Species Profile

Eastern Mountain Avens

Scientific Name: Geum peckii
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Nova Scotia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered


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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Eastern Mountain Avens

Eastern Mountain Avens Photo 1

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Description

The Eastern Mountain Avens is a herbaceous perennial, 20-40 cm tall. The leaves are basal and compound with one large, rounded terminal leaflet and several very small lateral ones. The flowering stalk bears 1-5 yellow flowers. Each flower produces about 50 seeds. In Nova Scotia, the plant flowers from June until September.

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Distribution and Population

Eastern Mountain Avens occurs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the U.S.A., and on Brier Island and Digby Neck of Digby County, in Nova Scotia. On Brier Island there are a small number of scattered populations, each consisting of less than several hundred individual plants. Large populations in one bog on the island have decreased over the last 40 years and currently are seriously threatened by an expanding gull colony and active drainage. A single population recently discovered on the mainland (Digby Neck) consists of about 300 flowering plants and at least as many vegetative plants.

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Habitat

In Nova Scotia, the Eastern Mountain Avens generally occurs in boggy terrain amongst shrub vegetation, but may be found in dryish depressions on mineral soil.

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Biology

The plant flowers from June to August. The seeds mature in late August or September. Reproduction occurs through shoots from rhizomes, or from seeds. Insects, especially small flies, are the main pollinators.

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Threats

Encroaching shrub and tree vegetation is causing declines in some formerly significant populations in one bog on Brier Island. The encroachment appears to have resulted from drainage ditches dug in the 1950s and an expanding gull rookery. The gulls trample plants, bring in weed seeds, and alter the nutrient levels in the area. Road ditching recently destroyed another patch of avens. Potential threats include house/cottage construction and increased ecotourism.

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Eastern Mountain Avens is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

The Eastern Mountain Avens is protected by the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm, or collect this species.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Recovery Team

  • Sherman Boates - Chair/Contact - Government of Nova Scotia
    Phone: 902-679-6146  Fax: 902-679-6176  Send Email
  • Samara Eaton - Chair/Contact - Environment Canada
    Phone: 506-364-5060  Fax: 506-364-5062  Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date Recovery of Eastern Mountain Avens is being coordinated through the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Conservation and Recovery Team. However, the recovery initiates for Eastern Mountain Avens are separate from the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora recovery initiatives. Most Eastern Mountain Avens in Canada grow on Brier Island, and about one half of the island’s population is protected on land owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The rest of the plant’s distribution occurs on private land on Brier Island and the nearby “Digby Neck” of the mainland. In 2003, the Nature Conservancy of Canada conducted an inventory of Eastern Mountain Avens on Brier Island. Threats to the plant’s habitat were also assessed, as was the possibility of bog habitat restoration. The study showed that the central drainage ditch is affecting soil water conditions as far as 40 meters from the ditch; this causes the bog to become drier, which facilitates the encroachment of shrubs, thereby threatening a significant portion of Eastern Mountain Avens’ habitat on Briar Island. As well, scattered areas of gull-trampled habitat covered approximately 20-30% of the bog surface. However, ATV damage was found to be limited to only 2 or 3 main paths along the length of the bog. The study recommended several options for restoration of the bog’s water table, which are being considered. Restoring the water table to pre-ditching levels should change the habitat enough to discourage the gulls from nesting and prevent shrubs from encroaching on the Eastern Mountain Avens habitat.

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

8 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Eastern Mountain Avens Geum peckii in Canada (2010)

    Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii) is an herbaceous perennial in the rose family. The 15-40 cm flowering stalks bear one to five yellow, five-petalled flowers that produce 30-60 seeds. Leaves are predominantly basal, with one large terminal and several small lateral leaflets. This species is morphologically indistinguishable from the rare Appalachian Avens (G. radiatum) of high elevation sites in Tennessee and North Carolina but recent molecular genetic research suggested that patterns of genetic variance between Appalachian Avens and Eastern Mountain Avens support the maintenance of the two as separate species. Features such as the larger flower size, yellow-orange flower centres and peatland habitat of Eastern Mountain Avens distinguish it from Nova Scotia’s other Geum species.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Eastern Mountain Avens Geum peckii (2010)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Eastern Mountain Avens Scientific name Geum peckii Status Endangered Reason for designation This globally imperiled species is geographically restricted in Canada to three locations of open peatland habitat in Nova Scotia. Its habitat has declined due to encroachment by woody vegetation, exacerbated by artificial drainage of sites. Portions of the habitat have also become degraded by nesting gulls. Threats including all-terrain vehicles, road maintenance and development have also impacted this species. Fewer than 9000 mature individuals remain with most found on private land. Occurrence Nova Scotia Status history Designated Endangered in April 1986. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1999, May 2000, and April 2010. Please note that the related COSEWIC Status Report is available below in PDF format. You will be asked to provide your e-mail address then you will receive a link to download the publication. After processing, your email address is not retained in any way and is automatically discarded by our system.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Eastern Mountain Avens (2010)

    This globally imperiled species is geographically restricted in Canada to three locations of open peatland habitat in Nova Scotia. Its habitat has declined due to encroachment by woody vegetation, exacerbated by artificial drainage of sites. Portions of the habitat have also become degraded by nesting gulls. Threats including all-terrain vehicles, road maintenance and development have also impacted this species. Fewer than 9000 mature individuals remain with most found on private land.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii) in Canada (2010)

    The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species. The Eastern Mountain Avens was listed as Endangered under SARA in June 2003 and under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act in 2000. Canadian Wildlife Service - Atlantic Region (Environment Canada) and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources led the development of this Recovery Strategy. This is a five-year recovery strategy spanning 2010-2015. This recovery strategy meets SARA requirements and it also meets the particular requirements of recovery plans under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act (1998).

Action Plans

  • Action Plan for the Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii) in Canada (2016)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Eastern Mountain Avens and has prepared this action plan to implement the recovery strategy, as per section 47 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of Nova Scotia, the Eastern Mountain Avens Recovery Team, environmental non-government organizations, industry stakeholders, Aboriginal groups, and private landowners.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – November 2010 (2010)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by February 4, 2011 for species undergoing normal consultations and by February 4, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.

Residence Description

  • Residence Rationale - Eastern Mountain Avens (2007)

    Individual Eastern Mountain Avens plants do not appear to use a dwelling place similar to a nest or den, and therefore do not qualify for having a residence. There would be no additional legal protection not already afforded by protection of the individual and its critical habitat.