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Species at Risk

Fernald’s Braya

Braya fernaldii

How can I help?

Species at Risk - Who Knew?

Newfoundland’s limestone barrens, located on the Great Northern Peninsula, are so unusual that this ecosystem fascinates botanists from all over the world. The geographic location, geology, and climate make the barrens a very special place. Among the 271 rare plants found on the Island of Newfoundland, 114 grow on the limestone barrens. Three of these plants, such as Fernald’s Braya, are not found anywhere else in the world.

Whether you are a Newfoundlander or just a visitor to the Island, you can help to preserve Fernald’s Braya!

  • Learn more about limestone barrens and their plants.
  • Protect habitats by not piling materials such as wood, fishing nets and garbage on the limestone barrens.
  • Stay on designated trails when driving all-terrain or other off-road vehicles, and avoid places where rare plant signs have been posted.
  • Take heed of plants when you are walking on the barrens (at Port au Choix and other sites, stay on the marked paths, do not pick plants, and take your garbage out with you).
  • Leave plants to grow in their natural habitat: many species have deep roots and grow very slowly, and most will not survive transplanting.
  • Tell others about how special limestone barrens are.

You can also lend your support to organizations working to save and restore Fernald’s Braya and limestone barrens, such as:

  • Limestone Barrens Habitat Stewardship Program;
  • local Green Teams (since 2001, these groups, made up of four young people in each locality, have acquired valuable work experience by carrying out environmental projects); and
  • other conservation organizations.


Close-up of a tagged Fernald’s Braya plant showing the researcher’s finger for comparison purposes. The plant is very small, roughly five times the size of your index finger fingernail.
For monitoring purposes, the plants are tagged so they can be found during later visits.
© Parks Canada / Michael Burzinski