Species at Risk

Virginia Goat’s-rue

Virginia Goat’s-rue (Tephrosia virginiana)

Status in Canada: Endangered

Status in Ontario: Endangered

Status at SWCR: Rare – occurs in only one location

This perennial herb has conspicuous pink and yellow flowers above a leafy stem.  In Canada, Virginia Goat’s-rue occurs within a very restricted portion of Norfolk County, and the SWCR population it is the only one on public land.

Quick Facts:

  • There are only two populations left in Canada, and the population at the SWCR is the larger of the two.
  • This pioneer species needs open areas with a lot of light, and dry, sandy soils.
  • It is a fire-adapted species: plants grow larger and have more flowers after spring burns.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Habitat Loss and Degradation: due to invasive species, fire suppression and succession.

Recreational Pressures: that can damage individual plants and their habitats.

Activities that can damage Virginia Goat’s-rue 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 damage individual plants such as unauthorized collecting, unauthorized road and trail use, or off-trail ATV use.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Sand barren 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).

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