Habitat secured for species at risk
As of March 31, 2014, 1836 square kilometres (km2) of Canadian habitat had been secured through the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) for Species at Risk. This benefits up to 603 species assessed as "at risk" (Endangered, Threatened or of Special concern) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The area secured has increased steadily since the program's inception in 2000-2001.
In addition, during the program year 2013-2014, 109 km2 of land and 136 km of shoreline habitat were improved through HSP projects.
Cumulative species at risk habitat secured by HSP-funded projects, Canada, 2000 to 2013
The line chart shows the cumulative habitat that has been secured through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, in square kilometres, for fiscal years from 2000 to 2013. The area secured has increased steadily since 2000, reaching 1836 square kilometres in 2013.
Data for this chart
|Year||Fiscal year||Annual area of habitat protected
(legally binding protection measures, square kilometres)
|Cumulative area of habitat protected
(square kilometres)Footnote [A]
Download data file (Excel/CSV; 733 B)
Note: The line (in green) tracks the cumulative habitat secured by the Habitat Stewardship Program. Years refer to fiscal years, which run from April to March. The year 2013 therefore refers to April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
Source: Environment Canada (2014) Canadian Wildlife Service, Species at Risk Funding Programs office.
As of March 2014, 671 wildlife species have been assessed as being Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).Footnote  Many more may be at risk. For example, the Wild Species report for 2010 ranked the status of 2013 species as At risk, Possibly at risk, or Sensitive.Footnote  Although a species can be considered at risk for many reasons, most species decline as a result of human activities that alter habitat, such as urban development, agriculture, natural resource development, invasive species, pollution and climate change. Recognizing the importance of natural habitat to the survival and recovery of species, the Government of Canada launched the HSP in 2000. The HSP supports the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and gives priority to species included in the "List of Wildlife Species at Risk" (Schedule 1 of SARA).
The HSP provides funding for stewardship activities that, among other conservation actions, secure land for species at risk and support their recovery, improve habitat or mitigate threats to species at risk from human activity. The HSP considers habitat as "secured" when it has been protected through purchase, donation, or other legally binding agreements such as conservation easements and leases.Footnote  The HSP is not the only program that secures habitat for species at risk. Some of these other initiatives are part of the National Conservation Plan.
This indicator is used to measure progress toward Target 4.3: Terrestrial Ecosystems and Habitat Stewardship; Contribute to the proposed national target that by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2013-2016.
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