Silky beach pea (Lathyrus littoralis) is a perennial plant. Individuals grow from rhizomes, and have white and pink, red to purple pea-like flowers in a loose inflorescence. Stems are upright or prostrate (10?60 cm long) and covered in dense grey silky hairs. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound.
Silky beach pea was designated as Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) because of competition with invasive plant species, damage to habitat from off-road vehicles, trampling, herbivory, and a decline in suitable habitat associated with more frequent and extreme storm surges related to climate change. At the time of writing, it is not yet listed in Canada on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. In British Columbia, silky beach pea is ranked S2 (imperiled) by the Conservation Data Centre and is on the provincial Red list. The provincial Conservation Framework ranks silky beach pea as a priority #2 under goal #3 (maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems). Recovery is considered to be biologically and technically feasible.
The recovery goal is to maintain the distribution and to maintain or increase the abundance of all non-transient populations of silky beach pea in British Columbia, including any new or reconfirmed non-transient populations; and, to re-establish populations at extirpated locations if deemed biologically and technically feasible.
The following are the recovery objectives:
1. To secure long-term protection for the known populations and habitats of silky beach pea.
2. To determine the real and potential threats to this species and its habitat and to mitigate their effects.
3. To confirm the distribution of silky beach pea (including any new populations) and to reliably determine population trends through monitoring.
4. To determine if populations can be re-introduced at extirpated locations and to augment populations as deemed necessary.
B.C. Ministry of Environment. 2017. Recovery Plan for Silky Beach Pea (Lathyrus littoralis) in British Columbia. Province of British Columbia. BC Recovery Strategy (Species at Risk)