Call for proposals: Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk

Now accepting proposals for 2018 to 2019.

One of the Government of Canada’s conservation results is the recovery of species at risk.  Now into its 19th year, the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Species at Risk delivers on this result by providing 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). Activities must take place on private land, provincial Crown land, Indigenous land or in aquatic environments across Canada.

Important information

In an effort to improve support for government conservation priorities and to optimize delivery of funding to more effectively and efficiently implement new strategic directions, the responsible Departments have revised their approach to prioritization and have made adjustments to the requirements of the funding Programs. To this end, starting in 2018 to 2019, all species at risk funding programs (the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, and the Interdepartmental Recovery Fund) have adopted a common tiered approach for regional priorities that will be used to guide the selection and prioritization of proposals for the funding of terrestrial stewardship projects. The tiered prioritization approach applies to projects in terrestrial environments only. The approach to regional priorities for aquatic stewardship projects remains unchanged in 2018 to 2019.

As a result of the delay to the launch of the 2018 to 2019 call for proposals the notification of funding decisions will be received later than is typical. The departments will aim to have funding decisions made by early September 2018 for HSP projects. Applicants should therefore only submit an application for HSP funding consideration for activities that will occur after September 1, 2018. For more information or to discuss implications for your project, contact your Regional Coordinator.

Regional terrestrial tiered priorities are summarized as follows:

Long description

Tiered regional priorities - terrestrial Species at Risk Stream

higher priority for funding to lower priority for funding

  • Tier 1 priorities
    • Focal landscapes
  • Tier 2 priorities
    • Overarching priority species,  sectors and threats
  • Tier 3 priorities
    • Existing Regional Priorities (area, species, threat)

Tier 1 priorities

  • Focal landscapes  are similar, but more geographically focused, than previous regional priority areas. They represent landscapes of significant conservation value, such as those with high occurances and/or diversity of species at risk and migratory birds or those with important habitat for these species. These landscapes have also been targeted as having existing conservation opportunities with active partners and stakeholders which can be expanded on or leveraged through more targeted program funding to increase successful conservation outcomes. Note that focal landscapes are assigned at the regional level and, at this time, not all provinces or territories have focal landscapes. Please see maps for visual representation of the Tier 1 Focal landscapes.

Tier 2 priorities

  • SAR Stream Tier 2 priority species are iconic species that are the focus of significant conservation interest and efforts both in Canada and, in some cases, internationally. These species may also be umbrella or keystone species which will result in improved conservation for other species sharing their habitat when conservation actions are targeted to them.
  • SAR Stream Tier 2 priority sectors and threats were chosen given the impact they have on species at risk, migratory birds and their habitats in most parts of Canada. The priority sectors and threats are intentionally broad in scope in order to allow region-specific prioritization of conservation concerns.

Tier 3 priorities

  • SAR Stream Tier 3 regional priorities are existing priority areas, species and threats that are not addressed by the new Tier 1 or Tier 2 priorities. Please see maps for visual representation of the Tier 1 Focal landscapes and Tier 3 regional priority areas.

For terrestrial projects this year, in order to best focus the program’s limited funds on the new strategic directions, emphasis will be placed on projects that address regional priorities with the aim to target the majority of HSP funds for terrestrial projects to those addressing Tier 1 and Tier 2 priorities. Any remaining funds will be allocated to projects that address Tier 3 projects. Projects that do not address Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 priorities may not be considered for funding in 2018 to 2019.

For aquatic projects, the approach to regional priorities has not changed in 2018 to 2019. This means that priority areas, species and threats will be considered equal for funding decisions.

More information on the tiered approach to terrestrial regional priorities can be found in the application guidelines, and by contacting your Regional Coordinator.

Habitat Stewardship Program Species at Risk stream expected results

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must demonstrate how they contribute directly to the recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk. Further, the proposal should include  one or more of the elements below, and describe how they contribute to the species’ recovery objectives and population goals:

  • important habitatFootnote 1  for species at risk recovery is secured or otherwise protected
  • important habitatFootnote 1  for species at risk recovery is improved (restored/enhanced) and/or managed to meet species’ recovery needs
  • threats to species at risk and/or their habitat that are caused by human activities are stopped, removed and/or mitigated
  • project benefits are sustained over time by engaging Canadians (landowners, resource users, volunteers) to participate directly in activities that support the recovery of species at risk

Habitat Stewardship Program Species at Risk stream national priorities

The national priorities for HSP SAR stream are projects or activities that focus on the following:

  • Implementation of priority activities described in recovery strategies, action plans or management plans
  • Implementation of multi-species projects with a focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives 
  • Implementation of projects involving collaboration among multiple stakeholders/partners
  • the recovery of species at risk and threats to species at risk included as part of an international agreement
  • activities that address the impacts or respond to the threats of climate change as described in recovery strategies, action plans or management plans

Projects that incorporate one or more national priorities as project activities have a higher chance of receiving funding.


The program will be accepting Expressions of Interest until February 23, 2018. The submission of an Expression of Interest is strongly encouraged, particularly for applicants who have not received HSP funding in the past, for those applying to a new stream and for projects taking place in terrestrial environments to discuss how your project meets the program’s new Tiered approach to priorities.

The deadline for proposal submissions is March 19th, 2018.

For more information

Please contact your HSP Regional Coordinator to receive further information on the Expression of Interest and on regional program priorities for projects in your area.

General information on the HSP is available.

Please refer to the 2018 to 2019 HSP Application Guidelines for information on how to complete an Expression of Interest, how to submit a proposal, and other details about project eligibility.

If you have any questions, please contact

Thank you for your interest in the recovery of species at risk. We wish you the best in your application!

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