Species at Risk public registry: glossary of terms


Glossary of terms - Letter A

Accord for the protection of Species at Risk
an agreement among all provinces, territories and three federal departments to commit to a national approach for species at risk.

Action plan
an action plan is a document that defines the projects or activities required to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the recovery strategy for a wildlife species.

Administrative agreement
allows for the administration of any provision in the Act, in which the competent minister has responsibility.

Alternative measures agreement
allows for the provision of alternative measures to deal with persons alleged to have committed offences, but only if it is consistent with the purposes of the Act.

Aquatic species
a wildlife species that is a fish as defined in section 2 of the Fisheries Act, or a marine plant as defined in section 47 of the Act.


Glossary of terms - Letter C

Competent Minister
  1. the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency with respect to individuals in or on federal lands administered by that Agency;
  2. the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to aquatic species, other than individuals mentioned in paragraph (a); and
  3. the Minister of the Environment with respect to all other individuals.

Critical habitat
the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species.

Canadian Wildlife Service.


Glossary of terms - Letter D

Delegation of authority agreement
allows the minister to delegate any of that ministers powers or functions under the Act, relating to its enforcement.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans.


Glossary of terms - Letter E

Environment Canada.

Endangered species
a wildlife species that is facing imminent extirpation or extinction.

Extended Consultation
Under some circumstances, the Schedule 1 listing of a species could have significant or widespread impacts on the activities of some groups of peoples. It is essential that such stakeholders be informed of the pending decision and to the extent possible its potential consequences. A longer period may also be required to consult appropriately with some groups. For such reasons, extended consultations may be undertaken. Extended consultations vary in length, usually lasting about 15 months. Once extended consultations are complete, the Minister of the Environment forwards the species assessment to the Governor in Council for formal receipt. Governor in Council than has nine months to come to a listing decision.

Extinct species
a wildlife species that no longer exists.

Extirpated species
a wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the wild.


Glossary of terms - Letter F

Federal land
includes any land owned by the federal government, the internal waters and territorial sea of Canada, and reserves and other land set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act.


Glossary of terms - Letter H

Habitat Stewardship Program.


Glossary of terms - Letter I

includes an individual of a wildlife species, whether living or dead, at any developmental stage and includes larvae, embryos, eggs, sperm, seeds, pollen, spores and asexual propagules.

Interdepartmental Recovery Fund.


Glossary of terms - Letter L

Lead jurisdiction
a federal, provincial or territorial agency with primary responsibility for leading development of a response statement or a recovery strategy, or with leading recovery for a species, when there are other responsible jurisdictions involved.

the List of Wildlife Species at Risk set out in Schedule 1.


Glossary of terms - Letter M

Management plan
a management plan is a document that sets goals and objectives for maintaining sustainable population levels of one or more species that are particularly sensitive to environmental factors, but which are not in danger of becoming extinct.

Minister of the Environment.


Glossary of terms - Letter N

National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk
the National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk consists of the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and six representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada selected by the Minister based upon recommendations from aboriginal organizations that the Minister considers appropriate.


Glossary of terms - Letter O

an order is instructions, decisions or directions given by the Minister or Governor in Council which are authorized by legislation.


Glossary of terms - Letter P

Parks Canada Agency.

Provincial minister
any minister of the government of a province who is responsible for the conservation and management of a wildlife species in that province.


Glossary of terms - Letter R

a Recovery Action Group, is a group of people working on specific actions or projects under the umbrella of a national recovery team.

Recovery strategy
a recovery strategy is a document that outlines the long-term goals and short-term objectives for recovering a species at risk, based on the best available scientific baseline information.

a regulation is a rule that indicates how a statute is to be enforced.

the Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife is the national recovery program initiated in 1988 by the Wildlife Ministers Council of Canada.

the specific dwelling place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or a place that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding, or hibernating.

Response Statements
a statement which indicates how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to a species assessment that he or she has received from COSEWIC. It must appear on the Public Registry within 90 days of receipt of the assessment, and indicates whether the species will undergo normal or extended consultation. Under normal consultations a species assessment is forwarded to Cabinet shortly after the response statement is posted on the Registry. For extended consultations the assessment is forwarded after consultations are complete. A listing decision must be made within 9 months of Cabinet's receipt of the assessment.

Responsible jurisdiction
a federal, provincial or territorial agency with responsibility for a species or its habitat.


Glossary of terms - Letter S

Species at Risk Act.

Schedule 1
is the official list of species that are classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened, and of special concern.

Schedule 2
species listed in Schedule 2 are species that had been designated as endangered or threatened, and have yet to be re-assessed by COSEWIC using revised criteria. Once these species have been re-assessed, they may be considered for inclusion in Schedule 1.

Schedule 3
species listed in Schedule 3 are species that had been designated as special concern, and have yet to be re-assessed by COSEWIC using revised criteria. Once these species have been re-assessed, they may be considered for inclusion in Schedule 1.

Special concern species
a wildlife species that may become a threatened or an endangered species because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Species at risk
an extirpated, endangered, threatened species, or a species of special concern.

Status report
a report containing a summary of the best available information on the status of a wildlife species, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge and aboriginal traditional knowledge.


Glossary of terms - Letter T

Territorial minister
any minister of the government of a territory who is responsible for the conservation and management of a wildlife species in that territory.

Threatened species
a wildlife species that is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.


Glossary of terms - Letter W

Wildlife management board
any board or other body established under a land claims agreement that is authorised by the agreement to perform functions in respect of wildlife species.

Wildlife species
a species, subspecies or biologically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and native to Canada or has been present in Canada without human intervention for at least 50 years.

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