NCC leads the way in conserving the western prairie fringed orchid
Endangered western prairie white-fringed orchid in the tall grass prairie, MB (Photo by NCC)
The western prairie fringed orchid is an endangered species found in one of the rarest ecosystems in the North America — the tall grass prairie. The Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) Manitoba Region is proud to have conserved habitat for more than 50 per cent of the species' extent in Canada. Since half of the world's population of the western prairie fringed orchid occurs in Canada, this means NCC has secured habitat for more than 25 per cent of the global population of western prairie fringed orchid.
The species, included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List as endangered, is also listed as endangered in Canada at the national and provincial levels, as well as in the United States.
NCC’s science and stewardship activities linked to the recovery of this species include prescribed land management (fire, grazing, weed control), which is guided by:
- property management plans;
- multiple species at risk decision support tools;
- adaptation of grazing and wetland management approaches in the context of climate change;
- partner-led status monitoring; and
- NCC-led effectiveness monitoring.
A recently published journal article, in which NCC is a co-author, examines 21 years of weather and land management data and the effects of these various factors on the western prairie fringed orchid in Manitoba. Research such as this helps to guide NCC’s land management practices.
NCC’s Prairie Orchid Interpretive Trail, Agassiz Interpretive Trail and Weston Family Tall Grass Prairie Interpretive Centre provide opportunities for the public to experience this species and its habitat first-hand.