Wild animals don’t live in isolation, but in close interaction with their habitat. Plant life is an essential element to the survival of wildlife, since it is used by them as food, tool or for shelter. This is why it is important that we include plants in the ecology of a species.
In Quebec, we have an Act respecting threatened or vulnerable species that lists plants threatened with extinction or endangerment. In our region, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, more specifically at Mashteuiatsh, you can find the Anticosti Aster, which is classified as a threatened species. Unfortunately, dozens of species are on those lists.
Why bother with the survival of plants?
There are a number of answers to this question, including the following:
• so as to enable animals to survive, including us.
• so as to preserve the integrity of the habitats and biodiversity.
• so as to preserve their use: food, medicine, industry…
A plant that disappears is a great loss for everyone, because it may have held the secret for curing a disease. This means that it is our responsibility to protect both our wildlife and our plant life. In other words, we should not pick plants of which we are ignorant or that may or may not be abundant, and we should avoid destroying the places where they grow (by using off-road vehicles, for example).