Habitat Stewardship Program for species at risk


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 administers HSP projects that support terrestrial stewardship projects while Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for administering HSP aquatic stewardship projects.

Funding date

The application period for projects commencing in 2019/2020 has now closed. Details on the application window for projects beginning in 2020/2021 will be posted when the call for proposals opens in the fall of 2019.

Contact email



The overall objectives of the Habitat Stewardship 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 applicants

  • 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

Projects must take place on private lands, Crown provincial lands or Indigenous Lands across Canada.

Eligible projects

In order to be eligible for funding, proposed projects must target species listed as Endangered, Threatened and of Special Concern on Schedule 1 of SARA.

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

Note: Activities other than those listed above may be considered subject to approval

The HSP evaluates and funds proposals in the context of HSP program priorities, which are reviewed annually. Please consult the 2019-2020 Call for Proposals to align your proposal with the program priorities.  The application package can be obtained by contacting your regional coordinator (listed below) or ec.PIH-HSP.ec@canada.ca.

Range of funding

Funding usually ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per project. Projects may extend over more than one year to a maximum of 3 years. A minimum of 1:1 matching contributions from non-federal sources is required.  For every $1 provided by the HSP, at least $1 needs to be raised by project recipients. This leveraging can take the form of either financial or in-kind resources (equipment loans, donations of building materials and volunteer labour).

Frequently asked questions

What are the selection criteria for projects under the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP)?

Projects must satisfy each of the following criteria: 

  • meet all eligibility requirements (applicants, species and activities);
  • address HSP program priorities and
  • leverage a minimum of 1:1 on funds that HSP invests; that is to say that for every $1 provided by HSP at least $1 is raised by project recipients.
What is the evaluation process and how are fund amounts determined for eligible projects?

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.

Funding is variable and dependent on project activities.  In an effort to promote collaboration and multi-year projects, 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 between one to three years.

When will I receive notification that I have been approved for funding?

Environment and Climate Change Canada will aim to have HSP funding decisions finalized by early spring 2019.

I have an idea for a project, can you tell me if I should consider applying to HSP or not?

If you are interested in applying to HSP please contact your Regional Coordinator (listed below) or ec.pih-hsp.ec@canada.ca to discuss your proposal in more detail.

Why is there no HSP Prevention stream this year? Will there be an HSP-Prevention stream in the future?

In order to ensure that Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to deliver on its priorities for clean air, climate change, clean water and biodiversity in the most efficient way possible, the department carefully reviews its entire Grants and Contributions budget each year.  The Government of Canada is committed to the protection and conservation of our natural environment and is working hard to make sure that our limited Grants and Contributions budget is used in the most effective manner to best meet our national conservation objectives.

Are there other sources of funding for my conservation project that does not target species at risk?

Yes.  Other sources of funding remain available for preventing species from becoming a conservation concern. We encourage you to check out the other programs listed on the Environment funding programs website for potential funding options

Points to consider

  1. Starting in 2019-2020, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is transitioning to take on full authority  for projects that contribute to the recovery of aquatic species at risk. Applicants wishing to pursue aquatic HSP projects should contact the appropriate aquatic regional coordinator at DFO.
  2. In accordance with Environment and Climate Change Canada’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. Contact your regional coordinator (listed below) if you have submitted an application but have not received this acknowledgment.
  3. Any proposal submitted to other Environment and Climate Change Canada funding programs must be for activities that are different from those submitted in the HSP proposal. Organizations should review information from other Environment and Climate Change Canada funding programs to determine which program is the  best fit for their project.

Application instructions

To apply

  • In order to obtain an application package, which includes the Call for Proposals, Application Guidelines and Expression of Interest, please contact your regional HSP coordinator (listed below) or ec.PIH-HSP.ec@canada.ca.

On-line system

Contact information

To become involved in the HSP program, you must have an eligible project. Contact your regional coordinator, from the list of regions below, to find out whether your organization and project would be a candidate for funding.

For general Environment and Climate Change Canada or Canadian Wildlife Service inquiries, please contact 1-800-668-6767 or ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca.

HSP Regional Coordinators

Regional contacts for general administration of projects and technical support on target species:

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


Ron Bazin
Email: ron.bazin@canada.ca
Telephone: (204) 984-0863


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

Northwest Territories and Nunavut

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


Saleem Dar
Email: saleem.dar@canada.ca
Telephone: (867) 393-7976

British Columbia

Ivy Whitehorne
Email: Ivy.whitehorne@canada.ca
Telephone: (604) 350-1939

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