Critical Habitat Interdepartmental Program

The call for proposals for the 2024-2025 fiscal year is now closed.


The Critical Habitat Interdepartmental Program (CHIP) is a directed funding program that was established in 2020. The CHIP is managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) and is the only program that provides funding to federal organizations specifically for projects dedicated to the recovery of Canada’s species at risk through the restoration and conservation of their critical habitat on federally owned and/or administered lands. Critical habitat refers to the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species (S.C. 2002, c. 29). The CHIP was created to encourage action towards the recovery of species at risk in accordance with the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and partnerships between federal organizations, stakeholders and/or Indigenous peoples to contribute towards the protection of Canada’s biodiversity.


The objectives of the program are to:

Expected results

The expected benefits of CHIP are:

Eligible recipients

The following are eligible recipients of CHIP funding:

Geographic location

Project activities must take place on:

Eligible projects

The CHIP offers two project types:

Regular CHIP projects

Examples of eligible projects include:

Other Internally Prioritized Species (OIPS) CHIP projects

Additional CHIP funds may be available for projects targeting OIPS. OIPS CHIP projects must target one or multiple OIPS, and targeted activities must follow the top priority work determined based on the species’ recovery documents. Please consult the CHIP OIPS project guidance document (PDF) for the OIPS list and top priority work determined for each species or category. All eligibility criteria below apply to OIPS CHIP projects, in addition to the guidelines in the CHIP OIPS guidance document.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria below apply to both CHIP project types.

Mandatory criteria

The project must:

Additional criteria

The project can:

Eligible activities

Proposed activities aiming at the conservation and recovery of species at risk and the protection and restoration of their critical habitat must derive from a recovery strategy or a proposed or final action plan published on the species at risk public registry, or from a draft recovery plan. Provincial recovery plans can be used as a reference on a case-by-case basis to a proposed activity only if no other recovery document exists.

The activity categories eligible for CHIP funding are listed below. Under each category are examples of eligible activities. Please note that for OIPS CHIP projects, the priority work is provided in the reference document for each eligible species.

Technical and scientific

Outreach and education


CHIP priority species

CHIP prioritizes threatened and endangered species for which SARA s.58 critical habitat protection orders are in place or upcoming. The table below indicates the eligible species, the region(s) and priority places in which they are found.

Other Internally Prioritized Species (OIPS) are eligible for potential CHIP funding for projects targeting them through species-specific targeted actions only. To see all eligible OIPS and top priority work associated with them, refer to the CHIP OIPS project guidance document (PDF) available in the section “Related links”. Should it be determined that your project targets only eligible OIPS through species-specific targeted actions, please follow the OIPS CHIP project path described in the guidance document. If these species are targeted in the context of ecosystem-based initiatives, please follow the regular CHIP project type path.

Table: CHIP Priority Species, in alphabetical order.  

CHIP Priority Species Province / Territory SARA Status Priority Place #
American Badger (jeffersonii subspecies), Western and Eastern populations BC Endangered 9
American Ginseng QC, ON Endangered 4; 5
Bank Swallow All provinces and territories Threatened 1; 2; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11
Barn Owl, Western population BC Threatened 9; 10
Barrens Willow NL Endangered -
Batwing Vinyl Lichen BC Endangered 10
Bear’s Foot Sanicle BC Threatened 10
Behr's Hairstreak BC Endangered 9
Bicknell’s Thrush QC, NB, NS, PE Threatened 2
Black-footed Ferret AB, SK Extirpated 7
Blanding's Turtle, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population QC, ON Endangered 3; 4
Blue-grey Taildropper BC Threatened 10
Bluehearts ON Endangered -
Blue Racer ON Endangered -
Blunt-lobed Woodsia QC, ON Threatened -
Branched Bartonia ON Threatened -
Burrowing Owl BC, AB, SK, MB Endangered 6; 7; 8; 9
Butler's Gartersnake ON Endangered -
Caribou, Atlantic-Gaspésie population QC Endangered -
Caribou, Boreal population AB, BC, MB, NL, NT, ON, QC, SK, YT Threatened -
Cerulean Warbler MB, ON, QC Endangered 4; 5
Chestnut-collared Longspur AB, SK, MB Threatened (Under consideration for status change) 6; 7; 8
Chimney Swift NU, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NL Threatened 1; 2; 4; 5; 6
Coast Microseris BC Endangered 10
Coastal Giant Salamander BC Threatened 10
Coastal Scouler’s Catchfly BC Endangered 10
Coastal Vesper Sparrow BC Endangered 10
Crumpled Tarpaper Lichen BC Threatened -
Dense Spike-primrose BC Endangered 10
Dense-flowered Lupine BC Endangered 10
Desert Nightsnake BC Endangered 9
Dun Skipper (vestris subspecies) BC Threatened 9; 10
Dusky Dune Moth AB, SK, MB Endangered 6; 8
Dwarf Hackberry ON Threatened -
Dwarf Sandwort BC Endangered 10
Eastern Flowering Dogwood ON Endangered 5
Eastern Foxsnake, Carolinian population ON Endangered 5
Eastern Foxsnake, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population ON, QC Endangered -
Eastern Ribbonsnake, Atlantic population NS Endangered 1
Eastern Waterfan NB, NS, QC Threatened -
Eastern Whip-poor-will AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE Threatened 1; 2; 4; 5
Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer AB, SK Threatened 7; 8
Edwards' Beach Moth BC Endangered 10
False Hop Sedge QC, ON Endangered 4
Fernald's Braya NL Endangered -
Forked Three-awned Grass QC, ON Endangered 4
Fowler’s Toad ON Endangered 5
Gattinger's Agalinis MB, ON Endangered -
Gold-edged Gem AB, SK, MB Endangered 6; 8
Golden Paintbrush BC Endangered 10
Golden-winged Warbler MB, ON, QC Threatened 4; 5
Gray Ratsnake, Great Lakes / St.Lawrence population ON Threatened -
Great Basin Gophersnake BC Threatened 9
Great Basin Spadefoot BC Threatened 9
Greater Sage-Grouse (urophasianus subspecies) AB, SK Endangered 7; 8
Gulf of St. Lawrence Aster QC, NB, PE Threatened 3
Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee BC, AB, ON, QC, SK, MB, NB, NS, PE, NL, YT, NT Endangered 1; 2; 4; 5; 6; 11
Half-moon Hairstreak BC, AB Endangered 8; 9
Heart-leaved Plantain ON Endangered -
Hill’s Thistle ON Threatened -
Horned Grebe, Magdalen Islands population QC Endangered -
Ivory Gull NU, NL, NT Endangered -
Jefferson Salamander ON Endangered 5
Kirtland's Warbler ON Endangered -
Lakeside Daisy ON Threatened -
Least Bittern MB, ON, QC, NB, NS Threatened 2; 4; 5; 6
Lewis's Woodpecker BC Threatened 9
Lindley's False Silverpuffs BC Endangered 10
Little Brown Myotis AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT Endangered 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11
Loggerhead Shrike (Eastern subspecies) ON, QC Endangered 4
Loggerhead Shrike (Prairie subspecies) AB, SK, MB Threatened 6; 7; 8
Louisiana Waterthrush ON, QC Threatened -
Macoun's Meadowfoam BC Threatened 10
Marbled Murrelet BC Threatened 10
Massasauga, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population ON Threatened -
Mexican Mosquito-fern BC Threatened 9
Mormon Metalmark, Southern Mountain population BC Endangered 9
Mountain Plover AB, SK Endangered 7; 8
Northern Goshawk (laingi subspecies) BC Threatened 10
Northern Leopard Frog, Rocky Mountain population BC Endangered -
Northern Myotis AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT Endangered 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 9
Ord's Kangaroo Rat AB, SK Endangered 8
Oregon Forestsnail BC Endangered 10
Oregon Spotted Frog BC Endangered 10
Pacific Water Shrew BC Endangered 10
Pale-bellied Frost Lichen ON, QC Endangered -
Pallid Bat BC Threatened 9
Peary Caribou NT, NU Threatened -
Phantom Orchid BC Endangered 10
Piping Plover (circumcinctus subspecies) AB, SK, MB, ON Endangered 5; 6; 8
Piping Plover (melodus subspecies) QC, NB, NS, PE, NL Endangered 1
Purple Sanicle BC Threatened 10
Queensnake ON Endangered 5
Red Knot (rufa subspecies) AB, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK Endangered 1; 2
Red-headed Woodpecker BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC Endangered 4; 5; 6; 7
Rigid Apple Moss BC Endangered 10
Roell's Brotherella Moss BC Endangered 10
Roseate Tern QC, NB, NS Endangered 1
Rusty Cord-moss BC, SK Endangered 7; 9
Sage Thrasher BC, AB, SK Endangered 7; 8; 9
Sand-verbena Moth BC Endangered 10
Seaside Birds-foot Lotus BC Endangered 10
Seaside Bone Lichen BC Threatened 10
Sharp-tailed Snake BC Endangered 10
Short-rayed Alkali Aster BC Endangered 9
Showy Phlox BC Threatened 9
Slender Mouse-ear-cress AB, SK Threatened 8
Small-flowered Lipocarpha BC, ON Endangered 9
Small-flowered Sand-verbena AB, SK Endangered 8
Smooth Goosefoot AB, SK, MB Threatened 6; 8
Spalding's Campion BC Endangered -
Spiny Softshell ON, QC Endangered 4; 5
Spotted Turtle ON, QC Endangered 5
Sprague’s Pipit AB, SK, MB Threatened 6; 7; 8
Streambank Lupine BC Endangered 10
Swift Fox AB, SK Threatened 7; 8
Tall Bugbane BC Endangered 10
Tall Woolly-heads BC Endangered 10
Tiny Cryptantha AB, SK Threatened 8
Townsend's Mole BC Endangered 10
Tri-colored Bat NB, NS, ON, QC Endangered 1; 2; 4; 5
Victoria's Owl-clover BC Endangered 10
Victorin's Gentian QC Threatened 4
Water-plantain Buttercup BC Endangered 10
Western Chorus Frog, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield population ON, QC Endangered 4
Western Painted Turtle, Pacific Coast population BC Threatened 10
Western Rattlesnake BC Threatened 9
Western Silvery Aster MB, ON Threatened -
Western Spiderwort AB, SK, MB Threatened 6; 8
Western Tiger Salamander, Southern Mountain population BC Endangered 9
Whip-poor-will MB, ON, QC, NB, NS, SK Threatened 1; 2; 4; 5
White Flower Moth MB Endangered 6
White Meconella BC Endangered 10
Whooping Crane AB, MB, SK, NT Endangered -
Williamson’s Sapsucker BC Endangered 9
Wood Bison YT, NT, BC, AB, MB Threatened 11
Wood Turtle NB, NS, ON, QC Threatened 1; 2; 4
Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population AB, BC Threatened -
Yellow Montane Violet (praemorsa subspecies) BC Endangered 10
Yellow-breasted Chat (auricollis subspecies), Southern Mountain population BC Endangered 9

Priority Places

Priority Places represent landscapes of significant conservation value, such as those with high occurrences and/or diversity of species at risk and migratory birds or those with important habitat for these species. These places have also been targeted as having existing conservation opportunities with active partners and stakeholders, which can be expanded on or leveraged through more targeted program funding to increase successful conservation outcomes.

Note that priority places are assigned at the regional level and, at this time, not all provinces/territories have priority places identified.

  1. Kesputkwitk / Southwest Nova Scotia (Atlantic Region)
  2. Wolastoq / St-John River Bioregion, New Brunswick (Atlantic Region)
  3. Prince Edward Island Forested landscape (Atlantic Region)
  4. St. Lawrence Lowlands of Quebec (Quebec Region)
  5. Long Point Walsingham Forest in Ontario (Ontario Region)
  6. Mixed Grass Prairie Manitoba (Prairie Region)
  7. Milk River Watershed (South of Divide) Saskatchewan (Prairie Region)
  8. South-Saskatchewan River Watershed (summit to sage) Alberta (Prairie Region)
  9. Dry Interior of British Columbia (Pacific Region)
  10. Southwest British Columbia (Pacific Region)
  11. Southern Beringia, Yukon Territory (Northern Region)

To view priority places on a map, refer to the Pan-Canadian approach to transforming species at risk conservation in Canada page.

Range of funding

The minimum funding request suggested for new and multi-year projects is $5,000 and project annual funding usually ranges from $20,000 to $80,000 per project. Projects may extend over more than 1 year to a maximum of 5 years. Currently, one project proposal must be submitted per year, even for a continuation of a project. Please note that funding is not guaranteed for the full duration of a project.

Once a project ends, monitoring may be required. In this instance, applicants can re-apply for CHIP funding for monitoring results of their past project, but should indicate in their initial project that monitoring may be required once the initial project is completed. CHIP funding is not guaranteed for monitoring follow-ups, and funding for such follow-ups will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Call for proposals

A call for project proposals, in the form of an email, is sent to federal organizations in October/November of the ongoing fiscal year to gather proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. This email includes a two-part project proposal template, which includes the administrative and financial details and a template for a detailed project description. Once the project proposal has been received, the CHIP Secretariat will send an acknowledgement of receipt and may contact the applicant if there are any questions or if clarifications are required. In the instance that a specific government organization submits multiple projects for CHIP funding, we ask that this organization make a list of their submitted projects, in order of priority, and submits it to the CHIP Secretariat.

After the evaluation process is completed, applicants are notified by email that their project is either approved for CHIP funding or not. Participants will need to confirm, via email, that their project is going forward as proposed or with negotiated modifications proposed by the CHIP Secretariat and that they are accepting the CHIP funding. If, after submitting a project proposal to CHIP and before receiving confirmation of funding decision, your organization decides to use other sources of funding to replace CHIP funding, or postpone or cancel the project, the CHIP Secretariat needs to be promptly advised. This allows the CHIP Secretariat to consider other proposed projects to distribute the released funds to, and to avoid additional delays for other potential recipients.

Selection criteria

Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:

Evaluation process

Each proposal undergoes a technical evaluation by the CHIP Secretariat to confirm that it meets CHIP mandatory eligibility criteria and the extent to which it meets the additional criteria.

The projects meeting mandatory criteria are then reviewed by the CHIP Review board to determine which projects demonstrate the most benefit to the species and/or its critical habitat. This board is comprised of CWS regional and CWS Wildlife Management Directorate representatives.

Representatives of the CWS Wildlife Management Branch Permitting Team ensure that activities that may require a SARA permit are assessed, that permit prerequisites are met in the event that an activity requires a SARA permit, and that permits can be obtained for project activities, if required. In the instance that an activity requires a permit, the project’s approval for funding consideration is dependent on the submission and approval of a SARA permit application, and the deliverance of a SARA permit prior to the start of the activities. The process of obtaining permits under SARA can take up to 90 days. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead to secure permits on time.

Projects deemed to have the most benefits to the species and/or their critical habitat are then selected to receive CHIP funding, based on funding availability. CHIP funding is guaranteed only once a Memorandum of Understanding is signed by ECCC and the governmental organization that submitted the proposal, and the required SARA permits are obtained.

Related links

Contact us

For general ECCC or Canadian Wildlife Service inquiries, please contact 1-800-668-6767 or

If you have any further questions about the CHIP, please contact us at

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