N.W.T. has plan to protect threatened hairy braya plant
The rare plant is only found on the remote Cape Bathurst peninsula of N.W.T.
There is a new strategy to make sure a rare northern plant doesn't become extinct.
The hairy braya is only found on the Cape Bathurst peninsula, a remote area northwest of Paulatuk, N.W.T. The 250 square kilometre range of the plant is on land owned privately by the Inuvaluit.
The government of the Northwest Territories estimates there are 15-20,000 plants left. They say it is threatened by erosion and salt spray from coastal storms.
"The most obvious threat to hairy braya is habitat loss due to rapid erosion of the coastline," the report states, adding that the peninsula is losing up to 10 metres of coastline per year.
The recovery plan calls for seeds to be put away in a seed bank and for the plant population to be surveyed every 10 years. It doesn't rule out transplanting the hairy braya or modifying its habitat in the future.
Scientists admit they need to understand more about the plant in order to make sure it survives.
They say the hairy braya is of scientific interest because of its rarity and habitat. It grows in an area that remained ice-free during the last ice age.