North and West Plant Survey of Crown Lands for Species at Risk
A project of
Native Orchid Conservation Inc.

Final Report
for
Mountain Equipment Co-operative
149 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver BC V5Y4A6

by: Doris Ames, Project Manager
Sept 30, 2004

During the duration of this project, from August 1,2002 to July 24,2004, we have surveyed many different areas of Manitoba for plant Species at Risk.  The Manitoba Conservation Data Centre defines Species at Risk as those with an SRANK of 3 or less where S1 means very rare in the province, S2 means rare in the province and S3 means uncommon in the province.  We have identified a total of 29 different native plant species at risk, among them 9 species of native orchids and 3 medicinal plants of interest to First Nation communities.  These plants were found at 44 different locations in the province (see list below).  Native Orchid Conservation (NOCI) members put in over 900 hours of fieldwork conducting surveys in areas known to contain habitat suitable for rare plants.  Some of the sites had not been surveyed for native orchids in more than 50 years. 

Our trip to Riding Mountain National Park and Duck Mountain Provincial Park made it possible for us to have valuable input into the plans for management and development of these parks.  The grant that we received from Mountain Equipment Cooperative also allowed six NOCI volunteers to take a trip to Churchill, where project funds paid for one-third of the expenses and each volunteer paid two-thirds of the expenses.  We were able to locate and identify 17 plant Species at Risk, on this trip, as a result. 

We have notified the Manitoba Conservation Data Centre of our findings so they can add them to their records.  These records form the basis for conservation management of these rare species.  We have GPS locations and photographs of most of them.  Any specimens that we took were handed over to the University of Manitoba Herbarium.  We notified the Department of Forestry, the peat moss companies and First Nation communities about the existence of these plants so they could help protect them.  There were some special highlights to this survey. 

We surveyed a bog near McCreary, Manitoba that has one of the largest concentrations of Heart Leaved Twayblade (Listera cordata) that we have ever seen as well as 8 other species of native orchids.  What is so amazing about this finding is the bog is located in an area where intensive agriculture, farming and raising of cattle, has taken place for the last 100 years and yet somehow it has survived as part of a PFRA pasture. 

We found Least Mouse tail (Myosorus minimus), a rare plant species that has not been seen for 55 years in Manitoba, in another PFRA pasture at Marble Ridge near Fisher Branch. 

In Churchill, we managed to locate a patch of blooming Fairy Slipper Orchid (Calypso bulbosa) at East Twin Lake.  It is by far the most northerly location, in Manitoba, where these plants have been seen.  The nearest documented location, for these plants previous to this, was in Flin Flon, 280 miles to the south. 

We plan to make a PowerPoint presentation of our findings at Churchill and have already made a display board with native orchids for the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. 

The MEC grant also made it possible for us to participate as a member of the Brokenhead Wetlands Committee whose mandate is to have this rare wetland and the rare plant species therein protected.  The legislative process is now underway to have the Brokenhead Wetlands declared an Ecological Reserve. 

The remainder of the funds were used to fund public education projects such as field trips and the production of displays and brochures.  Some of the photographs that we took on these trips will be used in our soon to be published book on the orchids of Manitoba. 

In conclusion, we believe this project was successful and will help to protect plant species at risk in Manitoba. 


Appendix A - Species-At-Risk locations documented during this project
 
DATE COMMON-NAME BOTANICAL-NAME SRANK LOCATION
June 9/03 Northern Valerian Valerian dioica medicinal Spruce Grove Trail near Fisher Branch
June 24/03 Striped Coralroot Corallorhiza striata S3 Child's Lake Duck Mtns
June 23/03 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 N side PTH#10 near Neepawa
June 25/03 Franklin's Lady's-slipper Cypripedium passerinum S4 W Blue Lake Duck Mtns
June 24/03 Striped Coralroot Corallorhiza striata S3 Shell Valley Trail Duck Mtns
June 24/04 White Adder's Mouth M.monophyllos var.brachypodaS2 Milner Ridge
June 12/03 Richardson's Alumroot Heuchera richardsonii medicinal Brokenhead Wetlands
July 5/03 White Adder's Mouth M.monophyllos var.brachypodaS2 Milner Ridge
July 5/03 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 Milner Ridge
July 7/03 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 South of Contour
July 7/03 Grass Pink Calopogon tuberosus S2 South of Contour
July 7/03 Trailing arbutus Epigaea repens S3 South of Contour
July 7/03 Checkered Rattlesnake-orchidGoodyera tesselata S2 South of Contour
July 15/03 Green Adder's Mouth Malaxis unifolia S2 Milner Ridge
July 15/03 Ram's-head Lady's-slipper Cypripedium arietinum S2 Milner Ridge
Aug 22/03 Sweet Flag Acorus calamus medicinal FR#13-W
Aug 22/03 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 FR#1-South
 
DATE COMMON-NAME BOTANICAL-NAME SRANK LOCATION
June 02/04 Least Mousetail Myosorus minimus S1 Marble Ridge near Fisher Branch
June 30/04 Large round-leaved orchid Platanthera orbiculata S3 McCreary Bog
June 30/04 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 McCreary Bog
July 13/04 Yellow Star Grass Hypoxia hirsuta S3 off PTH#6, S of 83N
July 13/04 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 off PTH#6, south of Pelican Creek
July 13/04 Ram's-head Lady's-slipper Cypripedium arietinum S2 E of PTH#6, 3km N of Devil's Lk
July 13/04 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 Long Point Road
July 13/04 Showy Lady's-slipper Cypripedium reginae S3 overlook off Long Point Rd
July 13/04 White Adder's Mouth M.monophyllos var.brachypodaS2 end of Long Point Road
July 13/04 Large round-leaved orchid Platanthera orbiculata S3 Long Point Road
July 15/04 White Mountain Avens Dryas integrifolia S3 Dene Village, Churchill
July 15/04 Lapland Rosebay Rhododendron lapponicum S2 Dene Village, Churchill
July 15/04 Trailing Willow Salix arctophila S3 Dene Village, Churchill
July 15/04 Northern Twayblade Listera borealis S2 Dene Village, Churchill
July 15/04 Net-veined Willow Salix reticulata S3 Dene Village, Churchill
July 15/04 Erect Primrose Primula stricta S2 Cape Merry, Churchill
July 16/04 Alpine Azalea Loiseleuria procumbens S3 Twin Lakes Rd, Churchill
July 16/04 Fairy Slipper Orchid Calypso bulbosa far north East Twin Lake, Churchill
July 16/04 Velvet Bells Bartsia alpina S2 Twin Lakes Rd, Churchill
July 16/04 Marsh Felwort Lomatogonium rotatum S2-S3 Coast Rd, Churchill
July 17/04 Seaside Mertensia Mertensia maritima S2 Coast Rd, Churchill
July 17/04 Sea Sandwort Honckenya peploides S2 Coast Rd, Churchill
July 17/04 Beautiful Cinquefoil Ranunculus cymbalaria S1-S2 Coast Rd, Churchill
July 18/04 Yellow Anemone Anemone richardsonii S3 Rocket Launch Area, Churchill
July 18/04 Flame-coloured Lousewort Pedicularis flammea S2 Rocket Launch Area, Churchill
July 20/04 Northern Twayblade Listera borealis S2 Nodwell Rd, Churchill
July 22/04 Ram's-head Lady's-slipper Cypripedium arietinum S2 E of PTH#6, 99km S of Grand Rapids


Appendix B - Photographs


Least mousetail   MarbleRidge   2004jun02


Showy lady's-slipper   ForestryRd-4   2004jul07


Northern twayblade   Churchill   2004jul15


Calypso   Churchill   2004jul16


Seaside mertensia   Churchill   2004jul17


Flame-coloured lousewort   Churchill   2004jul18


This project was funded by Mountain Equipment Co-op.