Species at Risk Act: recovery strategies

A recovery strategy is a planning document that identifies what needs to be done to arrest or reverse the decline of a species. It sets goals and objectives and identifies the main areas of activities to be undertaken. Detailed planning is done at the subsequent action plan stage. In preparing a recovery strategy, the competent minister may adopt a multi-species or an ecosystems approach.

The competent minister, in cooperation with others, must prepare a recovery strategy in response to a species being listed as endangered, threatened or extirpated under the Act. Recovery strategies must be completed within one year of the species being listed as endangered, and within two years of the species being listed as threatened or extirpated.

More specifically, the recovery strategy will:

  • describe the species and its needs
  • identify the threats to survival of the species
  • identify the species' critical habitat unless it is not possible to do so
  • where critical habitat is identified, provide examples of activities that are likely to result in its destruction
  • set the goals, objectives and approaches for the species recovery
  • identify information gaps that should be addressed; and
  • state when one or more action plans relating to the strategy will be completed

Interested parties may include federal, provincial, and territorial ministers, wildlife management boards, Aboriginal organizations, landowners, leasees, and any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate. In preparing a recovery strategy, the competent minister may adopt a multi-species or ecosystems approach.

Under the Act, proposed recovery strategies allow for a 60-day comment period, in which time any person may file written comments with the competent minister. Within 30 days of the closing of the public comment period, the proposed recovery strategy must then be finalized. Recovery strategies are evaluated every 5 years and updated as necessary.

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