Species at Risk
What is the status of Deerberry?
Deerberry was listed as threatened by the Committee
on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in November,
2000. Is listed on Schedule 1 of the Species
at Risk Act, which provides protection under federal law.
Deerberry is listed as S1 in Ontario by the Natural Heritage Information
Centre, meaning that it is extremely rare and especially vulnerable to extirpation.
Why is Deerberry in danger?
Fenced enclosures used to assess the affect of
deer browsing on deerberry populations at St. Lawrence Islands National
Park of Canada.
© Parks Canada / SLINP Image Library
The major threat to deerberry in Canada is habitat
loss, which resulted in an ecosystem function imbalance. This has led to the
lack of deerberry seedling establishment. Deerberry seedlings have not been
observed in Canada. It is believed that natural fires assisted in providing
open woodland habitat that provided the ideal conditions necessary for germination
of deerberry in the past. This, compiled with the isolation of existing deerberry
populations, has led to low genetic diversity of some plants and lack of abundance
of plants in Canada.
In the Thousand Islands region Deerberry is also at risk from trampling and
browsing. Park visitors who stray from established trails can impact remaining
deerberry plants. Browsing by deer and other fauna also can impact the individual
In the Niagara region deerberry population has been adversely affected by
development due to tourism. Although it is believed that there were a number
of plants in the Niagara area in the past, only one clump exists today.