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Report: Rare Native Vascular Plants of the Southern Okanagan Grasslands-Field Report

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The Southern Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area was established in 2001 and encompasses about 4,481 ha of native grasslands in the southern Okanagan and southern Similkameen valleys of British Columbia. In the summer of 2004, The Nature Trust, through the Brink/McLean Grassland Conservation Fund, provided Douglas Ecological Consultants Ltd. with funds to conduct a two-day inventory in the protected area for rare native vascular plants.

Author:  George W. Douglas; Shyanne J. Smith; Douglas Ecological Consultants Ltd.; Nature Trust of British Columbia; Brink/McLean Grassland Conservation Fund

Date Published:  Aug 2004

Report ID:  9912

Audience:  Government and Public

The rare plants searched for during the inventory are those appearing on the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre's (BC CDC) Red/Blue lists (Douglas et a.12002). The study area has not been well inventoried and current knowledge, with respect to vascular plants, is minimal. Due to the brief inventory period, only a small part of the Southern Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area was examined. The study area consisted of a corridor about five km long and about 200 m wide through the Protected Area (Figure 1). This corridor followed the main, east-west dirt tract through the area, thus minimizing travel time and maximizing search time. The two-day search methodology consisted of examining various micro-habitats along the corridor likely to contain different species of rare plants. Once a rare plant population was located, a number of population attributes were recorded. These attributes included: GPS location, elevation, slope, aspect, habitat, plant associates in habitat, size of habitat, quality of the habitat, number of rare plant(s) present and quality of the element plant occurrence!. The inventory, conducted on June 26th and 27 resulted in the discovery of 10 rare vascular plant element occurrences for four species in the protected area Two other, previously known, element occurrences were resurveyed. The four species of rare plants include northern linanthus (Linanthus septentrionalii), Grand Coulee owl-clover (Orthoearpus barbatus), Columbian goldenweed (Pyrroeoma earth emoides) and Regel's rush (Juneus regelii). The latter species occurred on a private ranch, between two protected area units, along the study corridor. In addition, two hour's search on June 29th, on crown land near Osoyoos and east of the protected area, resulted in the discovery of a large population of Orthoearpus barbatus.

Report Type
  Biogeoclimatic Zone - BG Bunchgrass Zone
  Region - Okanagan
  Vegetation - Vegetation (VRI)

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