Government of Canada launches consultations on the assessment of the status of the Monarch and the Western Bumble Bee

News release

November 7, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s nature, biodiversity, and species at risk. The Monarch butterfly and the Western Bumble Bee are important pollinators in Canada, and essential to the production of many crops and our broader food security. As the Monarch faces a wide range of direct or indirect threats, including habitat loss, climate change, and severe weather events, its population has been more than cut in half over the last ten years.

Canadians and stakeholders are encouraged to share their feedback before December 20, 2022, with Environment and Climate Change Canada on the assessments completed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) on the status of the Monarch and the Western Bumble Bee, found to be at risk in Canada. The forty-five day public consultation will be conducted through the Consulting with Canadians website. The feedback received will help inform the decisions made by Environment and Climate Change Canada in administering the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The Government of Canada continues to work collaboratively with Canadians, Indigenous communities, and stakeholders, as well as other governments across Canada to protect pollinators under SARA. The Government of Canada also works with the agriculture industry to conserve and increase pollinator habitat in agricultural areas, which is key to restoring Monarch populations while sustaining food production.

From December 7–19, 2022, Canada will welcome the Parties to the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Quebec, for COP15, which will focus on the negotiation of a new global biodiversity framework. This important international conference will be a landmark event with thousands of delegates from around the world gathered to take action on protecting nature. Canada will take a strong leadership role, along with international partners, in championing the development of an ambitious framework with clear targets and actions that also recognize the important role Indigenous peoples and communities play in conservation and biodiversity.

Quotes

“We need pollinators to maintain biodiversity. They provide the foundations of our food security, health, and quality of life. We must act now to protect pollinators, and halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. By properly accounting for the true value of nature, we can recover species at risk and protect healthy ecosystems for future generations.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The Monarch was first assessed in 1997 and classified as special concern. In 2016, COSEWIC reassessed it and recommended it be up-listed as endangered. In 2014, COSEWIC assessed both subspecies of the Western Bumble Bee (mckayi, occidentalis) and recommended that they be listed as special concern and threatened, respectively.

  • Wildlife species in Canada are assessed by COSEWIC. The Government of Canada considers these assessments when establishing the official list of Wildlife Species at Risk. Risk categories include not at risk, special concern, threatened, endangered, extirpated, or extinct.

  • The population of the occidentalis subspecies of the Western Bumble Bee has declined by approximately thirty percent in recent years.

  • The mckayi subspecies of the Western Bumble Bee is also experiencing a serious decline and faces an uncertain future.

  • Protecting and conserving nature and managing working landscapes more sustainably are some of the critical ways Canadians can help pollinators.

Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
Kaitlin.Power@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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