Vol. 141, No. 26 -- December 26, 2007
Registration SOR/2007-284 December 13, 2007
SPECIES AT RISK ACT
Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act
P.C. 2007-1911 December 13, 2007
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act (see footnote a), hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.
ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULE 1 TO THE SPECIES AT RISK ACT
1. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "MAMMALS":
Kangaroo Rat, Ord's (Dipodomys ordii)
Rat kangourou d'Ord
Shrew, Pacific Water (Sorex bendirii)
Musaraigne de Bendire
2. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "BIRDS":
Sparrow affinis subspecies, Vesper (Pooecetes gramineus affinis)
Bruant vespéral de la sous-espèce affinis
3. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "REPTILES":
Turtle, Western Painted (Chrysemys picta bellii) Pacific Coast population
Tortue peinte de l'Ouest, population de la côte du Pacifique
4. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "FISH":
Cisco, Shortnose (Coregonus reighardi)
Cisco à museau court
Redhorse, Copper (Moxostoma hubbsi)
5. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "MOLLUSCS":
Slug, Blue-grey Taildropper (Prophysaon coeruleum)
6. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "ARTHROPODS":
Borer, Aweme (Papaipema aweme)
Duskywing, Eastern Persius (Erynnis persius persius)
Hespérie Persius de l'Est
Gold-edged Gem (Schinia avemensis)
Hairstreak, Half-moon (Satyrium semiluna)
Moth, Five-spotted Bogus Yucca (Prodoxus quinquepunctellus)
Fausse-teigne à cinq points du yucca
Moth, Non-pollinating Yucca (Tegeticula corruptrix)
Teigne tricheuse du yucca
7. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "PLANTS":
Agalinis, Rough (Agalinis aspera)
Aster, Short-rayed Alkali (Symphyotrichum frondosum)
Birch, Cherry (Betula lenta)
Columbo, American (Frasera caroliniensis)
Frasère de Caroline
Evening-primrose, Contorted-pod (Camissonia contorta)
Onagre à fruits tordus
Microseris, Coast (Microseris bigelovii)
Microséris de Bigelow
Spike-primrose, Brook (Epilobium torreyi)
Épilobe de Torrey
Woolly-heads, Dwarf (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Southern Mountain population
Psilocarphe nain, population des montagnes du Sud
8. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "MAMMALS":
Shrew, Pacific Water (Sorex bendirii)
Musaraigne de Bendire
9. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "BIRDS":
Owl brooksi subspecies, Northern Saw-whet (Aegolius acadicus brooksi)
Petite Nyctale de la sous-espèce brooksi
Warbler, Golden-winged (Vermivora chrysoptera)
Paruline à ailes dorées
10. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "PLANTS":
Goosefoot, Smooth (Chenopodium subglabrum)
Quillwort, Bolander's (Isoetes bolanderi)
Isoète de Bolander
Willow, Green-scaled (Salix chlorolepis)
Saule à bractées vertes
11. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "MAMMALS":
Cottontail nuttallii subspecies, Nuttall's (Sylvilagus nuttallii nuttallii)
Lapin de Nuttall de la sous-espèce nuttallii
Whale, Bowhead (Balaena mysticetus) Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort population
Baleine boréale, population des mers de Béring, des Tchouktches et de Beaufort
12. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "BIRDS":
Longspur, McCown's (Calcarius mccownii)
Bruant de McCown
Waterthrush, Louisiana (Seiurus motacilla)
13. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "REPTILES":
Turtle, Western Painted (Chrysemys picta bellii) Intermountain - Rocky Mountain population
Tortue peinte de l'Ouest, population intramontagnarde - des Rocheuses
14. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "FISH":
Kiyi, Upper Great Lakes (Coregonus kiyi kiyi)
Kiyi du secteur supérieur des Grands Lacs
Redhorse, River (Moxostoma carinatum)
Chevalier de rivière
Sculpin, Deepwater (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) Great Lakes - Western St. Lawrence populations
Chabot de profondeur, populations des Grands Lacs - Ouest du Saint-Laurent
15. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "ARTHROPODS":
Skipper, Sonora (Polites sonora)
Hespérie du Sonora
16. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "PLANTS":
Woolly-heads, Dwarf (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Prairie population
Psilocarphe nain, population des Prairies
17. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "LICHENS":
Cryptic Paw (Nephroma occultum)
COMING INTO FORCE
18. This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 36 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, and reclassify one listed terrestrial species, pursuant to Section 27 of Species at Risk Act (SARA). This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, wildlife management boards, stakeholders and the Canadian public. Addition of species to Schedule 1 invokes prohibitions to protect species at risk of extinction or extirpation in Canada and requirements to develop recovery strategies, action plans and management plans.
SARA received Royal Assent in December 2002, after extensive consultation with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, wildlife management boards, environmental organizations, industry and the general public. The purpose of SARA is threefold: to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct; to provide 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. SARA complements provincial and territorial laws as well as existing federal legislation (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act, the Canada Wildlife Act,the Fisheries Act, the Oceans Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act).
At the time of Royal Assent, 233 species were included in Schedule 1. Since 2002 and including the present Order, the Governor in Council (GiC) has, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, added 192 species to Schedule 1 thereby bringing the total number of species currently listed on Schedule 1 to 425.
SARA established the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as an independent, scientific advisory body on the status of species at risk. The Committee's primary function is to assess the level of risk to wildlife species based on the best available information on the biological status of a species, including scientific, Aboriginal traditional and community knowledge. Biological factors on which the assessments are based, as well as the assessment criteria applied, are identified in detailed status reports.
The degree of risk to a species is categorized according to the terms extirpated, endangered, threatened and special concern. A species is assessed by COSEWIC as extirpated when it no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but still exists elsewhere in the wild. It is endangered if it is facing imminent extirpation or extinction, and threatened if the species is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the threats. Special concern status is given to a species if it may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
SARA has prohibitions that make it an offence to kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual of a wildlife species. SARA also has prohibitions that make it an offence to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual of a wildlife species, and to damage or destroy the residence of one or more such individuals. These prohibitions are provided for individuals of species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened on Schedule 1 of SARA. The general prohibitions described above apply to aquatic species, and migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994,wherever they are found, and to individuals of other wildlife species where they occur on federal lands in the provinces or on lands under the authority of Environment Canada or the Parks Canada Agency in the territories. Where other species are concerned, if the Minister is of the opinion that the laws of a province or territory do not effectively protect them, the Minister must recommend that the GiC make an order applying the prohibitions to non-federal lands in the province or territory. The Minister must consult with the jurisdiction concerned and, where appropriate, the wildlife management board before making a recommendation to the GiC. The GiC considers the recommendation of the Minister and decides whether or not to invoke the prohibitions in SARA for the protection of species on non-federal lands.
Once a species is listed on Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened, under section 37 of SARA, the competent minister is required to prepare a strategy for its recovery. Recovery strategies and action plans must be developed to the extent possible with people whom the competent minister considers to be directly affected by the recovery strategy. Critical habitat can be identified in a recovery strategy for a species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. Once a recovery strategy which identifies critical habitat for a species is included in the public registry, the Act provides for its protection under various circumstances. Action plans implement recovery strategies for listed species by identifying measures to achieve the population objectives for the species; activities that would destroy the species' critical habitat; unprotected portions of the species' critical habitat; and methods to monitor the recovery of the species and its long-term viability. An action plan also requires an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and the benefits to be derived from its implementation. For those listed as species of special concern, management plans must be prepared. Proposed recovery strategies, action plans and management plans must be included in the Public Registry within the timelines set out under SARA.
On April 26, 2007, the GiC officially acknowledged receipt of the COSEWIC assessments for 40 species. That action initiated a nine-month timeline by the end of which the GiC decides whether or not to add these 40 species to Schedule 1 of SARA, or to refer the assessments back to COSEWIC for further consideration or information.
Of the 40 species, 32 are terrestrial species for which the Minister of the Environment is responsible while eight are aquatic species for which the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has primary responsibility. The Minister of the Environment, however, shares responsibility for two of these eight aquatic species as some individuals of the species occur on federal lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency and are, as a result, under the authority of the Minister. (see footnote 2) The two species are the Copper Redhorse and the Shortnose Cisco.
Through this Order, the GiC has decided to add 36 species at risk to Schedule 1 of SARA and reclassify one listed species. Of the 36 species added, 30 are terrestrial species and 6 are aquatic species. The GiC has also decided not to add two species, namely Bering Cisco and Black Redhorse, and to refer one species, namely Ghost Antler Lichen, back to COSEWIC for further consideration.
The risk status, as assessed by COSEWIC, for each of the 36 listed species and one reclassified listed species is presented in Appendix 1.
Summary of the Order
Among the 31 terrestrial species listed, 19 are listed as endangered, 5 are listed as threatened, and 7 are listed as species of special concern. One of the species, the Pacific Water Shrew, is currently on Schedule 1 but its status is being changed from "threatened" to "endangered."
Many of the terrestrial species are found in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Their habitats are on provincial, federal and private lands. In most instances the provinces and territories have their own legislation that protects species at risk on provincial and private lands. However, adding a species as an endangered or threatened species to Schedule 1 could lead to costs for Aboriginal communities, federal and provincial governments and other affected parties. These costs include but are not limited to costs associated with the use of sustainable practices, mitigation efforts, developing and implementing recovery strategies, action plans, management plans, and enforcement costs. Given the limited distribution of the species on federal lands, the costs are, however, expected to be low to moderate. The total cost associated with recovery strategies, action plans, management plans, and enforcement is estimated to be about 4 to 5 million dollars per year in each of the first five years.
Of the eight species for which listing recommendations had been developed, six aquatic species are added to Schedule 1 of SARA.
Among the six aquatic species added to Schedule 1 of SARA, two are listed as endangered and four are listed as special concern. For species that are listed as special concern, no prohibitions are in force upon adding the species to Schedule 1. There are therefore no costs associated with related prohibitions. Costs will rather result from the implementation of actions taken under the Management Plan required to be developed for species listed as special concern under SARA. For species listed as endangered, the cost is expected to be minimal since the Copper Redhorse is not targeted by recreational or commercial fisheries and the Shortnose Cisco is not likely to interfere with commercial activities.
In addition to their intrinsic conservation value, protecting species at risk also brings benefits to Canadians in the form of conserving the natural habitat that provides essential services for human existence. These services include water purification, cleansing of the atmosphere, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, erosion control, pollination, pest control, flood prevention, soil formation and retention, alternative recreation service and more. Conserving natural habitat will benefit both current and future generations of Canadians. The benefits associated with the Order are expected to be significant.
Under this subsection, descriptions of terrestrial and aquatic species are provided. Detailed information on each species under consideration is available from the COSEWIC status reports, which can be found on the SARA Public Registry at www.sararegistry.gc.ca.
Thirty terrestrial species are added to Schedule 1 of SARA. These include mammals, birds, reptiles, arthropods, vascular plants and lichens. In addition, the status of one mammal (Pacific Water Shrew) already on Schedule 1 is changed.
Five bird species, namely the Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies, Golden-winged Warbler, Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies, Louisiana Waterthrush and McCowan's Longspur, are added to Schedule 1. Except for the Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies, all are migratory birds under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. As such, the nests and birds are already protected under this Act. Adding these migratory bird species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk provides for the protection of critical habitat and for specific species management plans.
The Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies and the Louisiana Waterthrush both breed in Canada at the extreme northern limits of their respective ranges. The Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies has a disjunct and restricted breeding range along the west coast, or more specifically, west of the Cascade Mountains in the United States and extending north into extreme southern British Columbia. It requires sparsely vegetated grasslands, a habitat that is extremely limited in Canada. The subspecies has disappeared from some of its historic breeding locations, likely as a result of population declines over past decades that have been caused by habitat loss due to urban development, modern agricultural practices, habitat modification by invasive plants and increased predation (e.g. cats) associated with urban areas. The subspecies is now rare throughout its range. The Canadian population has been more or less stable over the last 10 years but consists of only 10–20 mature individuals that breed at an airport on private land. The Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies is added to Schedule 1 as an endangered species.
The Louisiana Waterthrush is a neotropical migrant that occupies a specialized breeding habitat (streams and wetlands in large tracts of mature mixed deciduous forest) and feeds mostly on aquatic invertebrates. The species is limited by the availability of sufficiently large patches of suitable breeding habitat. It was extirpated from some areas, likely as a result of historic habitat loss or degradation. The overall Canadian population, most of it in southern Ontario, is estimated at 100–200 breeding pairs and has been more or less stable at this low level for the last 20 years, but some local populations continue to decline while others are increasing. Threats to the species include habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation due to development, logging, agriculture and recreation, reduction in water supply due to agricultural use, and increased nest parasitism.
The Golden-winged Warbler breeds in early successional scrub next to mature forests in northeastern North America. In the United States, the species has experienced steep declines for at least 30 years. In Canada, it had been expanding its breeding range and showing population growth up until 10 years ago. In the last 10 years, the Canadian breeding population has declined by 79% and has started to disappear from the southern-most parts of the country. This pattern is indicative of a species shifting its breeding range northward as its core habitat is being lost. The birds will eventually run out of appropriate habitat if they continue to be squeezed northward. Concurrent with this range shift, the Golden-winged Warbler has come into contact with the closely related Blue-winged Warbler which is expanding its range. Where the two species meet, they hybridize, and overtime, the Golden-winged Warbler is lost through repeated mixing with the more numerous Blue-winged Warbler. Past experience shows that Golden-winged Warblers become extirpated within 50 years, and sometimes much faster, after the arrival of Blue-winged Warblers in an area. Areas with pure Golden-winged Warbler genetic stock are few and primarily occur in Minnesota, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. In addition, Golden-winged Warbler populations are heavily affected by nest parasitism and may also be exposed to additional threats along their migration routes and on their wintering grounds.
The non-migratory Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies is a Canadian endemic subspecies restricted to the Queen Charlotte Islands. It breeds in mature and old forests at lower elevations. Outside the breeding season, it shifts to coastal areas where it feeds on marine crustaceans. The population has declined by about 40% since the beginning of large-scale logging, with a 13% decline during the past 15 years. The main continuing threat is the decline of contiguous, suitable mature and old forests due to logging, particularly given that 75% of the landscape within its range is available for logging. The current population is estimated at about 1 850 birds and is expected to continue to decline as its breeding habitat outside protected areas continues to be logged. The portion of its range that is protected is likely not large enough to support a viable population. The subspecies faces additional threats from introduced species, especially nest predators, and road mortality.
McCowan's Longspur occurs only in arid, sparsely vegetated native grasslands with patches of bare ground as found in short-grass prairie or heavily grazed mixed-grass prairie. Just over 30% of the species' breeding range occurs in Canada where in the past the population has undergone severe population declines and a substantial range contraction due to habitat loss and alteration. The Canadian population is currently estimated at about 375 000 individuals. While the population has been relatively stable over the last decade, habitat loss continues as grasslands are altered by cultivation or lost to residential development, urban encroachment and resource extraction. The birds have been found on agricultural lands where they risk exposure to pesticides and their productivity is likely poor.
Three mammals are added to Schedule 1: the Pacific Water Shrew, a terrestrial mammal which was listed as a Threatened species on Schedule 1, is now listed as Endangered; the Ord's Kangaroo Rat is added to Schedule 1 as Endangered; and the Nuttall's Cottontail nuttallii subspecies is added to Schedule 1 as Special Concern. All three species occur in Canada at the northern extent of their North American ranges and their distribution is likely limited by climate.
The Pacific Water Shrew and the Ord's Kangaroo Rat have very small ranges, and are at risk due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, which result in populations that are genetically isolated from one another and at greater risk of extirpation from random events. Once an isolated population disappears, it is unlikely that the habitat patch would be re-colonized.
The Pacific Water Shrew occurs along the west coast of the United States and reaches its northern range limit in the Lower Fraser Valley in extreme southwestern British Columbia. A recent re-examination of the species shows that it has become extremely rare throughout its range. The Pacific Water Shrew requires riparian or wetland habitats primarily in forests, and prefers older forests. The shrew's very small current Canadian range coincides with heavy urbanization, logging, land drainage, agriculture, and rapid housing, commercial, recreational and industrial development. Given the rate of human population growth in the area, continued habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation are expected to continue and will undoubtedly have negative effects on the already small Pacific Water Shrew population.
The Canadian population of Ord's Kangaroo Rat is a very small, very disjunct northern outlier that occupies an extremely restricted range confined to sandhill complexes near the Alberta/ Saskatchewan border. The Canadian population has been separated from the main range of the species in the United States for about 6 000 years and has developed specific adaptations to its northern habitat, including larger body size, earlier maturity and the ability to enter winter dormancy. Nevertheless, winter survival is low and there are only 1 000 or fewer individuals alive at the end of most winters. Although there are no data on population trends, there is evidence that populations undergo large fluctuations which are aggravated by human influences on habitat. The Ord's Kangaroo Rat inhabits open sand dunes, a habitat that has declined significantly over the long term due to dune stabilization. The rate of loss of active dunes is likely indicative of the rate of decline in the Kangaroo Rat population. Active dunes have declined at an average rate of 40% per decade since 1949, and projections indicate that no active dunes will remain by 2014 should current trends continue. There has been an increase in anthropogenic habitats (roads, trails, fireguards) occupied by the Ord's Kangaroo Rat; however, mortality rates in these habitats are higher. Threats to the species include continuing loss of natural habitat, increases in anthropogenic habitats, and disturbance.
The Nuttall's Cottontail nuttallii subspecies lives in shrub-steppe habitats with sagebrush and occurs in Canada in the Okanagan Valley of south-central British Columbia. It has expanded its range in Canada in the past, but has likely reached the maximum possible distribution. It is likely restricted by both limited habitat availability and winter temperatures. Its population size is unknown (probably less than 3 500 individuals) and likely fluctuates greatly depending on forage availability and cold winters. The most impending risk to this subspecies is continued habitat loss. The human population within its range is increasing, and more than 90% of the land has been altered. As vineyard and urban development continue, more native habitat will disappear. Although the species occurs on cultivated lands, it appears to be rare in these altered habitats.
Two reptiles, namely the Western Painted Turtle (Pacific Coast population) and the Western Painted Turtle (Intermountain-Rocky Mountain population), are added to Schedule 1. Both populations occur at the northern extent of their respective ranges.
In Canada, the Western Painted Turtle ranges from north of Lake Superior westward to Vancouver Island. It requires shallow ponds and lakes or slow-moving streams with abundant emergent vegetation. Males mature at 8–10 years of age, females at 12–15 years, and individuals live for 50 years or more. Juveniles are subject to high mortality. This late age of maturity and low reproductive success make the species as a whole very sensitive to increased juvenile and adult mortality.
The Pacific Coast population of the Western Painted Turtle is isolated from other Canadian populations. It occurs in very small numbers at few locations in a highly developed area where the majority of natural wetland habitats has been lost or degraded due to urbanization and conversion to agriculture. Roads near nesting areas are causing high mortality among both breeding females migrating to nesting areas and dispersing juveniles. The human population within this turtle's range is expected to continue growing, resulting in worsening conditions for the turtle.
The Intermountain-Rocky Mountain population of the Western Painted Turtle is at risk due to wetland loss as well as increased mortality and population isolation and fragmentation by expanding road networks. Much of its current range is largely agricultural, with urban centres dominant and growing along some lake and river sections. Populations of the turtle are often small. Roads intercepting nesting areas are causing high mortality. Wetland degradation and loss, through urbanization and infilling for vineyards, are on the rise, and many of the remaining wetlands are being degraded by various human activities.
Seven species of arthropods are added to Schedule 1. These are the Aweme Borer, Eastern Persius Duskywing, Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth, Non-pollinating Yucca Moth, Gold-edged Gem, Half-moon Hairstreak and Sonora Skipper.
The Aweme Borer is one of the most rarely sampled moths in North America. It is known from only three widely separated sites in southern Canada and another two in the northeastern United States. All collection sites are located along the former or present shores of glacial Lake Agassiz or one of the Great Lakes. Six of the seven specimens were collected between 1905 and 1936, and the species was thought to be extinct until a single specimen was captured in Ontario in 2005, almost 70 years later. Although the species' precise habitat requirements are unknown, available information suggests that the moth is restricted to sand-dune and oak-prairie habitats, both of which have undergone severe declines and fragmentation. Apparently suitable habitat at all historic sites has been lost or degraded to the extent that experts believe that the moth has likely been extirpated from these sites. Intensive directed searches in the vicinity of all the historic sites failed to turn up the species. Remnant patches of burr oak prairie exist in the vicinity of the 2005 collection site in Ontario, but much of this habitat has been lost in the past and extensive collecting in the area over the past 20 years has failed to locate additional specimens. This information points to very low population numbers, and the recently discovered Canadian site may be the last location where the species persists.
The Eastern Persius Duskywing, Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth, Non-pollination Yucca Moth and Sonora Skipper all occur in Canada as isolated northern outlier populations. The distribution of all four species is likely limited by a combination of low availability of suitable habitat and climate.
The Eastern Persius Duskywing is a habitat specialist restricted to open oak savannahs, pine barrens and prairies where its larval host plants are present. Suitable habitat has declined throughout the butterfly's range due to conversion to agriculture, resource extraction, fire suppression, urbanization and other forms of development. The butterfly has declined significantly in much of its North American range and has been extirpated from some areas. Most remnant populations in the United States are small and considered to be highly at risk. Because suitable habitat for the Eastern Persius Duskywing has always been limited in the Canadian portion of its range in southern Ontario, the butterfly was probably never widespread or common in that location. It has been recorded from only two widely separated and isolated sites at the extreme northern edge of its range. Much of its habitat in Canada was rendered unsuitable when its host plant, wild lupine, disappeared or was reduced to small patches. Some suitable habitat now exists as a result of restoration efforts, but the butterfly has not been reported in Canada since 1987 despite considerable repeated and directed search efforts by competent lepidopterists.
Both the Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth and the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth are habitat specialists whose larvae develop only within the flower stalks or seeds of Soapweed. Because flower stalks are retained and seeds develop only after pollination occurs, both moth species are completely dependent on the co-existence of Soapweed, a Threatened plant, and its sole pollinator, the Yucca Moth, which is also an Endangered species. In Canada, both occur as only one or two populations which inhabit a very small, restricted area in southeastern Alberta, isolated from the main range of the species in the United States. Soapweed in this area experiences high levels of deer and pronghorn grazing which greatly reduces recruitment of all yucca moth species in some years. Several consecutive years of no recruitment due to the removal of all flower stalks by grazing could cause the extirpation of both yucca moth species. Other threats to Soapweed, such as grazing by cattle, use of herbicides, damage by off-road vehicles, and collection of plants for horticultural purposes, all have detrimental effects on both moth species.
The Half-moon Hairstreak occurs in Canada as disjunct populations in two small, restricted areas, one on each side of the continental divide, at the northern extent of the species' range. The Alberta population of the butterfly experiences extreme fluctuations and its habitat is at risk due to invasive plants as well as measures used to control the invaders. The British Columbia population, which occurs in the Okanagan valley, has undergone declines in the past due to substantial habitat loss. Currently, the butterfly occurs in an area that is under pressure from the expanding human population, conversion of native habitats to agriculture, and invasion of the natural habitat by the exotic plant knapweed.
The Sonora Skipper inhabits moist meadows in a small, restricted area in a landscape that is primarily forested. In Canada, it is known to occur at six scattered sites, each with a small population. It may occur at additional locations within the known restricted range, but does not occupy all apparently suitable habitat. Throughout its range, it is known to occur as small, patchily distributed populations. Canadian populations appear to be isolated from each other and from the closest populations in the United States. The butterfly is able to use some disturbed habitats, such as grassy roadsides and logged areas but only if these habitats are moist. As a result, these habitats only remain suitable for a limited time. While natural succession of open areas to forests and the aging of forestry plantations to closed-canopy forests impact the Sonora Skipper's population, it is also at risk due to the loss of natural habitats from intensive livestock grazing, and fire control.
The rare Gold-edged Gem is known globally to exist in only four locations, two of them in Canada. This moth is a habitat specialist confined to open sand dunes and blow-outs associated with its larval host plant, a native sunflower. The large-scale decline in the number of open sand areas over the past 100 years correlates with a reduction in the moth's population size. The average rate of decline of active dunes since 1949 has been 40% per decade. Open sand habitats now occur as small, scattered and isolated remnant patches that may continue to decline. It is projected that if current trends continue, there may be no active dunes left by 2014. The moth is at risk due to habitat loss as a result of sand dune stabilization by both native and introduced vegetation and by overgrazing of the moth's larval host plant.
One mollusc, namely the Blue-grey Taildropper Slug, is added to Schedule 1. This slug is associated with moist coniferous or mixed forests in the northwestern United States and reaches the extreme northern limit of its range on southern Vancouver Island where it is known to exist in only five locations. All of the known occurrences of the species are on federal land or on regional park land, not currently threatened by development; however, the species may occur in unprotected habitat on private lands. The species is at risk from continuing habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation through human activities, and land conversion and effects of introduced plants. There is evidence to suggest that it is also at risk due to competition with exotic invasive snails and slugs.
Plants and Lichens
Thirteen species of vascular plants and lichens are added to Schedule 1. They are the American Columbo, Brook Spike-primrose, Cherry Birch, Coast Microseris, Contorted-pod Evening- primrose, Dwarf Woolly-heads (Southern Mountain population), Dwarf Woolly-heads (Prairie population), Rough Agalinis, Short-rayed Alkali Aster, Bolander's Quillwort, Green-scaled Willow, Smooth Goosefoot, and Cryptic Paw lichen.
Habitat loss is the most important threat to the majority of these plants. Competition from introduced exotic plants, many of which are invasive, is a further threat to many of these native species, including Contorted-pod Evening-primrose, Smooth Goosefoot, American Columbo, Coast Microseris and Short-rayed Alkali Aster.
Except for three species (Smooth Goosefoot, Cryptic Paw Lichen, and Green-scaled Willow), all the plants have substantial North American distributions but occur only in small, restricted areas in southern Canada where they are at the northern limits of their range. The southern parts of the country where these plant species occur are also areas where human populations and their impacts are greatest. As a result, most species are affected by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation resulting from a variety of human activities, such as urban and industrial development, oil and gas exploration, conversion of native habitats to agriculture, extensive prairie burning, intensive grazing, herbicide use, logging, alteration of lake levels, shoreline development, and successional processes resulting from fire suppression.
Among the peripheral plant species, the Coast Microseris and Contorted-pod Evening-primrose occur in Canada as small, disjunct, northern outlier populations, separated from the main part of the species' range in the United States by hundreds of kilometres. Both of these species occur on south-eastern Vancouver Island and adjacent Gulf islands where their habitat is naturally fragmented; however, the habitat fragmentation can be exacerbated by human activities. Both species are threatened by habitat loss and degradation by urban development, recreational and other human activities (such as trampling, landscaping and mowing, all-terrain vehicle use and golf courses) and invasive alien plants. If either species disappears from a currently occupied habitat patch, that patch is unlikely to be re-colonized by the species.
The Green-scaled Willow, a Canadian endemic species, has an extremely small global distribution. It occurs only on serpentine outcrops on one mountain top on the Gaspé Peninsula. The entire known global population is within a "maximum preservation zone" in a provincial park. Despite that, a small number of plants adjacent to a trail have been damaged by hikers. A random natural event could also have an impact on this species.
Bolander's Quillwort is an aquatic plant known to exist in Canada only in one lake in a national park. The species inhabits cold, upper subalpine, alkaline ponds and small lakes. It previously occurred at two lakes in the same park but became extirpated from one of them for unknown reasons although its habitat remains intact. The extant population is large and appears stable. There are currently no known serious or impending risks to the plant, but it could be affected by a random event, which is thought to be the cause for extirpation of the species from the other lake in which it previously occurred.
Another species with an extremely small extant range in Canada is the Cherry Birch. It is a Carolinian species that likely once had a somewhat larger distribution in southern Ontario, but has undergone severe habitat losses due to human activities. The Cherry Birch is widespread in eastern North America, but in Canada, it occurs at only one site with fourteen mature trees and some saplings. Although this population is not at risk by humans, it is so small and occurs in such a restricted area that the trees are very vulnerable to stochastic events, particularly severe storms blowing in off Lake Ontario, such as the one in 2004 that caused the loss of some Cherry Birch trees.
The Smooth Goosefoot occurs only on stabilizing sand at the edges of active dunes and blow-outs and along eroding sandy river banks and coulees. The plant has undergone substantial declines in the past, commensurate with the steep decline in active sand dunes. Its habitat is naturally patchy but has become increasingly fragmented with sand dune stabilization. Population size fluctuates greatly, and current population trends are unknown. Dune stabilization has levelled off somewhat in recent years, but trends could reverse in the future. The major risks to the species are continued habitat loss due to dune stabilization and invasive species, oil and gas development, and recreational activities.
The Cryptic Paw Lichen is associated with humid coastal and montane forests, in this case, the old-growth forests along the west coast and in the Rocky Mountains. It has a patchy distribution and is intolerant to decreased humidity. It may have occurred at numerous sites along the west coast, but because old-growth forests are being logged at a fast rate, it has probably been lost from many sites before it could be identified. Hemlock looper infestations are also detrimental to this species as defoliation lowers humidity levels. Global warming, which is expected to increase temperatures, summer drought, looper infestations and fires, is expected to exacerbate the overall habitat decline.
Six aquatic species are added to Schedule 1 of SARA, including one marine mammal and five freshwater fish.
The Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea population of Bowhead Whale is added to Schedule 1 of SARA.
The Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea population of Bowhead Whale is found in the Western Arctic Ocean and was formally referred to as the Western Arctic population when the population was previously assessed as Endangered by COSEWIC in 1986. In 2005, COSEWIC assessed this population as Special Concern, based on the fact that the population is not yet secure and is potentially negatively affected by climate change, oil and gas development, increasing vessel traffic, and anthropogenic noise. COSEWIC has recognized that this population has been increasing in size for at least the last decade and that hunts in Russia, Alaska, and Canada are regulated such that it allows for continued recovery.
Historically, over-exploitation by commercial whaling was the major cause of the decline of Bowhead whales. Prior to the start of commercial whaling in 1849, the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea population in the western Arctic is estimated to have numbered between 10 400 and 23 000 whales. That number declined to approximately 3 000 by the time commercial whaling ended in 1914.
Surveys over the past two decades indicate that this population of Bowhead whales is recovering at an annual rate of 3.4 %, and that the population in 2001 had reached approximately 10 500 animals. While the population appears to be sizeable and healthy, increased interest in offshore developments in the Beaufort Sea, and changes in ocean ice conditions resulting from climate change may pose a threat to this population.
The Copper Redhorse, Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes/ Western St. Lawrence population), River Redhorse, Shortnose Cisco, and Kiyi (Upper Great Lakes population) are added to Schedule 1 of SARA.
The Copper Redhorse is a large-scaled freshwater fish whose range is limited to a few rivers in southwestern Quebec, including the St. Lawrence River and some of its tributaries. The distribution and abundance of this species is in decline based on a number of diverse threats including degradation of water quality, range restrictions from dams, and the introduction of zebra mussels that may be a source of contaminants and modification in benthic communities. The species is rare throughout its range and the population is both aging and in decline.
The Deepwater Sculpin is a deep bottom-dwelling fish that usually inhabit depths between 60 and 150 metres. In Canada, the Great Lakes/Western St. Lawrence population is found in only ten cold, highly oxygenated lakes in Ontario and Quebec. This species feeds mainly on insects and is an important component of the diet of fish such as Lake Trout and Burbot. While little is known regarding the biology of this species, the Deepwater Sculpin is likely negatively impacted by declines in its zooplankton food source and enrichment of lakes with nutrients that can result in low oxygen levels in bottom waters. Predation by alewife and smelt has also been identified as a cause of decline for this species in the Great Lakes.
The River Redhorse is a late-maturing, long-lived, and large sucker that requires large interconnected riverine habitats to fulfill all life stages. Spawning occurs during late spring in areas with fast flowing water and gravel or cobble bottoms. River Redhorse feed primarily on benthic invertebrates including molluscs, insect larvae, and crayfishes. The River Redhorse is found throughout the central and eastern Mississippi River system, extending north into the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River and is known from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Threats to this species include habitat degradation from pollution and siltation, stream regulation affecting water flow, and habitat fragmentation. Dams can adversely affect populations by altering upstream and downstream habitat conditions, restricting movements of individual fish, and limiting gene flow between populations.
The Shortnose Cisco was historically found in Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Ontario at depths ranging from 22 to 146 meters. As it was last recorded from Lake Huron in 1985, Lake Michigan in 1982, and Lake Ontario in 1964, it may be extinct. Declines of Shortnose Cisco were likely the result of commercial over-fishing of deepwater ciscoes that continues, to a limited degree, in the Canadian waters of Lake Huron.
In Canada, the Kiyi were known from Lakes Huron, Ontario, and Superior. It is currently believed to be extinct in Lake Ontario and still in existence only in Lake Superior. It was last reported in Lake Ontario in 1964 and in Lake Huron in 1973. The population in Lake Superior appears to be relatively stable and does not appear to be affected by invasive species. Kiyi are not actively targeted by any current fishery although it may occur as bycatch in a limited deepwater cisco ("chub") fishery.
Under SARA, the GiC, within nine months of receiving an assessment of the status of a species by COSEWIC, may review that assessment and may, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment take one of the following three actions: (1) accept the COSEWIC assessment and add the species to Schedule 1; (2) decide not to add the species to Schedule 1; or (3) refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. All three courses of action were considered when developing this Order.
One course of action is to accept the COSEWIC assessments and to add the species to Schedule 1 of SARA, thereby ensuring that these species receive protection in accordance with the provisions of SARA, including mandatory recovery and management planning. The GiC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, is adding 36 species to Schedule 1 of SARA and changing the status of one species already on the list.
Another course of action is not to add the species to Schedule 1. Although they would neither benefit from prohibitions afforded by SARA nor the recovery/management activities required under SARA, species may still be protected under other federal, provincial or territorial legislation. The GiC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment has decided to not list two species on Schedule 1 of SARA.
A third course of action is to refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. It would be appropriate to send an assessment back if, for example, significant new information became available after the species had been assessed by COSEWIC. During the time that COSEWIC reviews the new information and confirms or modifies its assessment, the species would not benefit from the protection and recovery planning measures afforded by SARA but may be managed and protected under other legislation or policies. The GiC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment has decided to refer one species back to COSEWIC for further consideration and information.
Benefits and costs
Adding 36 species to Schedule 1 will entail both benefits and costs in terms of social, economic and environmental considerations through the implementation of SARA's immediate prohibitions upon listing, and the recovery requirements. Some impacts can be quantified in absolute terms, while others are more qualitative, such as the intrinsic value of species or their contribution to the biological diversity of the planet.
SARA provides a framework for actions across Canada to ensure the survival of wildlife species at risk, and the protection of our natural heritage. Protecting species from the effects of pollution, overharvesting, alien invasive species and destruction of habitat is essential. Ultimately, the success of SARA will depend on the cooperation of the many different constituencies involved in its implementation.
Upon being listed as extirpated, endangered, or threatened, aquatic species, migratory birds, and other species where they occur on federal land in the provinces or on land under the authority of Environment Canada or the Parks Canada Agency in the territories benefit from immediate protection in the form of prohibitions against killing, harming, harassing, capturing or taking individuals of species. This protection would bring forth benefits such as the preservation of species for aesthetic appreciation. Other benefits include increased opportunities for ecotourism, enhanced sustainable development, and increased awareness of conservation, particularly of species at risk. Raising awareness could encourage private land owners to take voluntary measures to protect habitat, including individual species at risk on their lands. The above noted benefits are to be enjoyed by the current generation as well as the future generations.
A significant benefit of adding species to Schedule 1 is the conservation of biological, (see footnote 3) genetic (see footnote 4) and ecological (see footnote 5) diversity. The unique genetic composition and evolutionary histories of species at risk contribute to the biological diversity of natural resources. Biodiversity enhances the productivity of soils and provides the genetic resources for harvested species. It protects against ecosystem disruptions and disease outbreaks, and is an essential source of bio-control agents. The importance of biological diversity has been recognized internationally, as more than 180 countries have become parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, committing to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The addition of species to Schedule 1 will also help Canada meet its recent commitment under the Convention to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss.
Species also have substantial non-economic or intrinsic value to Canadian society. Canadians want to preserve species for future generations to enjoy. Many derive value from knowing the species exist, even if they will never personally see or "use" them. There is also value derived from retaining the option to observe or even use the species at some future time.
Some economic benefits, such as the cultural value of a species, are difficult to quantify. Willingness to pay is one measure used to estimate the benefits associated with environmental initiatives. It is the amount of money an individual is willing to pay, for example, to protect a species at risk, to improve environmental quality and to preserve natural resources. If an environmental service or good is being traded in a competitive market, market price will provide the best estimate of the benefit.
In the absence of markets, non-market methods can be employed to estimate a willingness to pay to protect a species. The approach that uses the information from existing studies that have applied non-market methods of valuation is the benefit transfer approach. This approach uses the value of a good or service in a study as a proxy for market values.
A non-market or benefit transfer approach could be employed to estimate the benefits of listing a wildlife species under the Species at Risk Act. However, lack of information on some species, the minimal costs expected to arise with actions to protect the species, the time required to conduct the research and the lack of major concern of stakeholders, do not warrant the use of this technique at this time.
A significant benefit of adding species to Schedule 1, as mentioned above, is the conservation of biological, genetic, and ecological diversity. Therefore, the protection realized by listing the terrestrial species could help to protect our natural environment and resources. For example, the Blue-grey Taildropper Slug may play an important ecological role by dispersing spores of mycorrhizal fungi. As the fungus extends itself into the soil, it helps plants by gathering nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The Western Painted Turtle is one of only two extant, native freshwater turtle species west of Ontario making it a significant element in the overall biodiversity of the western provinces, and it may play an important ecological role in some wetlands. The Golden-winged Warbler has generated much scientific and public interest over the last 30 years and has a unique genetic history, being closely allied to only one other species. As many other successional scrub habitat breeding birds are facing population declines, its conservation may benefit additional avian species in Canada and other species dependant on this habitat type. The Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies inhabits a rare ecosystem, protection of which could benefit other lesser known species.
Protecting and conserving natural resources through biodiversity and ecological enhancement would increase the value of our resources. In the literature, many have estimated the value of conserving or restoring resources. For example, it has been estimated that protecting natural capital in the Lower Fraser Valley may save society hundreds of millions to billions of Canadian dollars per year. Goods and services provided by the Valley include food harvests, recreational uses, flood protection by wetlands, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other intrinsic and aesthetic values. Agricultural land case studies estimate the net value of conserving or restoring natural areas at $220/ha/yr (see footnote 6) in the Grand River Watershed of Ontario, $70/ha/yr in the Upper Assiniboine River Basin in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, and $140/ha/yr in the Mill River Watershed in Prince Edward Island. (see footnote 7)
Protecting species at risk brings forth other benefits that are difficult to monetize. For example, the sensitivity of Bolander's quillwort to environmental change may provide a valuable indicator of ecological integrity and the seeds of the Brook Spike-primrose have been used by some First Nations cultures as a food. These benefits are expected to be small.
Other species that are significant to the Aboriginal communities are the Northern Saw-Whet Owl brooksi subspecies and the Cherry Birch. The Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies is a distinctive subspecies endemic to Canada and has a special significance to the Haida First Nations, also known as St'awaas Xaaydgaay, meaning the Saw-whet Owl People. The Cherry Birch has been used by First Nations for a number of curative and ceremonial applications.
The benefit of protecting the Northern Saw-whet Owl has not been quantified but a willingness to pay to protect other birds has been demonstrated. For example, a study in Edmonton, Alberta has estimated the willingness to pay by employing a non-market valuation method for preserving the prairie grasslands habitat of the Burrowing Owl at $35/household/year (see footnote 8). Furthermore, ranches can provide the necessary habitat for the Burrowing Owl, which eats insects and small rodents often considered pests by land owners. About seven hundred land owners have voluntarily set aside land for Burrowing Owls, conserving an area larger than the city of Edmonton (see footnote 9).
Many of these species occupy an ecological niche as predators, prey or symbionts, such that their recovery may contribute to strengthening related predator/prey populations and ecosystems. Conservation measures taken to protect species listed under SARA may also prevent other species from becoming at risk.
Species provide various ecosystem services and serve as indicators of, and contributor to, environmental quality. Freshwater fish are often indicators of good water quality in watersheds where they occur. Many of these geographically and biologically distinct species are of public and scientific interest due to their unique genetic composition and evolutionary histories.
Industries such as forestry and fishing have recognized that sustainable use of the resource can result in the long-term viability of the resource. The protection of marine mammals can provide increased opportunities to expand the ecotourism industry once the species is recovered. For example, Bowhead Whales in Arctic waters are of interest to whale-watchers; continuing to rebuild these populations could benefit this industry. Other benefits are expected as this population of Bowhead continues to increase, including increased economic benefits and social and cultural values from Aboriginal harvests, and the value that people place on knowing that bowheads exist in growing numbers whether or not there is any current use of the species. With respect to whale watching, the total value of whale watching activities (all inclusive trips) in Alaskan waters, based on levels of use for 2004, is estimated to generate $942,000 annually. In the eastern Canadian Arctic, the total value of whale watching activities (all-inclusive and non-inclusive trips) ranges from $503,000 to $548,000. As well, currently there is a subsistence harvest of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea populationof Bowhead Whaleby Alaskan and Russian hunters but less so for Canadian Inuvialuit. Only two Bowheads from this population have been harvested by Canadian Inuvialuit since 1991. On the basis of Alaskan information, the annual net value of a harvested Bowhead Whale is estimated to be in excess of $580,000.
Canadians depend upon biodiversity for continued food sources, new medicines and the natural resource economy. Ecosystem health and the sustainable use of our current natural resources may be the source of future economic and employment opportunities. Many of these species are also valued by Aboriginal peoples for food, social, or ceremonial purposes.
The addition of 23 terrestrial species at risk to Schedule 1 of SARA as threatened or endangered and the change in status of one species from threatened to endangered creates legal obligations to protect, manage, and recover these species populations and habitats. These obligations may require individuals to take precautionary measures to ensure the protection of the species. For example, the main threat to the Western Painted Turtle, Pacific Coast Population, is being killed on roads. As such raising public awareness through compliance promotion could encourage drivers to take precautionary measures when driving in areas in which the turtles are often found. Some activities on federal lands may also be modified, and recovery strategies and action plans would be developed to provide concrete measures and a timeframe within which to achieve recovery goals. Costs arising from these actions are expected to be low to moderate.
Generally, costs are proportional to some key parameters such as threats, population and distribution, and economic activities surrounding the species. The range of some species is limited. For example, the Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies inhabits only British Columbia and the Non-pollinating Yucca Moth inhabits only Alberta. Other species such as Green-scaled Willow, Cherry Birch, American Columbo, and Dwarf Woolly-heads are not currently known to occur on federal lands.
Other parameters affecting costs are additional research to fill knowledge gaps, mitigation measures, and the current level of protection provided under provincial or territorial legislation or by voluntary measures. For example, most of the Coast Microseris habitat on Vancouver Island lies within the area already considered by the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team. Thirteen percent of the Ord's Kangaroo Rat habitat occurs in Canadian Forces Base Suffield, which includes the Suffield National Wildlife Area. Oil and gas development continues to be subject to environmental assessment and mitigation in the area. The birds listed by this Order are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, except for the Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies which is not a migratory bird. The Pacific Water Shrew inhabits about 44 distinct locations which cover a vast area, including four Department of National Defence properties and about 62 Indian reserves.
This Order could affect public access to recreational areas. For example, the listing of the Short-rayed Alkali Aster could affect public access to Osoyoos Lake--a recreational beach in British Columbia. The Short-rayed Alkalai Aster occurs along the shorelines of lakes in the southern Okanagan, and faces threats from invasive plants, trampling, and future development. Protecting this species may require some restrictions and a greater use of sustainable practices. The Order could result in restrictions on development or resource extraction. For example, the Vesper Sparrow, the Northern Saw-whet Owl, and the Half-moon Hairstreak butterfly all occur in habitats potentially threatened by development. The only occurrence of the Vesper Sparrow in Canada is at the Nanaimo airport. A proposed expansion of the runway could affect the breeding habitat of this species. Mitigation or modification of the proposal may be necessary. The Northern Saw-whet Owl occurs in old growth forests of Haida Gwaii/ Queen Charlotte Islands. Approximately 75% of the potential habitat for the species is subject to future logging. Protection of the species may require modifications to forestry management plans. The Half-moon Hairstreak butterfly occurs in sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass habitat with silky lupine in the southern Okanagan. Protection of the habitat of this species may pose restrictions to urban and agricultural development in the area.
As SARA only came into full force in 2004, data and information about costs and benefits associated with recovery strategies and action plans are limited. Based on some existing Canadian recovery plans, it could cost approximately 2.5 to 3 million dollars per year in each of the first five years to develop and implement recovery strategies and action plans for all of the species listed as threatened, endangered, or extirpated. There are risks to this estimate being higher or lower, for example the filling of existing knowledge gaps may lead to higher or lower costs in the action plan phase. In addition, there may be costs related to the identification and protection of critical habitat on federal lands. These costs cannot be estimated until recovery strategies for the species have been completed.
The incremental enforcement cost to Environment Canada associated with the automatic prohibitions in sections 32 and 33 of SARA, that come into force with the listing of the 23 terrestrial species on Schedule 1 as threatened or endangered, is estimated to be about $2.7 million over the first five years. The cost estimate is based on the activities of Environment Canada enforcement officers who are designated under SARA and who will be verifying compliance with the prohibitions and taking measures to respond to alleged violations of same. These activities would include
. patrolling the area where the species may be found and where their residences are located, with such patrolling being done for a selected number of species in each of the five fiscal years following their listing on Schedule 1 of SARA;
. detailed inspections to determine the lack of harm to the species and the lack of damage or destruction of the residence, with those inspections being done on the same basis as patrolling activities;
. inspections or investigations following any intelligence received from Wildlife intelligence officers with respect to buying, collecting, trading or sale of any of the 23 species;
. investigations following a complaint received from a third party with respect to any of the 23 species;
. court action (injunction and prosecution); and
. assistance in the negotiation of alternative measures under section 108 of SARA and verifying compliance with those measures.
The cost set out above applies to activities by enforcement officers on federal lands related to the prohibitions arising from listing. The amount does not include enforcement of sections 32 and 33 in cases where the Governor in Council has made an order under subsection 34(2) in respect of a province that has not effectively protected a species among the 23 listed as threatened or endangered, or an order under subsection 35(1) in respect of a territory that has similarly not effectively protected one or more of the 23 species listed as threatened or endangered. Further, the amount does not include enforcement of the terms, conditions and/or requirements of action plans developed under recovery strategies. As no recovery strategies and action plans are in place for any of the 23 species listed as threatened or endangered, it is not possible to estimate the enforcement costs for the action plans.
Costs associated with the listing of one whale and five fish are based on incremental changes to current activities, the potential for implications to future human activities, and improving the status of the species to the benefit of the environment. In some cases, fishing and other human activities may need to be changed in order for the listed species to be protected and recovered. In other cases, for example where species are listed as special concern and SARA prohibitions are not in effect, management plans may require that fishing activities or development be modified to mitigate impacts on the species. However, there are often limited socio-economic impacts as significant current and future impacts are not anticipated and costs to government may be focused on further scientific research. Nevertheless, a variety of direct management costs will result from adding a species to Schedule 1, including developing and implementing recovery strategies, action plans and management plans, as well as conducting research, consultation, negotiation, monitoring, enforcement and stewardship activities.
For future projects that are likely to affect a listed wildlife species and trigger a federal environmental assessment, SARA requires that the competent Minister be notified in writing of the project. The person required to ensure that a federal environmental assessment is conducted must identify any adverse effects on the listed wildlife species and its critical habitat, and, if the project is carried out, ensure that measures are taken to avoid or lessen those effects and to monitor them. These requirements may lead to additional costs to the proponent in both preparing the environmental assessment and fulfilling any mitigation and monitoring requirements.
Of the six species that are added to Schedule 1 of SARA, four are listed as Special Concern. This means that for the Bowhead Whale (Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea population), Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes/Western St. Lawrence population), River Redhorse, and Upper Great Lakes Kiyi, the automatic prohibition and recovery requirements under SARA do not apply. Therefore, no costs would be associated with the prohibitions, but any incremental costs will rather result from the implementation of actions, and compliance verification where necessary, taken under the Management Plan that is required to be developed for species listed as Special Concern under SARA.
For the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea populationof Bowhead Whale, the costs of adding this species to Schedule 1 will likely be minimal given current management measures already in place, an increasing population, and a low harvest rate. The Western Bowhead Management Plan was developed in 1996, and will be updated and brought into compliance with the Act. This revised Management Plan will be prepared jointly with the Inuvialuit, and will consider both Inuvialuit and scientific knowledge in developing management goals and objectives for this population. In addition to the costs of updating the current Management Plan, there may also be costs associated with increased workload in conducting environmental reviews for any future projects, as well as continued monitoring of harvesting activities.
The Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes/Western St. Lawrence population), Kiyi (Upper Great Lakes population) and River Redhorse are being added to Schedule 1 as Special Concern. Similar to the Bowhead Whale, it is anticipated that the costs of adding these species will be minimal to Canadians. As prohibitions under SARA are not in force for species listed as Special Concern, costs from adding these species will be limited to the costs of developing and implementing Management Plans. For these species, a priority will be placed on developing the management plans with affected Aboriginal groups, stakeholders, governments, and other organizations to ensure that management measures are effective and negative implications to Canadians are minimized.
The Copper Redhorse is being added to Schedule 1 of SARA as Endangered. This will result in the protection of this species under the prohibitions prescribed in SARA, and efforts to recover the species through the mandatory recovery strategy and subsequent action plan. It is anticipated that the socio-economic impacts from listing this species will be minimal at this time. The Copper Redhorse is not a target species for recreational or commercial fishers, although the species can be caught as bycatch. For all fisheries, the bycatch is relatively small and there are requirements to release caught fish. In the future, increased costs may be associated with the protection of critical habitat. At the same time, several initiatives are already underway to protect and recover Copper Redhorse. Quebec and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have collaborated to develop a revised recovery plan for this species, and initiated a number of conservation measures, research studies, and awareness activities.
The Shortnose Cisco is added to Schedule 1 of SARA as Endangered. Impacts to Canadians will be limited due to the remote likelihood of encountering the species and its historical occurrence only in the deepest waters of the Great Lakes. Most industries such as hydro development, thermal electric generation, or transportation (ports and dredging) will not be affected from listing the Shortnose Cisco since these industries do not impact deep waters. Population declines of the Shortnose Cisco likely resulted from of historical commercial over-fishing of deepwater ciscos. While it is not clear whether Shortnose Cisco still exists, and the commercial cisco ("chub") fishery is currently inactive, there is a remote possibility that adding this species to Schedule 1 could negatively impact commercial fisheries if the fishery rebounds over the next few years and if the Shortnose Cisco is found not to be extinct. Similarly, Aboriginal fisheries could also be impacted depending on conservation measures identified in the recovery strategy, which will be developed in cooperation with directly affected First Nations or Aboriginal organizations.
In summary, this Order is expected to protect and conserve Canada's natural resources by protecting and enhancing its biological, genetic, and ecological diversity. It also encourages sustainable development--development that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. The costs associated with such action, as described above, are expected to be low to moderate.
Public consultation is an essential part of the regulatory process of the Government of Canada. The SARA listing process was designed to be both open and transparent. Under SARA, the scientific assessment of species status and the decision to place a species on Schedule 1 of SARA involved two distinct processes. This separation guarantees that scientists benefit from independence when conducting assessments of the biological status of wildlife species and that Canadians have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in determining whether or not species will be listed under SARA.
Consultation prior to pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I
Consultations were conducted on the proposal to list species under the responsibilities of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are committed to work closely to ensure that all affected stakeholders are consulted.
On November 29, 2006, Environment Canada launched public consultations on 32 terrestrial species with the publication of Ministerial Response statements for the 40 species assessments received by the Minister of the Environment from COSEWIC. Canadians were invited to express their views on whether or not to list the 32 terrestrial species on Schedule 1 of SARA.
Stakeholders and the general public were consulted by means of a document entitled "Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: December 2006." The consultation document, posted on the SARA Public Registry Web site, outlined the species for which addition to Schedule 1 is being considered. The consultation process also consisted of distribution of the discussion document and direct consultation with identified stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, federal departments and agencies, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and wildlife management boards.
During initial consultations, comments were received from 10 government departments, 3 industry groups, 6 Aboriginal groups including the Gwich'in Renewable Resource Board, the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board, and the Wildlife Management Advisory Council of the Northwest Territories, and 4 non-governmental organizations including Nature Canada and the Sierra Club of Canada. The majority of comments received supported COSEWIC's assessments and requested that the Minister of the Environment proceed with recommending the inclusion of the 30 terrestrial species and the up-listing of one species in Schedule 1 of SARA. The major concerns of stakeholders are presented below.
Alberta's Sustainable Resource Development Department supported the listing of nine of the ten species under consultation that occur in Alberta, and was opposed to the listing of the Gold-edged Gem. They raised concerns that there were insufficient data available to assess the status of this species. As a designation of Data Deficient does not trigger commitment to additional inventory or protection for the species, they suggested that designation of a species as Data Deficient should trigger a process for funding additional survey work. The Department also indicated that they would like to collaborate with Environment Canada on increasing current knowledge of the distribution of this, and several other species, including two species currently added to Schedule 1.
The existing data for the Gold-edged Gem is well documented and has allowed for solid projections of what constitutes suitable habitat for this species. Most of the larger parcels of suitable habitats have been searched, and the moth was found to occur as two disjunct populations at four sites in Canada and as a third population at three sites in Colorado. The maximum area of suitable habitat in Canada is approximately 6 square kilometres. Even if the moth were to be found at additional sites, it would still easily qualify as an endangered species because of the extremely small area of declining habitat and the severely fragmented moth population. It should be noted that there is a suite of other at risk species (plants, invertebrates, mammals) that also require active dunes and are facing the same threats as the Golden-edged Gem. Several of these species are already listed under SARA, and there is some overlap in the locations where these species and the Golden-edged Gem occur. Additionally, it should be noted that species assessed by COSEWIC as data deficient are now eligible to receive funding through the Endangered Species Recovery Fund (ESRF). The ESRF is a collaborative effort led by Environment Canada and WWF-Canada and sponsors high-priority conservation projects to assist the recovery and protection of endangered Canadian wildlife and their natural habitats.
The Québec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks stated that they did not agree with listing the Green-scaled Willow as Threatened and recommended a designation of Special Concern. The Ministry contended that inclusion of the Exotic Rusty Tussock moth larvae as a threat to the population is unsubstantiated and indicated that the species was well protected from anthropogenic threats. The Ministry further stated that the species has been listed in the highest risk category under the provincial Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species since 1995 and as such receives sufficient protection.
In assessing the Green-scaled Willow as Threatened, COSEWIC took into consideration the fact that the entire known population of this plant occurs within the boundaries of a provincial park, that its habitat is protected, and that it is protected under provincial law. As a result, Environment Canada is recommending to that the Green-scaled Willow be listed as Threatened under SARA.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources supported the listing of all of the terrestrial species which occur within Ontario. However, they raised concerns that the listing of the Golden-winged Warbler as Threatened could have significant impacts. They pointed out that the Golden-winged Warbler occurs on a large number of private lands and that habitat protection could affect many landowners in the province.
The listing of the Golden-winged Warbler was also of concern to the aggregate industry. The industry expressed concern that listing of the Golden-winged Warbler as Threatened could have significant impacts on their operations in the province as a result of future habitat protection for this species. The COSEWIC status report identifies three threats: decreasing breeding habitat, hybridization with the Blue-winged Warbler and Cowbird parasitism. According to the industry, there is uncertainty as to the relative importance of each of these threats regarding decline of the species. They requested that this species be more carefully assessed to clarify whether habitat loss is an important factor, and to clarify the primary cause of population declines.
As a migratory bird, the Golden-winged Warbler is a federally managed species, and individuals are already protected under the Migratory Bird Convention Act. It is one of many successional scrub breeding birds that are facing widespread population declines. It has been experiencing a global population decline for at least 30 years and is currently one of the fastest declining songbird species in North America. In Canada, it has declined by 79% over the last 10 years, which would easily qualify the species for Endangered status under the criteria applied by COSEWIC. However, because this species is still numerous and widespread, COSEWIC has assigned a status of Threatened, which denotes a lower risk of extinction.
The situation for the Golden-winged Warbler is nevertheless serious. This warbler was expanding its range in Canada up until 10 years ago, likely because of a northeastward shift from its main range in the United States where population numbers were simultaneously declining. This range shift was driven by habitat loss or alteration within its core range. Most of the northward range expansion is thought to have stopped as the species is running out of suitable habitat into which it can expand. Moreover, the range of the warbler has now begun to contract in the southernmost portions of Ontario.
Habitat loss and alteration have driven the range shift and population declines. Beginning in the 1840s, upwards of tens of millions of acres of farmland was abandoned creating areas of suitable habitat. Much of this land has now passed through old-field-succession and has become reforested, leading to an overall decrease in the availability of suitable breeding habitat in eastern North America. This decrease in anthropogenically disturbed habitat is a common thread in the declines of many bird species that depend on early successional habitats.
Habitat alteration has also resulted in hybridization between the Golden-winged Warbler and the closely related Blue-winged Warbler. The ranges of the two species did not traditionally overlap, but these sister species came into geographic contact when land clearing resulted in the expansion of Blue-winged Warblers into the Golden-winged Warbler's breeding range. The current hybrid zone is rapidly moving northward and is causing local extirpation of the Golden-winged Warbler, usually within 50 years of Blue-winged Warbler arrival, although replacement can occur within as few as four or five years. Even Golden-winged Warbler populations that were thought to be "safe havens" are now showing evidence of hybrid or Blue-winged Warbler arrival.
In addition, habitat alteration has resulted in an increase in Brown-headed Cowbird populations because of an increase in suitable habitat for this species. Because cowbirds are more numerous, it is reasonable to infer that they are successful in parasitizing more nests, including more Golden-winged Warbler nests.
In summary, because of the serious threats faced by the Golden-winged Warbler, especially habitat loss, range contraction and hybridization, a status of Threatened is considered appropriate. Further analysis of the threats facing the species during the recovery planning stage will determine if recovery is possible and identify what feasible actions can be taken to improve the status of the species.
The Government of New Brunswick indicated their support for the proposed listing of the 30 terrestrial species and the up-listing of one species. They also notified Environment Canada that the New Brunswick interdepartmental Species at Risk Committee had conducted a review of the effects of listing the Ghost Antler under SARA, and concluded that there would be very little or no impact. Additionally, they notified Environment Canada of the discovery of over a million individuals of the Ghost Antler Lichen, and commented that this new information might warrant reconsideration of the status of this species by COSEWIC.
This discovery is new information that was not available at the time of the species assessment by COSEWIC. The addition of one new site with over a million individuals could make a difference to COSEWIC's assessment if the new site covered a large area and there were no serious threats to the population. As a result, the Ghost Antler lichen is referred back to COSEWIC for further consideration.
Some environmental organizations suggested that the decision to list a species under SARA should be made solely on the basis of science as assessed by COSEWIC. One organization expressed their concern that during the public consultation process equal weight be given to the social and economic consequences of the decision to not list a proposed species. They argued that the current process emphasizes the costs and benefits of listing a species assessed as at risk by COSEWIC over those of not listing.
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting species at risk. A decision not to list a proposed species may occur if the data available for the species is extremely limited or if there is substantial concern from Canadian citizens that the listing of the species will have socio-economic consequences. In the case where a proposed species is not recommended for listing, the Government may use other regulatory tools to protect the species.
Public consultations were conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the proposed listing of eight aquatic species. Consultations were facilitated through meetings, consultation workbooks, and other supporting documents, which were made publicly available on the SARA Public Registry and other government Internet sites. These documents were also provided by mail to Aboriginal peoples, other government departments, stakeholders, and non-government organizations. Public sessions were conducted in communities, and additional meetings were held with interested or potentially affected individuals, organizations, and Aboriginal peoples. As well, provincial and territorial governments were provided the opportunity to provide their position on whether the eight aquatic species should be added to Schedule 1.
Based on consultations with the Yukon Government, Aboriginal peoples and stakeholders, there is support for adding the Bowhead Whale (Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort population) to Schedule 1 of SARA. Specifically, the Inuvialuit Game Council, the wildlife management board that represents the resource management interests of all Inuvialuit within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, supports the listing of this population of Bowhead Whale. The Inuvialuit Game Council has indicated that adding this population of Bowhead Whale to Schedule 1 will not impact the harvesting rights of Inuvialuit, and the Council recognizes the importance of monitoring and studying this population. The Yukon Government has indicated that it has no comment on whether or not this species should be added to Schedule 1.
In the case of the Bering Cisco, there is opposition to adding the species to Schedule 1 of SARA. The Yukon Government does not support listing Bering Cisco as Special Concern under SARA, based on the adequacy of the available data. They have indicated that there is insufficient data available for this species to determine its status, key information gaps with respect to distribution, population size and trends, no demonstrable decline in population size, and no known threats. Similarly, First Nations and the Yukon Salmon Committee, a public advisory body, do not support listing this species.
Consultations on whether or not to list Copper Redhorse under SARA were conducted with fishers, other industry sectors including agriculture and hydro, environmental organizations, First Nations, and the public. Environmental organizations and the public clearly support the addition of Copper Redhorse to Schedule 1 and further work to protect and recover this species. Mixed reactions to listing this species were received from commercial, recreational, and baitfish fishers. Some fishers supported listing this species, based on the potential for long-term improvements for the species and habitat. Others, however, have raised concerns regarding the potential for future restrictions on their fishing activities. Hydro-Québec was consulted on whether Copper Redhorse should be added to Schedule 1, and supports listing. Hydro-Québec has recognized the importance of Copper Redhorse, and has already taken substantial actions to protect and recover the species. The Province of Quebec is not opposed to listing the Copper Redhorse under SARA.
For Black Redhorse, Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes/Western St. Lawrence population), River Redhorse, Shortnose Cisco, and Kiyi (Upper Great Lakes population), limited responses were received regarding whether the species should be added to Schedule 1. Generally, there is support for listing these species under SARA. For some species, First Nations have identified historical interaction and use of the species and have raised some concern regarding limits to their current and future activities. Development of recovery strategies, action plans, management plans, and other actions taken under SARA for these species will be done in cooperation with any directly affected First Nations or Aboriginal organizations. Similarly, some of these species might be caught as bycatch in fisheries or, in some cases, activities of other industries may impact the species. Future actions taken to study, protect, or recover these species will be done in cooperation with these industries, environmental organizations, governments, and interested citizens. The Province of Ontario supports the addition of Shortnose Cisco, Black Redhorse, and River Redhorse to Schedule 1 of SARA. While the addition of the Upper Great Lakes Kiyi is consistent with the species' designation in Ontario, the Province has indicated that new information indicates the population in Lake Superior is much larger than previously thought. In the case of Deepwater Sculpin, Ontario disagrees with the identification of separate designatable units for the species and has indicated that the majority of the populations found in Ontario are secure. The Province of Quebec does not oppose listing the River Redhorse or the Deepwater Sculpin.
Pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I
Following consultations, the proposal to add species to Schedule 1 was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on August 11, 2007, for a final, 30-day period of public review and comment.
Environment Canada received three comments following pre-publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The Department of National Defense expressed their concern regarding the proposal to list the Golden-winged Warbler as threatened. In particular, the Department felt that listing of the Golden-winged Warbler could impose restrictions on conducting military training on their lands since suitable breeding habitat is widespread at the Canadian Forces Base Petawawa (Ontario) and the species' presence there has been confirmed. Listing of the Golden-winged Warbler as threatened will result in application of the general prohibitions under SARA (no person shall kill, harm, harass, capture, buy, sell, or trade an individual of a threatened, endangered, or extirpated species nor shall a person damage or destroy the residence of individuals of such a species) on Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. Furthermore, if in the future the recovery strategy identifies critical habitat on Canadian Forces Base Petawawa this may result in a need for permitting of some military training activities under paragraph 73(2)(c) of SARA. The Department of National Defense also questioned the scientific basis for the status assessment of the species. Their concerns are addressed on pages 28 and 29 above.
The Urban Development Institute -- Pacific region raised concerns regarding the listing process. They would like to see a complete review of the social, economic and environmental impacts before listing a species under the SARA. They also asked for clarification on the removal of species from the List of Wildlife Species at Risk and whether or not the global status of a species is taken into account in a decision to list a species under SARA. The Urban Development Institute also indicated their strong support for the recommendation to not list the Black Redhorse on Schedule 1.
During the listing process, incremental benefits and costs that would result from the listing proposal are identified and estimated to the extent possible in order to inform the Governor in Council as it makes decisions to change the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. For a species listed as threatened, endangered, or extirpated, the general prohibitions apply to aquatic species and migratory birds wherever they occur and to individuals of all other species and their residences where they occur on federal lands in the provinces or on lands under the authority of Environment Canada or the Parks Canada Agency in the territories. In the case of private land, the analysis, therefore, includes the benefits and costs of the application of the general prohibitions to aquatic species and migratory birds only. The application of the prohibitions to other species on private lands would only occur if the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, made an Order under sections 34 or 35 of SARA that the prohibitions apply on non-federal lands in a province or territory. Development of such an Order would require an analysis of the socio-economic benefits and costs. Socio-economic analysis is also carried out during development of the action plan in order to establish the benefits and costs of recovery actions and the protection of critical habitat.
The SARA mandates an independent scientific body, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), to assess the status of species that may be at risk of becoming extinct or extirpated from Canada. Decisions to list a species are made with this goal in mind. In some cases, conservation of Canada's biodiversity requires the inclusion of species that are common in other areas of North America in the List of Wildlife Species at Risk in Canada. The global status of the species would normally be taken into account at the recovery stage in order to determine possible recovery strategies and to set priorities for recovery actions.
The SARA contains several measures to address changes in the status of species at risk in Canada. Primary among these is the requirement under the Act that COSEWIC re-evaluate the status of species at risk at least once every 10 years. Re-evaluation may occur more frequently if COSEWIC is made aware of changed circumstances for the species and any person may request that COSEWIC assess the status of a wildlife species. In the case where the status of a species has improved or new information is made available that suggests the species may no longer require protection under the Act, the SARA provides a mechanism for the removal of species from the list of species at risk. This process is initiated by the re-assessment of a species by COSEWIC. Following re-assessment, the Committee may determine that a species should no longer be considered at risk. Once such an assessment is received by the government, the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, reviews the available information and makes a decision on whether or not to remove the species from the list.
The Assembly of First Nations indicated their concern that meaningful consultation with affected First Nations was not undertaken in preparation of the regulatory proposal. Consultation by Environment Canada primarily targeted First Nations in British Columbia, the Prairie Provinces, and Ontario where the majority of the species proposed for listing occur. While there was some variation across the country, in each region, including Quebec and Atlantic, letters were sent to regional and/or local First Nation organizations to inform them of the proposed additions to Schedule 1, the comment period dates, and regional contact information. The letter also included a copy of the consultation document "Consultation on Amending the List of Species at Risk under the SARA" or indicated where the document could be accessed on the Internet. In some cases, there was also direct communication by phone, or in person. Environment Canada officials met with one First Nation at their request. As a result of these consultations, Environment Canada received two letters of support. No letters were received opposing the proposed additions nor was new information brought forward regarding the species assessment or the socio-economic impacts of the additions to the list.
Strategic environmental assessment
A decision to list 40 of the species assessed as at risk by COSEWIC would ensure that they would likely receive the full benefits of the protection and recovery measures established in the SARA. This would result in overall benefits to the environment both in terms of the actual species protected and in terms of the conservation of Canada's biological diversity.
A decision not to list species means that the prohibition and recovery measures under SARA will not apply. In some cases, other existing tools, including legislation such as the Fisheries Act, and non-legislative tools such as government programs and actions by non-governmental organizations, industry, and Canadians will continue to protect and recover the species. Should this species be found within the boundaries of national parks or other lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, it would continue to be protected under the Canada National Parks Act or through measures and management tools available to the Parks Canada Agency under other legislation.
Compliance and enforcement
The SARA promotes protection and recovery of species at risk by engaging Canadians in stewardship programs, and by giving landowners, land users and other stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the recovery process. Stewardship actions include the wide range of voluntary actions Canadians are taking to monitor species at risk and their habitats, recovery actions to improve the status of species at risk, and direct actions to protect species at risk.
Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada facilitate stewardship activities and promote compliance with SARA by producing promotional and educational materials and organizing educational activities. These materials and activities include, for example, the SARA Public Registry, an electronic information bulletin, posters, information sessions, engaging learning activities, Web features, curricula and other public education projects.
At the time of listing species as threatened, endangered, or extirpated automatic prohibitions on the harming of individuals and their residences come into effect for aquatic species and migratory birds wherever they occur in Canada and for other species where they occur on federal land, thus providing immediate and direct protection. Subsequently, a recovery strategy and action plan must be developed to promote and manage the recovery of the species. The implementation of these plans may result in recommendations for further regulatory action for protection of this species, or may draw on the provisions of other acts of Parliament, such as the Fisheries Act, to provide required protection.
SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including liability for costs, fines or imprisonment, alternative measures agreements, seizure and forfeiture of things seized or of the proceeds of their disposition. SARA also provides for inspections and search and seizure operations by enforcement officers designated under SARA. Under the penalty provisions of the Act, a corporation found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $300,000, a non-profit corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000, and any other person is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. A corporation found guilty of an indictable offence is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.
Certain activities affecting a listed species will require permits. In accordance with SARA, permits will be considered for scientific research relating to the conservation of a species that is conducted by qualified persons, for activities that benefit a listed species or enhance its chances of survival in the wild, and for activities that incidentally affect a listed species. These exceptions can be made only when the competent minister is of the opinion that all reasonable alternatives that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted, that all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species, its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals, and that the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.
Mary Taylor Director Conservation Service Delivery and Permitting Canadian Wildlife Service Environment Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3 Telephone: 819-953-9097
Brenda Tang A/Senior Economist Regulatory Analysis and Instrument Choice Environment Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3 Telephone: 819-997-5755
Jaclyn Shepherd Regulatory Analyst Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Fisheries and Oceans Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E6 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appendix 1: List of the 36 species added to Schedule 1, List of Wildlife Species at Risk, of the Species at Risk Act, and one species reclassified.
|Mammals||Ord's Kangaroo Rat|
|Mammals||Pacific Water Shrew1|
|Birds||Vesper Sparrow affinis subspecies|
|Reptiles||Western Painted Turtle, Pacific Coast population|
|Arthropods||Eastern Persius Duskywing|
|Arthropods||Five-spotted Bogus Yucca Moth|
|Arthropods||Non-pollinating Yucca Moth|
|Molluscs||Blue-grey Taildropper Slug|
|Plants||Dwarf Woolly-heads, Southern Mountain population|
|Plants||Short-rayed Alkali Aster|
|Birds||Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies|
|Mammals||Bowhead Whale, Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea population|
|Mammals||Nuttall's Cottontail nuttallii subspecies|
|Fish||Deepwater Sculpin, Great Lakes - Western St. Lawrence population|
|Fish||Upper Great Lakes Kiyi|
|Reptiles||Western Painted Turtle, Intermountain-Rocky Mountain population|
|Plants||Dwarf Woolly-heads, Prairie population|
1 Reclassified from Threatened to Endangered.
S.C. 2002 c. 29
S.C. 2002, c. 29
The Minister of the Environment (through the Parks Canada Agency) is responsible for individuals of species at risk found in national parks, national historic sites or other protected heritage areas.
Biological diversity, often referred to as biodiversity, includes both the amount and variety of life forms at several levels of scale, for instance, individual, population, community, ecosystem, landscape or biome.
Genetic diversity refers to the number and abundance of gene types within a population and is important for maintaining the health of individuals and populations over time.
Ecological diversity refers to the number and abundance of ecological types or zones (e.g. ecosystems and landscape features).
All values discussed in these studies were converted approximately to 2007 Canadian dollars.
Olewiler, N., "The Value of Natural Capital in Settled Areas of Canada," Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, 2004.
Atakelty, H., V. Adamowicz and P. Boxall, "Complements, Substitutes, Budget Constraints and Valuation," Environmental and Resource Economics 16, 51-68, 2000.
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