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Recent News

Turtle Surveys
June 11, 2015: SKCDC staff will be surveying for western painted turtles and snapping turtles to better understand their distribution in Saskatchewan. If you have any observations of turtles, wildlife or plant species of concern, please contact us via email at: SKCDC.data@gov.sk.ca. View details.

Tiny parasitic wasp, Baeus, found in 2014 field work
June 4, 2015: Check out this facebook post by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum about a wasp that was collected by our summer students last summer! This tiny parasitic wasp is just about 1/2 mm in length and is the first official record of the genus Baeus in Western Canada. Dr. Cory Sheffield is currently going through the SKCDC's samples at the museum and is making some great finds.
Update on Saskatchewan Lichens
May 27, 2015: A new technical report by Bernard de Vries has been posted to our publications page: Update on Saskatchewan Lichens, February 2015. The document lists 31 additional species of lichens not yet included in the SKCDC's species lists, and 23 new records from Saskatchewan and Canada.
New COSEWIC Wildlife Species Assessments
May 4, 2015: The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) met recently to examine the status of 20 species in Canada. As a result, two species in Saskatchewan were assessed and given a status of Special Concern: the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) and the Yellow-banded Bumble Bee (Bombus terricola). The Yellow-banded Bumble Bee has been added to the SKCDC's tracked species list. See the COSEWIC press release for more details on these assessments.
Changes to Plant S-ranks
April 23, 2015: The Botanical Assessment Working Group (BAWG) recently reassessed the ranks of six species: Achnatherum nelsonii ssp. dorei, Polygala senega, Osmorhiza depauperata, Antennaria howellii ssp. canadensis, Antennaria howellii ssp. neodioica, and Myriophyllum verticillatum. A summary of the changes made to these species can be found here.
Your Data Informs Species Ranking
March 5, 2015: Did you know the SKCDC uses submitted data to help inform species ranking? The data housed in the SKCDC’s database, much of which had been submitted as per permit requirements through the Fish and Wildlife Branch, is used to reassess the subnational ranks of priority species.
Details
Data on these species is input into NatureServe’s rank calculator (which is part of a standardized process that the SKCDC uses to rank all species) to assist in the reassessment, and ranks are reviewed by experts (e.g., the Botanical Assessment Working Group). Notable changes in the past two years include:
  • Rough Pennyroyal (Hedeoma hispida) downlisted from an S3 to an S4 and removed from the tracking list
  • Low Milk-vetch (Astragalus lotiflorus) downlisted from an S3 to an S4 and removed from the tracking list
  • Few-flowered Sedge (Carex pauciflora) downlisted from an S2 to an S4 and removed from the tracking list
  • American Scheuchzeria (Scheuchzeria palustris) downlisted from an S3 to an S4 and removed from the tracking list
  • Downy Paintbrush (Castilleja sessiliflora) uplisted from an S5 to an S3S4 and added to the tracking list.

These changes are a direct result of observations submitted to the SKCDC. For more information on ranking, visit our Species Conservation Rankings webpage.

Astragalus lotiflorus removed from tracking list
March 5, 2015: The Botanical Assessment Working Group (BAWG) recently reassessed the ranks of two species: Running Serviceberry (Amelanchier humilis) and Low Milk-vetch (Astragalus lotiflorus). Of note, Astragalus lotiflorus has been removed from the tracking list following this reassessment. A summary of the changes made to these species can be found here.
Trials and Tribulations in Plant Taxonomy
January 20, 2015: Read NatureServe's article at natureserve.org to learn how a few example plant species have posed taxonomic challenges, how this has impacted conservation and the need to focus on plant taxonomy.
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