Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act - Peary Caribou and 12 other 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 to the Species at Risk Act (the Order) helps protect 13 species at risk by adding them or by updating their designation on the List of Species at Risk. The objective of the Order is to protect species so they can recover. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) reassesses species every 10 years, which is one of the ways to monitor the health of the species. Monitoring will also be done through the recovery plans or management plans to be developed for the species and reassessed every 5 years.

The SARA provides protections to species at risk by:

Species can be added to the List of Species at Risk (Schedule 1 of SARA) under various designations depending on the severity of the risk of disappearance from the wild in Canada. Following listing, species designated as threatened, endangered or extirpated benefit from SARA’s general prohibitions, including protections against killing, harming or harassing individuals of the species 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 these listed species, in the form of recovery strategies or action plans.

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

Table 1: Additions or modifications to Schedule 1 of SARA
Common species name Range Listing
Action Old status New status
Carey’s Small Limestone BC New addition No Status Endangered
Drooping-leaved Beard-moss BC New addition No Status Endangered
Columbia Quillwort BC New addition No Status Endangered
Dwarf Hesperochiron BC New addition No Status Endangered
Hairy Valerian ON New addition No Status Endangered
Hairy Paintbrush BC New addition No Status Endangered
Dalton’s Moss BC New addition No Status Endangered
American Bumblebee ON, QC New addition No Status Special Concern
Yellow Scarab Hunter Wasp BC New addition No Status Special Concern
Peary Caribou NU, NWT Reclassification Endangered Threatened
Greater Short-horned Lizard AB, SK Reclassification Endangered Special Concern
Goldenseal ON Reclassification Threatened Special Concern
Karner Blue ON Name change Extirpated N/A

The economic impacts of making these additions or modifications have been assessed and it was determined that they will have a low socio-economic impact.

Protecting species at risk in Canada helps to maintain biodiversity and can help maintain ecosystem function and services, such as natural pest control, pollination, temperature regulation and carbon fixing. 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 2019-2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goal of “Healthy wildlife populations”, particularly the target that “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” by helping ensure that species are provided appropriate protection.

It also supports the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) SDG 15- Life on Land and SDG 13- Climate Action.

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