2019 Amendment to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act: 31 aquatic species

A review of the potential environmental impacts of amendments to the list of species at risk under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) published in the Canada Gazette.

The Order Amending Schedule 1 of the SARA (the Order) helps protect 31 aquatic species at risk by adding them or by modifying their status on the list of species at risk. The objective of the Order is to protect species at risk so they can recover. Species are reassessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) every 10 years, which is one of the ways to assess the health of the species.

Protecting species at risk in Canada helps to maintain biodiversity. Ecosystem function and services, such as natural pest control, pollination, temperature regulation and carbon fixing, can also be maintained by protecting species at risk. Ecosystem functions and services in turn are important to the health of Canadians and have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes in an ecosystem can result in the loss of individuals and species, which can lead to irreversible and wide-ranging effects.

The Order supports the goal Healthy wildlife populations from Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goal as well the Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

The Order will also contribute to fulfilling a commitment made by Canada under the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity) regarding the Aichi target #12, “By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.”

 

Table 1: Species proposed to be added to Schedule 1 of SARA (18)

Fish

Common Population Name Scientific Name Status Range
Lake Sturgeon (Southern Hudson Bay - James Bay populations) Acipenser fulvescens Special Concern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec
Silver Lamprey (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations) Ichthyomyzon unicuspis Special Concern Ontario, Quebec
Bull Trout (Western Arctic populations) Salvelinus confluentus Special Concern Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon
Bull Trout (South Coast British Columbia populations) Salvelinus confluentus Special Concern British Columbia
Cutlip Minnow Exoglossum maxillingua Special Concern Ontario, Quebec
Unarmoured Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus Special Concern British Columbia
Giant Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus Special Concern British Columbia
Northern Sunfish (Great Lakes-Upper St. Lawrence populations) Lepomis peltastes Special Concern Ontario, Quebec
Rainbow Smelt (Lake Utopia large-bodied population) Osmerus mordax Threatened New Brunswick
Silver Shiner Notropis photogenis Threatened Ontario
Plains Minnow        Hybognathus placitus Threatened Saskatchewan
Bull Trout (Saskatchewan - Nelson Rivers populations) Salvelinus confluentus Threatened Alberta
Black Redhorse Moxostoma duquesnei Threatened Ontario
Rainbow Trout (Athabasca River populations) Oncorhynchus mykiss Endangered Alberta

Molluscs

Common Population Name Scientific Name Status Range
Threehorn Wartyback Obliquaria reflexa Threatened Ontario
Fawnsfoot Truncilla donaciformis Endangered Ontario
Hickorynut Obovaria olivaria Endangered Ontario, Quebec
Lilliput Toxolasma parvum Endangered Ontario

Table 2: Species proposed to be reclassified in Schedule 1 of SARA (9)

Fish

Legal Population Name Scientific Name Proposed status change Range
Pugnose Minnow    Opsopoeodus emiliae Reclassify from special concern to threatened Ontario
Pugnose Shiner       Notropis anogenus Reclassify from endangered to threatened Ontario
Salish Sucker Catostomus sp. cf. catostomus Reclassify from Endangered to Threatened British Columbia
Striped Bass (St. Lawrence River population) Morone saxatilis Reclassify from Extirpated to Endangered Quebec, Atlantic Ocean
Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus Reclassify from Threatened to Endangered Ontario

Molluscs

Legal Population Name Scientific Name Proposed status change Range
Mapleleaf (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence population) Quadrula quadrula
Reclassify  from  Threatened to Special Concern Ontario
Rainbow Villosa iris Reclassify  from   Endangered to Special Concern Ontario
Eastern Pondmussel Ligumia nasuta Reclassify from Endangered to Special Concern Ontario
Mapleleaf (Saskatchewan-Nelson Rivers population) Quadrula quadrula
Reclassify from Endangered to Threatened Manitoba

Table 3: Aquatic species where one previously listed species is proposed to be replaced with new Designatable Units (DU) in Schedule 1 of SARA (4)

Channel Darter (being split into 3 unique DUs): Original DU currently listed as threatened under Schedule 1 of SARA

Legal Population Name Scientific Name Proposed status change Range
Channel Darter (Lake Ontario populations) Percina copelandi Endangered Ontario
Channel Darter (Lake Erie populations) Percina copelandi Endangered Ontario
Channel Darter (St. Lawrence populations) Percina copelandi Special Concern Ontario, Quebec

Silver Chub (being split into two Unique DUs- One of which is proposed for listing) : Original DU currently listed as special concern on Schedule of SARA

Legal Population Name Scientific Name Proposed status change Range
Silver Chub (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations) Macrhybopsis storeriana
Endangered Ontario

More information

SARA provides proections to species at risk by:  

Species can be added to the list of species at risk (Schedule 1 of SARA) under various designations, which depend on the severity of the risk of disappearance from the wild in Canada. Following listing, species designated as a status of endangered, threatened or extirpated benefit from SARA’s general prohibitions, which include protections against the killing, harming or harassing of individuals and against damaging or destroying their residences. SARA also requires recovery planning efforts to address threats to the survival or recovery of the listed species.

A special concern status in Schedule 1 of SARA does not trigger the general prohibitions, but a management plan is developed, which includes conservation measures to preserve the wildlife species and avoid a future decline of its populations.

 

 

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