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April COSEWIC Assessments
May 15, 2017: COSEWIC assessments for nine species in Saskatchewan have been released this past April. The summary of updates is as follows:
Species Previous Status Current Status
Ord's Kangaroo Rat Endangered Endangered
Burrowing Owl Endangered Endangered
Lake Sturgeon (Western Hudson Bay population) Endangered Endangered
Lake Sturgeon (SK Nelson River population) Not Applicable Endangered
Lark Bunting Not Applicable Threatened
Harris's Sparrow Not Applicable Special Concern
Rusty Blackbird Special Concern Special Concern
Bullsnake Data Deficient Special Concern
Rusty Cord-moss Endangered Special Concern
Deepwater Sculpin (Western Hudson Bay and Western Arctic populations) Not Applicable Not at Risk
See the COSEWIC website for full details.

The SKCDC species lists have been updated to reflect these changes; please clear your cache or refresh the page to download the latest versions. All COSEWIC listed species are tracked by the SKCDC, so make sure to send us your observations!

Be on the Lookout for Red Lily Beetles!
May 9, 2017: First of the year sighting of The Red Lily Beetle, Lilioceris lilii, happened at the end of last week in Emerald Park. Time to be on the lookout for this invasive species. Please see our reporting guidelines and email photographs & locations to invasives.imap@gov.sk.ca, or enter them directly into iMapInvasives. An informative article about The Red Lily Beetle can be found here.
New Invasive Species Outreach Material
May 5, 2017: A Government of Saskatchewan poster from the Don't Let Them Loose campaign has been added to our invasives page. Visit our invasives page for resources on iMapInvasives, Adult Invasive Mussel Monitoring, invasive species campaigns & outreach material, and more!
NatureServe Canada and Canadian Wildlife Service honored for Scientific and Technological Achievement
April 25, 2017: Following the assessment of the conservation statuses of almost 30,000 species across Canada for the 2015 Wild Species Report (to be released soon), NatureServe Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service were awarded the Scientific and Technological Acheivement Award by NatureServe. The SKCDC was proud to be a part of this process. Details on the Saskatchewan species that have been reassessed as part of this project can be found here.
Plant Species by Ecoregion Lists Now Posted
April 7, 2017: Two excel spreadsheets have been added to our website: Tracked Vascular and Tracked Non-Vascular Species by Ecoregion. These lists are generated using the SKCDC tracked species occurrence records. Over time, we hope to incorporate more datasets to increase the information available, and also post similar lists for animals. The lists can be downloaded from our Species Lists page under the vascular and non-vascular plant sections.
Keys to Identification of Alberta Vascular Plants
April 7, 2017: This unique resource provides written keys as well as supporting illustrated material to guide users through the identification process. While it will contain some species not found in Saskatchewan and will be missing some species found in Saskatchewan, it will nevertheless be an excellent supplementary resource. The keys can be found on the Alberta Native Plant Council webpage.
Changes to Plant S-Ranks
April 4, 2017: At the spring meeting of the Botanical Assessment Working Group (BAWG), reassessments were completed for the ranks of four species: Apocynum cannabinum var. hypericifolium, Castilleja sessiliflora, Lilium philadelphicum var. andinum and Potentilla lasiondonta. A summary of the changes made to these species can be found here.
Species Lists Updated to Reflect Amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA
March 7, 2017: Horned Grebe, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, and Baird's Sparrow are Saskatchewan species that have been added as Special Concern under the Species At Risk Act (SARA). Tiny Cryptantha (Cryptantha minima) has been reclassified as Threatened, and Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) and Hairy Prairie-clover (Dalea villosa var. villosa) as Special Concern. See the SARA Registry for details.
SKCDC Completes Major Review for the General Status Program
January 26, 2017: Every five years, the General Status of Species in Canada project releases a Wild Species report that provides a snapshot of the status of wildlife in Canada. In preparation for the 2015 report (not yet released), the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre has completed a major review of the subnational ranks (S-ranks) for taxa ("elements") found in this province:
Group # of Taxa for which the S-rank was Reviewed # of Taxa for which the S-rank was Changed* # of Taxa added**
Fungi/Lichens 320 76 13
Invertebrates 5936 5858 4069
Nonvascular Plants 409 196 144
Vascular Plants 1658 779 54
Vertebrates 588 250 1
*includes added Taxa
**added Taxa may include species newly found in the province, species that have undergone taxonomic revisions, or species that were previously missing from the SKCDC database

Click here for a list of species new to the SKCDC tracking list.

This was a significant review of the status of Saskatchewan's flora and fauna that will provide a better understanding of the taxa most in need of targeted conservation efforts and data collection.

Updated ranks and taxa listings can be found on the SKCDC species lists.

Potentilla, Salix, Viola and Eleocharis Updates to the Vascular Plant List – the Importance of Using Current Taxonomic Keys
January 26, 2017: The SKCDC strives to keep its species lists up to date with the latest accepted taxonomic changes. Please read this article for information on changes to these four groups as well as others.
Resources by John Hudson Now Available Online
January 26, 2017: The SKCDC has posted two resources that were developed by Saskatchewan botanist John Hudson: the Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants and the Field Checklist of Saskatchewan Flora by Area series. Although there have additions and taxonomic changes to the Saskatchewan flora since their development, they are nevertheless excellent tools for both the amateur and professional botanist in Saskatchewan. They can be found on our Publications page under “Technical Reports: Vascular Plants.” The SKCDC wishes to thank John Hudson’s family and Nature Saskatchewan for allowing us to make these works available online.
SKCDC Guidelines for Collecting Spatial Data during Vascular Plant Surveys
January 25, 2017: An updated version has been posted to our survey protocols page.
Mail-out List Subscriptions
November 8, 2016: Subscribe to the new mail-out lists and keep up-to-date on changes pertaining to: Government of Saskatchewan Species Detection Permits, Species Detection Surveys, Submissions Standards and Guidelines, Academic Research Permits, Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Species Lists and Ranks, Legislation/Policy, and the HABISask Online Mapping Application.

Meet the New Wildlife Application
October 12, 2016: HABISask stands for Hunting, Angling and Biodiversity Information of Saskatchewan, and it is the new mapping application for viewing SKCDC occurrences of rare and endangered species and more. If you had an account for the Wildlife App, it will work for signing in to HABISask. For details, see our HABISask page.

Report a Woodland Caribou Sighting
August 15, 2016: Woodland caribou observations can be submitted using our caribou reporting page. Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment is in the process of conducting range assessments to better understand the status of woodland caribou populations and habitat. This information will be used to develop range plans to help maintain self-sustaining woodland caribou populations within their current range.

Giant Lacewing Observations
July 22, 2016: A national status report on the Giant Lacewing (Polystoechotes punctatus) is being prepared for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). If you have observations, specimens, or photographs, please send this information to Vincent Bereczki and cc the SKCDC. See poster for details.

Red Lily Beetle Observations
May 10, 2016: The Red Lily Beetle, Lilioceris lilii, has expanded its invasive range, and has been recently confirmed in Saskatchewan. Partnering with the South Saskatchewan Lily Society, SKCDC will track the distribution of the Red Lily Beetle in Saskatchewan. Please email observation and photo records to: invasives.imap@gov.sk.ca or enter them directly into iMapInvasives. For information on data and specimen collection, please see the reporting guidelines.

2016 Botrychium (Moonworts) Workshop
May 4, 2016: Come join us in Cypress Hills Provincial Park for a 2-day workshop - July 14 and 15, 2016 - conducted by Botrychium experts Dr. Donald Farrar and Dr. Cindy Johnson. Please sign-up on the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan (NPSS) Website. You will find the 2016 Botrychium Workshop by clicking the "Events" category from the NPSS Store page.

iMapInvasives Webinar
November 26, 2015: Watch this recorded presentation about iMapInvasives - an online, GIS-based tool that connects researchers, citizen scientists and environmental organizations in the fight against invasive species! This video is hosted on the SK PCAP youtube channel and was presented by SKCDC invasive species coordinator, Ahdia Hassan, as part of the Prairie Conservation Action Plan (PCAP) Speaker Series.

The Importance of Collections
October 5, 2015: Plant collections, centrally housed in herbaria, are the main resource for the study of plant taxonomy and distribution. The SKCDC, with the support of the members of the Botanical Assessment Working Group, would like to encourage appropriate plant collection for a number of groups that require more information for study. Read more.

New Moonwort Found in Saskatchewan
September 25, 2015: The SKCDC set out to explore the diversity of Moonwort (Botrychium, sometimes also called Grape-ferns) species in the Cypress Hills during the 2015 field season. Collectively, Moonworts in Saskatchewan are rare, with many ranked as S3 or less and having a global rank of G3 or less. Our searches led us to collect a new Moonwort species record for Saskatchewan: Daisy-leaved Moonwort (Botrychium matricariifolium). Read more about Botrichium and our exciting finds!

General Status Work Results in Changes to Plant S-Ranks
September 15, 2015: Environment Canada, in partnership with NatureServe Canada, recently undertook a massive species ranking assessment for all species groups in Canada. The result is a comprehensive, updated look at the status of species in Canada. The SKCDC has finished reviewing the reassessments for vascular plants and has now posted the changed S-ranks. Updates for other groups (animals, invertebrates, non-vascular plants, etc.) are ongoing. See list of taxa added to the tracking list.

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. 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 29 additional species of lichens not yet included in the SKCDC's species lists, and 24 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, Wildlife and Lands Branch, is used to reassess the subnational ranks of priority species. 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.

Emergency Listing Order for Three Canadian Bat Species
December 17, 2014:
The Government of Canada has added three species of bats to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk in Canada (also known as Schedule I of the Species at Risk Act). These three bats species - the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) and the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus) - have been listed as Endangered. Both the Little Brown Myotis and Northern Myotis occur in Saskatchewan. For details, see the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Update to COSEWIC Statuses
December 8, 2014:
In the latest round of COSEWIC assessments (October 2014), the following Saskatchewan species have been assessed:

Red-necked Phalarope – Special Concern (no previous status)
Fascicled Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) – Endangered (no previous status)
Caribou (Boreal Population) – Threatened (no change to the previous status)

Of note, SK is not currently included in the range for Fascicled Ironweed. This species is included in our provincial flora but is considered historical, as it has not been observed in the province for some time.

For more information, or to see the complete list of species assessed, refer to the COSEWIC Wildlife Species Assessments (detailed version) November 2014.



Vascular Plant Synonym List Now Available
December 2, 2014:
You asked, we listened! A request was made to the SKCDC to provide a vascular plant synonym list. The list is now available for download in Excel and PDF format, and can be found on our species list page! Please be sure to read the introductory information contained within the document.

Short-flower Suncup Rediscovered!
December 2, 2014:
Thanks to our partners at the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, the rare Short-flower Suncup (Taraxia breviflora) has been rediscovered in Saskatchewan after last being observed in the province in 1968. Read the full story on CBC News. The Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre is actively working with its partners to update its data on species that have not been seen in the province for 40 years or more.

Video: SKCDC Rankings, Research & Rare Plants
November 24, 2014:
Wondering what the SKCDC does? Where your data goes? How species are ranked and what makes a tracked species? Watch this video on the SK PCAP youtube channel of a presentation given by SKCDC botanist, Sarah Vinge-Mazer, as part of the Prairie Conservation Action Plan (PCAP) Speaker Series!

SKCDC Verifies a New Plant Species for the Province
November 20, 2014:
Bacopa rotundifolia, Water Hyssop, has been confirmed for the first time in Saskatchewan! See full story.

New EO Not Found Loadform
November 20, 2014:
If surveys were conducted in an area where a known element occurrence (EO) was located and it was not found, you can now report this to the SKCDC by using our "EO Not Found" loadform. See our "Submit Data" page for more information and to download this form.

New SKCDC Email Address for Data Submissions
November 3, 2014:
Wild species observations submitted to the SKCDC can now be sent to SKCDC.data@gov.sk.ca. Please see our page on submitting data for more information.

Updates to Plant S-Ranks and Tracking Statuses
November 3, 2014:
The fall meeting of the Botanical Assessment Working Group (BAWG) was recently held on October 30, 2014, and resulted in a number of plant S-rank changes: see full story.

New Invasive Species Coordinator
September, 2014:
The SKCDC welcomes Ahdia Hassan as our new invasives species coordinator. She will be managing and promoting the use of iMapInvasives - an interactive online mapping and data management tool that tracks invasive plant & animal species. You can learn more about Ahdia on our staff page.
Updates to Data Loadforms
August 12, 2014:
Updated versions of the data loadforms found on the Government of Saskatchewan Research Permit web site have been posted.

Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan
July 29, 2014:
The Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan for Saskatchewan has been updated as of June 2014 and is available for download now. The Plan, originally put together in 2012, contains the most updated information about the status of the bird in the province, as well as an analysis of the threats that affect the species. It identifies efforts needed in four main categories: population assessment and monitoring, habitat identification and assessment, threat mitigation and partnership collaboration. The goals of the plan are to ensure that a Greater Sage-Grouse population persists in Saskatchewan, and to manage Greater Sage-Grouse habitat to benefit both the species and the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem, ensuring that no other species at risk are negatively impacted but potentially benefit from these conservation actions. Take a look!

Proposed Red List for Saskatchewan Lichens
July 24, 2014:
A new report has been published by Bernard de Vries & the SKCDC: The Proposed Red List for Saskatchewan Lichens.
Updates to COSEWIC statuses
June 5, 2014
COSEWIC met in May, 2014 to discuss and evaluate the status of wildlife species in Canada. The result was a change to the COSEWIC statuses of the following Saskatchewan species:
Western Grebe - Special Concern
Dakota Skipper - Endangered (previously threatened)
Mormon Metalmark (Prairie Population) - Special Concern (previously threatened)
Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee - Endangered
Western Bumble Bee, occidentalis subspecies - Threatened
To see the complete list and reasons for designation, refer to COSEWIC Wildlife Species Assessments (detailed version), May 2014.
Updates to Plant S-Ranks and Tracking Statuses
May 22, 2014
The Botanical Assessment Working Group has recently reassessed the ranks of seven species. A summary of the reassessments can be found here.
SKCDC Guidelines for the Collection of Spatial Data During Plant Surveys
March 2014
View our new guidelines on the Protocols & Guidelines page.
Your Data Informs Species Ranking
March 2014
Did you know the SKCDC uses submitted data to help inform species ranking? Recently, Rough Pennyroyal (Hedeoma hispida) was reassessed by the Botanical Assessment Working Group (BAWG). The data housed in the SKCDC’s database, much of which had been submitted as per permit requirements through the Fish and Wildlife Branch, indicated that this plant is more abundant than previously thought, and therefore possibly at a lower extirpation risk than its rank of S3 would imply. By inputting this data into NatureServe’s rank calculator (which is part of a standardized process that the SKCDC uses to rank all species), BAWG determined that the rank of the species should be downlisted to an S4, and as a result, it is no longer on the SKCDC tracking list. This downlisting is a direct result of all of the observations submitted to the SKCDC for this species. For more information on ranking, visit our Species Conservation Rankings webpage.
Launch of the New SKCDC Website
March 2014
Our website has undergone a few changes! We’ve added new pages including details on our partnerships, methodology, and frequently asked questions - check out our sitemap to see more. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact us.
Update to Plant S-Ranks
March 2014
Since the inception of the Botanical Assessment Working Group in 2011, 22 species re-ranking assessments have been conducted. In addition, more than 300 taxa that previously had a rank of SNR have now been ranked. View a summary of the reassessed taxa, as well as those that were previously ranked SNR and have now been placed on the tracking list.
Mitsubishi grant to support IUCN and NatureServe assessment of Canadian freshwater species
February 2014
Over the next three years, statuses of about 1,300 Canadian freshwater species will be researched and assessed.
View full story at NatureServe.org...