This June, three local plant species have been added to the Province’s endangered species list, and are now under protection of the Endangered Species Act, including Fernald’s braya — a hardy plant found nowhere in the world but here. 

Fernald’s Braya

Identified as threatened in 2000, it’s been upgraded to endangered this month. This plant is found nowhere else in the world but here in NL. It is among a unique suite of species adapted to the harsh climate conditions that characterize the coastal limestone barrens of the Strait of Belle Isle. Fernald’s braya is a small plant of the mustard family, with a deep taproot and white-pink, four-petaled flowers. It is found exclusively on the northwest coast of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Mountain Bladder Fern

Mountain Bladder Fern is only known to exist in one spot on our island – the Great Northern Peninsula, at the edge of Savage Cove. It grows on the ground in wet woodlands or along watercourses, and is thought to be rare due to its low reproductive rates and poor establishment abilities.

Northern Twayblade

Northern Twayblade

Northern Twayblade

This is a rare and native orchid, belonging to the Listera genus. They’re small plants (roughly 15 cm tall) with tiny, green flowers with a metallic blue stripe. In Newfoundland, these orchids are only found in Eddie’s Cove East and Lomond (in Gros Morne). It generally grows in mossy forested spots, and along streams. It’s estimated there are fewer than 100 flowering plants left. Threats to the species include suppression of forest regeneration by moose, herbivory by native and introduced gastropods, competition with invasive plants, and disturbance or removal of plants by orchid hunters and photographers.

“We will work with industry, conservation organizations, academia, and the general public to ensure that our activities do not further threaten the survival of these species,” says Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Conservation.

“Communities near the areas where these plants are found, have a strong history of stewardship, and we look forward to working with them to protect these and other species under the Endangered Species Act.”

It is illegal to disturb, harass, injure, or kill any individual of a species listed on the Endangered Species Act. It is also illegal to buy, sell, or trade these species or destroy or disturb their residence.