COSEWIC annual report 2017 to 2018
October 15th, 2018
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
200 Sacré-Coeur Boulevard
Gatineau, Québec K1A 0H3
Dear Minister McKenna,
Please find enclosed the 2017 to 2018 annual report of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) which I respectfully submit to you and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC). The submission of this report fulfills COSEWIC’s obligations under Section 26 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), which requires that COSEWIC submit a report on its activities to the Minister of the Environment and members of CESCC annually. This Annual Report will also be available online through the SARA public registry
As you know, COSEWIC’s role is to assess the conservation status of wildlife species in Canada. Under Item III, Wildlife Species Status Assessments, of the Annual Report, you will find information on how to obtain a copy of the status assignments for the wildlife species assessed in 2017 to 2018, the applicable criteria and the reasons for the status designation. The Status Reports containing the information used in the assessments are provided in the accompanying email. The reports will also be provided to CESCC members and will be available on the Public Registry.
Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 90 wildlife species and 11 of these were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 90, COSEWIC re-examined the status of 38 wildlife species; of these, the majority (87%) were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 771 wildlife species in various risk categories including 338 Endangered, 183 Threatened, 228 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 18 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, and a total of 59 wildlife species have also been designated as Data Deficient and 197 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.
The submission of this information fulfills COSEWIC’s obligations under Section 25 of SARA, which requires that COSEWIC provide the Minister of the Environment and the CESCC with a copy of the status assessments and the reasons for the assessments. It also fulfills our obligations under Section 24, which requires that COSEWIC review the classification of species at risk at least once every 10 years.
My term as COSEWIC Chair ended on Sept 1, 2018 and with it more than ten years being a member of COSEWIC. It has been a wonderful experience. First and foremost, I will miss the people and a wonderfully dedicated group of folks they are, including our fantastic Secretariat. I would also like to thank you for the sea-change to a very positive atmosphere when working with your office and ECCC that has occurred since 2015.
Finally, I know that you will enjoy working with the new Chair, Dr. John Reynolds of Simon Fraser University. He is a noted salmon biologist and an all-round great naturalist. I am sorry that we never had a chance to have a real tête-à-tête regarding species-at-risk and COSEWIC and I hope that you and Dr. Reynolds can do that at some point.
On behalf of the committee, I would again like to thank you for your continuing support for our work and the commitment of your ministry to the conservation and protection of Canada’s biodiversity.
Eric B. (Rick) Taylor Past Chair, COSEWIC
Department of Zoology
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
c.c. – Julie Spallin, Director General, Assessment & Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Wildlife Service
Dr. John Reynolds, Chair, COSEWIC
Item I - COSEWIC activities
1 Wildlife species assessment meetings
Section 15 (1) of the Species at Risk Act states: “The functions of COSEWIC are to (a) assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species and
(i) classify the species as extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern
(ii) indicate that COSEWIC does not have sufficient information to classify the species
(iii) indicate that the species is not currently at risk”
Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the wildlife species”.
COSEWIC held three Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (September 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018) from November 26 to December 1, 2017 and from April 22 to 27, 2018. On January 10, 2018, an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee of COSEWIC also assessed the status of two populations of the Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Thompson River population, and Chilcotin River population. During the current reporting period COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 90 wildlife species.
COSEWIC celebrated its 40th anniversary this past year. The committee members and their work were recognized at a reception hosted by Environment and Climate Change Canada on Parliament Hill in fall of 2017.
The wildlife species assessment results for the 2017-2018 reporting period include the following:
Extinct : 2
Extirpated : 0
Endangered : 32
Threatened : 22
Special Concern : 22
Data Deficient : 1
Not at Risk : 11
Total : 90
Of the 90 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 38 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 27 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same risk status as the previous assessment (see Table 1a).
Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander (Carolinian population)
Banff Springs Snail
Basking Shark (Pacific population)
Coastal Vesper Sparrow
Gray Ratsnake (Carolinian population)
Harbour Seal Lacs des Loups Marin subspecies
Sockeye Salmon (Cultus–L population)
Streaked Horned Lark
Gray Ratsnake (Great Lakes / St.
Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies
Verna's Flower Moth
Large–headed Woolly Yarrow
Peregrine Falcon pealei subspecies
Sand–dune Short–capsuled Willow
Data deficient and not at risk:
COSEWIC assessed one wildlife species in April 2018 that was not assigned into a risk category: Spring Salamander (Carolinian population) was assessed as Data Deficient (previously assessed by COSEWIC as Extirpated, but not on any Schedule of SARA).
COSEWIC assessed eleven wildlife species in November 2017 that were not assigned into a risk category; they were all assessed as Not at Risk. Nine of these wildlife species were newly assessed: Sockeye Salmon (Anderson–Seton–ES population), Sockeye Salmon (Chilko–ES population), Sockeye Salmon (Chilko–S population), Sockeye Salmon (Chilliwack–ES population), Sockeye Salmon (Harrison River (River–Type) population), Sockeye Salmon (Nadina–Francois–ES population), Sockeye Salmon (Pitt–ES population), Sockeye Salmon (Shuswap Complex–L population), Sockeye Salmon (Shuswap–ES population). One wildlife species was assessed as Not at Risk after a split of original respective assessed units: Grey Whale (Northern Pacific Migratory population).
Classification was reviewed by COSEWIC for one wildlife species previously designated as Special Concern by COSEWIC (on Schedule 1 of SARA). COSEWIC assessed the Peregrine Falcon anatum/tundrius as Not at Risk.
Special Note: Squanga Whitefish was previously assessed by COSEWIC as Special Concern (Schedule 3 of SARA); however, in April 2018 this original unit was split into three populations of European Whitefish (Dezadeash Lake small-bodied population, Little Teslin small-bodied population, Squanga Lake small-bodied population), each receiving a designation of Threatened (Table 1b).
Two new wildlife species were assessed as Extinct: Lake Whitefish (Como Lake large–bodied population), Lake Whitefish (Como Lake small–bodied population).
With the transmission of this report, COSEWIC provides assessments (see Table 1b) of 50 wildlife species newly classified as Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened and of Special Concern to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to consider whether to recommend to the Governor in Council (GIC) that they be added to Schedule 1 of SARA.
Acuteleaf Small Limestone Moss
Allegheny Mountain Dusky
Salamander (Appalachian population)
Caribou (Dolphin and Union population)
Downy Yellow False Foxglove
False–foxglove Sun Moth
Grey Whale (Pacific Coast Feeding Group population)
Grey Whale (Western Pacific population)
Sockeye Salmon (Bowron–ES population)
Sockeye Salmon (Harrison (U/S)–L population)
Sockeye Salmon (Quesnel–S population)
Sockeye Salmon (Seton–L population)
Sockeye Salmon (Takla–Trembleur–EStu population)
Sockeye Salmon (Takla–Trembleur–Stuart–S population)
Sockeye Salmon (Taseko–ES population)
Steelhead Trout (Chilcotin River population)
Steelhead Trout (Thompson River population)
European Whitefish (Dezadeash Lake large–bodied population)
European Whitefish (Dezadeash Lake small–bodied population)
European Whitefish (Little Teslin Lake small–bodied population)
European Whitefish (Squanga Lake small–bodied population)
Fern–leaved Yellow False Foxglove
Lake Whitefish (Little Teslin Lake large–bodied population)
Lake Whitefish (Opeongo Lake large–bodied population)
Lake Whitefish (Opeongo Lake small–bodied population)
Lake Whitefish (Squanga Lake large–bodied population)
Smoker’s Lung Lichen
Smooth Yellow False Foxglove
Sockeye Salmon (North Barriere–ES population)
Sockeye Salmon (Widgeon (River–Type) population)
Western Silvery Minnow
Eastern Painted Turtle
Midland Painted Turtle
Red–tailed Leafhopper (Great Lakes Plains population)
Red–tailed Leafhopper (Prairie population)
Sockeye Salmon (Francois–Fraser–S population)
Sockeye Salmon (Harrison (D/S)–L population)
Sockeye Salmon (Kamloops–ES population)
Sockeye Salmon (Lillooet–Harrison–L population)
Sockeye Salmon (Nahatlatch–ES population)
Yukon Wild Buckwheat
Information pertaining to the wildlife species assessed since the last annual report can be found on the SARA Public Registry - Species Index website.
For a copy of the assessment details for these wildlife species, including status assigned, reasons for designation (including uncertainties if applicable) and COSEWIC criteria with alphanumeric codes contact the COSEWIC Secretariat: email@example.com.
Status reports containing the information on which COSEWIC’s status assessments will be available on the SARA Public Registry website.
As of April 2018, COSEWIC’s assessments include 771 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 338 Endangered, 183 Threatened, 228 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 18 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct.
As of April 2018 a total of 59 wildlife species have also been designated as Data Deficient and 197 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.
2 Important notes regarding status assessments
Section 27 of SARA states that the Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, by order amend the List in accordance with subsections (1.1) and (1.2) by adding a wildlife species, by reclassifying a listed wildlife species or by removing a listed wildlife species, and the Minister may, by order, amend the List in a similar fashion in accordance with subsection (3).
During the period covered in this report COSEWIC did not inform the Minister about any details related to status assessments.
Peregrine Falcon anatum/tundrius (Falco peregrinus anatum/tundrius): This species was reassessed in November 2017 as Not at Risk. The species had been previously assessed by COSEWIC as Special Concern in April 2007 and is on Schedule 1 of SARA. COSEWIC recommends that the species be removed from Schedule 1 of SARA.
Special Note: Squanga Whitefish was previously assessed by COSEWIC as Special Concern (Schedule 3 of SARA); however, in April 2018 this original unit was split into three populations of European Whitefish (Dezadeash Lake small-bodied population, Little Teslin small-bodied population, Squanga Lake small-bodied population), each receiving a designation of Threatened (Table 1b). COSWIC recommends that Squanga Whitefish be removed from Schedule 3 of SARA.
The Shortfin Mako Shark (Atlantic population), which was assessed as Special Concern and was submitted with the 2016-2017 CESCC Report, was withdrawn from consideration for listing following a request by the Chair of COSEWIC to the Minister in order to fully explore newly available information on that species. A reassessment is anticipated to be completed in 2019.
3 Other wildlife species assessment activities
Section 29 of SARA provides for the listing of a wildlife species based on an imminent threat to the survival of the wildlife species under an emergency basis. Section 30 (1) of SARA states that COSEWIC is to prepare a status report on the wildlife species and, within one year after the making of the order, COSEWIC must, in a report in writing to the Minister, (a) confirm the classification of the wildlife species; (b) recommend to the Minister that the species be reclassified; or (c) recommend to the Minister that the wildlife species be removed from the List.
On January 10, 2018, COSEWIC conducted an emergency assessment and assessed the Thompson River and Chilcotin River populations of the Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as Endangered. COSEWIC will deliver these emergency assessments to the Minister fall 2018. Full status reports are in progress and COSEWIC will be assessing both species at the Wildlife Species Assessment meeting in November 2019.
4 Wildlife species assessments returned by the governor in council (GIC) to COSEWIC for further information or consideration
Section 27 (1.1) (c) of SARA provides for the Governor in Council to, on the recommendation of the Minister, refer an assessment of the status of a wildlife species back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.
A request was received that the Alkaline Wing-nerved Moss, assessed by COESWIC in 2004, as Threatened be prioritized for reassessment based on recent information on the abundance of that species that was not previously known.
5 Wildlife species selected for status report preparation
Section 15.1 (b) of SARA states that one of the functions of COSEWIC is to “determine when species are to be assessed, with priority given to those more likely to become extinct”.
Following COSEWIC's process for prioritizing new wildlife species for assessment, 14 wildlife species from COSEWIC's Species Specialist Subcommittees’ candidate lists were chosen by the Committee for status report commissioning in 2018. The following is a list of those prioritized candidate wildlife species:
|Taxonomic group||Scientific name||Common name / Population name|
|8. Mammals (terrestrial)||
Eastern Red Bat
|9. Mammals (terrestrial)||
|10. Mammals (terrestrial)||
|15. Vascular Plants||
|16. Vascular Plants||
Dwarf Western Trillium
|17. Vascular Plants||
6 COSEWIC subcommittees
Section 18 (1) of SARA requires COSEWIC to establish subcommittees of specialists to assist in the preparation and review of status reports on wildlife species considered to be at risk, including subcommittees specializing in groups of wildlife species and a subcommittee specializing in Aboriginal traditional knowledge.
Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee
COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee is responsible for ensuring that Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) is appropriately accounted for in COSEWIC’s assessment process. The Subcommittee consists of members appointed by the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The Co-chairs of the ATK Subcommittee are members of COSEWIC and provide COSEWIC with their expertise on ATK.
The following is a summary of activities over this past year:
- Roger Gallant is now the Co-chair of the ATK Subcommittee along with Dr. Donna Hurlburt
- ATK Source/Assessment Reports were prepared for the Grizzly and American Eel. A report on how the ATK Subcommittee can use a multi-species approach to collect ATK was prepared with Northern Abalone, Goose Barnacle, Geoduck, Sea Otter, and Eulachon as a focus. A climate analysis was done for the Emerald Ash Borer as part of the Black Ash status report. An ATK integration manual was prepared for status report writers which gives guidance to them on how to integrate ATK in the species status reports and is undergoing review by COSEWIC. A call for bids process for ATK reports is anticipated for the Fall, 2018. The Subcommittee is looking at a regional multi-species approach with regard to ATK gathering and are looking at ways that ATK can be shared within other aspects of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) implementation and administration
COSEWIC extends its sincere gratitude to the members of the ATK Subcommittee for their ongoing commitment to ensuring COSEWIC assessments are informed by the best available information.
Species specialist subcommittees
COSEWIC’s Species Specialists Subcommittees (SSCs) provide taxonomic expertise to the Committee. Each SSC is typically led by two Co-chairs and members are recognized Canadian experts in the taxonomic group in question, able to demonstrate high standards of education, experience, and expertise and have a demonstrated knowledge of wildlife conservation. Members are drawn from universities, provincial wildlife agencies, museums, Conservation Data Centres, and other sources of expertise on Canadian wildlife species. SSC members support the Co-chairs in developing candidate lists of wildlife species to be considered for assessment, commissioning status reports for priority wildlife species, reviewing reports for scientific accuracy and completeness, and proposing to COSEWIC a status for each wildlife species. Currently, COSEWIC has 10 SSCs: Amphibians and Reptiles, Arthropods, Birds, Freshwater Fishes, Marine Fishes, Marine Mammals, Molluscs, Mosses and Lichens, Terrestrial Mammals and Vascular Plants.
For more information please see COSEWIC website.
SSC meetings take place annually in different locations in Canada or by teleconference held normally once a year. Observers are invited to attend and public information sessions may also take place.
Aside from their continued work to ensure that high quality status reports are brought to each COSEWIC Wildlife Species Assessment Meeting, among the other work carried out by SSCs, they also periodically undertake special projects aimed at assisting the work of the SSCs. For example, the Freshwater Fishes Specialist Subcommittee initiated a cisco species flock analysis in the fall of 2014 to address the taxonomic challenges in this group of whitefishes and to plan a larger Cisco Designatable Unit (DU) Special Report planned for the coming year. The results of this Special DU report will be the basis for future cisco assessments as it relates to the pending Shortjaw Cisco, Upper Great Lakes Kiyi, and Blackfin Cisco status reports. The call for bids poster for this contract was posted in 2016 and failed to produce any bids. Subsequently, a suitable author was identified and the contract to write this report is currently underway. A draft report is being reviewed by the SSC and this report is scheduled for presentation to COSEWIC in November 2018. The Marine Fishes Specialist Subcommittee have initiated the preparation of a DU report for all Sockeye, Chinook and Coho salmon in Canada not yet been assessed by COSEWIC through a Collaborative Agreement with Fisheries & Oceans Canada. A final report is expected mid-July, 2019.
COSEWIC is extremely grateful for the important work of the SSC members who provide their time and expertise on a volunteer basis.
7 COSEWIC operations and procedures
Section 19 of SARA states that COSEWIC “may make rules respecting the holding of meetings and the general conduct of its activities.”
COSEWIC is guided in its activities by an Operations & Procedures (O & P) Manual that is reviewed annually by COSEWIC’s O & P Subcommittee, who recommend any necessary changes to the Committee for their approval. During this reporting period, the COSEWIC O & P Manual was updated to reflect some minor changes in COSEWIC’s procedures. The most notable changes are as follows:
- The Birds Specialist Subcommittee membership was increased from 9 to 11
- Many new authorities for arthropod species were added to the Appendix E4 (Guidelines for naming of wildlife species)
- A Web-based questionnaire has been added as an appendix to Appendix E8 (Process to include Community Knowledge in the COSEWIC Status Assessment Process) in the O & P Manual
8. Procedural working groups
Section 18 (1) of SARA also allows COSEWIC to establish subcommittees to advise it or to exercise or perform any of its functions.
Procedural working groups are essential to ensuring COSEWICs operations and procedures are efficient, effective and clearly followed, thus maintaining the quality and consistency of COSEWIC status assessments and processes.
- Press Release Working Group
- This Working Group was active before and during each Wildlife Species Assessment Meeting on the production of each press release
- Species Prioritization
- Dave Fraser, member from British Columbia, has been invaluable in chairing this Species Prioritization Working Group
- COSEWIC approved in principle the priority setting scheme proposed by the Working Group for Species Specialist Subcommittees to use as an option when addressing reassessment backlogs. The rapid review of classification process will be attempted for two species (Karner Blue and Brook Spike-primose) at the November 2018 Wildlife Species Assessment Meeting
- Species Bundling
- A regional ecosystem threats analysis was carried out for the South Okanagan. The report is complete and has had an independent review
- IUCN Criteria and Climate Change
- A member of the working group gave a presentation on the “severely fragmented” concept and how recent changes to this affect previous assessments now coming up for 10-year reassessment
- The Working Group is reviewing Appendix F8 (Updated Guidelines Concerning Sensitive Information) of the O & P Manual and developing tools to improve COSEWIC’s data-sharing relationships and to classify, track and manage sensitive data
- Wild by Nature
- Feedback was integrated from the previous presentation into the Manipulated Population Guidelines and a legal review was requested via Environment and Climate Change Canada. A response was received stating that this would continue as an internal document. A revised version of the Manipulated Population Guidelines will be provided for approval at the November 2018 meeting
- IUCN Criteria and Climate Change
- The Working Group is looking at how COSEWIC could improve its consideration of climate change in its assessments. A member is checking into the possibility of COSEWIC becoming a member of the Conservation Measures Partnership. It seems there could be some benefits to this
- The IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group has asked if COSEWIC would be willing to track some climate change-related details for them as the committee works through assessments. This could be a test case for whether it is a procedure COSEWIC could adopt formally
- After some discussion, general consensus emerged to try some test cases. A presentation or workshop about how to apply the tool was also suggested for an upcoming species assessment meeting
- Co-chair Evaluation Grid
- An updated version of the Co-chair Evaluation Grid was approved
- As the Evaluation Grid has not yet been updated for the evaluation of expressions of interest for non-government science members, the Chair of the Working Group will look at the grid and see if it can be modified for that purpose
- Supplementary Information for Status Report Writers
- Some revisions were proposed to Appendix F1 (Instructions for the Preparation of COSEWC Status Reports) for consideration by the O & P Subcommittee
- Conflict of Interest
- This change to the O & P Manual will be put forward for consideration by the O & P Subcommittee for approval in November
- COSEWIC Website
- This working group was established to investigate options associated with having an external COSEWIC website
9 Election - chair of COSEWIC
Section 19(a) of SARA states that COSEWIC may make rules respecting the holding of meetings and the general conduct of its activities, including rules respecting the selection of persons to chair its meetings
Dr. Eric B. (Rick) Taylor ended his second term as Chair of COSEWIC at the end of the August, 2018. Following procedures set out in the COSEWIC Operations and Procedures Manual, a nomination Committee was struck in 2017, in preparation for the election of a new Chair of COSEWIC. David Lee, Co-chair of the Marine Mammals Specialist Subcommittee, chaired the Nominating Committee comprised of several members of COSEWIC. At the Wildlife Species Assessment Meeting in April, 2018, he presented two candidates for the position including Dr. John Reynolds, a non-government science member, the top ranked candidate. Members voted and Dr. Reynolds was elected Chair of COSEWIC for a two-year (renewable) term of office (September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2020).
Dr. Reynolds thanked the membership for electing him as Chair and expressed appreciation to the former Chair and others for their offers of support.
Dr. Taylor was recognized for his outstanding contributions as Chair of COSEWIC since 2014. Dr. Taylor was also a former Co-chair and member of the COSEWIC Freshwater Fishes Specialist Subcommittee.
10 COSEWIC communications
Insofar as resources allow, COSEWIC and its Chairs over the years have made every effort to inform governments and the public on the work of the Committee.
During the current reporting period, COSEWIC released two press releases outlining the results of the Fall 2017 and the Spring 2018 Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and one press release outlining the results of the emergency assessment of two populations of the Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Thompson River population, and Chilcotin River population. The links to the COSEWIC press releases can be found on the COSEWIC website.
In addition, the Chair of COSEWIC attended the following meetings (in person or via phone)/gave presentations on the work of COSEWIC etc.:
- Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board
- Nicola Tribal Association
- Canadian Wildlife Federation policy research project on aquatic habitat conservation
- An Acadia University student (interview)
- Environment and Climate Change Canada officials regarding referrals back of Bobolink and Barn Swallow. Conferred with the Birds Specialist Subcommittee Co-chairs and Environment and Climate Change Canada decided not to refer back immediately
- Ontario Privacy Commissioner regarding Redside Dace
- Environment and Climate Change Canada officials regarding Appendix E7 Wild by Nature legal review
- Environment and Climate Change Canada officials regarding burden of reassessments
- Various parties regarding the emergency assessment of Thompson-Chilcotin Steelhead Trout
- Canadian Association of Forest Owners. They will try to invite a local COSEWIC member to their next meeting
- Canadian Wildlife Directors Committee
- Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s executive assistant
- Minister of Environment and Climate Change’s Parliamentary Secretary
- Various parties regarding COSEWIC website migration, 40th anniversary video, ATK gathering funding
- Scott Findlay and Angèle Cyr on reasons for status changes tick boxes project
- ATK SC Co-chairs and members regarding best available information for ATK gathering.
- Multiple media interviews of species at risk assessment
- Presentation at British Columbia Institute of Technology – School of Construction and Environment
- Presentation at Steelhead Society of British Columbia
- Presentation at the British Columbia Wildlife Federation Annual General Meeting
- Presentation at Nature Vancouver Annual General Meeting
In addition, the Chair of COSEWIC wrote the following correspondence regarding the work of COSEWIC:
- Letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada regarding referral back of Shortfin Mako
- Letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada on funding levels to COSEWIC and increase in funding for ATK gathering
- Letter to the Canadian Wildlife Director’s Committee regarding jurisdictional participation in COSEWIC meetings
- Letter to the President of the Treasury Board of Canada regarding changes to travel compensation for non-federal employees
Item II - COSEWIC membership
Section 16 of SARA states that (1) COSEWIC is to be composed of members appointed by the Minister after consultation with the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council and with any experts and expert bodies, such as the Royal Society of Canada, that the Minister considers to have relevant expertise. (2) Each member must have expertise drawn from a discipline such as conservation biology, population dynamics, taxonomy, systematics or genetics or from community knowledge or aboriginal traditional knowledge of the conservation of wildlife species. (3) The members are to be appointed to hold office for renewable terms of not more than four years.
1 Membership changes
For a current list of members on COSEWIC, please see the COSEWIC members website.
Members from the Federal, Provincial or Territorial jurisdictions are recommended to the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change by the jurisdiction.
The Co-chairs of the ATK Subcommittee are elected by the ATK Subcommittee membership and recommended to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for appointment to COSEWIC. The Co-chairs and all ATK Subcommittee members are nominated by National Aboriginal Organizations with the exception of two of its members who can be nominated by the ATK Subcommittee. Subcommittee members are appointed by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Species Specialist Subcommittee Co-chairs and Non-government Science Members are recommended to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change by COSEWIC following an in-depth review process.
A call for five Species Specialist Subcommittee Co-chairs and one Non-government Science Member was posted on the COSEWIC website between January 24 and February 21, 2018. Once the call was closed, Selection Committees comprised of both COSEWIC members and Species Specialist Subcommittee members evaluated the applications following procedures for member selection set out in COSEWIC’s O & P Manual. The Chairs of each Selection Committee prepared reports summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of the applicants, which were discussed at the Spring 2018 Wildlife Species Assessment meeting. Candidates were ranked by COSEWIC members and their names and CVs were provided to the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change in May 2018 for consideration of appointment. Members of CESCC were copied on this correspondence.
Item III - wildlife species assessments
In accordance with Section 25(1) of SARA when COSEWIC completes an assessment of the status of a wildlife species, it must provide the Minister and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council with a copy of the assessment and the reasons for it. A copy of the assessment must also be included on the public registry.
Information pertaining to the wildlife species assessed since the last annual report can be found on the SARA Public Registry - Species Index website at the following address:
For a copy of the assessment details for these species, including status assigned, reasons for designation (including uncertainties if applicable) and COSEWIC criteria with alphanumeric codes contact the COSEWIC Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The status reports will be available in English and French on the SARA Public Registry at the following address:
Item IV - wildlife species assessed be COSEWIC since its inception
In accordance with Section 25(2) of SARA, COSEWIC must annually prepare a complete list of every wildlife species it has assessed since the coming into force of that section and a copy of that list must be included in the public registry.
The Canadian Species at Risk publication is available on the Species at Risk Public Registry - COSEWIC List of wildlife species assessed.
It includes all wildlife species assessed by COSEWIC since its inception up to and including October 2018.
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