Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

The application submission period for projects commencing in 2022-2023 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 that 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
    • reserves and lands set aside for the use and benefit of Indigenous peoples under the Indian Act or under section 91 (24) of the Constitution Act,1867, or
    • other lands directly controlled by Indigenous peoples (e.g., Métis Settlement lands, and land claim/treaty settlement lands), and lands set aside in the Yukon and Northwest Territories pursuant to Cabinet Directive, circular No.27, or
    • lands where traditional food, social, and ceremonial activities (harvesting or other) are carried out by Indigenous peoples

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 links

Application deadline

The application period for projects commencing in 2022-2023 was open from December 1, 2021 to January 25, 2022 and is now closed.

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 sgesc-gcems-sgesc-gcems@ec.gc.ca and copy your regional HSP coordinator if you have submitted an application but have not received this acknowledgment.

Program priorities

The 2022-2023 call for proposals prioritized projects targeting regionally identified priority species (see Table 1).

Regionally identified priority species were selected in parallel with the Federal-Provincial-Territorial 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 include those that may not benefit from other ECCC funding sources.

Table 1: Priority species by CWS region

Although the HSP funding priorities in 2022-2023 were species specific, it is recognized that actions for one species may benefit multiple species and this should have been 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

  • Eastern Mountain Avens
  • Leach’s Storm-Petrel
  • Monarch and SARA-listed pollinators
  • Piping Plover melodus subspecies
  • SARA-listed bat species
  • SARA-listed cyanolichen species
  • SARA-listed forested wetland bird species (Canada Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Rusty Blackbird)
  • SARA-listed reptile species
  • SARA-listed swallow, swift and nightjar species
  • SARA-listed thrush species

Quebec Region

  • American Ginseng
  • Bank Swallow
  • Chimney Swift
  • Forked Three-awned Grass
  • Least Bittern
  • Spring Salamander, Adirondack/Appalachian population
  • SARA-listed bat species
  • SARA-listed freshwater turtle species
  • SARA-listed grassland bird species (Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark)
  • Victorin’s Gentian
  • Western Chorus Frog, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield population
  • White Wood Aster
  • Woodland Caribou, Atlantic-Gaspésie population
  • Yellow Rail

Ontario Region

  • Bank Swallow
  • Blanding’s Turtle, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Eastern Foxsnake, Carolinian Population
  • Eastern Foxsnake, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population
  • Grasshopper Sparrow pratensis subspecies
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Monarch
  • Piping Plover circumcinctus subspecies
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Spiny Softshell
  • Jefferson Salamander and Unisexual Ambystoma, Jefferson Salamander dependent population
  • Western Chorus Frog, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence – Canadian Shield population
  • Whip-poor-will

Prairie Region




  • Bank Swallow
  • Buffalograss
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Chimney Swift
  • Dakota Skipper
  • Fascicled Ironweed
  • Grizzly Bear, Western population
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies
  • Monarch
  • McCown’s Longspur
  • Piping Plover circumcinctus subspecies
  • Poweshiek Skipperling
  • Species at Risk found in the Interlake area in Manitoba, or in sand dune/sand prairie habitat in Saskatchewan
  • Whitebark Pine

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


There were no specific priority species for the 2022-2023 call for proposals in the Northern Region.

Other funding considerations

HSP project proposals 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 for new and multi-year projects is $25,000 and project funding usually ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per project, per year. 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 from non-federal sources ($1 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding).

Indigenous applicants will be required to obtain a minimum of 0.20:1 matching contribution from non-federal sources ($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 from non-federal sources for non-Indigenous applicants ($1 confirmed match for $1 HSP funding) and a minimum of 0.20:1 on funds from non-federal sources 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 spring 2022.

Once departmental approval in principle has been confirmed, applicants (both successful and unsuccessful) will be notified in writing. If your project proposal submission is approved in principle, you will be contacted to negotiate a Contribution Agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of funding. Federal MPs and/or their team may be advised about the approval in principle of a project and may be provided with information provided in this application including applicant’s name, project title, project description, project location, funding amounts and contact information.

Funding is conditional on the successful negotiation of a Contribution Agreement between the applicant and ECCC. We work towards completing this process within 65 working days.

Contact us

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

If you have any further questions, please contact us at HSP-PIH@ec.gc.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

Tania Morais
Email: tania.morais@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 506-224-0279


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


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

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

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

British Columbia

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

Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

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

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