Prepared by Jane M. Bowles

The Recovery Strategy for the Wood-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in Canada was prepared by Jane M. Bowles to meet the requirements of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada. This recovery strategy is being adopted under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA 2007), which requires the Minister of Natural Resources to ensure recovery strategies are prepared for all species listed as endangered or threatened. With the addition of new information, the Recovery Strategy for the Wood-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in Canada meets all of the content requirements outlined in the ESA 2007.

Executive summary

Wood-poppy is a long-lived, herbaceous, spring-flowering perennial. There are only three known populations of the species in Canada, comprising about: 24; 250; and, 150 mature plants each. The species is listed as N1, Endangered in Canada (COSEWIC, 2004), listed under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act, ranked S1 in Ontario, listed as Endangered in Ontario and is ranked G5 globally. It was regulated as Endangered under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act in 1994. The centre of its range is western Virginia, Kentucky and southern Illinois.

In 1997 a Wood-poppy Recovery team was formed in response to immediate threats to the Wood-poppy and its habitat. Seven years of recovery action have resulted in 1) the discovery of an additional site; 2) co-operation with private landowners of Wood-poppy sites; 3) establishment of two ex-situ populations of known maternal lines; 4) information about the breeding biology of Wood-poppy in Canada, including identification of seed predation and possible lack of germination sites as important factors limiting recruitment; 5) collection and preparation of material from Canadian and US populations for genetic studies; and 6) articles and newspaper columns to raise awareness about the species.

Critical habitat has been identified in this recovery strategy and includes the current area that the populations occupy plus the surrounding polygon of the same Ecological Land Classification (ELC) vegetation type. This identification will be refined following the completion of the Schedule of Studies.

The goals of the Recovery Strategy are to ensure that extant populations of Wood-poppy are protected with no loss of numbers of mature individuals, to secure the habitat, and to restore populations at all known localities to numbers and demographic structures that are self sustaining. This will be achieved through improving degraded habitat, increasing landowner commitment through stewardship incentives, monitoring to determine viable population numbers and demographics, out-planting ex situ progeny at the smallest population, continuing studies on seed dispersal and survivorship, and assessment of genetic variability within and between populations.