Species at Risk Act annual report 2012: chapter 6

6 Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation involves the examination of actions taken to ensure that conservation measures are on the right track and achieving recovery goals and objectives. Specifically, the objectives of monitoring and evaluation are to:

  • detect changes in the conservation status of a species;
  • determine the effectiveness of protection and recovery measures; and
  • measure progress toward achieving recovery goals.

The following key principles guide the monitoring and evaluation process:

  • The process should be based on reliable data. Specifically, the results of actions aimed at protection and recovery will be tracked and evaluated. The activities required to accomplish this tracking and evaluation will be incorporated into recovery documents.
  • The process should reflect adaptive management principles. Recovery goals, objectives and measures will be reviewed in light of monitoring and evaluation results coupled with consideration of significant external factors (e.g., climatic changes). Protection and recovery measures will be adjusted or adapted to reflect new or changed circumstances in the environment and ecosystem within which species live.
  • The process should lead to reassessment. When the situation of a species changes significantly enough to warrant reconsideration of its conservation status, this information will be communicated to the body responsible for species assessment.

6.1 Monitoring

Species at risk monitoring is ongoing within the Parks Canada heritage areas network to assess the long-term condition of species and to evaluate the results of recovery actions.

In 2012, Parks Canada completed 134 detailed assessments of species conservation status in protected heritage places as a baseline for future monitoring of the conservation status of each species at the heritage place level. As new information becomes available, it will be possible to update detailed assessments to determine changes in conservation status. This information contributes to site-based action plans that identify recovery activities and assists in determining progress towards achieving recovery goals.

6.2 SARA General Status Report

SARA requires that a general report on the status of wildlife species be prepared five years after section 128 comes into force (2003) and every five years thereafter. The report's purpose is to provide Canadians with an overview of which wild species are doing fine, which should be monitored and which need to be formally assessed or reassessed by COSEWIC. Reports entitled Wild Species: The General Status of Species in Canada (see section 2.1), prepared by a federal–provincial–territorial group of experts, serve as the basis to fulfill this requirement. In 2012, the Minister of Environment tabled the complete Wild Species 2010 report to meet this requirement. Preparation of the next report, Wild Species 2015, is underway.

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