come across the small, blue flowers on this tiny bluebell; most of the time it produces inconspicuous greenish flowers that self-pollinate.


Howell’s Triteleia

Triteleia howellii [Endangered/ Red-listed] Known on Salt Spring Island from a single collection made in 1893, it still occurs nearby in Maple Bay and at scattered sites on southern Vancouver Island.


Jigsaw Stippleback

Dermatocarpon leptophyllodes [Blue-listed] This rare lichen is actually recognized by its resemblance to a puzzle! It forms more or less, circular colonies with tightly packed pieces on low rock outcrops usually with spring seepage.


Keen’s Myotis

Myotis keenii [Blue-listed] Keen’s bat has large black ears, brown fur, and may show dark shoulder markings. It is a small bat, weighing less than a Canadian dollar coin.These bats have a low reproductive rate, producing a single young per year, so populations are vulnerable to environmental stresses such as land development, wind turbines, and logging.Keen’s bat hibernates in winter and has been found hibernating in deep caves which provide stable humidity and temperature, allowing the bats to conserve energy.


Killer Whale

Orcinus orca [endangered / red-listed] This whale is identified by the long dorsal fin and the white markings on the head and underside. The southern resident killer whale population is declining in size, presently with less than 100 animals. Killer whales have a low reproductive rate, late age of maturity, long gestation period (up to 17 months) and may reproduce only at intervals of five years or more.


Little Brown Myotis

Myotis lucifugus [endangered / red-listed] The Little Brown Myotis is vulnerable to a fungus infection, white-nose syndrome, that is killing bats at an alarming rate in eastern North America and is rapidly spreading west.This typical Little Brown Myotis is a small furry animal about the length of a human finger and the weight of a large coin.


Leafless Wintergreen

Pyrola aphylla [Blue-listed] True to its name, this conspicuous wintergreen was recognized by early botanists but later included within the variation of whiteveined wintergreen (P. picta).


Leatherback Sea Turtle

Dermochelys coriacea [Endangered / red-listed] The leatherback is occasionally sighted in the ocean in the vicinity of the Gulf Islands. This is the world’s heaviest reptile and it can measure over two meters in length. The limbs are paddle-like, lacking claws, and the back of the turtle has seven prominent ridges. The diet is largely jellyfish.