Species at Risk Act annual report for 2016: chapter 5

5 Recovery planning for listed species

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5.1 Legislative requirements

Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent ministers must prepare recovery strategies and action plans for species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened and management plans for those listed as special concern. Recovery strategies identify threats to the species and its habitat, identify critical habitat to the extent possible, and set population and distribution objectives for the species. Action plans outline the projects or activities required to meet the objectives outlined in the recovery strategy. This includes information on the species habitat, protection measures, and an evaluation of the socio-economic costs and benefits. Management plans identify conservation measures needed to prevent a species listed as special concern from becoming threatened or endangered, but do not identify critical habitat.

Tables 5a and 5b show the required timelines for developing recovery strategies and management plans. The timelines for developing action plans are set within the recovery strategies. Posting of SARA recovery documents is the responsibility of the competent minister for the species; however, they must be developed, to the extent possible, in cooperation and consultation with all relevant jurisdictions and directly affected parties.

Timeline requirements for developing recovery strategies and management plans

Table 5a: For species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA after June 5, 2003 but not on Schedule 2 or 3 (in years)
Recovery strategy: endangered Recovery strategy: threatened or extirpated Management plan: special concern
1 2 3
Table 5b: For species on SARA’s Schedule 2 or 3 and listed on Schedule 1 of SARA after June 5, 2003 (in years)
Recovery strategy: endangered Recovery strategy: threatened Management plan: special concern
3 4 5

Proposed recovery strategies, action plans and management plans are posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry for a 60-day public comment period. The competent ministers consider comments and make changes where appropriate. The final recovery strategy action plan or management plan, as applicable, is to be published on the public registry within 30 days after the expiry of the public comment period. Five years after a recovery strategy, action plan or management plan comes into effect, the competent minister must report on progress made toward achieving the stated objectives.

5.2 Recovery planning activities in 2016

In 2014, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) published a posting plan for overdue proposed recovery strategies and management plans for 192 species over three years in a prioritized manner, based on consideration of immediate threats and population declines as well as program priorities and information availability. The posting plan and progress in publishing proposed recovery strategies and management plans to date are available on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Parks Canada Agency (PCA) did not publish any posting plans in 2016.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) published a posting plan for overdue proposed recovery strategies.

5.2.1 Recovery strategies

In 2016, ECCC posted proposed recovery strategies for 41 species and final recovery strategies for 21 species. PCA did not post any recovery strategies in 2016. DFO posted proposed recovery strategies for 14 species and final recovery strategies for two species. New recovery strategies that were posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry are listed in Table 6.

Table 6: Species for which recovery strategies were posted in 2016 by competent department
Competent department Final recovery strategies: species Proposed recovery strategies: species
Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Behr's (columbia) Hairstreak
  • Bent Spike-rush (Great Lakes Plains population)
  • Canada Warbler
  • Cherry Birch
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Drooping Trillium
  • Golden-winged Warbler
  • Half-moon Hairstreak
  • Jefferson Salamander
  • Nodding Pogonia
  • Ogden's Pondweed
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • Oregon Forestsnail
  • Pale-bellied Frost Lichen
  • Porsild's Bryum
  • Queensnake
  • Townsend's Mole
  • Verna's Flower Moth
  • Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies
  • Wolverine (Eastern population)
  • Yellow-breasted Chat auricollis subspecies (Southern Mountain population)
  • Bert's Predaceous Diving Beetle
  • Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander (Carolinian population)
  • American Chestnut
  • American Colombo
  • Aweme Borer
  • Barn Owl (Eastern population)
  • Bicknell's Thrush
  • Bird's-foot Violet
  • Blanding's Turtle (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population)
  • Blue-grey Taildropper Slug
  • Branched Bartonia
  • Butler's Gartersnake
  • Chestnut-collared Longspur
  • Cliff Paintbrush
  • Eastern Musk Turtle
  • Edwards' Beach Moth
  • False Rue-anemone
  • Juniper Sedge
  • Large Whorled Pogonia
  • Lewis's Woodpecker
  • Mountain Holly Fern
  • Northern Barrens Tiger Beetle
  • Northern Leopard Frog (Rocky Mountain population)
  • Pacific Gophersnake
  • Prairie Skink
  • Purple Twayblade
  • Rapids Clubtail
  • Red Knot roselaari type
  • Red Knot rufa subspecies
  • Rusty-patched Bumble Bee
  • Seaside Bone Lichen
  • Slender Bush-clover
  • Spalding's Campion
  • Spiny Softshell
  • Spotted Turtle
  • Streambank Lupine
  • Tall Bugbane
  • Wallis' Dark Saltflat Tiger Beetle
  • Western Silvery Aster
  • Wood Bison
  • Wood Turtle
Parks Canada Agency Nil Nil
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Northern Bottlenose Whale (Scotian Shelf Population)
  • Salish Sucker
  • Atlantic Whitefish
  • Eastern Pondmussel
  • Mapleleaf (Great Lakes – Western St. Lawrence Population)
  • Misty Lake Lentic Threespine Stickleback
  • Misty Lake Lotic Threespine Stickleback
  • Northern Riffleshell
  • Rainbow
  • Rainbow Smelt (Lake Utopia Small-Bodied Population)
  • Rayed Bean
  • Round Pigtoe
  • Salamander Mussel
  • Snuffbox
  • Speckled Dace
  • Western Silvery Minnow

5.2.2 Action plans

An action plan identifies the conservation measures required to address the threats to the species and meet the population and distribution objectives outlined in the recovery strategy. An action plan must also, to the extent possible, identify critical habitat or complete the identification of critical habitat, if it is not fully identified in the recovery strategy. An action plan includes information on measures proposed to protect that critical habitat, methods proposed to monitor the recovery of the species and its long term viability, and an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and benefits to be derived from its implementation.

In 2016, ECCC posted proposed action plans for 12 species and final action plans for one species. PCA posted 9 proposed and 9 final multi-species action plans covering a total of 95 different extirpated, endangered and threatened (EET) SARA-listed species on PCA lands and waters. DFO posted proposed action plans for 30 species.

The species for which action plans were posted in 2016 are listed in Table 7.

Table 7: Species for which action plans were posted in 2016
Competent department Final action plans Proposed action plans
Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Kirtland’s Warbler
  • Barrens Willow
  • Fernald’s Braya
  • Long’s Braya
  • Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora (Pink Coreopsis, Thread‑leaved Sundew, Water Pennywort, Goldencrest, Plymouth Gentian)
  • Southwestern Saskatchewan : South of the Divide (Burrowing Owl, Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies, Mountain Plover, Sprague’s Pipit)
Parks Canada Agency Multi-species Action Plans (Number of EET SARA-listed species in action plan)h
  • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area, and Haida Heritage Site of Canada (16)
  • Point Pelee National Park of Canada and Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (41)
  • Grasslands National Park of Canada (14)
  • Kouchibouguac National Park of Canada and Associated National Historic Sites of Canada (9)
  • Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada (7)
  • Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada and Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada (18)
  • Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada (10)
  • Gros Morne National Park of Canada (7)
  • Thousand Islands National Park of Canada (17)
  • Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area, and Haida Heritage Site of Canada (16)
  • Point Pelee National Park of Canada and Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (41)
  • Grasslands National Park of Canada (14)
  • Kouchibouguac National Park of Canada and Associated National Historic Sites of Canada (9)
  • Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada (7)
  • Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada and Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada (18)
  • Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada (10)
  • Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada (12)
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (18)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Nil
  • Atlantic Salmon (Inner Bay of Fundy Population
  • Atlantic Whitefish
  • Blue Whale (Pacific Population)
  • Coastrange Sculpin (Cultus Population)
  • Eastern Pondmussel
  • Eastern Sand Darter (Ontario Population)
  • Fin Whale (Pacific Population)
  • Kidneyshell
  • Killer Whale (Northeast Pacific Northern Resident Population)
  • Killer Whale (Northeast Pacific Southern Resident Population)
  • Mapleleaf (Great Lakes – Western St. Lawrence Population)
  • Nooksack Dace
  • North Atlantic Right Whale
  • North Pacific Right Whale
  • Northern Bottlenose Whale (Scotian Shelf Population)
  • Northern Madtom
  • Northern Riffleshell
  • Paxton Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback
  • Paxton Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback
  • Pugnose Shiner
  • Rainbow
  • Rayed Bean
  • Round Hickorynut
  • Round Pigtoe
  • Salamander Mussel
  • Salish Sucker
  • Sei Whale
  • Snuffbox
  • Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback
  • Vananda Creek Limnetic Threespine Stickleback

h Note that an individual species may be covered in more than one multi-species action plan.

5.2.3 Identification of critical habitat

SARA defines “critical habitat” as 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. Competent ministers must identify critical habitat to the extent possible, based on the best available information.

In 2016, ECCC published final recovery strategies in which critical habitat was identified for 15 species, and proposed recovery strategies in which critical habitat was identified for 36 species. ECCC also published a final action plan in which critical habitat was identified for one species and a proposed action plan in which critical habitat was identified for one species.

PCA identified critical habitat for 11 species in four multi-species action plans as follows:

  • seven species in the Multi-species Action Plan for Grasslands National Park of Canada (Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer, Greater Short-Horned Lizard, Mormon Metalmark, Mountain Plover, Loggerhead Shrike (Prairie population), Sprague’s Pipit, Swift Fox)
  • one species (Piping Plover (melodus subspecies)) in the Multi-species Action Plan for Gros Morne National Park
  • two species in the Multi-species Action Plan for Point Pelee National Park of Canada and Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (Least Bittern and Prothonotary Warbler); and
  • one species in the  Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada (Least Bittern).

DFO published final recovery strategies in which critical habitat was identified for two species, and proposed recovery strategies in which critical habitat was identified for 14 species.  

5.2.4 Management plans

Species of special concern are those that may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats. SARA requires competent ministers to prepare management plans for species of special concern. A management plan differs from a recovery strategy and an action plan, in that it identifies conservation measures needed to prevent a species of special concern from becoming threatened or endangered, but does not identify critical habitat. Where appropriate, these management plans may be prepared for multiple species on an ecosystem or landscape level.

In 2016, ECCC posted proposed management plans for 13 species and final management plans for four species. PCA did not post any management plans. DFO posted a proposed management plan for eight species and final management plans for three species. The species for which management plans were posted in 2016 are listed in Table 8.

Table 8: Species for which management plans were posted in 2016
Competent department Final management plans: species Proposed management plans: species
Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Monarch
  • Blue Ash
  • Pygmy Pocket Moss
  • Pale Yellow Dune Moth
  • Western Toad
  • Northern Map Turtle
  • Northern Rubber Boa
  • Coastal Tailed Frog
  • Coeur d'Alene Salamander
  • Northern Red-legged Frog
  • Band-tailed Pigeon
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Great Blue Heron fannini subspecies
  • Dwarf Woolly-heads (Prairie population)
  • Oldgrowth Specklebelly Lichen
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Red Knot islandica subspecies
Parks Canada Agency Nil Nil
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes – Western St. Lawrence Population
  • Shortnose Sturgeon
  • Upper Great Lakes Kiyi
  • Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes – Western St. Lawrence Population
  • Fin Whale (Atlantic Population)
  • Green Sturgeon
  • Northern Brook Lamprey
  • River Redhorse
  • Sowerby’s Beaked Whale
  • Wavy-rayed Lampmussel
  • Westslope Cutthroat Trout

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