Species at Risk

Spotted Wintergreen

Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata)

Status in Canada: Endangered

Status in Ontario: Endangered

Status at SWCR: Rare and increasing

In Canada, there are only 5 known populations of this low evergreen perennial shrub: four here in Norfolk Country, and one in Niagara County.

Quick Facts:

  • The SWCR is home to two out of the five existing populations in Canada, one of these is the largest known population in Canada!
  • Only a few stems within a population produce flowers in a particular year.
  • It is a deciduous forest species that spreads vegetatively to produce sparse patches.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Habitat Degradation: Soil compaction from unauthorized ATV use, invasive plants and canopy closure all degrade its habitat.

Incidental damage: resulting in the death of individual plants.

Activities that can damage spotted wintergreen and its critical habitat include:

  1. Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
  2. Activities that can cause soil compaction or erosion, such as unauthorized ATV or dirtbike activity and other off-trail recreational activities.
  3. Vegetation management activities that can crush or destroy plants, such as prescribed burns, herbicide use to control invasive plants, conifer plantation thinning.
  4. Off-trail recreational activities that can trample plants, or remove them from their habitat, such as trampling, off-trail ATV use, and unauthorized collecting.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Management planning to prevent damage during habitat restoration practices.
  • Forest thinning activities
  • Invasive plant control
  • Enforcement of unauthorized trail use

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).

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

Ontario Species at Risk Profile

Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund