Species at Risk Act annual report 2012: chapter 2

2 Wildlife Assessment and Listing Under SARA

SARA establishes a process for conducting scientific assessments of the status of individual wildlife species. The Act separates the scientific assessment process from the listing decision, ensuring that scientists provide independent assessments and that decisions affecting Canadians are made by elected officials who are accountable for those decisions.

2.1 COSEWIC Assessments

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is the committee of experts that assesses the status of wildlife species in Canada that it considers to be at risk and identifies existing and potential threats to the species. It includes members from government, academia, Aboriginal organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The federal government provides financial support to COSEWIC.

COSEWIC assesses the status of a wildlife species using the best available information on the biological status of a species, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge. The committee provides assessments and supporting evidence annually to the Minister of the Environment.

COSEWIC can assess wildlife species as extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened, of special concern, data-deficient or not at risk:

  • An extinct wildlife species no longer exists anywhere in the world.
  • An extirpated wildlife species no longer exists in the wild in Canada but exists elsewhere in the world.
  • An endangered wildlife species faces imminent extirpation or extinction.
  • A threatened wildlife species is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.
  • A wildlife species of special concern may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Further details on risk categories and more information is available on the COSEWIC website.

To help prioritize species for assessments, COSEWIC uses the general status ranks outlined in the reports entitled Wild Species: The General Status of Species in Canada. These reports are produced every five years by the National General Status Working Group (see section 7.2.4), a joint federal-provincial-territorial initiative led by Environment Canada.

The first report, Wild Species 2000, provided general assessments of 1670 species in Canada. The second report, Wild Species 2005, presented general status assessments for 7732 species from all provinces, territories and ocean regions, representing all of Canada's vertebrate species (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), all of Canada's vascular plants, and four invertebrate groups (freshwater mussels, crayfishes, ordinates and tiger beetles). The third report, Wild Species 2010, included assessments of 11 950 species. Reports from the Wild Species series have greatly increased the number and variety of species assessed nationally, but with the total number of species in Canada estimated at more than 70 000, there are still many species left to be assessed.

Environment Canada, the Parks Canada Agency, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada provide input to the assessment process via their representation on COSEWIC and through the population surveys that they conduct on some species of interest to COSEWIC. They are also regularly involved in the peer review of COSEWIC status reports.

In keeping with section 20 of SARA, Environment Canada provides COSEWIC with professional, technical, secretarial, clerical and other assistance that is necessary to carry out its functions via the COSEWIC Secretariat, which is housed within Environment Canada.

The data on aquatic species that Fisheries and Oceans Canada submits to COSEWIC to use when assessing species is vetted through a peer-review process. Experts from academia, government scientists and stakeholders, as appropriate, take part in the process. In 2012, information on four aquatic species was collected by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and was peer-reviewed before being submitted to COSEWIC.

When an aquatic species is assessed as threatened or endangered by COSEWIC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as the competent department under SARA, undertakes a number of actions. One of those actions is collecting scientific data to develop a recovery potential assessment. A recovery potential assessment gives valuable information on the current status of the species, the distribution, the threats to the species, and most importantly, the feasibility of its recovery. Fisheries and Oceans Canada completed recovery potential assessments for 11 aquatic species in 2012.

In 2012, the Parks Canada Agency continued to conduct detailed assessments to measure the conservation status of individual species by heritage place. Detailed assessments will be updated to help determine changes in species population levels, and to evaluate the effectiveness of management activities for species. This diagnostic tool helps the Agency to develop site-based action plans to identify feasible recovery opportunities and knowledge gaps for species at risk at each heritage place under the Agency's responsibility (i.e., national parks, national marine conservation areas, national historic sites and historic canals).

Approximately 50% of Canada's species at risk have been reported on those lands and waters. In total, 175 species at risk regularly occur in one or more of Parks Canada's heritage places. In 2012, the Agency either completed (reviewed or approved) or drafted a total of 134 site-specific detailed assessments for species at risk found within Parks Canada's protected heritage places. The information in detailed assessments contributes to the Wild Species reports, to COSEWIC status reports and to the development of Parks Canada site-based action plans.

NHIC Assists Parks Canada with Botanical Fieldwork in Point Pelee National Park

In 2012, the Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) assisted staff at Point Pelee National Park with several botanical studies in the park. A NHIC botanist worked closely with Point Pelee National Park biologists on the project. Parks Canada established vegetation monitoring plots on Middle Island, the southernmost island in Canada, to monitor the effects of changing cormorant numbers on the island's vegetation and flora. Populations of several species at risk occur on Middle Island, and during the 2012 fieldwork, the following were encountered: Wild Hyacinth, Blue Ash, Kentucky Coffee-tree, Red Mulberry and Common Hop-tree. Other significant plant species encountered during fieldwork on Middle Island included: Short's Rockcress, rediscovered on the island after not being seen for more than a decade; Smooth Clustered Sedge, known in Canada only from Middle Island; Eastern Few-fruited Sedge, first record for Middle Island; Yellow Corydalis; Appendaged Waterleaf; Large-seeded Forget-me-not; and Miami-mist. Through this partnership, the NHIC provided the new information to COSEWIC to inform the species assessment work.

Another aspect of the Parks Canada project was conducting a one-day workshop on plant identification and surveying and monitoring techniques.

NHIC and Parks Canada field crew for the Point Pelee National Park botanical survey work, standing at the most southerly point of Canada, on Middle Island (May 10, 2012).

NHIC and Parks Canada field crew for the Point Pelee National Park botanical survey work, standing at the most southerly point of Canada, on Middle Island (May 10, 2012). © Parks Canada, Photo: V. Minelga

2.1.1 COSEWIC Subcommittee on Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge

SARA requires that COSEWIC assess the conservation status of wildlife species on the basis of the best available information, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge and Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK). The Act also requires that COSEWIC establish a supporting subcommittee on ATK.

Activities of the ATK Subcommittee (ATK SC) for 2012 included the following:

  • Three ATK SC meetings were held in 2012: in Ottawa, Ontario, in January; in Little Shuswap Lake, British Columbia, in June; and in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in October. The January and October meetings provided an opportunity for discussion of status reports for wildlife species assessed by COSEWIC this past year. At the June meeting, the ATK SC prioritized and selected wildlife species for which ATK projects would be undertaken. At all ATK SC meetings, ATK project reports were reviewed for suitability to send to COSEWIC status report writers and COSEWIC Species Specialist Subcommittee Co-chairs.
  • The ATK SC completed ATK source reports for a number of wildlife species including Shortjaw Cisco, Lake Sturgeon, Green Sturgeon, Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Eastern Box Turtle, Spotted Turtle, Cassins Auklet, Blue Ash, Wolverine, Grey Whale, Beluga Whale, Atlantic Walrus and Narwhal. ATK source reports are resources that list the documented information sources that may provide relevant ATK for a given wildlife species.
  • The ATK SC completed ATK assessment reports for a number of wildlife species including Wolverine, Plains and Wood Bison, Atlantic Walrus, Caribou, a Grizzly Bear “supplemental” report, and Sockeye Salmon. ATK assessment reports, using ATK source reports, compile available and relevant ATK for a given wildlife species. The ATK SC initiated ATK assessment reports for a number of wildlife species including Beluga Whale, Wolverine and Chinook Salmon.
  • This past year, the ATK SC initiated the production of its first ATK designatable units (discrete and evolutionarily significant units of the taxonomic species) report, which is intended to inform COSEWIC on the proposed designatable units of the Beluga Whale from the perspective of ATK Holders. Also in development is an ATK gathering report, which is intended to compile available and relevant ATK information gathered directly from ATK Holders.
  • The ATK SC also initiated production of three manuals intended for use by COSEWIC, the COSEWIC Species Specialist Subcommittees and status report writers. These manuals will provide instruction and background information on working with ATK and ATK reports. As well, they will contain items to consider in order to appropriately and accurately integrate ATK into a COSEWIC status report.

2.1.2 Wildlife Species Assessments in 2012

COSEWIC finalized the following wildlife species assessments, grouped in batches, between 2002 and 2012:

  • Batch 1: 115 wildlife species in May 2002, November 2002 and May 2003
  • Batch 2: 59 wildlife species in November 2003 and May 2004
  • Batch 3: 73 wildlife species in November 2004 and May 2005
  • Batch 4: 68 wildlife species in April 2006
  • Batch 5: 64 wildlife species in November 2006 and April 2007
  • Batch 6: 46 wildlife species in November 2007 and April 2008
  • Batch 7: 48 wildlife species in November 2008 and April 2009
  • Batch 8: 79 wildlife species in November 2009 and April 2010
  • Batch 9: 92 wildlife species in November 2010 and May 2011
  • Batch 10: 64 wildlife species in November 2011 and May 2012

Details on batches 1 through 10 can be found in Table 3 (see section 2.2.4), and in previous SARA annual reports.

Batch 10

At the November 2011 and May 2012 meetings, COSEWIC finalized assessments and classification reviews of 64 wildlife species:

  • Two (2) wildlife species were examined and found to be data-deficient.
  • Six (6) wildlife species were assessed as not at risk (this included 1 species already listed on Schedule 1 as Threatened, which was assessed as no longer at risk).
  • One (1) wildlife species was assessed as extinct.
  • Fifty-five (55) wildlife species were assessed as at risk, of which 26 were confirmed at the classification already attributed to them on Schedule 1 of SARA.3

COSEWIC forwarded these assessments to the Minister of the Environment in early fall 2012.

Emergency Assessments

In late fall 2011, in response to a request for an emergency assessment of three species of bats (Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) and Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus)), the Chair of COSEWIC established an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee to assess the status of these species based on information available through 2010. On February 3, 2012, COSEWIC's Emergency Assessment Subcommittee unanimously assessed all three species as Endangered. COSEWIC forwarded a copy of the assessment to the Minister on February 22, 2012.

2.2 Listing

2.2.1 Listing Process

Upon formally receiving COSEWIC's assessments, the Minister of the Environment has 90 days to post a response statement on the Species at Risk Public Registry indicating how the Minister intends to respond to each assessment and, to the extent possible, providing timelines for action.

During this 90-day period, the competent minister carries out an internal review to determine the level of public consultation and socio-economic analysis necessary to inform the listing decision. Timelines for action and the scope of consultations included in the response statement are based on the results of this initial review.

The next step in the listing process is for the Minister of the Environment to provide the COSEWIC assessments to the Governor in Council, and for the Governor in Council to officially acknowledge receipt of the assessments by publishing, in the Canada Gazette, an order acknowledging receipt.

Following receipt by Governor in Council of the assessments, the Minister must prepare a recommendation to the Governor in Council regarding each of the species proposed for listing, delisting, reclassification or referral back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. When making a recommendation to the Governor in Council, the Minister of the Environment cannot vary the status of a species as assessed by COSEWIC. As required by the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation, the competent minister will conduct public consultations and socio-economic analyses, and consider the results prior to making a recommendation. Under section 27 of SARA, the Governor in Council may, on recommendation of the Minister, decide to add a species to Schedule 1, to change the status designation of a species already listed on Schedule 1 in accordance with the status reassessment by COSEWIC, to not add a species to Schedule 1 of SARA or to remove a species from Schedule 1 of SARA. The Governor in Council also has the authority to refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. If no decision is made within nine months of receipt of the assessment, the Minister must amend the List of Wildlife Species at Risk in accordance with COSEWIC's assessment.

Species at risk that COSEWIC assessed prior to October 1999 (when it adopted new criteria) were included at proclamation on SARA's schedules 2 (endangered and threatened) and 3 (special concern). These species are being reassessed by COSEWIC using current criteria as part of the process to determine if they should be added to Schedule 1. Species on Schedule 1 benefit from SARA's provisions for recovery and prohibitions in the case of extirpated, endangered or threatened species, or management in the case of special concern. All Schedule 2 species have since been reassessed by COSEWIC. For Schedule 3, 11 species remained to be reassessed at the end of 2012.

The chart shown in Figure 1 further describes the species listing process. Table 3 (see section 2.2.4) provides the status of the listing process for each batch of assessed species.

Figure 1: The Species Listing Process under SARA

The Minister of the Environment receives species assessments from COSEWIC at least once per year.

The competent departments undertake an internal review to determine the extent of public consultation and socio-economic analysis necessary to inform the listing decision.

Within 90 days of receipt of the species assessments prepared by COSEWIC, the Minister of the Environment publishes a response statement on the Public Registry that indicates how he or she intends to respond to the assessment and, to the extent possible, provides timelines for action.

Where appropriate, the competent departments undertake consultations and any other relevant analysis needed to prepare the advice to the Minister of the Environment.

The Minister of the Environment forwards the assessment to the Governor in Council for receipt.

Within nine months of receiving the assessment, the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, may decide whether or not to list the species under Schedule 1 of SARA or refer the assessment to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

Once a species is added to Schedule 1, it benefits from the applicable provisions of SARA.

2.2.2 Federal Government Response to COSEWIC Assessments

In October 2012, the Minister of the Environment received from COSEWIC the assessments for Batch 10. These wildlife species assessments included 55 species at risk (38 terrestrial and 17 aquatic) and 2 Schedule 1 species found not at risk (1 terrestrial and 1 aquatic). The aquatic species is currently listed on Schedule 1 as one species, but it was reassessed in May 2012 and split into two populations, one of which is not at risk. The two species assessed as not at risk are now eligible for delisting from Schedule 1. The consultation document for terrestrial species was prepared and published in 2012, and the response statements for terrestrial and aquatic species will be issued in early 2013 (for details see section 2.2.3, Public Consultations). The response statements (full list included in Table 1) indicate the following:

  • For 18 wildlife species, normal consultations (i.e., consistent with the consultation path that is typical for most species; see Figure 1) will be undertaken. These include 17 terrestrial species and 1 aquatic species. Ten of these 18 species are already listed on Schedule 1-2 as endangered, 5 as threatened and 3 as being of special concern. The 2 endangered species are now eligible to have their risk status lowered (“downlisted”) to threatened. Of the 5 threatened species, 3 are now eligible to be downlisted to special concern, 1 is eligible to have its risk status raised (“uplisted”) to endangered, and 1 is eligible to be removed from the list (“delisted”). Of the 3 special concern species, 1 is eligible to be uplisted to endangered, and 2 are eligible to be uplisted to threatened.
  • For 8 aquatic and 3 terrestrial wildlife species, extended consultations will be undertaken, because listing these species could potentially have marked impacts on the activities of Aboriginal peoples, commercial and recreational fishers, or Canadians at large.
  • The Minister will also post 28 response statements for species already listed and for which COSEWIC had confirmed the current Schedule 1 risk status. For these 28 species, no changes to Schedule 1 are required.

Table 1: List of species received from COSEWIC in October 2012 and for which a response statement will be posted in January 2013

Note: The table has been split into three separate components: Normal consultation, Extended consultation, and Status confirmed--no consultations.

Normal Consultation
COSEWIC risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Extirpated Arthropod American Burying Beetle Nicrophorus americanus
Endangered Amphibian Northern Dusky Salamander (Carolinian population) Desmognathus fuscus
Endangered Arthropod Okanagan Efferia Efferia okanagana
Endangered Vascular Plant Yukon Draba Draba yukonensis
Threatened Vascular Plant Eastern Baccharis Baccharis halimifolia
Special Concern Bird Baird's Sparrow Ammodramus bairdii
Special Concern Fish North Pacific Spiny Dogfish Squalus suckleyi
Special Concern Mollusc Magnum Mantleslug Magnipelta mycophaga
Uplist from Special Concern to Endangered Bird Yellow-breasted Chat virens subspecies Icteria virens virens
Uplist from Special Concern to Threatened Mammal Black-tailed Prairie Dog Cynomys ludovicianus
Uplist from Special Concern to Threatened Bird Western Screech-Owl kennicottii subspecies Megascops kennicottii kennicottii
Uplist from Threatened to Endangered Arthropod Behr's Hairstreak Satyrium behrii
Eligible for de-listing from Threatened to Not at Risk Bird Hooded Warbler Setophaga citrina
Downlist from Threatened to Special Concern Vascular Plant Buffalograss Bouteloua dactyloides
Downlist from Threatened to Special Concern Vascular Plant Goldencrest Lophiola aurea
Downlist from Threatened to Special Concern Vascular Plant Hairy Prairie-clover Dalea villosa
Downlist from Endangered to Threatened Bird Western Screech-Owl macfarlanei subspecies Megascops kennicottii macfarlanei
Downlist from Endangered to Threatened Vascular Plant Tiny Cryptantha Cryptantha minima

 

Extended consultation
COSEWIC risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Endangered Fish Smooth Skate (Funk Island Deep population) Malacoraja senta
Threatened Fish American Eel Anguilla rostrata
Threatened Fish Plains Minnow Hybognathus placitus
Special Concern Mammal Collared Pika Ochotona collaris
Special Concern Mammal Grizzly Bear (Western population) Ursus arctos
Special Concern Bird Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis
Special Concern Fish Smooth Skate (Laurentian–Scotian population) Malacoraja senta
Special Concern Fish Thorny Skate Amblyraja radiata
Uplist from Special Concern to Endangered Fish Silver Chub (Great Lakes–Upper St. Lawrence populations)1 Macrhybopsis storeriana
Uplist from Special Concern to Threatened Fish Pugnose Minnow Opsopoeodus emiliae
Eligible for de-listing from Special Concern to Not at Risk Fish Silver Chub (Saskatchewan–Nelson River populations)1 Macrhybopsis storeriana

 

Status confirmed--no consultations
COSEWIC risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Extirpated Reptile Pacific Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Extirpated Reptile Pacific Pond Turtle Actinemys marmorata
Extirpated Moss Incurved Grizzled Moss Ptychomitrium incurvum
Endangered Mammal Blue Whale (Atlantic population) Balaenoptera musculus
Endangered Mammal Blue Whale (Pacific population) Balaenoptera musculus
Endangered Bird Yellow-breasted Chat auricollis subspecies (Southern mountain population) Icteria virens auricollis
Endangered Reptile Blue Racer Coluber constrictor foxii
Endangered Reptile Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic population)2 Dermochelys coriacea
Endangered Reptile Leatherback Sea Turtle (Pacific population)2 Dermochelys coriacea
Endangered Fish Enos Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus
Endangered Fish Enos Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus
Endangered Fish Northern Madtom Noturus stigmosus
Endangered Arthropod Island Blue Plebejus saepiolus insulanus
Endangered Mollusc Snuffbox Epioblasma triquetra
Endangered Vascular Plant Bearded Owl-clover Triphysaria versicolor
Endangered Vascular Plant Bluehearts Buchnera americana
Endangered Vascular Plant False Hop Sedge Carex lupuliformis
Endangered Vascular Plant Heart-leaved Plantain Plantago cordata
Endangered Vascular Plant Hoary Mountain-mint Pycnanthemum incanum
Endangered Vascular Plant Large Whorled Pogonia Isotria verticillata
Endangered Moss Margined Streamside Moss Scouleria marginata
Endangered Moss Silver Hair Moss Fabronia pusilla
Threatened Bird Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus
Threatened Moss Haller's Apple Moss Bartramia halleriana
Special Concern Mammal Mountain Beaver Aplodontia rufa
Special Concern Amphibian Coastal Tailed Frog Ascaphus truei
Special Concern Fish Blackstripe Topminnow Fundulus notatus
Special Concern Arthropod Weidemeyer's Admiral Limenitis weidemeyerii

1 Species currently listed on Schedule 1 as one species. Reassessed in May 2012 and split into two populations.

2 Species currently listed on Schedule 1 as one species. Reassessed in May 2012 and split into two populations, status remaining the same for both populations.

2.2.3 Public Consultations

In 2012, the Minister of the Environment completed consultations launched in 2011, for 24 terrestrial species for which status assessments had been received from COSEWIC as part of Batch 9. The consultations were undertaken to provide the Minister with a better understanding of the potential social and economic impacts of proposed changes to Schedule I of SARA and of the value that is placed on biodiversity. Information collected during consultations is used to inform the Minister's recommendations to the Governor in Council.

As well, to facilitate a new round of consultations for 20 other terrestrial species, received as part of Batch 10, the document Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2012 was made publicly available on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

In 2012, Fisheries and Oceans Canada consulted Canadians on adding 25 aquatic species (from batches 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10) to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Stakeholders and Canadians submitted their comments by email, through the Species at Risk Public Registry, and on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. Consultation documents were also mailed directly to other government departments, Wildlife Management Boards, stakeholders, Aboriginal peoples and non-governmental organizations for their input. Face-to-face meetings were also held with groups and organizations that could be potentially affected by a listing decision.

2.2.4 Listing Decisions

When making a listing decision, the Governor in Council relies on the scientific assessments provided by COSEWIC, any other relevant scientific information, an assessment of the costs and benefits (including social, cultural and economic) to Canadians, and comments received through consultations with other federal departments or agencies, other levels of government, Aboriginal peoples, wildlife management boards, stakeholders and the public. Governor in Council decisions to add a species to Schedule 1 are published as orders amending Schedule 1 of SARA in the Canada Gazette, and include Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements. Decisions not to add a species at risk to Schedule 1 of SARA or to refer the matter back to COSEWIC are published in the Canada Gazette with an explanatory note.

In 2012, 18 species (3 species from Batch 5, 1 from Batch 6, and 14 from Batch 8) were added to Schedule 1 of SARA. Three species (from Batch 8) had their status on Schedule 1 uplisted to a higher risk status and four were downlisted to a lower risk status. The Governor in Council made three decisions to not list in 2012 (from Batch 8).

Table 2: SARA listing decision made by the Governor in Council in 2012

Note: Table 2 has been split into four separate components: Species moved to a higher level of risk (uplisted), Species moved to a lower level of risk (downlisted), Species added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (listed), and Species where the decision is to not list.

Moved to a higher level of risk (uplisted)
Risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Endangered Reptile Queensnake Regina septemvittata
Endangered Amphibian Fowler's Toad Anaxyrus fowleri
Threatened Bird Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis

 

Moved to a lower level of risk (downlisted)
Risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Threatened Mammal (terrestrial) Swift Fox Vulpes velox
Special Concern Vascular Plant Redroot Lachnanthes caroliniana
Special Concern Vascular Plant Tubercled Spike-rush Eleocharis tuberculosa
Special Concern Vascular Plant Western Blue Flag Iris missouriensis

 

Added to List of Wildlife Species at Risk (listed)
Risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Endangered Bird Red Knot rufa subspecies Calidris canutus rufa
Endangered Arthropod Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle Sanfilippodytes bertae
Endangered Arthropod Bogbean Buckmoth Hemileuca sp.
Endangered Arthropod Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle Cicindela patruela
Endangered Arthropod Rusty-patched Bumble Bee Bombus affinis
Endangered Arthropod Wallis' Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle Cicindela parowana wallisi
Endangered Vascular Plant Victoria's Owl-clover Castilleja victoriae
Endangered Vascular Plant Virginia Mallow Sida hermaphrodita
Endangered Vascular Plant Whitebark Pine Pinus albicaulis
Endangered Lichen Pale-bellied Frost Lichen Physconia subpallida
Endangered Lichen Vole Ears Lichen Erioderma mollissimum
Threatened Bird Bicknell's Thrush Catharus bicknelli
Threatened Bird Chestnut-collared Longspur Calcarius ornatus
Special Concern Bird Peregrine Falcon anatum/tundrius Falco peregrinus anatum/tundrius
Special Concern Bird Red Knot islandica subspecies Calidris canutus islandica
Special Concern Bird Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Special Concern Mollusc Threaded Vertigo Nearctula sp.
Special Concern Lichen Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis

 

Decisions to not list
Risk status Taxon English legal name Scientific name
Endangered Arthropod Laura's Clubtail Stylurus laurae
Endangered Vascular Plant Coast Manroot Marah oregana
Endangered Vascular Plant Four-leaved Milkweed Asclepias quadrifolia

In July 2012, the Governor in Council received 16 COSEWIC assessments of aquatic species and recommendations on listing from the Minister. The Governor in Council has nine months to decide whether to list the species under Schedule 1 of SARA or refer the assessment to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. These assessments include:

  • Three species from Batch 9 that underwent normal consultations;
  • Three species from Batch 8 (two confirmation of status and one normal consultation);
  • Two species from Batch 7, two species from Batch 5, three species from Batch 4, one species from Batch 3, all of which underwent extended consultations;
  • One species from Batch 2; and
  • One species originally from Batch 1, which was referred back to COSEWIC in 2006, at which time COSEWIC confirmed its original assessment.

Table 3: Listing Processes for Species at Risk at Year-end 2012 (Batches 1 to 10)

2.2.5 SARA Schedule 1 Current Status

When SARA was proclaimed in June 2003, the official List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1 of SARA) included 233 species. Starting in 2005, species have been added to the list every year, except in 2008. As of December 31, 2012, Schedule 1 listed 23 extirpated species, 235 endangered species, 125 threatened species and 127 species of special concern, for a total of 510 species.

Tables 4 and 5 show the number of species added to Schedule 1 each year, by risk status and government agency, respectively.

Table 4: Numbers of species added to Schedule 1 each year by risk status, as of December 2012
Year Risk status: Extirpated Risk status: Endangered Risk status: Threatened Risk status: Special concern Total
Total*
23
229
133
126
510
June 2003
(proclamation)
17
107
67
42
233
2005
4
47
30
31
112
2006
0
18
14
12
44
2007
0
20
5
11
36
2008
0
0
0
0
0
2009
0
8
3
11
22
2010
0
11*
8
4
23*
2011
2
7
4
10
23
2012
0
11
2
5
18

* The Eastern Foxsnake was split into two populations. The new populations inherited the species' status on Schedule 1 of SARA before it was split, and both new populations were uplisted in 2010. For the purpose of this table, one of the new Eastern Foxsnake populations was treated as an addition to Schedule 1.

Although the total number of listed species (510) is correct, the total listed as endangered and threatened may be slightly off, because the values presented in this table do not reflect status changes (i.e., uplisting or downlisting of a species).

Table 5: Number of species listed on Schedule 1 by department/agency responsible for recovery planning, as of December 2012
  Environment Canada Fisheries and Oceans Canada Parks Canada Agency Total
Terrestrial mammals
27
4
31
Aquatic mammals
22
22
Birds
70
3
73
Reptiles
34
1
5
40
Amphibians
20
1
21
Fishes
66
66
Molluscs
5
14
2
21
Arthropods
33
4
37
Plants
122
 52
174
Lichens
9
1
10
Mosses
11
4
15

3 Every 10 years, or earlier if warranted, COSEWIC must review the classification of wildlife species previously designated in a category of risk, with an updated status report, if it has reason to believe the status of the species has changed significantly. As necessary, COSEWIC may also reassess other wildlife species previously found not at risk or data-deficient with an updated status report.

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