Species at Risk
Why protect Deerberry?
Deerberry is a part of a unique and healthy ecosystem
and contributes to the overall biodiversity in Canada. In the Thousand Islands
Ecosystem deerberry is found in association with other uncommon species in
Canada such as pitch pine (Pinus rigida).
It is important to protect and recover deerberry populations to ensure that
a healthy environment is available for future generations.
Pendant white flowers clusters appear in the early
summer on long slender stalks.
© Parks Canada / SLINP Image Library
There are also genetic differences between deerberry found in Canada and
deerberry found in more temperate areas in the United States. Being at the
northern end of it’s range, and disjunct from other populations, deerberry
in Canada has had to adapt to a colder climate and to more competition than
in other populations This has resulted in Canadian deerberry populations that
are unique and are of high conservation value.
Deerberry plays an important ecological role where it occurs. The fruit of
deerberry plants provide a source of nutrition for numerous birds. The flowers
of deerberry provide a source of nectar for various bees.
What is Parks Canada doing to save Deerberry?
There are five ways that Parks Canada is assisting in the recovery of deerberry
populations in Canada: through seelding introduction, plant monitoring, protection,
education and collaborating with other organizations on recovery.
- A deerberry reintroduction program has been ongoing at St.
Lawrence Islands National Park. Because deerberry plants in Canada have
not been known to germinate from seed, park staff have partnered with universities
to establish new deerberry seedlings in greenhaouse environments. These
seedlings are then introduced to areas that have been shown to provide similar
- St. Lawrence Islands National Park monitors existing plants that helps
to assess plant health, and identify possible stressors. Monitoring is done
- St. Lawrence Islands National Park educates visitors and regional residents
about the importance of deerberry and its function in the Thousand Islands
Ecosystem. It is important for these audiences to be aware of deerberry
so that impact can be minimized where it occurs.
- St. Lawrence Islands National Park is represented on the Deerberry Recovery
Team, a group consisting of government organizations and universities that
develops and implements recovery plans and contributes status reports to