Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler Order

Key findings from the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) conducted for the Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Order (the Order).

The Cerulean Warbler is listed as endangered under SARA. The objective of the Order is to support the survival and recovery of the Cerulean Warbler through the legal protection of its critical habitat on federal lands identified in its recovery strategy. The Order came into force on the day of its registration, on May 6, 2022. The Order applies the prohibition against the destruction of all critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler located on federal lands, as set out in subsection 58(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The Order provides immediate protection to the species by preventing further loss or degradation of the habitat required for species’ recovery and survival. Efforts to recover a given species, notably the Cerulean Warbler, contribute to overall biodiversity, the maintenance of which is essential for healthy ecosystems, human health, prosperity and well-being.

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a SEA was conducted for the Order. The SEA concluded that the Order would have important positive environmental effects. For example, the Order is expected to support the 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goal “Healthy Wildlife Populations” as the prohibition against the destruction of the critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler on federal lands will support the survival and recovery of the species. The Order will support the goal’s medium-term target, “By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans” since it will protect the critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler and improve the amount and quality of breeding and migration habitat available for current and future populations. The Order also supports the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy which recognizes the importance of protecting the habitats of species at risk as a key component of conserving biological diversity. In addition, the protection of habitat by the Order will contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 – “Life on Land.” More broadly, the Order, in addition to other protections afforded under SARA and the Migratory Bird Convention Act, 1994 will also support SDG 15.7 target to “Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.”

SARA requires measures such as recovery planning and reporting that will help scientists learn if the Cerulean Warbler is recovering. For updates with new or additional information related to the Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Order, please consult the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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