Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

The application submission period for projects commencing in 2020/2021 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 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 yet 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 links

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 2020/2021 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

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland and Labrador


  • Barn Swallow
  • Bicknell’s Thrush
  • Blanding’s Turtle (Nova Scotia pop.)
  • Bobolink
  • Boreal Felt Lichen (Atlantic pop.)
  • Canada Warbler
  • Chimney Swift
  • Eastern Mountain Avens
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Monarch
  • Piping Plover (melodus subspecies)
  • Polar Bear
  • Roseate Tern
  • Wood Turtle


  • Caribou (Eastern migratory pop.)

Quebec Region


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

Ontario Region


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

Prairie Region





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


  • Plains Bison
  • Western Bumble Bee (occidentalis subspecies)

Pacific Region


  • Great Basin Spadefoot
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker
  • Macoun’s Meadowfoam
  • Oregon Forestsnail
  • Oregon Spotted Frog
  • Pacific Water Shrew
  • Purple Sanicle
  • Western Painted Turtle (Pacific Coast pop.)
  • Western Rattlesnake
  • Western Screech-Owl (kennicottii)
  • Western Screech-Owl (macfarlanei)
  • Williamson’s Sapsucker
  • Yellow-breasted Chat (Southern Mountain pop.) (auricollis subspecies)
  • Yellow Montane Violet (praemorsa subspecies)

Northern Region


Northwest Territories



  • Bank Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Canada Warbler
  • Grizzly Bear (Western pop.)
  • 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 3 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 2020.

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

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

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

Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan

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

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

Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon

Dawn Andrews
Email: dawn.andrews@canada.ca
Telephone: 867-669-4767

British Columbia

Adèle McKay
Email: adele.mckay@canada.ca
Telephone: 604-350-1976

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