2019 amendment to schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act: 31 terrestrial species

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

This order amending Schedule 1 of the SARA (the Order) helps protect 30 terrestrial species at risk by adding them or by updating their designation on the list of species at risk and removing 1 species that is no longer at risk. The objective of the Order is to protect species so they can recover.

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 following 2016 to 2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goals:

  • healthy wildlife populations: by providing protection for species at risk
  • effective action on climate change: by supporting conservation, since many ecosystems play a key role in mitigating the impacts of climate change

It will also support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concerning SDG 15 Life on land and SDG 13 Climate action.

Table 1: Addition of 17 wildlife species to schedule 1 of SARA

Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Rattlesnake, Prairie (Crotalus viridis) Special concern Alberta, Saskatchewan  
Turtle, Eastern Box (Terrapene carolina) Extirpated Ontario
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Forestsnail, Broad-banded (Allogona profunda) Endangered Ontario
Globelet, Proud (Patera pennsylvanica) Endangered Alberta, Saskatchewan
Slug, Pygmy (Kootenaia burkei) Special concern British Columbia
Slug, Sheathed (Zacoleus idahoensis) Special concern British Columbia
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Borer, Hoptree (Prays atomocella) Endangered Ontario
Dancer, Vivid (Argia vivida) Special concern British Columbia, Alberta
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Arnica, Griscom’s
(Arnica griscomii)
Threatened Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador
Beakrush, Tall
(Rhynchospora macrostachya)
Endangered Nova Scotia
Ironweed, Fascicled (Vernonia fasciculata) Endangered Manitoba
Podistera, Yukon (Podistera yukonensis) Special concern Yukon
Saxifrage, Spiked (Micranthes spicata) Special concern Yukon
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Lichen, Black-foam (Anzia colpodes) Threatened Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
Lichen, Wrinkled Shingle (Pannaria lurida) Threatened New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador
Mountain Crab-eye (Acroscyphus sphaerophoroides) Special concern British Columbia
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Tassel, Tiny (Crossidium seriatum) Special concern British Columbia

Table 2: Reclassification of 11 wildlife species to schedule 1 of SARA

Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Softshell, Spiny (Apalone spinifera) Threatened to endangered Ontario, Quebec
Watersnake, Lake Erie (Nerodia sipedon insularum) Endangered to special concern Ontario
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Taildropper, Blue-grey (Prophysaon coeruleum) Endangered to threatened British Columbia
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Skipperling, Poweshiek (Oarisma poweshiek)

Threatened to endangered

Common name (scientific name) Status Range
(Aletris farinosa)
Threatened to endangered Ontario
Hoptree, Common (Ptelea trifoliata) Threatened to special concern Ontario
Lady’s-slipper, Small White (Cypripedium candidum) Endangered to threatened Manitoba, Ontario
Orchid, Phantom (Cephalanthera austiniae) Threatened to endangered British Columbia
Sanicle, Bear’s-foot (Sanicula arctopoides) Endangered to threatened British Columbia
Sedge, Baikal
(Carex sabulosa)
Threatened to special concern Yukon
Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Jellyskin, Flooded (Leptogium rivulare) Threatened to special concern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec

Table 3: Split in population designation of a currently listed wildlife species under schedule 1 of SARA

Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Toothcup (Rotala ramosior) Great Lakes Plains population Threatened Ontario
Toothcup (Rotala ramosior) Southern Mountain population Endangered   British Columbia

Table 4: Removal of 1 wildlife species from schedule 1 of SARA

Common name (scientific name) Status Range
Moss, Pygmy Pocket (Fissidens exilis) Special concern to not at risk British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia

More information

The SARA provides protections to species at risk by:

  • preventing wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct
  • providing for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened
  • responding to the advice of scientists

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 endangered, threatened or extirpated benefit from SARA’s general prohibitions, which include protections against the killing, harming or harassing and against damaging or destroying their residences (i.e. nests, burrows, etc.). 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. A management plan is developed. This includes conservation measures to preserve the wildlife species and avoid a future decline of its populations.

Species are reassessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) every 10 years. This is one of the ways to monitor the health of the species. Monitoring will also be done through the recovery plans or management plans. These are developed for the species and reassessed every 5 years.

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