Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

The application submission period for projects commencing in 2023-2024 is now closed.


One of the Government of Canada’s conservation mandates is the conservation of nature, including the recovery of species at risk. In this regard, 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)Footnote 1 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.

This page provides general program information and requirements for making an application to the HSP. Applications will be evaluated in the context of the Program’s funding priorities, which are updated annually.

Regional HSP Coordinators are the primary source of additional information for questions pertaining to information provided on this page, program priorities, and funding options available through the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). More specific questions related to funding amounts, outcome reporting, species data sharing, and project permits, can also be directed to the appropriate Regional HSP Coordinator. For more information about the terrestrial HSP program, please send specific questions to HSP-PIH@ec.gc.ca.

Objectives and Expected Results

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 the role that stewardship has as a conservation tool

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must demonstrate how they contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of target species. Further, the application must contribute to one or more of the following Conserving Nature Core Responsibility 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
  • Canadian individuals
  • private corporations and businesses
  • educational institutions
  • provincial, territorial and municipal governments
  • provincial Crown corporations

If the proposed project is expected to take place on Indigenous land, either entirely or partially, and the applicant is a non-Indigenous organization, individual and/or has no rights to the land (e.g., through a permit, lease and/or as a Certificate of Possession holder), the applicant must provide signed letter(s) of support from the affected Indigenous community.

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 landFootnote 2 
    • 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 Species

The following species are eligible for funding under the HSP:

  • Species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA (except those listed as extirpated).
  • 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.

The majority of program funds (i.e., at least 80%) will be directed to projects targeting species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, and identified as priorities in each region. 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. Priorities within these eligible species are listed below. Please consult this list to determine if your proposal could have a higher chance of success. Funding priorities, including Priority Species, are reviewed and updated annually to ensure they align with the Government of Canada’s priorities.

For the most up-to-date list of species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, as well as their recovery strategies, action plans and management plans, please consult the Species at Risk Public Registry. To search for COSEWIC-assessed species and to obtain their respective status reports, please visit the COSEWIC website.

Program Priorities

The 2023-2024 call for proposals will prioritize 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 2023-2024 are species specific, it is recognized that actions for one species may benefit multiple other non-targeted 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
  • Bicknell’s Thrush
  • Black-foam Lichen
  • Blue-felt Lichen
  • Boreal Felt Lichen, Atlantic population
  • Boreal Felt Lichen, Boreal population
  • Canada Warbler
  • Chimney Swift
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Eastern Painted Turtle
  • Eastern Waterfan
  • Frosted Glass-Whiskers, Nova Scotia population
  • Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee
  • Leach’s Storm-Petrel
  • Little Brown Myotis
  • Macropis Bumble Bee
  • Monarch
  • Northern Myotis
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • Piping Plover melodus subspecies
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Suckley’s Bumble Bee
  • Tri-coloured Bat
  • Vole Ears Lichen
  • Whip-poor-will
  • White-rimmed Shingle Lichen
  • Wood Thrush
  • Wood Turtle
  • Wrinkled Shingle Lichen
  • Yellow-banded Bumble Bee

Quebec Region

  • There are no specific priority species for the 2023-2024 call for proposals in the Quebec Region.

Ontario Region

  • Bank Swallow
  • Blanding’s Turtle, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Eastern Foxsnake, Carolinian Population
  • Grasshopper Sparrow pratensis subspecies
  • Kirtland’s Warbler
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Monarch
  • Piping Plover circumcinctus subspecies
  • Pitcher’s Thistle
  • 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




  • Amphibian SAR (e.g. Northern Leopard Frog, Great Plains Toad, Western Toad)
  • Bank Swallow
  • Chimney Swift
  • Endangered Myotis (e.g. Little Brown Myotis, Northern Myotis)
  • Grassland bird SAR (e.g. Baird’s Sparrow, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown’s Longspur, Sprague’s Pipit, Long-billed Curlew, Bobolink, Lark Bunting, Loggerhead Shrike)
  • Invertebrate pollinator SAR threatened by pesticide use and habitat loss (e.g., Poweshiek Skipperling, Gold-edged Gem, Dusky Dune Moth, Mottled Duskywing, White Flower Moth, Yucca Moth, Yellow-banded Bumble Bee, Western Bumble Bee, Dakota Skipper)
  • Piping Plover, circumcinctus subspecies
  • Plant SAR (e.g. Fascicled Ironweed, Buffalograss, Small White Lady’s-Slipper)
  • SAR in sand dune / sand prairie habitat
  • SAR in the Interlake area in Manitoba
  • SAR that are either primary burrow excavators or tertiary burrow users (e.g., American Badger, Burrowing Owl, Prairie Rattlesnake, Bullsnake)
  • SAR that have high-quality habitats in urban areas

Pacific Region

British Columbia

  • There are no specific priority species for the 2023-2024 call for proposals in the Pacific Region.

Northern Region


Northwest Territories


  • There are no specific priority species for the 2023-2024 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

Eligible Activities

The following activity categories are eligible for HSP funding. Applicants must select from the following activity categories in their application. The examples listed below each activity category are eligible options to consider. Activities that do not fall under these categories are subject to further review. Please consult with a Regional HSP Coordinator to discuss potential project activities other than those listed below.

Activity Categories

  • Habitat Protection and Securement: Through acquisition (purchase or donation) or other securement means; protecting target species habitat by assisting recipients in acquiring properties or establishing conservation easements, covenants, servitudes, leases or other types of agreements with property owners.
    • Legally binding measures:
      • Securing land by acquiring title (fee simple)
      • Securing land by an easement, covenant or servitude
      • Securing land through a lease
    • Non-legally binding measures:
      • Protection of land through a written conservation agreement
  • Habitat Improvement: Enhancing or restoring habitat of target species; changing land management or land use practices to benefit target species and improve habitat quality.
    • Restoration, enhancement and/or management of target species habitat
    • Vegetation planting or removal of exotics/invasive species in the habitat of, in the immediate area of, and for the direct benefit of a target species
    • Residence creation (hibernacula, bird boxes, turtle nesting sites, etc.)
    • Implementation of beneficial management practices or land use guidelines
  • Species and Habitat Threat Abatement: Direct intervention for target species under immediate threat from human activity, or proactive/preventative activities.
    • Prevention of damage to target species habitats (e.g. educational signage)
    • Protection and rescueFootnote 3  /prevention of harm to target species (enabling species migration around roadways, fences for the exclusion of habitat disturbances, etc.)
    • Application of modified or new technology to prevent accidental harm (e.g., using modified harvesting methods to reduce incidental take of target species)
  • Conservation Planning:
    • Development of target species conservation strategies to improve habitat and reduce threats
    • Planning of stewardship programs, including target audience engagement strategies
    • Compilation and dissemination of resource/land use guidelines and beneficial management practices
  • Surveys, Inventories and Monitoring: Activities such as identifying potential sites for habitat restoration, or assessing the presence of a target species and its habitat in order to target, design and carry out a current (or future) stewardship project.
    These activities will only be funded if they are part of a larger stewardship project that is clearly defined in the application and that will be implemented within the next two years. Applicants will be required to demonstrate how their monitoring and data collection activities will lead to on-the-ground recovery action as part of the application.
    • Identifying potential sites for habitat restoration; includes mapping and analysis (needed to support target species stewardship activities)
    • Assessing the presence of target species through surveying and/or monitoring
    • Creation and/or maintenance of inventories or databases for habitat and species data
    • Documentation of Indigenous Knowledge
  • Project Evaluation: Assess the social and biological results and effectiveness of stewardship activities.
    • Conduct project or program results assessment(s)
  • Outreach and Education: Providing information to appropriate target audiences on specific actions to be taken to protect target species; raising awareness about target species conservation needs; educating resource users about alternative methods that minimize impacts on target species and their habitat; promoting stewardship at the community level to improve attitudes and change behaviour.
    The activity should lead to direct target species recovery action; general outreach or non-targeted activities are not eligible. Any proposed outreach or awareness-building activities will need to be framed as a necessary component of a larger project plan unless they are sufficiently targeted and well supported to stand alone. Project applications will need to describe in detail how each outreach activity will lead to action in implementing on-the-ground species recovery and include a plan for measuring the implementation, either within the time frame of the project, or within a defined period afterward.
    Outreach activities may include:
    • Development of targeted outreach materials emphasizing the importance of target species and the benefits of the action to be undertaken
    • Training of individuals/community members in stewardship practices related to target species
    • Informing and engaging community members/target audiences (e.g., land managers, resources users) about their potential contributions towards target species recovery
    • Engaging landowners directly in future habitat protection activities


  • Activities not covered in the above list may be considered, subject to further review.
  • Activities must be closely linked to prescribed recovery actions in completed recovery strategies, action plans or management plans when available for SARA- listed species and/or wildlife/conservation plans for COSEWIC-assessed species not listed on Schedule 1 of the SARA.
  • The creation of promotional merchandise (such as hats or mugs) is not eligible for HSP funding.
  • Scientific research activities, captive breeding, captive rearing, extirpated species reintroductions, the development of Recovery Strategies or Action Plans (including the identification of Critical Habitat, as required under SARA) are not eligible for HSP funding. However, HSP-funded activities can contribute to the content of recovery documents, such as through the collection of species data that can be used to inform on habitat needs, threat mitigation measures, etc.

Project Funding and Eligible Expenses

Project Funding

Funding is variable and dependant on project activities. In an effort to promote collaboration and multi-year projects, the suggested minimum funding request for new and multi-year projects is $25,000.


  • Project funding typically ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per project, per year. Projects may extend over more than 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.
  • Non-Indigenous applicants will be required to obtain a minimum of 1:1 matching contributions from non-federal sources ($1 confirmed match for every $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 every $1 HSP funding).
  • Leveraging can take the form of either financial or in-kind resources (equipment loans, donations of building materials, and volunteer labour).

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider the potential impact of variable timing of funding decisions on proposed project activities and budgets.

Eligible Expenses

For all expenses, only those deemed to be a reasonable share for completing the project shall be considered eligible.

Eligible expenses may include reasonable and properly itemized costs for:

  • Salaries and wages
    • SalariesFootnote 4 , wages and benefits (directly associated with the project activities)
  • Management and professional service expenditures
    • Costs associated with services required to support a project, such as accounting, Elders/knowledge-holders fees, insurance (related to the project), legal (other than litigation) costs, official languages translationsFootnote 5  and other professional fees (other than travel)
  • Contractors
    • Costs associated with consultants and contractors’ engaged to undertake project activities (subject to regional limits)Footnote 6
  • Travel (as per the Treasury Board Secretariat DirectiveFootnote 7 )
    • Travel expenses and related expenses for contracted professional service providers or other non-employees (to a maximum of current Treasury Board Secretariat rates), including mileage and accommodation
    • Travel and related expenses for recipient organization employees
  • Material and supplies expenditures
    • Office supplies and materials
    • Field/laboratory equipment and field supplies
    • Includes equipment purchase costs under $10,000
  • Purchase of capital assets
    • Purchase of a single, tangible asset (with a useful life of more than one year) using more than $10,000 of ECCC funds (subject to approval in advance)
  • Equipment rentals
    • Lease, rental and/or repair of equipment used to undertake or support the project activities (subject to regional limits)
  • Land acquisition, leases, easements, covenants, servitures
    • Costs of land acquisition or other means of land securement
    • Costs associated with land acquisition or other means of land securement i.e. leases, easements, covenants or servitudes
    • May include appraisal fees and legal costs
  • Communication and printing, production, and distribution expenditures
    • Printing costs, websites, supplies, etc.
  • Vehicle rental and operation expenditures
  • Lease of office space
  • Overhead
    • Administrative costs (salaries and benefits of support staff, office utilities and rent, etc.) directly attributable to carrying out of the project up to a maximum of 10% of the HSP contribution; note that overhead costs are not included as part of the other eligible expenditures categories
  • Expenditures for preparing an independent financial report
    • Projects over $100,000 may be required to submit an independently verified financial report at the end of the project
  • Other expenditures
    • Meeting and training fees (e.g., materials and hall rental), registration fees for courses, conferences, workshops or seminars
  • Further disbursement of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) funding to final recipients
    • Organizations wishing to coordinate work for a specific species or threat, or within a certain geographic area may wish to consider a further disbursement project. A further disbursement project is one where a recipient distributes funds to third parties by means of their own competitive contribution-type program and agreements. Please contact a Regional HSP Coordinator for further details.


  • GST/HST/QST/PST is an eligible project expenditure, therefore ECCC may reimburse recipients for the taxes they paid while undertaking the activities of the agreement that are not reimbursable by Canada Revenue Agency or by the provinces and territories. The amount of ECCC’s contribution includes the reimbursement for GST/HST/QST/PST. For example, if ECCC’s contribution is $25,000, this $25,000 includes ECCC’s reimbursement for all eligible expenditures including GST/HST/QST/PST. ECCC will not reimburse the recipient $25,000 plus GST/HST/QST/PST; the $25,000 is all-inclusive.
  • The use of universal day rates is not accepted. Costs must be broken down by expense category in order for the Contribution Agreement to be considered legally binding after signing. When costs are broken down into their respective categories, various clauses are triggered in the Contribution Agreement.
  • Costs, other than those identified herein, are ineligible unless specifically approved in writing by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change or their delegate at the time of project approval and are necessary for the successful completion of the project.

Matching Contributions

Applicants must obtain contributions of non-federal support (cash and/or in-kind) to obtain HSP funds.

  • Provincial agencies, non-governmental organizations, private landowners, the private sector, and the applicant, are all eligible sources of matching funds.
  • For non-Indigenous applicants, a minimum of 1:1 matching contributions (from non-federal sources) is required ($1 confirmed match for every $1 HSP funding). However, preference will be given to projects with matching contributions in excess of 1:1 and to projects with higher cash-matching contributions in relation to in-kind contributions.
  • For Indigenous applicants, a minimum of 0.20:1 matching contributions (from non-federal sources) of the HSP funding amount is required ($0.20 match for every $1 of HSP funding). However, preference will be given to projects with matching contributions in excess of 0.20:1 and to projects with higher cash-matching contributions in relation to in-kind contributions.
  • For multi-year projects, the program’s requirement for matching contributions is based on the ability of the applicant to obtain that support over the entire duration of the project, and approval is not contingent on securement of all matching funds up front.Footnote 8 
  • Federal funds (e.g., EcoAction, Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk [AFSAR] and federal funds administered by third-party non-governmental organizations) are not eligible as match for HSP funding. Recipients can only receive funding from one federal funding program for each proposed activity. Organizations should review information from other Environment and Climate Change Canada funding programs to determine which program is the best fit for their project.
  • Please note that Band contributions for projects are considered as eligible sources of matching contributions.
  • All proposed contributions must be listed in the application. If the HSP application is successful, all confirmed contributions must be identified in the Contribution Agreement signed with ECCC. If the applicant is not sure where the funding will come from precisely at the time of application, they can specify “Anticipated funding from other project funders.”
  • Examples of in-kind resources are equipment loans, donations of building materials and volunteer labour. In-kind costs should be associated only with the portion used in the project, not the total cost of the materials and supplies. For specifics on the eligibility of and limitations on in-kind resources, please contact a Regional HSP Coordinator.

Consolidating Projects and Multi-Year Funding

If an applicant wishes to submit more than one project for HSP funding, they are encouraged to consolidate multiple, small applications on the same target species or in the same area into a single, large application that outlines the different activities.

Multi-year project applications are encouraged because they consider the longer-term conservation outcome and, once approved, offer assurance of funding from one year to the next, provided the Recipients meet all terms, conditions, and other obligations in the Contribution Agreement.

Current Recipients of HSP multi-year funding can apply to receive additional HSP funding to undertake new and additional activities that are within the original scope/objectives of their current project, by way of an amendment to their existing contribution agreementFootnote 9 . Contact a Regional HSP Coordinator for details.

Projects are administered at the regionalFootnote 10  scale. Applicants whose projects cross regional boundaries should identify a primary region based on where the majority of activities will take place. It is strongly recommended that applicants with projects crossing over regional boundaries discuss their project with the primary region’s Regional HSP Coordinator early in the application process.

Other Requirements

Impact Assessment Act, 2019

Consult your Regional HSP Coordinator to help you evaluate whether the consideration of the environmental effects of a project may be required under the Impact Assessment Act, 2019.

How to Apply

Expression of Interest

To apply to the HSP, it is recommended that potential applicants contact their Regional HSP Coordinator to discuss their proposed project to verify that it is aligned with Program priorities and expected results. This process will typically improve the quality of the application, but does not guarantee that the project will receive funding.

On-line application system

To submit an application, applicants must register on ECCC’s Single Window Information Management system to access the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS).

  • The Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS) is now closed to applications for project proposals that start in 2023.
  • The HSP Tracking System is permanently offline. If you require information from the Tracking System, contact your Regional HSP Coordinator.

Related links

  • GCEMS Applicant Guide
  • Expression of Interest form (An accessible PDF form will become available in the near future.)

Application deadline

The application period for projects commencing in 2023-2024 was open from October 4 to November 15, 2022.

Please note that extensions to the application deadline will not be granted due to personal considerations, minor technical malfunctions, or other reasons. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early since online systems can become slower as the deadline nears, due to a high volume of proponents accessing the system. *The creation of a new user account can also take several days.

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.

How Projects Are Reviewed

As the demand for funding from HSP regularly exceeds the funds available, there is no guarantee that a project will be funded. Every effort will be made to provide applicants with the earliest possible notice once a decision has been made. To ensure a higher likelihood of success, it is strongly encouraged that applicants complete the Expression of Interest form and work with their Regional HSP Coordinator to discuss their project’s eligibility and alignment with program priorities ahead of the actual application process.

Application Evaluation Criteria

Every project proposal undergoes a technical evaluation by the Regional HSP Coordinator to confirm that it meets eligibility requirements. Eligible applications will be evaluated and prioritized using the following criteria:

  • 60% for alignment with program objectives, eligibility requirements for species, applicants, activities, expenses, matching funds, etc., and Program priorities; and;
  • 40% for technical merit of the application, which includes (though is not limited to) overall quality of the project application, feasibility of the application, and consideration of past performance. See below for more information about the quality criteria of successful projects:

A high-quality project is one that :

  • Is developed with the involvement of recovery expert(s) for the target species and/or links to conservation activities identified in; recovery strategies/action plans for endangered or threatened species, or management plans for species of special concern, where these documents exist;
  • Links to conservation activities identified in wildlife/conservation plans for COSEWIC-assessed species not listed on Schedule 1 of SARA;
  • Incorporates other regional considerations mentioned on this webpage, including benefits to multiple species with targeted species being program priorities, and ability to address critical habitat of SARA-listed species.
  • Demonstrates the applicant’s ability to plan, manage and complete projects successfully (e.g., description of the issues and solutions to be implemented);
  • Demonstrates the appropriateness of budget and schedules. These must be realistic given the time frame and objectives of the project;
  • Has a high likelihood of success based on applicant experience and realistic deliverables.
  • Includes other funding sources in excess of the minimum matched funding ratio, and demonstrates the applicant’s ability to raise funds from non-federal sources;
  • Has a concise application presented in a clear and logical manner;
  • Has a well-developed workplan and has a plan to measure project results;
  • Implements evaluation and performance measures;
  • Coordinates with other habitat conservation programs and/or partners, for both recovery actions and cost-efficiency;
  • Demonstrates a high degree of local and regional support from a variety of partners;
  • Involves individuals and communities with local experience/knowledge; and

Writing a high-quality Project Summary

The following information provides guidance on how to complete the “Project Summary” Module in the GCEMS Application. For additional guidance on completing other Modules in the GCEMS Application, please consult the GCEMS Applicant User Guide.

Project title

This title will be used in all communications related to the proposal. Therefore, it must describe the work undertaken, the project purpose, the project location if possible, and be easily understood by an external audience. Do not use acronyms and do not make reference to the year or phase of a project (e.g., Year 1 of 2) as multi-year proposals are accepted. Example: Encouraging Landowners’ Participation in Conserving Habitat For Burrowing Owl In Southern Alberta.

Project start date and project end date

Indicate the project start and end dates. Please note that for funding starting in 2023, proposed activities in the application should not start before April 1, 2023. Specify the end date of your project by taking into consideration that HSP support may extend over more than one year to a maximum of five years. A project can be amended up to 5 additional years but the project cannot exceed 10 years in total.

Project location(s)

Please enter the City, Province, Canadian Wildlife Service region (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, Pacific or Northern), coordinates (latitude/longitude) and other criteria (if applicable) of the main office responsible for the implementation of the project. More detailed project location information will be requested in the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk 2022-2023 module.

Project description

This is a brief (suggested maximum 250 words) synopsis of the proposed project including the activities to be accomplished using HSP funding on the target species and habitat as outlined in the GCEMS Application. It must contain sufficient information to "stand alone" during the review and approval phases. Be sure to spell out acronyms. Consider the following items in developing your project description:

  • Type of project: Identify the funding program and whether it is a single or multi-year project.
  • Overall project purpose: Outline the project goal(s) and objective(s) (one to two sentences).
  • Location of Project: Identify the province, Canadian Wildlife Service region (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, Pacific, Northern), and main geographic area where the work is taking place.
  • Species: Name each target species and its status: Listed from the SARA and/or assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and whether special concern, threatened or endangered Include whether it is a regionally identified priority species.
  • Threats: Describe the main threat(s) faced by the species that the project will address. Be clear.
  • Main activities: List only the activities to address the recovery need/threat that is proposed to be funded by HSP. Do not repeat the detailed activities provided in the proposal work plan, but rather provide an explanation of how the activities will achieve the project objective(s) and the needed species at risk (SAR) recovery actions. These should be listed as measurable deliverables (e.g. number of hectares to be acquired, or restored, and how). Do not use global terms like "enhancement activities will be undertaken" without describing what they will be.
  • Project Timing: Provide a timeline for when the activities need to be carried out to achieve the project objective(s).
  • Anticipated project benefits/outcomes: Describe how the project will contribute to the recovery of the target species and how it will address HSP program priorities.
  • Program Objectives and Expected Results: Outline which Conserving Nature Program objective(s) and expected result(s) will be addressed by the project and explain how it/they will be achieved.
  • Performance Evaluation: Describe how you will measure and report on the impact of each project activity on the recovery of the target species and their habitats in your project, including baseline data to evaluate post-project status and indicators that will be used to assess project success.

Only make reference to past years' projects if building on past results. Even if this is a similar project to past years, do not duplicate the description, but rather clearly indicate the specific value of this project, and how it makes a unique contribution to the species recovery need being addressed.

Satisfactory Example of a Project Description

Satisfactory Example of a Project Description

This single-year HSP project will focus on targeted outreach and education to assist in the conservation and recovery of species at risk and their habitats in Saskatchewan. The project will take place between May and October 2019 within the Milk River Watershed (South of Divide). Six SARA-listed species will be targeted including: Sage Grouse (Endangered; Prairie Region priority species), Loggerhead Shrike (Threatened), and Burrowing Owl (Endangered; Prairie Region priority species). Project activities will include a prairie-wide workshop where stakeholders will discuss the benefits and incentives of conserving natural landscapes and best agricultural management practices and outreach events to increase awareness of the importance of native prairie stewardship. The project will also deliver on the two Conserving Nature expected results: Sufficient habitat is conserved to support species recovery, and reduced threats affecting species at risk by implementing an educational program where students are educated by farmers about stewardship and species at risk. The project will contribute to the recovery strategy actions of each species at risk by engaging the community and raising awareness of the species and their threats, including wetland habitat degradation through conversion to agricultural use or invasive species (Priority Sector and Threat), and increasing the network of stakeholders concerned with prairie conservation. Project performance will be evaluated with indicators such as measurable direct outcomes (e.g. number of people engaged) and indirect outcomes (e.g. survey of changes made by farmers to promote native landscapes).

Unsatisfactory Example of a Project description:

This project will address the threat of the SARA-listed Greater Sage Grouse and other SAR present in the area. It will be conducted within the Milk River Watershed. Outreach activities will be carried out such as holding workshops and delivering classroom education sessions. These activities will enhance and protect the habitat of the Greater Sage Grouse.

Please note: The ability of applicants to complete all reporting and administration requirements under the HSP will be considered during the evaluation. To this end, project evaluators will consider past performance in meeting reporting and administration deadlines for previous HSP projects and other Contribution Agreements with ECCC. Inability to meet these reporting requirements may result in disqualification of an applicant for future funding.

Due to Government of Canada policy, communication with applicants regarding application status during the project review and selection phase is prohibited until the final departmental approvals have been granted. ECCC will notify all applicants of funding decisions and will do so for each individual application submitted. ECCC aims to send these notifications as early as possible; however, applicants should expect variation in the timing of notifications within a program and between ECCC or other Government of Canada funding programs. Applicants will be notified as soon as funding decisions have been made, and negotiation of Contribution Agreements with successful applicants will follow. The Program is unable to reimburse applicants for any expenses incurred prior to the official notification. ECCC will aim to have HSP funding decisions available by spring 2023.

For Accepted Applications

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 teams may be advised about the approval in principle of a project and may be provided with information 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 60 working days after notification.

Once confirmation of approval of the project has been received, applicants will be required to submit additional information, including but not limited to the following:

Cash Flow Statement

A detailed cash flow statement of all sources of revenue (including all in-kind contributions) and expenditures that are part of the approved project will be required.

Reporting Obligations

The Contribution Agreement, between the recipient and ECCC, will specify project reporting deadlines and will include the required forms. Recipients will need to provide regular progress reports, annual reports (for multi-year projects) as well as a final report upon the completion of the project.

These reports will describe project revenue, expenses, accomplishments and detailed descriptions/quantifications of project outputs and outcomes. Project expected results are basic quantifiable project achievements while project intermediate outcomes include longer-term indicators of effectiveness of project activities in supporting the recovery of species and their habitats.

Project expected results for annual or final project reports could include:

  • total land area secured, protected, improved or restored
  • number of species targeted for protection
  • target species monitoring results
  • number of individuals directly or indirectly engaged through outreach

Project intermediate outcomes for annual or final project reports could include:

  • effectiveness of stewardship agreements in improving habitat quality
  • effectiveness of management or restoration actions or threat reduction activities
  • effectiveness of directed outreach efforts in improving stakeholder engagement

Outcomes and accomplishments must be reported using the performance indicators identified in the Contribution Agreement. It is important to note that different projects may have different reporting requirements. The Regional HSP Coordinator will advise recipients on specific reporting requirements.

Survey Data Sharing

Recipients will be required to provide species occurrence or habitat data collected in the context of the project to the respective provincial/territorial wildlife data repository centre or to ECCC or Parks Canada, as relevant to your project. Recipients will be asked to confirm in their final report the submission of data.

Intellectual Property Rights

Any Intellectual Property Rights created by the Recipient in association with their obligations and responsibilities under this Agreement shall vest in and remain the property of the Recipient. ECCC shall have no rights to this intellectual property for any purpose without the express written permission of the Recipient.


Recipients will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate permits associated with the project from relevant federal and/or provincial authorities (including those required under SARA, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, and any other provincial or territorial wildlife acts that may apply) wherever the project triggers the need for a permit (e.g., it could impact target species).

As permits take time to arrange, Recipients should address this need several months before the project start date to reduce delays once a funding announcement is made (see the SARA registry).

Public Acknowledgement

Recipients are responsible for providing ECCC with final copies of any document or material utilizing the ECCC identifier, wordmark and/or acknowledgement statements prior to printing or distribution, for ECCC approval of the use of said logos and/or acknowledgement statements. The Regional HSP Coordinator will need to be consulted prior to making any communications products such as publications, public information releases, advertising, promotional announcements, activities, speeches, lectures, interviews, ceremonies, and websites. All such communications products originating from the project must acknowledge ECCC’s contribution by displaying the ECCC identifier with the public acknowledgement text, along with the ECCC wordmark.

Official Languages

The Official Languages Act (Part VII) requires that the Government of Canada promote both official languages and enhance the vitality of Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) across Canada. It is recognized that projects or organizations funded by ECCC through a grants and contributions program may:

  • Have an impact on OLMC; and/or
  • Provide potential opportunities to promote the use of both English and French; and/or
  • Make it possible to promote Canada’s bilingual nature.

Applicants whose project may be delivered in a geographic area with OLMCs or which includes any public events, signage, promotional or other communications may need to consider official language requirements. For example, a project may be required to:

  • Offer materials produced with project funds (websites, brochures, kits, handouts, newsletters, reports, etc.) in both official languages
  • Have directional and educational signs produced in both official languages
  • Offer workshop facilitation in both official languages

Cost directly related to official language translation required under the Official Languages Act for a project is an eligible cost under the program.

Applicants will be required to complete the Official Language Questionnaire for Funding Applicants (included in the application form) in order to assess the official language requirements that may apply to the project. Applicants should discuss any potential official language requirements and opportunities with their Regional HSP Coordinator.

Main links

Please see the following websites for additional information that may be useful for applicants:

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.

Regional HSP 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: 581-703-2747

Patrick Rivers
Email: patrick.rivers@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 416-433-8322

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
Christopher Carli
Email: christopher.carli@ec.gc.ca
Telephone: 867-334-7393


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