Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SARA-PYR-2017-0375

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-PYR-2017-0375 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

This permit authorizes to capture, harm, harass and possess Sharp-tailed snakes (Contia tenuis) for surveys and measurements, to harm Coastal Scouler’s Catchfly (Silene scouleri ssp. grandis) plants in the form of stake placement adjacent to individuals for surveys, and to harm Yellow Montane Violets praemorsa subspecies (Viola praemorsa ssp. praemorsa) by removing grazing exclusion fences on Transport Canada lands on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The permit also authorizes to take deceased snakes, such as roadkill, and transport them to the Royal BC Museum for identification and to keep them in the collection. Up to 50 20”x20” artificial cover objects (ACOs) composed of asphalt roofing material will be set out in suitable Sharp-tailed Snake habitat and then re-checked for occupancy three times within each of the spring and fall active periods, respectively, each year. Individuals found under ACOs will be weighed, measured, and photographed, to facilitate individual identification for population and demographic monitoring. Small wooden stakes (the size of chopsticks) will placed in the ground no closer than 30 cm from ~30 Coastal Scouler’s Catchfly plants to help re-locate individual plants in subsequent years' monitoring. Grazing exclusion fences established to evaluate the impacts of grazing on Yellow Montane Violet praemorsa subspecies will be removed in 2019 if two years of monitoring indicate that the fencing is not benefitting the species (numbers inside the fences are lower than numbers outside). Approximately 2800 individuals occur within the grazing treatment/control areas. Data collected from these monitoring efforts will guide effective management for these species on Transport Canada lands and provide information useful for conserving these species at other sites.

Start Date: 2017-05-15   End Date: 2020-04-01

Issuing Authority: Environment Canada

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • British Columbia

Affected Species:

(a) All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted. Consideration was given to the options of not doing the work at all and/or employing different methods. Other survey methods for Sharp-tailed Snake involve lifting rocks or woody debris, which disturbs their residences and may harm snakes as debris is moved. Without capturing and handling Sharp-tailed Snakes, it is not possible to take important measurements and photographs needed to identify individuals and monitor population and demographic change. Without using markers to re-locate Coastal Scouler’s Catchfly plants from year-to-year, there are challenges with determining whether plants are dormant, have died or are just not found. Not monitoring these plants will mean that important information on population demographics and longevity is not collected. Removing the fences will only be done if they are not benefiting Yellow Montane Violet. Not doing the work may risk the population if the fences are determined to be detrimental. The proposed survey method for Sharp-tailed Snake (ACOs) is the least invasive way to survey for the species because it does not destroy their residences. Brief and careful handling is necessary in order to determine gender and identity of individuals. Using small stakes to mark Coastal Scouler's Catchfly plants will not harm either the individuals or the habitat and will improve the accuracy/repeatability of population monitoring efforts. Fencing will only be removed within areas containing Yellow Montane Violets if it is determined, through monitoring, that they are not benefitting the species. (b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or the residences of its individuals. Sharp-tailed Snakes will be handled with care and handling restricted to the few minutes required to measure and photograph each individual. Use of ACOs will minimize any disturbance to habitat, while providing an effective long-term monitoring opportunity. Stakes for Coastal Scouler's Catchfly will be placed no closer than 30 cm from the plant to avoid damage to roots and to prevent shading. Determining whether to remove fencing in plots of Yellow Montane Violet will be done based on monitoring of control and treatment plots. If it is determined that fencing removal is required, care will be taken to complete this activity during the summer, when the species is dormant. All fencing materials will be removed off site by hand; no vehicles will access the site. The permit holders are highly-experienced with the respective species and will be on site to conduct and/or oversee the surveys, stake placement, and fence removal. (c) The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. No significant harm/killing of individuals or destruction of residences or critical habitat should result from these activities. The information on the local distribution and population trends derived from this work will help guide management of the site and will also provide important information to guide species recovery and habitat protection/management elsewhere.

Contact Person(s)
Permit Section
Canadian Wildlife Service
Delta, British Columbia
Phone: (604) 940-4650
Fax: (604) 946-7022