Bird’s-foot Violet (Viola pedata)
Status in Ontario: Endangered
Status at SWCR: Rare – 1 location
This low-growing perennial herb flowers in both spring and autumn. In Canada, it only occurs in a small area of southwestern Ontario.
- There are only five populations left in Canada, and the population at the SWCR and Turkey Point Provincial Park is the largest, and the only one on public conservation lands.
- It needs dry open areas to grow, and usually grows near oaks and pines.
- It is a fire-adapted species: it needs fire and other disturbances in order for seeds to germinate.
Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:
Habitat Degradation: The rare ecosystems it needs are degrading due to invasive species and fire suppression.
Recreational Pressures: Off-trail and unauthorized recreational activity at the reserve can damage individual plants and their habitats.
Activities that can damage critical Bird’s-foot violet and it’s habitat include:
- Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
- Activities that interfere with understory shrubs, unauthorized plant collecting and off-trail ATV use.
- Activities that can damage individual plants such as collecting, unauthorized road and trail use, or off-trail ATV use.
St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:
- Population monitoring
- Forest thinning activities
- Invasive plant control
- Enforcement of unauthorized trail use
- Prescribed burns
What you can do to help:
- Follow the code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
- Clean your boots, bicycle tires, or ATV before and after visiting the SWCR or other natural areas to avoid spreading invasive plant seeds.
- Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).