Island Tiger Moth (Grammia complicata) is a medium-sized (wingspan 32 40 mm) moth that is primarily active during the day. The dorsal forewings resemble the species wing venation but are variable in their colour and pattern. Specimens vary from dark brown-black interlaced with light orange-peach patterns, whereas others are the converse, with orange-peach patterns interlaced with dark brown-black patterns. The dorsal hindwings are typically lighter than the forewings, and are an overall orange-yellow-peach colour, with brown wing margins and brown dots towards the outer wing margins. Both sexes have similar wing markings and the head, thorax, and sides of the abdomen (both sexes) are also dark brown-black with peach-orange markings. Larvae have been captive-reared in British Columbia, although no associated morphological or descriptive information accompanies the adult museum specimens...
Island Tiger Moth was designated as Threatened in 2013by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). This near-endemic moth has a small global distribution, with most of the global records from British Columbia and restricted to the Garry Oak and coastal sand ecosystems of the southern Georgia Basin. The species is known from a total of 18 sites: four extant sites, five historical sites with potential suitable habitat remaining, and an additional nine sites with vague collection locality information, unlikely to have habitat remaining. Much of its habitat has been destroyed and the quality of what remains is in decline because of ongoing residential and commercial development, recreational activities, invasive or non-native species, and plant and tree succession, which has accelerated owing to disruption of historical fire regimes. Island Tiger Moth is not listed in Canada on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). In British Columbia, Island Tiger Moth is ranked S1 (imperiled) and Red-listed by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre. Recovery is biologically and technically feasible.
The primary threat to Island Tiger Moth is the potential spray of a commercial pesticide containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk) to control the introduction and spread of non-native Gypsy Moth. This pesticide also affects most non-target butterfly and moth larvae and is applied during the Island Tiger Moth larval activity period. Other high impact threats include: the potential for a tsunami to destroy three of the four extant Island Tiger Moth populations; recreational activities that trample host plants (e.g., off-leash dog walking and off-trail hiking); and ecosystem modifications related to the natural succession of both invasive non-native/alien species and of problematic native species resulting from ongoing fire suppression programs. The impacts of climate change, including habitat shifting, droughts, and an increase in the scope and severity of winter storms and flooding, are also threats.
The recovery (population and distribution) goal is to maintain populations of Island Tiger Moth at all extant sites within the province, including any additional populations that may be identified in the future, and to maintain or increase population connectivity.
The recovery objectives for Island Tiger Moth are:
1. to secure protection for the extant populations of Island Tiger Moth with no loss or degradation of occupied habitat;
2. to confirm the distribution of Island Tiger Moth within its range in British Columbia;
3. to assess the levels of real and potential threats to this species and its habitat and to mitigate their impacts; and
4. to address knowledge gaps (e.g., habitat requirements, life history, dispersal) for the successful maintenance of populations, including habitat restoration if necessary.
B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. 2017. Recovery Plan for the Island Tiger Moth (Grammia complicata) in British Columbia. Province of B.C.. Recovery Plan
Topic: Recovery Planning
Scientific Name: Grammia complicata
English Name: Island Tiger Moth
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