Updates to conservation statuses in progress in Canada

Firstly, I must have missed adding a comment to some records on the spreadsheet. For Saskatchewan ALL fungi can be opened up as stated to the requestor and earlier in this thread.
Saskatchewan has decided that all fungi/lichens they are willing to have “open”.

Now to address your points Reuven.
I just emailed Mike now in regards to 1. and 2. not sure what is going on there. I will update with his answer when I receive it.
I will email Atlantic Canada for clarity here. I must admit that I did not check the spreadsheet either to see if this was “supposed” to be obscured. I will of course update here when I receive a response.
I emailed Atlantic Canada, Alberta and Nunavut today about these and await a reply.
As for number 6, I apologize. I could not find these on the copy of the spreadsheet (of changes) I was using, there were a few versions created due to taxonomic and other issues that needed to be resolved. I must have missed P. constipata though as I can see that is on my spreadsheet. sorry.
As for number 7 the issue with the lichens is that the province was not originally identified and then I later looked them all up so some could have been missed. However I think most should be resolved soon, as SK can have all fungi opened up and I have sent Mike an email to check all the fungi. So please hold off making a new request for now.

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Perfect, thanks Allison.

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Here are a couple responses so far…

“As of right now, the policy is to obscure specific locations for COSEWIC and SARA listed species in Alberta. If a person has a demonstrated need for the data, which they have to justify to the species lead, the data can be released with the appropriate permissions (from the species lead) and data sharing agreement.
There are ongoing discussions in federal-provincial working groups to determine if a national agreement can be reached for defining species sensitivity and when or when not to obscure location data. I don’t know the timelines on this, but if Alberta is in agreement with the outcome, and we are given new policy direction, then some listed species may be un-obscured.” ~Angela Holzapfel, ACIMS

“I refuse the request as I do not have the capacity to review obscuring of species on a case-by-case basis at the moment. Also this is a highly persecuted species so I disagree with the rationale.” ~ Kate England, NUCDC

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Just for context, the first one was for monarchs in Alberta. I assume the latter was for cormorant in NU? I don’t think she included me on the email response.

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Ah yes, thanks. I forgot to mention the species.

This comment alone should be grounds for ending this process in the impacted jurisdiction.


Just want to say thanks for doing that – that and all the other steps in this process amount to an enormous task.

I have now added all the other Saskatchewan fungi to the spreadsheet. Essentially I compared the genera that were requested to be obscured in Saskatchewan on the February 2019 spreadsheet with those on the latest version of Esslinger, so it’s possible some are missing. Their taxon geoprivacy statuses have mostly not yet been updated on iNaturalist, so if anyone wants to volunteer…(ideally staff could do this in one go though).


Reply from Sean Blaney of Atlantic Canada CDC regarding lichens/fungi being obscured.

"I’ll let you know the specifics of these lichen cases and then let you and the rest of the iNaturalist community decide how to proceed. I’m not going to fight the consensus either way.

Risk of unobscured locations for these lichens is not high, but is far above zero. Especially in Nova Scotia, presence of these lichens on provincial land industrial harvest blocks has implications for harvest planning that likely range into the tens of thousands of dollars for the companies involved. It’s easy enough to imagine a forester comparing iNaturalist data to the lichen data they’ve received from the province, finding that there are new records in iNaturalist, and prioritizing harvest in the new lichen areas before the information makes it back to the provincial database on which decisions are made. I have no evidence that this has occurred, but it could."

This means that between the curators he is allowing a consensus on obscuring or not. Please deliberate and think about all factors and make a decision.

i’m confused. any way i can imagine it, having public biodiversity data available would reduce, not increase, unsavory land management given they would be doing something illegal where there is evidence thereof. It seems like in the case where someone might improperly manage land to the detriment of an endangered species, the more data the better and the more publicly available data available even more so. It seems to me a strong reason not to obscure those particular species.

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That sounds like a perfectly reasonable reason to obscure to me. Ideally we would not have situations where people have incentives to deliberately destroy areas with endangered species, but the world ain’t perfect.

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I guess what I’m trying to say is having the location public seems it would reduce not increase that risk.

I unfortunately agree with @reuvenm that some people will go out of their way to obtain specimens of threatened species if they want to eat them, sell them, or collect them, and they don’t care whether they’re trespassing or that what they’re doing is illegal, etc. Some people are ignorant, and some truly don’t think about anyone/anything other than themselves.

@scharf None of these things are the case here for the lichens, please read the last few comments. The potential issue identified here is that certain species have expensive legal obligations attached, and the forestry system is apparently set upon in such a way that there is opportunity to take advantage and destroy areas before agencies have time to react.

I have to agree with @charlie’s take here. If there is a harvest block with no sensitive lichens showing in either iNat or a provincial database, then that would already seem like incentive to go harvest there first. (But I don’t know the local rules - are pre-activity surveys required? If so, then it makes even less difference.)

And if the provincial government can already see the unobscured iNat locations (kinda thought that was the whole point of this arrangement in Canada), then the cat’s already out of the bag, and having them remain obscured to everyone else really isn’t helping anyone or anything.