A rare, regionally endemic species known only from few sites in interior British Columbia. All populations occupy humid old-age forests, a habitat that has had dramatic recent declines in areal extent due to industrialized logging.
Canada, British Columbia, central and northern Columbia Mountains, edging into the northeastern Fraser Plateau. Extent of occurrence is 3218 sq. km.; within that area, the area of occupancy using a 1 sq. km. grid is 29 sq. km.
Only ca. 200 individuals known globally. Likely to be reduced by industrial logging.
Humid forest, sometimes in waterfall spray zones; requires high-pH nutrient enrichment, either from the nutrient content of the waterfall spray, or from nearby calcareous (i.e., limestone) sources of air-born dust.
Massive-scale industrial logging in British Columbia is has proceeded in the last 20 years at a rate that surpasses any other region of similar size. Knowing this, the current government of British Columbia is not reducing the amount of land available for logging, but is instead further increasing it. Species like Collema coniophilum that are rare and dependent on old-age forests in the region may not survive these government and industry policies.
One population occurs in a provincial park. The park is currently considered off-limits to logging, but government officials have been heard to say that the park (Wells Gray Provincial Park) is underutilized and its status may soon be changed. The same government recently changed the law to allow economic development of provincial parks. Collema coniophilum has federal Threatened status in Canada under the Species at Risk Act. That act applies only on federal land, of which there is little in British Columbia. None of the known populations of Collema coniophilum occur on federal land.
Additional potential habitat should be searched to locate previously unknown populations. It is unlikely that many additional populations could be found given the species’ narrow ecological range and scarcity of remaining suitable habitat.
COSEWIC 2010. Assessment and Status Report on the Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen - Collema coniophilum in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa. [http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2012/ec/CW69-14-606-2011-eng.pdf].
Spribille, T., Bjork, C.R., Ekman, S., Elix, J.A., Goward, T., Printzen, C., Tonsberg, T. & Wheeler, T. 2009. Contributions to an epiphytic lichen flora of northwest North America I. Eight new species from British Columbia inland rain forests. The Bryologist 112: 109-137.