Species at Risk Act: description
The Act is a key federal government commitment to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. It provides for the legal protection of wildlife species and the conservation of their biological diversity.
The purposes of the Act are to prevent Canadian indigenous species, subspecies, and distinct populations from becoming extirpated or extinct, to provide for the recovery of endangered or threatened species, and encourage the management of other species to prevent them from becoming at risk.
More specifically, the Act will:
- establish the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as an independent body of experts responsible for assessing and identifying species at risk
- require that the best available knowledge be used to define long and short-term objectives in a recovery strategy and action plan
- create prohibitions to protect listed threatened and endangered species and their critical habitat
- recognize that compensation may be needed to ensure fairness following the imposition of the critical habitat prohibitions
- create a public registry to assist in making documents under the Act more accessible to the public; and
- be consistent with Aboriginal and treaty rights and respect the authority of other federal ministers and provincial governments
SARA is a result of the implementation of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, which is in response to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The Act provides federal legislation to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and to provide for their recovery.
- The Act – full document in HTML format (most up-to-date version, supplied by the Justice Laws Web Site)
- The Act – full document in HTML format (original text as it appeared upon
passingof the bill, June 2002)
- The Act – PDF format (493 KB) (downloadable and printable version,
originaltext as it appeared upon passingof the bill, June 2002)
- Legislative Summary of SARA HTML PDF (515 KB)
SARAand You: A series of guides to help you understand and comply with the requirements of SARA
SARA Annual Reports
The following sections provide information relating to SARA instruments and the implementation of the Act.
Section 129 of the Species at Risk Act requires Parliament to review the Act five years after that section comes into force.
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