Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

The application submission period for projects commencing in 2021-22 is now closed.


The Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) was established in 2000. It provides funding for projects submitted by Canadians that contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and that prevent others from becoming a conservation concern. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) administers HSP funds that support terrestrial stewardship projects while Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for administering the HSP for aquatic stewardship projects.

Applicants wishing to pursue aquatic HSP projects should contact the appropriate aquatic regional coordinator at DFO.


The objectives of this program are to:

  • support habitat projects that benefit species at risk and prevent others from becoming a conservation concern
  • enable Canadians to become actively involved in stewardship projects for species at risk which will result in tangible and measurable conservation benefits; and
  • improve the scientific, sociological and economic understanding of stewardship as a conservation tool

Expected results

The expected results of the HSP are:

  • Canada’s wildlife and habitat is conserved and protected
  • Canada’s species at risk are recovered; and
  • Indigenous Peoples are engaged in conservation

Eligible recipients

  • Canadian non-governmental organizations
  • community groups
  • Indigenous organizations and communities
  • individuals
  • private corporations and businesses
  • educational institutions
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments
  • provincial Crown corporations

Federal departments, federal agencies and federal Crown corporations are not eligible to receive HSP funds.

Geographic location

Project activities must take place on:

  • private land
  • provincial Crown land
  • lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, or Indigenous land across Canada

Eligible projects

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must target the following species:

  • species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA (except those listed as extirpated), and/or
  • species that have been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as endangered, threatened, or of special concern but have not been listed on Schedule 1 of SARA
Up to 20% of the available funds will be directed towards projects targeting species that are not listed on Schedule 1 of SARA but assessed by COSEWIC as endangered, threatened or special concern. The majority of program funds (i.e., at least 80%) will be directed to projects targeting species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA. Priorities within these eligible species are listed below. Please consult this list to determine if your proposal could have a higher chance of success.

Activities eligible for funding include:

  • habitat protection and securement
  • habitat improvement
  • species and habitat threat abatement
  • conservation planning
  • surveys, inventories and monitoring
  • project evaluation
  • outreach and education

Activities other than those listed above may be considered, subject to approval.

Application instructions

On-line application system

Related link

Application deadline

The application period for projects commencing in 2021-22 was open from January 19, 2021, to March 2, 2021.

In accordance with ECCC’s Grants and Contributions Service Standards, applicants will receive an acknowledgement that their application was submitted successfully within five (5) working days of submitting an application. Please contact ec.sgesc-gcems-sgesc-gcems.ec@canada.ca and copy your regional HSP coordinator if you have submitted an application but have not received this acknowledgment.

Program priorities

The program will prioritize projects targeting Priority Species (see Table 1).

Priority species were selected to align with the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada. This new Pan-Canadian Approach represents a shift from a single-species approach to conservation to one that focuses on priority places, species, sectors and threats, through more multi-species and ecosystem-based efforts and collaborative partnerships. The priority species listed below were selected based on their likelihood to benefit from stewardship activities and to include those that may not benefit from other ECCC funding sources.

Table 1: Priority species by region

Although the HSP funding priorities in 2021-22 are species specific, it is recognized that actions for one species may benefit multiple species and this should be highlighted and noted in the application. Please see other funding considerations below the table.

Table 1
Region Priority species

Atlantic Region

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick


  • Bank Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Blanding’s Turtle, Nova Scotia population
  • Boreal Felt Lichen, Atlantic population
  • Canada Warbler
  • Chimney Swift
  • Eastern Mountain Avens
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Monarch
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • Piping Plover melodus subspecies
  • Polar Bear
  • Vole Ears Lichen
  • Wood Turtle


  • Caribou, Eastern Migratory population

Quebec Region


  • American Ginseng
  • Bank Swallow
  • Blanding’s Turtle, Great Lakes/St Lawrence population
  • Bobolink
  • Chimney Swift
  • Forked Three-awned Grass
  • Least Bittern
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Spiny Softshell
  • Spring Salamander, Adirondack/Appalachian population
  • Victorin’s Gentian
  • Western Chorus Frog, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield population
  • White Wood Aster
  • Wood Turtle
  • Yellow Rail

Ontario Region


  • Blanding’s Turtle, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Monarch
  • Piping Plover circumcinctus subspecies
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Spiny Softshell
  • Western Chorus Frog, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence – Canadian Shield population
  • Whip-poor-will

Prairie Region





  • Burrowing Owl
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Chimney Swift
  • Dakota Skipper
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Grizzly Bear, Western population
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies
  • Piping Plover circumcinctus subspecies
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Sprague’s Pipit
  • Whip-poor-will
  • Whitebark Pine


  • Plains Bison
  • Western Bumble Bee occidentalis subspecies

Pacific Region

British Columbia


  • Great Basin Spadefoot
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Macoun’s Meadowfoam
  • Northern Myotis
  • Oregon Forestsnail
  • Pacific Water Shrew
  • Purple Sanicle
  • Sharp-tailed Snake
  • Western Painted Turtle, Intermountain - Rocky Mountain population
  • Western Painted Turtle, Pacific Coast population
  • Western Rattlesnake
  • Western Screech-Owl kennicottii subspecies
  • Western Screech-Owl macfarlanei subspecies
  • Williamson’s Sapsucker
  • Yellow Montane Violet praemorsa subspecies
  • Yellow-breasted Chat auricollis subspecies, Southern Mountain population

Northern Region


Northwest Territories



  • Bank Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Canada Warbler
  • Grizzly Bear, Western population
  • Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Northern Myotis
  • Polar Bear
  • Yellow-banded Bumble Bee


  • Western Bumble Bee mckayi subspecies

Other funding considerations

HSP projects may also have a higher chance of success if they:

  • target multiple species and demonstrate a focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives
  • involve collaboration among multiple partners with priority being given to projects that involve a greater number of confirmed partners
  • implement high priority activities described in established recovery documents, established wildlife and/or habitat conservation plans
  • mitigate the threats of climate change to the target species; and/or
  • target priority sectors and/or threats as identified in the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada

Range of funding

The minimum funding request suggested for new and multi-year projects is $25,000 and project funding usually ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per project. Projects may extend over more than 1 year to a maximum of 2 years.

Non-Indigenous applicants will be required to obtain a minimum of 1:1 matching contributions ($1 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding).

Indigenous applicants will be required to obtain a minimum of 0.20:1 matching contribution ($0.20 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding).

Leveraging can take the form of either financial or in-kind resources (equipment loans, donations of building materials and volunteer labour).

Selection criteria

Projects will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • whether they meet all eligibility requirements (applicants, species, and activities)
  • the extent to which they address HSP program priorities and ability to leverage a minimum of 1:1 on funds for non-Indigenous applicants ($1 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding) and a minimum of 0.20:1 on funds for Indigenous applicants ($0.20 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding)

Evaluation process

Each proposal undergoes a technical evaluation by the regional HSP coordinator to confirm that it meets eligibility requirements. Proposals meeting the eligibility requirements are then prioritized for funding based on alignment with program objectives, including program priorities, and program and project administration criteria. ECCC will aim to have HSP funding decisions available by summer 2021.

Contact us

For general ECCC or Canadian Wildlife Service inquiries, please contact 1-800-668-6767 or ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at ec.pih-hsp.ec@canada.ca or contact your regional HSP coordinator. Please note that regional HSP coordinators are available to answer questions during regular business hours, local time.

HSP Regional Coordinators

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick

Isabelle Robichaud
Email: isabelle.robichaud@canada.ca
Telephone: 506-364-5198


Jérôme Desrosiers
Email: jerome.desrosiers@canada.ca
Telephone: 418-648-7410


Kim Laird
Email: kim.laird@canada.ca
Telephone: 416-739-4986

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

Aleksandra Bugajski
Email: aleksandra.bugajski@canada.ca
Telephone: 780-951-8736

Carmen Callihoo-Payne
Email: carmen.callihoo-payne@canada.ca
Telephone: 780-951-8672

British Columbia

Adèle McKay
Email: adele.mckay@canada.ca
Telephone: 343-572-1563

Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Dawn Andrews
Email: dawn.andrews@canada.ca
Telephone: 867-444-0531

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