Environment and Conservation
December 18, 2006
Releases Recovery Plan for Porsild’s Bryum
The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Environment
and Conservation, announced today the release of the recovery plan for
the porsild’s bryum (bryum porsildii).
“This species is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act,”
said Minister Jackman. “Under the act, there is a requirement for the
release of recovery and management plans for vulnerable, threatened and
endangered species.” Recovery strategies outline a series of actions
identified as necessary for the recovery of the species.
Porsild’s bryum is a small moss that is found at the tip of the Northern
Peninsula as well as in the Canadian Arctic, the Rocky Mountains,
Greenland, Alaska, Central Asia and Michigan.
The porsild’s bryum recovery plan was initially prepared under contract
in conjunction with the limestone barrens species at risk recovery team
including representatives from Memorial University Botanical Gardens,
provincial and federal government, local residents and botanists. The
minister noted that the recovery plan is a living document that can be
amended and updated as new information becomes available.
The plan can be found at
For more information on endangered species, contact Claudia Hanel,
Wildlife Division at 709-637-2019.
- 30 -
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
Porsild’s bryum is a small moss that requires cliff faces with
calcareous seepage in arctic or alpine climates. Worldwide, it is found
in the Canadian Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, Greenland, Alaska, Central
Asia, Michigan and the tip of the Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland.
- Six of the 11 Canadian locations identified in
the status report are found in Newfoundland.
The scattered distribution with wide gaps may be due the location of
ice-free refugia during the last ice age.
- All known Newfoundland populations are located
within 20 kilometres of each other on coastal cliffs.
- The species is limited by very narrow substrate
and microsite requirements, and low regeneration potential.
- No anthropogenic threats have been identified,
but due to the small population size porsild’s bryum is vulnerable
to random events and will probably always remain at risk.
- Approximately half of the Newfoundland population
(all at a single location) was lost due to ice scouring and rock
fall in the 2001-02 winter season.
- Approximately 180 remaining colonies (small
patches of moss) have been counted at the six locations, however
accurate population estimates are very difficult to obtain due to
the location of the species on cliffs that are fragile and dangerous
The recovery plan outlines seven recovery objectives
for porsild’s bryum:
1) to better understand the biology and ecology;
2) to determine the distribution and abundance of porsild’s bryum;
3) to monitor the populations;
4) to provide appropriate habitat protection;
5) to assess anthropogenic and natural threats;
6) to carry out ex-situ conservation and transplantation as
7) to carry out appropriate stewardship and protection.
Based on these recovery objectives, 12 recovery
actions have been proposed. Due to the remoteness of the locations and
the apparent lack of immediate threats, none of these actions have been
2006 12 18