Order Amending Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act for 16 terrestrial 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 purposes of SARA are to:

Species can be added to the List of Species at Risk (the List) in 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 endangered, threatened or extirpated benefit from SARA’s general prohibitions, including protections against the killing, harming or harassing of an individual of that 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 the 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 the development of a management plan. This plan includes conservation measures to preserve the wildlife species and avoid a future decline of its populations.

The Order Amending Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (the Order) contributes to the protection, recovery or conservation of 15 species at risk by adding them to, or by modifying their status on, the List. The Order also removed one species from the List as it is no longer considered at risk. 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.

Table 1. Amendments to Schedule 1
Common species name Range Amendment
Action Old status New status
Bullsnake AB
SK
New addition No status Special concern
Caribou (Newfoundland population)
NL
New addition No status Special concern  
Transverse Lady Beetle All New addition No status Special concern
Golden-Eye Lichen (Prairie/Boreal population) ON
MB
New addition No status Special concern
Long's Bulrush NS New addition No status Special concern
Magdalen Islands Grasshopper QC New addition No status Special concern
Lake Huron Grasshopper ON New addition No status Threatened
Eastern Banded Tigersnail ON New addition No status Endangered
Golden-Eye Lichen (Great Lakes population) ON New addition No status Endangered
Unisexual Ambystoma (Small-mouthed Salamander dependent population) ON New addition No status Endangered
Unisexual Ambystoma (Jefferson Salamander dependent population) ON New addition No status Endangered
Anticosti Aster QC
NB
Reclassification Threatened Special concern
Western Painted Turtle (Pacific Coast population) BC Reclassification Endangered Threatened
Spotted Wintergreen ON
QC
Reclassification Endangered Threatened
Blanding’s Turtle (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population) ON
QC
Reclassification Threatened Endangered
Sonora Skipper BC
Removal Special concern Not at risk

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 two of the 2019-22 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goals.

The Order also supports the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concerning SDG 15 Life on Land and SDG 13 Climate Action.

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