Amendments to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act

Backgrounder

Mammals

1. American badger, jeffersonii subspecies, eastern population (Taxidea taxus jeffersonii)

2. American badger, jeffersonii subspecies, western population (Taxidea taxus jeffersonii)

Species at Risk Act classification: endangered

Quick facts: The American badger is a heavy-bodied, short-legged, and short-tailed member of the weasel family, found in British Columbia. Badgers are mostly nocturnal, but they can be active during the day, particularly in the morning. Their home ranges vary from 2 to 500 square kilometres, depending on the region and habitat suitability.  

3. Grizzly bear, western population (Ursus arctos)

Species at Risk Act classification: special concern

Quick facts: The grizzly bear is larger than the black bear. It has a stout body, a large head, and a short tail. In the cultures of many Indigenous Peoples, the grizzly bear remains one of the most powerful, popular, and revered icons, and few species typify Canadian wilderness as much as the grizzly bear. The western population of grizzly bears is found in southern British Columbia and in the north, in all three territories, to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. This population is highly sensitive to human disturbance, and it is at high risk for mortality, where human activity is present. In addition to threats to the species, the grizzly bear is experiencing changes to its range. Overall trends show that, while a decline is seen in the southern portion of the range (Alberta and British Columbia), the central and northern portion of the range (northern British Columbia and Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut) is stable with possible expansion of the range in arctic regions.

4. Wolverine (Gulo gulo)

Species at Risk Act classification: special concern

Quick facts: The wolverine is compact and powerful, and it resembles a small bear with a long bushy tail. Found in every territory and province except for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, wolverines are active during the day and night and often alternate three-to-four-hour periods of activity and sleep. The wolverine has long held a place in folklore as a beast of great ferocity, cunning, and extraordinary strength. For some First Nations, the wolverine is considered to be a trickster hero with a link to the spirit world.

Birds

5. Barn owl, western population (Tyto alba)

Species at Risk Act classification: threatened

Quick facts: The barn owl is a medium-sized, long-legged owl with a distinctive heart-shaped facial disk and dark eyes, found in southern British Columbia. The species is economically beneficial to farmers in its role as predator of rodent populations. The barn owl is also a popular and emotive species to the general public. The western population is small and threatened by ongoing loss and degradation of grassland and old field habitat to intensive agriculture and urbanization as well as the conversion of old wooden barns and other rural buildings to more modern structures.

Amphibians

6. Western toad, calling population (Anaxyrus boreas)

7. Western toad, non-calling population (Anaxyrus boreas)

Species at Risk Act classification: special concern

Quick facts: The western toad is a large toad with small round or oval “warts” on the back, sides, and upper portions of the limbs. The calling population is found in Alberta; the non-calling population, in most of British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and southwestern Alberta. Western toads in most of Alberta are behaviourally and morphologically distinct from other populations of western toads: males possess a vocal sac and produce loud advertisement calls during the breeding season.

Arthropods

8. Audouin’s night-stalking tiger beetle (Omus audouini)

Species at Risk Act classification: threatened

Quick facts: The Audouin's night-stalking tiger beetle is a medium-sized (14 to 18 mm), dull black, flightless beetle. This beetle is restricted to a small area in the Georgia Basin of southwestern British Columbia, within a narrow strip of coastal lowland around Boundary Bay and Greater Victoria, which puts it at a higher risk of extinction. 

9. Gypsy cuckoo bumble bee (Bombus bohemicus)

Species at Risk Act classification: endangered

Quick facts: This large and distinctive bee is a nest parasite. (It lays its eggs in the nests of other bumble bees). This bee’s extensive range in Canada includes all provinces and territories except Nunavut. However, it was rarely observed in surveys done since 2002: only 13 specimens were recorded from three provinces (Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia) despite significant search efforts throughout Canada.

10. Macropis cuckoo bee (Epeoloides pilosulus)

Species at Risk Act classification: endangered

Quick facts: This species is a habitat specialist, requiring both a suitable host (Macropis bees) and their host’s food plant. The food plant requires moist habitat, and the host bee requires sunny, sandy slopes for its nest site. This species was historically found across five provinces (Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan), but, until recently, it had only been found on one site in Nova Scotia, in the past 40 years. However, an individual was reported in Alberta, in the spring of 2018, bringing new hope for the survival of the species.

11. Sable Island sweat bee (Lasioglossum sablense)

Species at Risk Act classification: threatened

Quick facts: The species is endemic to Canada, occurring solely on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. The island has only about 13 square kilometres of vegetated area that provides forage and nesting sites for this bee. Nesting likely occurs near or within this vegetated area, and sweat bees are not known to travel large distances for food. Increased frequency and severity of storms as well as sea-level rise linked to climate change are expected to drive a further decrease in the quality and quantity of bee habitat on the island.

12. Yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola)

Species at Risk Act classification: special concern

Quick facts: The yellow-banded bumble bee is a medium-sized bumble bee with a short head and a distinctive yellow-and-black abdominal band pattern. This species is an important pollinator of a variety of agricultural crops and native plant species. This bee has an extensive distribution in Canada, ranging from the island of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces; west, into eastern British Columbia; and north, into the Northwest Territories and extreme southwestern Yukon. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of this species’ global range occurs in Canada. While this species remains relatively abundant in the northern part of its range, it has recently declined by at least 34 percent in areas located in southern Canada.

Mosses

13. Roell’s brotherella moss (Brotherella roellii)

Species at Risk Act classification: endangered

Quick facts: Roell’s brotherella moss (Brotherella roellii) is a small, yellow-to-golden green, shiny moss that forms turf-like mats. Populations of Roell’s brotherella moss in British Columbia currently represent the only known sites in the world. Extensive collecting within and beyond this region has shown this species to occur only on hardwoods and rotten logs in remnant second-growth stands within urban areas, all of which are under pressure from recreational activities; road construction; and urban, agricultural, resource, and industrial development.

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