Vol. 143, No. 6 -- March 18, 2009

Registration

SOR/2009-86 March 5, 2009

SPECIES AT RISK ACT

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

P.C. 2009-383 March 5, 2009

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

AMENDMENTS

1. Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (see footnote 1) is amended by striking out the following under the heading “REPTILES”:

Lizard, Pigmy Short-horned (Phrynosoma douglasii) British Columbia population

Iguane pygmée à cornes courtes population de la Colombie-Britannique

2. Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “REPTILES”:

Lizard, Pigmy Short-horned (Phrynosoma douglasii)

Iguane pygmée à cornes courtes

3. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “MAMMALS”:

Marmot, Vancouver Island (Marmota vancouverensis)

Marmotte de l’île Vancouver

Marten, Newfoundland (Martes americana atrata)

Martre de Terre-Neuve

4. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “MAMMALS”:

Marmot, Vancouver Island (Marmota vancouverensis)

Marmotte de l’Île Vancouver

Mouse dychei subspecies, Western Harvest (Reithrodontomys megalotis dychei)

Souris des moissons de la sous-espèce dychei

5. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “BIRDS”:

Gull, Ivory (Pagophila eburnea)

Mouette blanche

6. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “AMPHIBIANS”:

Salamander, Allegheny Mountain Dusky (Desmognathus ochrophaeus) Carolinian population

Salamandre sombre des montagnes population carolinienne

7. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “REPTILES”:

Lizard, Greater Short-horned (Phrynosoma hernandesi)

Grand iguane à petites cornes

Ratsnake, Gray (Elaphe spiloides) Carolinian population

Couleuvre obscure population carolinienne

Skink, Five-lined (Eumeces fasciatus) Carolinian population

Scinque pentaligne population carolinienne

Watersnake, Lake Erie (Nerodia sipedon insularum)

Couleuvre d’eau du lac Érié

8. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “FISH”:

Dace, Nooksack (Rhinichthys cataractae)

Naseux de Nooksack

Sucker, Salish (Catostomus sp.)

Meunier de Salish

9. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “FISH”:

Dace, Nooksack (Rhinichthys cataractae ssp.)

Naseux de la Nooksack

Dace, Speckled (Rhinichthys osculus)

Naseux moucheté

Sucker, Salish (Catostomus catostomus ssp.)

Meunier de Salish

10. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “PLANTS”:

Woodsia, Blunt-lobed (Woodsia obtusa)

Woodsie obtuse

Woolly-heads, Tall (Psilocarphus elatior) Pacific population

Psilocarphe élevé population du Pacifique

11. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “PLANTS”:

Dogwood, Eastern Flowering (Cornus florida)

Cornouiller fleuri

Pondweed, Ogden’s (Potamogeton ogdenii)

Potamot de Ogden

Woolly-heads, Tall (Psilocarphus elatior)

Psilocarphe élevé

12. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “LICHENS”:

Seaside Centipede (Heterodermia sitchensis)

Hétérodermie maritime

13. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “LICHENS”:

Lichen, Seaside Centipede (Heterodermia sitchensis)

Hétérodermie maritime

14. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “MOSSES”:

Moss, Nugget (Microbryum vlassovii)

Phasque de Vlassov

15. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “MAMMALS”:

Otter, Sea (Enhydra lutris)

Loutre de mer

16. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “MAMMALS”:

Marten, American (Martes americana atrata) Newfoundland population

Martre d’Amérique population de Terre-Neuve

17. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “BIRDS”:

Swift, Chimney (Chaetura pelagica)

Martinet ramoneur

Woodpecker, Red-headed (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

Pic à tête rouge

18. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “AMPHIBIANS”:

Salamander, Allegheny Mountain Dusky (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)

Salamandre sombre des montagnes

19. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “AMPHIBIANS”:

Salamander, Allegheny Mountain Dusky (Desmognathus ochrophaeus) Great Lakes – St. Lawrence population

Salamandre sombre des montagnes population des Grands Lacs et du Saint-Laurent

20. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “REPTILES”:

Ratsnake, Eastern (Elaphe obsoleta)

Couleuvre obscure de l’Est

21. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “REPTILES”:

Ratsnake, Gray (Elaphe spiloides) Great Lakes – St. Lawrence population

Couleuvre obscure population des Grands Lacs et du Saint-Laurent

22. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “FISH”:

Shiner, Carmine (Notropis percobromus)

Tête carmin

23. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “FISH”:

Shiner, Carmine (Notropis percobromus) Tête carminée

24. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “ARTHROPODS”:

Flower Moth, Verna’s (Schinia verna)

Héliotin de Verna

25. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “PLANTS”:

Corydalis, Scouler’s (Corydalis scouleri)

Corydale de Scouler

Violet, Yellow Montane (Viola praemorsa ssp. praemorsa)

Violette jaune des monts

26. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “PLANTS”:

Violet praemorsa subspecies, Yellow Montane (Viola praemorsa praemorsa)

Violette jaune des monts de la sous-espèce praemorsa

Woodsia, Blunt-lobed (Woodsia obtusa)

Woodsie à lobes arrondis

27. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “MAMMALS”:

Mouse megalotis subspecies, Western Harvest (Reithrodontomys megalotis megalotis)

Souris des moissons de la sous-espèce megalotis

Otter, Sea (Enhydra lutris)

Loutre de mer

28. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “BIRDS”:

Gull, Ivory (Pagophila eburnea) Mouette blanche

29. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “BIRDS”:

Albatross, Black-footed (Phoebastria nigripes)

Albatros à pieds noirs

Blackbird, Rusty (Euphagus carolinus)

Quiscale rouilleux

30. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “REPTILES”:

Skink, Five-lined (Eumeces fasciatus) Great Lakes – St. Lawrence population

Scinque pentaligne population des Grands Lacs et du Saint-Laurent

31. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “FISH”:

Sculpin, Columbia Mottled (Cottus bairdii hubbsi)

Chabot tacheté de Columbia

32. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “FISH”:

Lamprey, Northern Brook (Ichthyomyzon fossor) Great Lakes – Upper St. Lawrence populations

Lamproie du Nord populations des Grands Lacs et du haut Saint-Laurent

Rockfish type I, Rougheye (Sebastes sp. type I)

Sébaste à œil épineux du type I

Rockfish type II, Rougheye (Sebastes sp. type II)

Sébaste à œil épineux du type II

Sculpin, Columbia (Cottus hubbsi)

Chabot du Columbia

Shark, Bluntnose Sixgill (Hexanchus griseus)

Requin griset

Sturgeon, Shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum)

Esturgeon à museau court

Thornyhead, Longspine (Sebastolobus altivelis)

Sébastolobe à longues épines

Tope (Galeorhinus galeus)

Milandre

33. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “PLANTS”:

Woolly-heads, Tall (Psilocarphus elatior) Prairie population

Psilocarphe élevé population des Prairies

COMING INTO FORCE

34. 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.)

Executive summary

Issue: A growing number of wildlife species in Canada face pressures and threats that put them at risk of extirpation or extinction. Some of these species are important to industries, serve important biological functions or have intrinsic, recreational and existence value to the Canadian public. By providing for the protection and recovery of species at risk, the Species at Risk Act (SARA) is one of the most important tools in the conservation of Canada’s biological diversity. On June 12, 2008, the Governor in Council (GIC) officially acknowledged receipt of species assessments for 30 species that had been assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). This action initiated the nine-month legislated timeline within which the GIC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, decides on whether or not to add these 30 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, under SARA.

Description: This Order adds 23 species to Schedule 1, reclassifies 5 species already listed on Schedule 1 and removes 1 species from Schedule 1 of SARA. These amendments are being made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment. The Minister of the Environment on the advice of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has recommended that 1 species, the Northern Fur Seal, be referred back to COSEWIC to allow for consideration of new information. This species assessment will be referred back to COSEWIC as part of a separate order. The addition of species to Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened invokes prohibitions to protect those species from extinction or extirpation in Canada. SARA also requires the preparation of recovery strategies and action plans to provide for their recovery and survival. When a species is added to Schedule 1 as a species of special concern, SARA requires the preparation of a management plan to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened. This Order also makes corrections to the names of 12 species already on Schedule 1. This includes amendments to the names of 2 terrestrial species to specify two distinct populations assessed separately by the Committee and an amendment to the name of 1 terrestrial species to specify the existence of a single population rather than two distinct populations consistent with the assessment by the Committee.

Cost-benefit statement: The benefits of the Order are likely to be positive due to the expected value placed on the species based on an individual’s willingness to pay for protecting the species and limited costs. The five species being reclassified on Schedule 1 are not expected to result in incremental costs as the changes would not alter prohibitions or management requirements currently in place. Since the prohibitions for individual species or their residences do not apply for the 11 species being added to Schedule 1 as special concern, no costs are expected to be associated with their addition to the List. Costs will however result with the addition of 12 species to Schedule 1 as threatened or endangered. Costs are expected to be low to moderate due to the limited distribution of many of the species, limited overlapping human uses, and the fact that several species already receive some form of protection and management under other Acts of Parliament and/or provincial legislation.

Business and consumer impacts: The impacts on administrative burden, competition and consumers will be negligible. Only two of the 30 species are subject to a very limited commercial harvest. These two species are added to Schedule 1 of SARA as species of special concern; therefore, the SARA prohibitions will not apply and economic impacts, if any, will be associated with the development and implementation of a management plan for the species.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: International coordination and cooperation for the conservation of biodiversity is provided through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to which Canada is a signatory. CBD objectives include the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of biological resources, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. One of Canada’s responses to the CBD was the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (1996). The Strategy is an umbrella for a range of initiatives including the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Habitat Stewardship Program, and SARA. Actions to protect species at risk under the federal SARA help to fulfill Canada’s obligation under the CBD to conserve biodiversity in Canada.

Several mechanisms have been developed to coordinate SAR Program implementation across the various domestic jurisdictions. These include inter-governmental committees, a National Framework for Species at Risk Conservation (NFSARC), and negotiated Species at Risk (SAR) bilateral agreements. The NFSARC was developed to support the Accord and SARA implementation by providing a set of common principles, objectives and overall approaches to facilitate cooperation among all jurisdictions. SAR bilateral agreements foster collaboration in the implementation of SARA and provincial/ territorial endangered species legislation. They provide the administrative framework within which both parties can cooperatively exercise their respective powers to ensure a coordinated and focused approach to the delivery of species at risk policies, programs and activities. As of October 2008, three agreements have been established (British Columbia, Quebec and Saskatchewan), and nine are in various stages of negotiation (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories and Yukon).

Performance measurement and evaluation plan: Environment Canada has put in place a Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) and a Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF) for the Species at Risk Program. The specific measureable outcomes for the program and the performance measurement and evaluation strategy are described in the Species at Risk Program RMAF-RBAF. The next program evaluation is scheduled for 2010-2011.

Issue

A growing number of wildlife species in Canada face pressures and threats that put them at risk of extirpation or extinction. Some of these species are important to industries, serve important biological functions or have intrinsic, recreational and existence value to the Canadian public.

The Species at Risk Act (SARA) is a key tool in the ongoing work to protect species at risk. By providing for the protection and recovery of species at risk, SARA is one of the most important tools in the conservation of Canada’s biological diversity. It also complements other laws and programs of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments, and supports the efforts of conservation organizations and other partners working to protect Canadian wildlife and habitat.

SARA established the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as an independent, scientific advisory body with a mandate to assess the status of species at risk in Canada. On a yearly basis, COSEWIC assesses the status of Canadian species that may be at risk. The degree of risk to a species is categorized and assessed according to the following terms and definitions by COSEWIC:

  • Extirpated -- When a species no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but still exists elsewhere in the wild
  • Endangered -- The Species is facing imminent extirpation or extinction
  • Threatened -- The species is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse threats
  • Special Concern -- Species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered

COSEWIC provides its assessment and supporting evidence for its classification of the species to the Minister of the Environment on a yearly basis. Within 90 days of receiving COSEWIC’s assessments, the Minister of the Environment includes in the Public Registry a report indicating how he/she intends to respond to each assessment, including the scope of any consultations, and, to the extent possible, timelines for action. The Minister of the Environment then considers the assessment and makes a recommendation to the Governor in Council (GIC) on whether or not the species should be added to Schedule 1 of SARA. The GIC formally acknowledges receipt of the assessment and, within nine months, may, on the recommendation of the Minister,

(a) accept the assessment and add the species to the List;

(b) decide not to add the species to the List; or

(c) refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

Species added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, Schedule 1 of SARA, benefit from the various protection measures and the mandatory recovery or management planning required under the Act.

This regulatory action responds to status assessments for 30 species received from COSEWIC.

Among the 30 status assessments:

  • 11 species are assessed as endangered;
  • 6 species are assessed as threatened;
  • 12 are assessed as special concern;
  • 1 species is assessed as not at risk.

The GIC formally acknowledged receipt of the 30 species assessments from COSEWIC on June 12, 2008. The 9 month deadline during which the GIC may then review the assessments by COSEWIC and, on the recommendation of the Minister, make a decision on a course of action is March 12, 2009. If the GIC has not taken a course of action by March 12, 2009, the Minister shall, by order, amend Schedule 1 in accordance with COSEWIC’s assessments.

The risk status as assessed by COSEWIC, the reasons for the classification, and the species range for each of the 29 species affected by the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (the Order) are presented in Table 1. The full status assessments for all 30 species affected by the regulatory action are available at http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca.

Objectives

Species at Risk Act, Background

In 1992, Canada became the first western industrialized nation to ratify the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (the Convention) and pledged to provide “effective protection” for Canadian species at risk and the critical habitat and ecosystems on which they depend. Implementation of the Convention required, among other actions, the development of a Canadian Biodiversity Strategy to provide strategic direction and a framework for action at all levels of government. A key component of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy is the 1996 Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (the 1996 Accord). The 1996 Accord outlines commitments by federal, provincial and territorial ministers to designate species at risk, protect their habitats, and develop recovery plans as well as complementary legislation, policies and programs, including stewardship.

Consistent with commitments set out in both the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy and the 1996 Accord, 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:

1) To prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct;

2) To provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity; and

3) To manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.

When SARA received Royal Assent, 233 species were included in Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Since 2002, and including those made by this Order, the Governor in Council has, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, added 215 species to Schedule 1 and deleted one species from the list. The total number of species listed on Schedule 1 is currently 447.

As part of the objective to protect species at risk, SARA has prohibitions that make it an offence to kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual of a wildlife species that is listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. SARA also has prohibitions that make it an offence to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual of a wildlife species that is listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened, and to damage or destroy the residence of one or more such individuals. The general prohibitions described above apply:

  • to aquatic species as defined by SARA;
  • to migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994;
  • to individuals of other wildlife species where they occur on any federal lands except lands in a territory not under the authority of Environment Canada or the Parks Canada Agency.

On non-federal lands, the provinces and territories have jurisdiction over species at risk and implement protection measures through their respective legislation and programs. The prohibitions set out in SARA only apply to non-federal lands when the GIC makes an order, commonly referred to as a safety net order. If the Minister of the Environment is of the opinion that the laws of a province or territory do not effectively protect a species or the residences of its individuals, he/she 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 the species or the residences of its individuals on non-federal lands in the jurisdiction concerned.

Overview -- Schedule 1

Under section 37 of SARA, the listing of species on Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened, the competent minister, being the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans or the Minister of Environment depending on which Minister is responsible for the species in question, will prepare a strategy for its recovery. Critical habitat will be identified, to the extent possible, in a recovery strategy for a species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. Once a recovery strategy that identifies critical habitat for a species is included in the public registry, the Act requires that it be protected from destruction. It also provides the Minister with various mechanisms to achieve this. Action plans implement recovery strategies for species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened by identifying: measures to achieve the population objectives for the species and when these may take place; measures to be taken to protect the species’ critical habitat; activities that will likely result in the destruction of 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. 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. For species listed as special concern, management plans that include measures for the conservation of species of special concern and their habitat will be prepared. Recovery strategies, action plans and management plans must be posted on the Public Registry within the timelines set out under SARA.

Adding species assessed as at risk by COSEWIC to Schedule 1 of SARA will result in the species receiving the benefits of the protection and recovery measures established under SARA. This will result in overall benefits to the environment both in terms of the protection of individual species and the conservation of Canada’s biological diversity.

A decision not to add species assessed as at risk by COSEWIC to Schedule 1 of SARA means that the protection 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. Where a species is found within the boundaries of national parks or other lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, the species 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.

Description

On June 12, 2008, the GIC officially acknowledged receipt of the COSEWIC assessments for 30 species. That action initiated a nine-month timeline within which the GIC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, may make a decision on whether or not to add the species to Schedule 1 of SARA, or refer the assessments back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

GIC Decisions

Through this Order, the GIC has decided to add 23 species at risk to Schedule 1 of SARA, to reclassify 5 listed species and to remove 1 listed species from Schedule 1. The GIC has also made corrections to the names of 12 species already listed on Schedule 1. The risk status as assessed by COSEWIC, the reasons for the classification, and the species range for each of the 29 species affected by the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act are presented in Table 1.

Of the 30 species under consideration, 1 species is being referred back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. Of the remaining 29, 20 are terrestrial species under the purview of the Minister of the Environment and 9 are aquatic species under the purview of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The Minister of the Environment, however, shares responsibility for six of the nine aquatic species (Northern Brook Lamprey [Great Lakes -- Upper St. Lawrence population], Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, Longspine Thornyhead, Rougheye Rockfish Type I, Rougheye Rockfish Type II, and Sea Otter) as they occur on lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency.

Summary of GIC decisions

Terrestrial species

Among the 20 terrestrial species, 10 are listed as endangered, 5 are listed as threatened, and 4 are listed as species of special concern. One terrestrial species, the Scouler’s Corydalis, is removed from Schedule 1 by this Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act. This species was assessed in 2001 as threatened and the species was first listed under SARA when the Act came into effect in 2003. In November 2006, COSEWIC re-assessed the species and determined it to be as not at risk. It has been found to exist in additional locations and is thought to be much more abundant than previously documented in 2001. Corrections are made to the names of 8 terrestrial species, including amendments to the names of the Eastern Ratsnake and the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander to specify two distinct populations assessed separately by COSEWIC and an amendment to the name of tall woolly-heads to specify the existence of a single population rather than two distinct populations consistent with the assessment by COSEWIC.

Aquatic species

Among the nine aquatic species, one is listed as endangered and seven are listed as special concern. The status of the Sea Otter, which was listed on Schedule 1, is changed from “threatened” to “special concern.” Three of the aquatic species listed on Schedule 1 (Shortnose Sturgeon, the Northern Brook Lamprey [Great Lakes -- Upper St. Lawrence population] and the Speckled Dace) were first listed on Schedule 3 when SARA came into effect in 2003. SARA provides different timelines for the preparation of management plans depending on when the species is listed on Schedule 1 as a species of special concern. Through the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act, the Shortnose Sturgeon and Northern Brook Lamprey are listed as special concern on Schedule 1; therefore a proposed management plan for the species must be prepared within five years. The Speckled Dace is listed on Schedule 1 as endangered; therefore, a proposed recovery strategy must be prepared within three years from listing. Minor corrections to the names of four aquatic species were also made through this Order.

Table 1: Twenty-nine species added, reclassified, removed from Schedule 1 of the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

TaxonCommon Name
(Scientific name)
RangeCOSEWIC Reasons for Status Designation
Added or reclassified*
Endangered
MammalsWestern Harvest Mouse dychei subspecies
(Reithrodontomys megalotis dychei)
ABThis subspecies has a limited range and has been found at only one location in the past 40 years; this location is isolated from others. Dispersal distance is limited and the population fluctuates.
FishesSpeckled Dace
(Rhinichthys osculus)
BCThe species is restricted to the Kettle River mainstream and two main tributaries in south-central British Columbia where it appears to be limited by the availability of suitable habitat. As this population is isolated above Cascade Falls, it cannot be rescued from downstream United States populations. The Kettle River is a flow-sensitive system that appears to be experiencing increasing frequency of drought conditions. The species is threatened by these reduced water flows and projected increasing water demands.
BirdsIvory Gull
(Pagophila eburnea)
NT NU NLAboriginal Traditional Knowledge and intensive breeding colony surveys over the last four years indicate that the Canadian breeding population of this long-lived seabird has declined by 80% over the last 20 years. This bird feeds along ice-edge habitats in the high Arctic and breeds in very remote locations. Threats include contaminants in food chain, continued hunting in Greenland, possible disturbance by mineral exploration at some breeding locations, and degradation of ice-related foraging habitats as a result of climate change.
ReptilesLake Erie Watersnake
(Nerodia sipedon insularum)
ONIt has a small population, likely fewer than 1 000 adults, confined to four small Canadian islands in western Lake Erie. Threats, which include loss of its shoreline habitats, mortality on roads, and destruction of hibernacula by quarries and construction, are increasing. Although persecution by people may be levelling off, it is still a significant threat to these snakes.
ReptilesSkink, Five-lined, Carolinian population
(Eumeces fasciatus)
ONThe species is the only lizard in Eastern Canada. The Carolinian population occurs in only 4 or 5 small, completely isolated populations on the shores of lakes Erie, St. Clair and Huron. Threats to this skink include loss and degradation of microhabitat, illegal collecting, increased depredation by racoons, coyotes, dogs and cats, and increased mortality on roads. If any population is extirpated, because of isolation there is no chance of natural recolonization.
Reptiles

Gray Ratsnake, Carolinian population
(Elaphe spiloides)

*Previously listed as Threatened under the name Eastern Ratsnake

ONThis population consists of only 4 highly disjunct subpopulations in southwest Ontario, all of which are small and isolated, and surrounded by agricultural and developed terrain. Their slow rate of reproduction and late age of maturity makes them especially vulnerable to increases in adult mortality from road traffic and agricultural machinery.
ReptilesGreater Short-horned Lizard
(Phrynosoma hernandesi)
AB SKIn Canada, this species exists in less than 10 scattered locations that are severely fragmented. Most of these populations are threatened by ongoing oil and gas development, proliferation of roads, proposed mineral development, and an increasing human presence.
Amphibians

Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander, Carolinian population
(Desmognathus ochrophaeus)

*Previously listed as Threatened

ONThis is a small and secretive salamander, with aquatic larvae, that inhabits forested brooks, cascades, springs, or seeps where there is abundant cover in the form of crevices between stones, leaf litter, or logs. This species’ entire range in the Carolinian faunal province consists of a single, cascading stream in the Niagara Gorge, occupying no more than about 0.005 km2. The locality is isolated from any other population of the same species, the nearest being about 22 km away in New York State. Surveys to date have located and identified some 22 individuals and indicate a total adult population that is probably fewer than 100 individuals. Its minute range makes this salamander highly susceptible to stochastic events and the species would easily and rapidly become extirpated if any change to its habitat were to take place. The major threats to this salamander in Carolinian faunal province are any activities that could affect the water table and dry out the spring that supplies its habitat, degrade groundwater flow and quality or deplete groundwater reserves.
Vascular PlantsEastern Flowering Dogwood
(Cornus florida)
ONA small understory or forest-edge tree present only as small populations within the fragmented woodlots of southern Ontario’s Carolinian forest. The spread of dogwood anthracnose disease has caused dramatic declines in the Canadian populations that reflect similar declines throughout the species’ range in eastern North America. This assessment of risk applies only to wild populations and not to cultivated plants in nurseries, parks, and gardens.
Vascular PlantsOgden’s Pondweed
(Potamogeton ogdenii)
ONThis species is an aquatic plant that is globally at risk with low population numbers and only 11 extant sites known worldwide. In Canada, it is known from only 3 sites in southeastern Ontario where it was last collected in 1987. Recent fieldwork has documented the loss of habitat and probable extirpation of one population but failed to relocate the others -- one of these is a historic site in a relatively undisturbed region with no specific locality information. The presence of aquatic invasive plants in areas around presumed extant populations suggests a further decline in overall area and quality of habitat for native pondweeds. However, the species, which is easily confused in the field with other similar narrow-leaved pondweeds, may still be present in Canada in suitable habitats in the vicinity of previously known sites.
MossesNugget Moss
(Microbryum vlassovii)
BCIn North America, this globally rare moss is known from only three localized sites. Two of these sites are in semi-arid areas of south-central British Columbia. Recent surveys have re-located the species at only one of these. This moss grows on fine soils on the steep portions of silt banks in early stages of plant community development. The extremely small populations render this moss vulnerable to disturbance. Threats include potential road development and maintenance of existing roads, and collection of specimens.
Threatened
Mammals

American Marten, Newfoundland population
(Martes americana atrata)

*Previously listed as Endangered

NLMarten in Newfoundland have declined substantially over the last century. The current population consists of 300-600 mature marten in 5 subpopulations. It is still at risk because of snaring and trapping outside of protected areas and because of forest harvesting. A small decrease in population size would likely result in consideration for Endangered status. The marten is one of few land mammals native to Newfoundland and the sub-species is endemic to Canada.
BirdsRed-headed Woodpecker
(Melanerpes erythrocephalus)
SK MB ON QCThe brightly-coloured woodpecker of open deciduous forests of southeastern Canada and southern parts of western Canada has experienced a significant population decline over the long-term associated with habitat loss and the removal of dead trees in which it nests. There is no evidence to suggest that the population trend will be reversed.
BirdsChimney Swift
(Chaetura pelagica)
SK MB ON QC NB NS NLThe Canadian population of this species has declined by almost 30% over the last three generations (13.5 years) and the area it occupies has declined by a third over the same time period. The estimated Canadian population is about 12 000 individuals. Many aerial insectivores, including this species, swallows and nighthawks, have suffered population declines throughout the Americas over the past 30 years. The causes for these widespread declines are unknown but likely involve impacts to insect populations through pesticide use and habitat loss. Of this species group, the current species has had the most serious known decline, probably because of the steadily decreasing number of suitable chimneys that the swifts use for nesting and roosting. Very few natural sites (large hollow trees) exist and current forest management regimes make it unlikely that many more will be available in the future. The species also experiences significant mortality when hurricanes cross migratory paths; this could become a more important source of population loss if the frequency of these storms increase in the future as some climate models suggest.
ArthropodsVerna’s Flower Moth
(Schiniaverna)
AB MB SKThis moth is found only in the Canadian prairies, with one extant site in southeastern Alberta. The species is known historically from very few locations despite its relatively large size, distinctive markings and day-flying habit. It has a small total range in suitable native prairie that is fragmented and declining in quality and extent.
Vascular Plants

Blunt-lobed Woodsia
(Woodsia obtusa)

*Previously listed as Endangered

ON QCA species with a highly fragmented distribution in Canada where it is known only from southeastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec at eight small localized sites. One additional population is now considered to be extirpated. The fern occurs almost exclusively on warm and relatively dry calcareous rocky slopes. The total Canadian population consists of fewer than 1 400 mature plants. The primary threat is at the largest population due to the anticipated loss of habitat quality and decline in the fern population as a consequence of the presence and spread of an exotic invasive shrub. Most sites, however, are in protected areas or undisturbed sites where recruitment is occurring.
Special Concern
Mammals

Sea Otter
(Enhydra lutris)

*Previously listed as Threatened

BC Pacific OceanThe species had been extirpated in British Columbia by the fur trade by the early 1900s, and was re-introduced from 1969-72. It has since repopulated 25-33% of its historic range in British Columbia, but is not yet clearly secure. Numbers are small (<3 500) and require careful monitoring. Their susceptibility to oil and the proximity to major oil tanker routes make them particularly vulnerable to oil spills.
MammalsWestern Harvest Mouse megalotis subspecies
(Reithrodontomys megalotis megalotis)
BCThis subspecies has a limited range, and a small extent of occurrence and area of occupancy. However, the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy appear to be constant. Its principal native habitat in the Okanagan as well as old fields is declining. Furthermore, old apple orchards where the mouse has been caught are being converted to vineyards. Dispersal distance is limited and the likelihood of rescue effect is small. Extensive sampling has revealed the occurrence of the mouse at more localities. 63 000 hectares of suitable habitat is protected.
BirdsBlack-footed Albatross
(Phoebastria nigripes)
Pacific OceanThis long-winged, long-lived (up to 40 years) seabird breeds on remote islands in the Hawaiian chain, but significant numbers feed off the coast of British Columbia each year, including adults making long foraging trips to feed their young. Black-footed Albatross numbers declined at one of two major colonies in the 1990s, but the population seems generally stable. Some population models have predicted serious declines, while others predict stable populations. Many are caught as bycatch in longline fisheries, most suffer from ingestion of plastic and accumulate high levels of pollutants, but the long-term effects of these threats are unclear.
BirdsRusty Blackbird
(Euphagus carolinus)
YT NT NU BC AB SK MB ON QC NB PE NS NLMore than 70% of the breeding range of the species is in Canada’s boreal forest. The species has experienced a severe decline that appears to be ongoing, albeit at a slower rate. There is no evidence to suggest that this trend will be reversed. Known threats occur primarily on the winter range, and include habitat conversion and blackbird control programs in the United States.
FishesBluntnose Sixgill Shark
(Hexanchus griseus)
Pacific OceanThis large (maximum reported length 4.8 m), heavy-bodied shark is a benthic species that is widely distributed over continental and insular shelves in temperate and tropical seas throughout the world. In Canadian Pacific waters, it is found in inlets and along the continental shelf and slope typically at depths greater than 91 m (range 0-2 500 m). In the absence of information about population structure, it is treated as a single population for assessment purposes. The present population size and abundance trends are not known. The only available abundance index, encounter rates with immature sharks at a shallow site in the Strait of Georgia, has decreased significantly (>90%) in the last five years. This index is not likely representative of the overall abundance trend because only immature sharks are encountered and the site is shallow relative to the preferred depth range. The principal known threat to the species is fishing. This shark has been the focus of at least three directed fisheries in Canadian waters, most recently in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It continues to be caught as bycatch, but survival of released sharks is unknown. Sharks observed by divers sometimes show scars from entanglement in fishing gear. Because of its late age of maturity (18-35 yr for females), it is likely susceptible to overfishing even at low levels of mortality. Little is known about the abundance and movement patterns of this species elsewhere in the world, so the potential for a rescue effect is unknown.
FishesLongspine Thornyhead
(Sebastolobus altivelis)
Pacific OceanThis slow growing rockfish has adapted to survive in deep waters where oxygen concentrations are minimal and productivity is low. Since the beginning of the fishery in the mid-1990s, there has been an estimated decline in commercial catch per unit effort of over 50% in 8 years. Fishing is the primary and probably sole cause of this decline. While the fishery is managed by catch limits, and there is good monitoring of fishing activities, there is no management strategy in place that assures catches will be adjusted in response to abundance changes. The substantial decline in abundance indices over a short period taken together with the very conservative life history characteristics are cause for concern but commercial catch per unit effort may not reflect abundance changes accurately and there is potential for rescue from adjoining populations in the USA.
FishesNorthern Brook Lamprey, Great Lakes -- Upper St. Lawrence populations
(Ichthyomyzon fossor)
ON QCThis nonparasitic lamprey is distributed in streams throughout the Great Lakes basin (except Lake Ontario) and in southwestern Quebec. In the Great Lakes basin, which comprises most of its range, about 50% of the streams it is known to inhabit are subjected to ongoing chemical treatment for sea lamprey control which causes mortality to its larval stage. However, in untreated streams, the species is still abundant.
FishesShortnose Sturgeon
(Acipenser brevirostrum)
NBThis is an anadromous species restricted to a single river system in Canada where spawning fish require unhindered access to freshwater spawning sites; but the population may have been divided since 1967 by the Mactaquac Dam. These large, slow growing, late maturing fish are conservation dependent. There is some risk to the species through mortality from hydroelectric facilities, by-catch in alewife and shad fisheries, and poaching. However, there is no immediate threat that would lead to elimination of the population in a very short period of time.
FishesTope
(Galeorhinus galeus)
Pacific OceanThis Pacific coast shark is thought to be highly migratory across its range from Hecate Strait, BC to the Gulf of California. It shows no evidence of distinct populations and thus for the purposes of this assessment is considered a single population. It feeds primarily on fish, and in Canada occupies continental shelf waters between western Vancouver Island and Hecate Strait. Maximum length is less than two meters, maximum age is at least 45 years, maturity between 12 and 17 years, and generation time 23 years. The species is noted for its high concentration of liver vitamin A, exceeding that of any other north-east Pacific fish. Demand for vitamin A during World War II led to a large fishery that quickly collapsed due to over-exploitation. More than 800 000 individuals, primarily large adults, were killed for their livers between 1937 and 1949 throughout its migratory range. This shark is rarely seen today in Canadian waters. There is no targeted commercial fishery in Canada, but it continues to be caught as fishery bycatch in Canada and the U.S., and remains the target of small commercial and recreational fisheries in the U.S. Because there is no population estimate, the sustainability of current catches cannot be assessed. The ongoing fishery mortality, the lack of a management plan for Canadian bycatch, and the long generation time and low fecundity suggest cause for concern.
FishesRougheye Rockfish type I
(Sebastes sp. type I)
Pacific OceanThis species is a relatively large (reaching 90 cm length) rockfish species and among the longest-lived, estimated to approach 200 years. It is one of two sympatric species which have been identified within the described species Sebastes aleutianus. It ranges from northern Japan to southern California in depths 200 to 800+ m along the shelf break. In Canadian waters, abundance information is derived from surveys and from the commercial fishery that has maintained a relatively constant reported catch of between 1 000 and 2 000 tonnes annually over the last 2 decades. Abundance indices and biomass estimates are uncertain, compromised by short time series and survey techniques not always appropriate for the species. No strong abundance trends are observed in the available indices. There is evidence of truncation of the age distribution over the last decade, suggesting that mortality from all sources may have doubled (4.5% y-1 to 9.1% y-1). Long-lived, low-fecundity Sebastes species are particularly susceptible to population collapse and recovery may be compromised when the age- and size-distribution is truncated (i.e. when the number of spawners decline) through fishing. Difficulty in separating the two species increases the risk of potential impacts on one of the species going unnoticed.
FishesRougheye Rockfish type II
(Sebastes sp. type II)
Pacific OceanThis species is a relatively large (reaching 90 cm length) rockfish species and among the longest-lived, estimated to approach 200 years. It is one of two sympatric species which have been identified within the described species Sebastes aleutianus. It ranges from northern Japan to southern California in depths 200 to 800+ m along the shelf break. In Canadian waters, abundance information is derived from surveys and from the commercial fishery that has maintained a relatively constant reported catch of between 1 000 and 2 000 tonnes annually over the last 2 decades. Abundance indices and biomass estimates are uncertain, compromised by short time series and survey techniques not always appropriate for the species. No strong abundance trends are observed in the available indices. There is evidence of truncation of the age distribution over the last decade, suggesting that mortality from all sources may have doubled (4.5% y-1 to 9.1% y-1). Long-lived, low-fecundity Sebastes species are particularly susceptible to population collapse and recovery may be compromised when the age- and size-distribution is truncated (i.e. when the number of spawners decline) through fishing. Difficulty in separating the two species increases the risk of potential impacts on one of the species going unnoticed.
ReptilesSkin, Five-lined, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population
(Eumeces fasciatus)
ONThe species is the only lizard in Eastern Canada. This small and secretive species is known from about 84 local populations, but has a small geographic distribution. Threats to the skink include loss and degradation of habitat, alteration of microhabitat, illegal collection, increased depredation by cats and dogs and increased mortality on roads. Increasing development in the species’ range will make populations more isolated and more susceptible to stochastic events on small sites.
Removed from Schedule 1
Not at Risk
Vascular Plants

Scouler’s Corydalis
(Corydalis scouleri)

Previously listed as Threatened

BCA conspicuous perennial herb of riverside habitats that is restricted to a small region of south-western Vancouver Island. The species was previously assessed as threatened but is now known to be present at additional locations and is much more abundant than previously documented. There is no evidence of population decline or fluctuation and no significant threats appear to affect the species. More than one-half of the population is now in protected areas specifically managed for this species and, since extensive areas of suitable habitat remain to be surveyed, additional populations will likely be discovered.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Within nine months of receiving an assessment of the status of a species by COSEWIC under SARA, the GIC 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 the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act and the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (decision not to add or referral back to COSEWIC) Order.

The first option 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 or management planning.

The second option is not to add the species to Schedule 1. Although the species would neither benefit from prohibitions afforded by SARA nor the recovery or management activities required under SARA, species may still be protected under other federal, provincial or territorial legislation.

The third option is to refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. It is appropriate to send an assessment back if, for example, significant new information became available after the species had been assessed by COSEWIC.

Benefits and costs

Overview

Listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA entails both benefits and costs in terms of social and economic considerations through the implementation of SARA’s protection provisions when listing occurs as well as the recovery planning requirements.

A qualitative analysis of the benefits and costs is provided for the 23 species being added to Schedule 1 and the five species being reclassified on Schedule 1. The plant, Scouler’s Corydalis, is removed from Schedule 1 and is not considered in the analysis.

Benefits

Protecting species at risk can provide numerous benefits to Canadians. Species may provide essential ecosystem services. Species may also serve as an indicator of environmental quality. For example, the health of freshwater fish can indicate the water quality in watersheds. Some species at risk have commercial value or are of value as a subsistence food source. Species also have substantial intrinsic value to Canadian society. Canadians have expressed an interest in preserving species for future generations to enjoy. Many derive value from knowing the species exist, even if they will never personally see or “use” them. Furthermore, the unique characteristics and evolutionary histories of many species at risk make them of special interest to the scientific community.

Various tools may be applied to determine the value of a species. If the species is commercially exploited, its monetary value can be estimated based on its current or projected market value. Some species have a recreational value that can be estimated from the amount individuals spend in order to observe the species. In other cases, the value of a species may be estimated based on the economic value of an ecosystem service provided by the species. For example, the value of a pollinating insect may be estimated from its contribution to agricultural production. Species also have non-market values, which stem from people’s appreciation of the existence of the species and of the natural legacy to future generations of Canadians. These values may be estimated by surveying Canadians to determine what an individual is willing to pay to protect and recover a particular species. This type of valuation is termed “willingness to pay” and is commonly reported as the amount an individual is willing to pay per year to preserve a species.

Willingness to pay

Surveys of Canadians’ willingness to pay have not been conducted on the species in this Order; however, studies of other species indicate that Canadians do derive substantial non-extractive and/or non-use economic benefits from conservation programs targeting species at risk, including relatively low-profile species.

(see footnote 2) Furthermore, trends such as the growing demand for goods and services with environmental advantages suggest that there is increasing market recognition of the economic value of preserving natural areas and processes and a willingness to pay for ecological benefits. The estimates presented here illustrate the magnitude of non-market benefits associated with species considered to be similar to those included in this regulatory amendment.

Reptiles and amphibians

A number of studies show that the preservation of reptiles and amphibians has a positive value to individuals. For example, the value of a Shenandoah salamander was found to be $5 annually per person (in 2007 dollars) (see footnote 3) and the value of coastal reptiles was found to be in the order of $18 annually per person (in 2007 dollars). (see footnote 4) Four species of reptiles and one amphibian are added to or reclassified on Schedule 1 through the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act. Assuming that Canadians place a similar positive value on the reptile and amphibian species under consideration, it can be deduced that there exists a total annual monetary value whose magnitude would reflect the proportion of the population willing to pay to protect these species.

Plant species

There is also evidence that individuals place a small yet positive value on threatened plant species on the order of $3 to $4 per individual annually (in 2007 dollars). (see footnote 5) Four species of plant are added to or reclassified on Schedule 1 through the Order Amending Schedule 1 the Species at Risk Act. Assuming that a portion of the Canadian population would be willing to pay to protect these species, there would be some annual monetary value as a result of their protection.

Bird species

Willingness to pay studies show a significant positive value associated with bird conservation. A review of a number of bird valuation studies found that individuals valued the continued existence of endangered birds in the U.S. in the order of $15 annually (see footnote 6); however, this value increases with the popularity of the species. For example, individuals valued an endangered woodpecker species in the U.S. at $70 annually. (see footnote 7) It is reasonable to assume that a significant portion of the Canadian population is also willing to pay to conserve at risk bird species. Five bird species will be added to Schedule 1. It is assumed that there would be some annual monetary value to protecting the bird species under consideration depending on the willingness to pay for the protection and recovery of each of these species.

Aquatic/fish species

An examination of a number of fish valuation studies provides evidence that there is a positive value to individuals for protecting and/or recovering fish species. Rudd’s (2007) (see footnote 8) study on the willingness to pay for aquatic species at risk conservation programs in Canada demonstrated that survey respondents from across Canada derive substantial non-extractive and/or non-use economic benefits from conservation programs targeting regional aquatic species at risk. Therefore, aquatic species considered in the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act are assumed to have some non-market value to Canadians.

Species with recreational value

Eleven of the species in the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act have a potential recreational value and protection and/or recovery of these species is expected to have a small economic benefit to Canadians. Four species of reptile (Lake Erie Watersnake, Five-lined Skink Carolinian and Great Lakes/St. Lawrence populations, Gray Ratsnake Carolinian population, and Greater Short-horned Lizard) are expected to have some recreational value as attractions to provincial or federal parks or to tourist areas.

Rare or unique bird species have significant recreational value due to economic activity surrounding bird watching. Accordingly, the protection and/or recovery of five birds included in the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is expected to result in some recreational value. These birds are the Ivory Gull, the Red-headed Woodpecker, the Chimney Swift, and, to a lesser extent, the Black-footed Albatross and the Rusty Blackbird. Their protection and/or recovery would result in a moderate benefit to Canadians due to their continued value to the bird watching tourism industry.

The Sea Otter is a highly charismatic marine mammal and a significant attraction for tourists along the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. A study by Loomis in 2005 (see footnote 9) based on a California population of Sea Otters indicated that their existence and recreational value to residents of that area was in the millions of dollars on an annual basis. It is assumed that Canadians share this value and therefore place a certain recreational monetary value on Canadian Sea Otter populations. The classification of the Sea Otter as a species of special concern requires the implementation of a SARA management plan, which will benefit the species and may result in some economic benefit to the region.

Species with commercial value

Seven of the species included in the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act have potential commercial value.

Five of the seven species with known commercial value are fish that have either been harvested in the past or are currently the target of a commercial fishery. These five fish species are being added to Schedule 1 as species of special concern. The Tope and the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark were commercially exploited in the past. However, given the slow growth rate and long generation time of these species, future commercial exploitation is unlikely even if the species are added to Schedule 1 and management planning measures are undertaken to recover the species. Therefore, minimal commercial benefit is expected for these two species. The Rougheye Rockfish, Type I and Type II, and the Longspine Thornyhead are currently commercially exploited. Catches of these species are in decline along with the total value of the fishery. By adding the species to Schedule 1 as species of special concern, future management planning measures may improve the status of the species resulting in some economic benefit from the harvest of the species.

Two of the seven species are reclassified on Schedule 1 of SARA, namely, the American Marten (Newfoundland population) from endangered to threatened and the Sea Otter from threatened to special concern. Both species are fur-bearing and if recovery or management measures are successful at re-establishing viable populations, a limited amount of economic benefits could result from commercial harvest of pelts. Both species are reclassified by the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act to a lower risk category due to an improvement in their status.

Overall, the potential benefit of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act, based on the commercial value of seven of the species, is expected to be positive but minimal due to the limited market for the species under consideration.

Considering the potential value of the species outlined in the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act, based on willingness to pay, recreational value, and commercial value, the amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA would result in a low to moderate benefit to Canadians.

Costs

The addition of species to Schedule 1 of SARA may result in two major categories of costs: government costs and costs to individuals and industries. These costs could arise from the application and enforcement of the SARA prohibitions and/or the development and implementation of recovery strategies, action plans, or management plans depending on the classification of the species.

Species reclassified

The five species being reclassified on Schedule 1 are not expected to result in incremental costs to government, individuals or industry.

Four terrestrial species are reclassified through the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act. The status of the Newfoundland population of American Marten and the Blunt-lobed Woodsia is changed from “endangered” to “threatened.” The status of the Carolinian populations of the Gray Ratsnake and the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander is changed from “threatened” to “endangered.” Changing the status of a species between “threatened” and “endangered” does not alter the prohibitions currently in place nor the requirements for a recovery strategy and action plan. As such, negligible changes to costs associated with these species are expected.

The Sea Otter is reclassified from “threatened” to “special concern” through the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act. The management plan required under SARA will result in costs related to the development and implementation of the plan.

Species added as special concern

Eleven species are added to Schedule 1 as species of special concern. These species are the Western Harvest Mouse megalotis subspecies, Black-footed Albatross, Rusty Blackbird, Five-lined Skink (Great Lakes -- St. Lawrence population) Shortnose Sturgeon, Northern Brook Lamprey (Great Lakes -- Upper St. Lawrence population), Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, Longspine Thornyhead, Rougheye Rockfish (Type I), Rougheye Rockfish (Type II), and Tope.

For species added to Schedule 1 as species of special concern, the prohibitions in SARA with respect to individuals of a species or their residences would not apply. Therefore, no costs will be associated with prohibitions. Rather, costs will result from the development and implementation of a management plan that will be required under SARA. As SARA only came into full force in 2004, data and information about costs associated with management plans are limited. However, for the species being added as a result of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act, impacts on stakeholders are anticipated to be limited or reasonable.

Species added as threatened or endangered

Through the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act, 12 species that are classified as either threatened or endangered are added to Schedule 1. The species are the Western Harvest Mouse dychei subspecies, Speckled Dace, Ivory Gull, Red-headed Woodpecker, Chimney Swift, Verna’s Flower Moth, Lake Erie Watersnake, Five-lined Skink Carolinian population, Greater Short-horned Lizard, Eastern Flowering Dogwood, Ogden’s Pondweed, and Nugget Moss.

For species being added to Schedule 1 as threatened or endangered, prohibitions to protect individuals of species and their residences will apply. This protection will apply to aquatic species as defined in SARA; to migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; and to individuals of other wildlife species where they occur on any federal lands and on lands in the territories under the authority of Environment Canada, or the Parks Canada Agency within the territories.

The federal government will also be required to develop and implement a recovery strategy for species added to Schedule 1 as threatened or endangered. Further, if recovery is deemed feasible, an action plan will also need to be developed and implemented. All will result in costs.

In general, costs arising from the listing of the terrestrial species are expected to be low. Several of the species already receive some protection under other Acts of Parliament. Specifically, the individual birds and the nests of Ivory Gull, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Chimney Swift are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Moreover, six of the species are currently protected on non-federal lands under provincial legislation. Specifically, the Western Harvest Mouse dychei subspecies is protected under the Alberta Wildlife Act; the Red-headed Woodpecker, Lake Erie Watersnake, and Five-lined Skink Carolinian population are protected under the Ontario Endangered Species Act; the Chimney Swift is protected under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act; and the Greater Short-horned Lizard is protected under the Alberta Wildlife Act and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act.

None of the species being added to Schedule 1 as threatened or endangered are commercially exploited; therefore, no direct costs to industry will result from the application of the SARA prohibitions. Some of the species occur on federal lands and a small cost may result if activities on federal lands were to require modification in order to comply with SARA prohibitions or recovery measures.

For the Speckled Dace, there are significant data gaps on the species distribution and abundance; therefore, there is considerable uncertainty with regard to potential socio-economic impacts of listing the species as endangered. However, the current best available information suggests that socio-economic impacts would be limited at this time as likely mitigation measures will focus on education and stewardship and the species is not harvested recreationally, commercially or by First Nations. In addition, the proposed hydroelectric generation project at Cascade Falls, a potential threat to the species, has been redesigned and an environmental assessment of the project concluded that the future impacts on the species will be minimal.

The likelihood of additional restrictions resulting from the SARA prohibitions has not been determined at this time. With additional scientific information on the measures required to protect the species, it is possible that additional socio-economic impacts may result. For example, there may be socio-economic costs associated with the identification and protection of critical habitat in the recovery strategy or action plan if, as a result, withdrawals from the Kettle–Granby river system for agricultural purposes need to be managed to conserve the habitat of the species.

The incremental enforcement costs to the Departments of the Environment and Fisheries and Oceans associated with the prohibitions that will come into force with the addition of 12 species to Schedule 1 as threatened or endangered is anticipated to be low. Activities of enforcement officers could include:

  • patrolling the area where the species may be found to monitor for compliance with the prohibitions; patrol frequency would be based on an assessment of risk related to threats to the species;
  • undertaking inspections or investigations following any intelligence obtained directly or received from partner wildlife enforcement agencies with respect to buying, collecting, trading or sale of the species, or activities that may directly harm the species;
  • undertaking investigations following a complaint received from a third party with respect to the species;
  • taking a court action (injunction and prosecution); and
  • assisting in the negotiation of alternative measures under section 108 of SARA and verifying compliance with those measures.

Costs will also be associated with the development and implementation of recovery strategies and action plans that would provide concrete measures to achieve recovery goals. As SARA only came into full force in 2004, data and information about costs associated with recovery strategies and action plans are limited. Based on activities to conserve species at risk through the Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife in Canada program, average costs of individual recovery measures could range from $6,000 to $35,000. Thus, for species that require multiple recovery actions, annual costs could fall in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range or greater.

A summary of the qualitative analysis of the socio-economic impacts associated with the Order is provided in Table 2. The costs are likely to be low to moderate. This is largely due to the limited distribution of many of the species, limited overlap between human activities and the terrestrial requirements of the species, and the fact that several species already receive some form of protection under other Acts of Parliament and/or provincial legislation.

Table 2: Summary of the qualitative analysis of socio-economic costs by species.

TaxonCommon Name (Scientific name)Socio-economic CostSocio-economic Rationale
For addition or reclassification*
Endangered
MammalsWestern Harvest Mouse dychei subspecies (Reithrodontomys megalotis dychei)LowThe listing of this species is expected to result in minimal incremental costs. This subspecies occurs in one known location in Canada at Canadian Forces Base Suffield. CFB Suffield lands are currently managed to protect 13 other SARA listed species and this subspecies is located within the CFB Suffield National Wildlife Area. The subspecies is currently protected under the Alberta Wildlife Act.
FishesSpeckled Dace (Rhinichthys osculus)Low/ Moderate

Costs of protecting the species are expected to be low as it is not harvested nor fished recreationally.

There may be some costs associated with the recovery strategy if it is determined that water withdrawals from the Kettle--Granby river system need to be managed to conserve the habitat of speckled dace. However, current information suggests that likely socio-economic impacts would be limited and reasonable to the majority of stakeholders.

BirdsIvory Gull (Pagophila eburnea)LowCosts are expected to be low as the species occurs in the high Arctic in areas with minimal to no economic development and already benefits from protection under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.
ReptilesLake Erie Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon insularum)LowCosts of protecting this species are expected to be low. The species occurs only in Ontario where it is protected under the Ontario Endangered Species Act. Economic activity in the area where the species occurs is minimal.
ReptilesFive-lined Skink, Carolinian population (Eumeces fasciatus)LowCosts are expected to be low. There are five locations where this species occurs, four of these locations are in protected areas. In the remaining location incremental costs are expected to be low as economic activity in the area is limited and several other SARA listed species occur in the same habitat. The species is currently protected under the Ontario Endangered Species Act.
Reptiles

Gray Ratsnake, Carolinian population (Elaphe spiloides)

*Previously listed as Threatened

LowUp-listing a species from threatened to endangered does not change any of the protections or requirements provided by SARA, therefore incremental costs and benefits are expected to be quite minimal.
ReptilesGreater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)LowCosts are expected to be low as this species occurs in one location on federal lands in Alberta and in Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan. The species is not currently subject to threats from economic development. The species is currently protected under the Alberta Wildlife Act and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act.
Amphibians

Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander, Carolinian population (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)

*Previously listed as Threatened

LowUp-listing a species from threatened to endangered does not change any of the protections or requirements provided by SARA, therefore incremental costs and benefits are expected to be quite minimal.
Vascular PlantsEastern Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)LowThe incremental impact is expected to be minimal. The species does not occur in areas of high economic/human activities. Also, no current economic activity has been identified as a threat. The primary threat is dogwood anthracnose disease.
Vascular PlantsOgden’s Pondweed (Potamogeton ogdenii)LowCosts are expected to be low as there are no confirmed occurrences of this species in Canada. The species was known to occur at one location on the Rideau Canal. No threats have been identified and no impacts on economic activities are expected.
MossesNugget Moss (Microbryum vlassovii)LowExpected costs are minimal as there are currently no perceived threats to the Kamloops site, and on the Penticton site no further development that would threaten the species is expected as the species occurs on a cliff face.
Threatened
Mammals

American Marten, Newfoundland population (Martes americana atrata)

*Previously listed as Endangered

LowDown-listing a species from endangered to threatened does not change any of the protections or requirements provided by SARA, therefore incremental costs and benefits are expected to be quite minimal.
BirdsRed-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)Low/ ModerateCosts are expected to be low to moderate as the species is already protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. The primary threats to the species are the loss of nest sites and roosting cavities as dead elms and chestnut trees are cleared from urban and agricultural areas and the loss of beech forests to diseases, such as beech bark disease complex. The species is also currently protected under the Ontario Endangered Species Act.
BirdsChimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)Low/ ModerateCosts are expected to be low to moderate as the species is already protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. A primary threat to the species is the reduction in the number of nesting and roosting sites: large-diameter hollow trees, old abandoned buildings and suitable chimneys. These types of sites may require enhancement for the protection and recovery of the species. The species is currently protected under the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act.
ArthropodsVerna’s Flower Moth (Schiniaverna)LowCosts are expected to be low as species is not known to occur on federal land and large areas of suitable habitat are maintained by standard cattle grazing practices.
Vascular Plants

Blunt-lobed Woodsia (Woodsia obtusa)

*Previously listed as Endangered

LowDown-listing a species from endangered to threatened does not change any of the protections or requirements provided by SARA, therefore incremental costs and benefits are expected to be quite minimal.
Special Concern
Mammals

Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)

*Previously listed as Threatened

LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
MammalsWestern Harvest Mouse megalotis subspecies (Reithrodontomys megalotis
megalotis)
LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
BirdsBlack-footed Albatross
(Phoebastria nigripes)
LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
BirdsRusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesBluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesLongspine Thornyhead (Sebastolobus altivelis)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesNorthern Brook Lamprey, Great Lakes -- Upper St. Lawrence populations (Ichthyomyzon fossor)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesShortnose Sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesTope (Galeorhinus galeus)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesRougheye Rockfish type I (Sebastes sp. type I)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
FishesRougheye Rockfish
type II
(Sebastes sp.
type II)
LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.
ReptilesFive-lined Skink, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population (Eumeces fasciatus)LowSpecies of special concern do not benefit from the prohibitions of SARA, however they do require the drafting and implementation of management plans.

Rationale

The GIC decision adds 23 species, reclassifies five listed species and removes one listed species (Scouler’s Corydalis) from Schedule 1. Consultations on the proposed actions were conducted under the responsibilities of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. All comments received supported the proposals, and the socio-economic analysis indicates that there is likely a net benefit to Canadians.

Additions

The Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act adds fifteen terrestrial species and eight aquatic species to Schedule 1 of SARA. The complete list of species being added to Schedule 1 is presented in Table 1.

The species being added to Schedule 1 receive protection in accordance with the provisions of SARA, including mandatory recovery or management planning. A significant benefit of adding these species to Schedule 1 will be the conservation of biological, genetic and ecological diversity. In addition, consultations indicate that there may be commercial and recreational benefits to the conservation of several of these species.

Several of the species are already managed by other Acts. As such, addition of these species to Schedule 1 will not significantly alter the activities of Government, individuals or industry. Costs will likely not be significant to any one party.

Reclassification

COSEWIC has determined that the status of five species has changed. Four terrestrial species and one aquatic species are reclassified. Following COSEWIC’s reassessment in April 2007, two terrestrial species listed as threatened, the Gray Ratsnake and the Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander, were each split into two distinct populations and in both cases one of the two populations is now designated at a higher risk status. The Carolinian population of each of these species has been assessed as endangered and is listed under this category. The Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population of each of these species remains on Schedule 1 as threatened. Two other terrestrial species, the Newfoundland population of the American Marten and the Blunt-lobed Woodsia, are reclassified from endangered to threatened.

One aquatic species, the Sea Otter, is reclassified on Schedule 1 by the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act from threatened to special concern. The species was reassessed as special concern as it has repopulated 25-33% of its historic range. Although the population is growing and expanding, it is still considered small (<3 500 individuals). The availability of habitat is unlikely to be a limiting factor in British Columbia at this time, as much of the coast remains unoccupied by sea otters.

The five species that are reclassified on Schedule 1 are not expected to result in incremental costs to government, individuals or industry. However, some benefits to Canadians are expected to result from measures to protect and recover the species.

Removal

One terrestrial species (Scouler’s Corydalis) is removed from Schedule 1 by the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act. This species was assessed in 2001 as threatened and the species was first listed under SARA when the Act came into effect in 2003. In November 2006, COSEWIC re-assessed the species as not at risk. It has been found to exist in additional locations and is much more abundant than previously documented in 2001.

Refer back to COSEWIC

The Minister of the Environment, on the advice of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, has recommended that the Northern Fur Seal be referred back to COSEWIC to allow for consideration of new information. This recommendation is based on new available information on the species, total abundance and the number of mature individuals in the population. The new scientific information notes that there are indications of significant movement of fur seals between rookeries; there is no evidence of genetic difference; and recognition that fur seals breeding at different rookeries represent a single population. While the recent declines are localized to a single stock, COSEWIC has not considered the information that fur seals migrating to Canada come from Pribilof and Bogolof Islands, as well as from other rookeries in Russia. In addition, COSEWIC inferred the population abundance from pup counts; however, recent assessments indicate that pup counts exaggerate the decline in the total or adult population. This species is being referred back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration through a separate Order, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (decision not to add or referral back to COSEWIC) Order. Both the Order and an explanatory note will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

Consultation

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 involves two distinct processes. This separation ensures that scientists benefit from independence when conducting assessments of the biological status of wildlife species. It also allows for the views of Canadians to be taken into account in the decision-making process in determining whether or not species will be listed under SARA. Pre-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 work closely to ensure that all affected stakeholders are consulted.

Terrestrial species

On December 4, 2007, Environment Canada launched public consultations on 20 terrestrial species with the publication of Ministerial Response statements for 20 terrestrial species and ten aquatic species assessments received by the Minister of the Environment from COSEWIC. Canadians were invited to express their views on whether or not to list 15 terrestrial species on Schedule 1 of SARA, reclassify 4 terrestrial species and remove 1 terrestrial species from the list.

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: January 2008.” The consultation document, posted on the SARA Public Registry Web site, outlined the species for which addition to Schedule 1 was being considered. The consultation process also consisted of distribution of the discussion document and direct consultation with provincial and territorial governments, federal departments and agencies, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and wildlife management boards.

During the pre-consultation period 11, submissions were received related to either the listing proposal for the Rusty Blackbird, the Ivory Gull, or both. Submissions were provided by provincial governments, federal departments, Aboriginal organizations/ boards and non-governmental organizations. None of the submissions received opposed the listing of these two species.

A Crown corporation was supportive of listing two species found in the Gatineau Park, namely the Chimney Swift and the Red-headed Woodpecker.

An Ontario Government Ministry noted that endangered species are a large issue with the residents and municipal government of Pelee Island, one location where the Lake Erie Watersnake is found, but given that this species is already protected under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, the proposal to list the Lake Erie Watersnake was unlikely to result in significant impacts.

One environmental non-governmental organization based in Ontario indicated their support for the listing of the Carolinian population of the Five-linked Skink, the Red-headed Woodpecker and the Carolinian population of the Gray Ratsnake.

One Aboriginal community noted their opposition to any amendment of the List of Wildlife Species at Risk until proper consultations were conducted, given that any future hunting and fishing restrictions enacted as a result of the listing decision would infringe their Aboriginal rights. However, none of the species being added occur in their territory.

One Aboriginal community, citing a number of assumptions and conditions, stated that they did not oppose the listing action at this time.

Aquatic species

Public consultations were conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the listing of ten 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 given the opportunity to provide their position on whether the ten aquatic species should be added to Schedule 1.

Consultations on whether or not to list the Speckled Dace, Sea Otter, Longspine Thornyhead, Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, Tope, and the Rougheye Rockfish (Type I & Type II) under SARA were conducted with fish harvesters, industry sectors, First Nations, environmental organizations and the public. Bilateral discussions were also offered to First Nations in mailouts during these sessions; however, none were requested. Presentations on proposed listings were made to the Halibut Advisory Board, the Sablefish Advisory Board, and the Groundfish Trawl Advisory Committee and no strong industry concerns were raised. Subsequent to these sessions, letters were received from the David Suzuki Foundation, outlining their support for listing and expectations for changes to future integrated fish management plans.

In the case of the Sea Otter, environmental organizations and members of the public support the recovery of the species as a means of restoring a natural ecological balance and recognize the pleasure that people may experience from sea otter populations returning after extirpation. Tourism industry representatives identified likely increases in economic benefits to their industry with the increased opportunities for viewing recovered populations of Sea Otter. Some participants identified potential economic benefits to finfish fisheries, such as rockfish, herring, and salmon, resulting from the increases in kelp habitat for spawn and for juvenile fish nurseries. Increased biodiversity might provide a basis for sustainable fisheries in the future.

Members of the commercial shellfish industry have expressed concern about declines in the abundance of economically important invertebrate resources in areas occupied by Sea Otters and about declines anticipated in areas not yet inhabited by sea otters. They have expressed the view that Sea Otter populations have recovered sufficiently to no longer be considered threatened, or listed as threatened.

Consultations on whether or not to list the Shortnose Sturgeon under SARA were conducted with fishery advisory committees, Aboriginal people, environmental organizations, affected stakeholders and members of the sturgeon aquaculture industry. Support for listing the sturgeon was received by the Sierra Club of Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Others, in support of listing, expressed concern about existing threats to the species including hydroelectric facilities, bycatch and poaching; especially since the Shortnose Sturgeon are restricted to the Saint John River system in Canada. Only one member of the aquaculture industry has expressed opposition to listing the sturgeon, citing concern that listing might impact the aquaculture potential of the species.

Presentations on the proposed listing of the Shortnose Sturgeon were made to the Scotia Fundy Groundfish Advisory Committee and the Inland Fisheries Advisory Committee. Department officials also sponsored a meeting of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs to discuss SARA related issues including the potential listing of the Shortnose Sturgeon; subsequently meetings were held with the New Brunswick First Nations along with the Maritimes Aboriginal Peoples Council (MAPC). While St. Mary’s First Nation and Fort Folly First Nation noted that they would not be impacted by listing the species, the MAPC support its listing under SARA and they have indicated that COSEWIC’s designation is appropriate.

In addition, meetings were held with the provincial governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and representatives from New Brunswick Power. The New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources have indicated that they do not oppose the proposed listing of the Shortnose Sturgeon as special concern. While New Brunswick Power expressed no official position for listing the species, they acknowledged that they operate hydroelectric generating stations on the Saint John River and wish to be kept informed of SARA listing activities.

For the Great Lakes -- Upper St. Lawrence population of Northern Brook Lamprey, consultations were conducted with Aboriginal people and communities, and affected stakeholders. Mixed reactions to listing this species were received from affected stakeholders. Those who support listing the lamprey have indicated that while the species is generally not regarded to have economic and social value, it has intrinsic value. Listing will offer better monitoring and protection to prevent future population declines and habitat degradation; there has been significant decline in numbers in recent years; it is a valuable biomonitor for organochlorides in the St. Clair River and it may provide information leading to improved methods for controlling introduced lamprey species. All six First Nations who responded supported listing and have indicated that the species should be listed if it is endangered, so long as it is a native species. They also stated that the lamprey is not being harvested and their activities do not affect the species in Lake Nipissing.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources supports adding the Northern Brook Lamprey to Schedule 1 of SARA. They indicated that COSEWIC’s designation of the species as special concern matches the provincial listing in the Endangered Species Act, 2007. The Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife has stated that they do not oppose listing the Northern Brook Lamprey under SARA, and they are in the process of designating the species under provincial legislation. Hydro-Quebec has indicated that they do not oppose listing the species as special concern, as long as they are consulted in the development of the management plan.

Those who opposed listing expressed concern that listing would suspend the lampricide program currently used to control populations of the invasive sea lamprey. They indicated that this would impact the economic future of many people living in the area and negatively impact many species in the Great Lakes. Others expressed the view that the economic value of sport and commercial fisheries is more important than that of Northern Brook Lamprey; it is surviving in areas not accessible by Sea Lamprey; and it is only being threatened in streams that are treated by lampricide.

Publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I

Following pre-consultations, the proposal to add species to Schedule I was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period on January 17, 2009. A total of three comments were received during the consultation period. The comments did not provide new information with respect to the species assessment or the socio-economic impacts of listing. All comments were in favour of the amendments.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

A compliance promotion plan has been developed for the Order Amending Schedule I to the Species at Risk Act to address the first five years of implementation of compliance promotion and enforcement activities related to the general prohibitions. Specifically, the compliance plan addresses compliance with the general prohibitions for species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened on Schedule 1 of SARA. The compliance plan is aimed at achieving awareness and understanding of the Order among the affected communities; adoption of behaviours by the affected communities that will contribute to the overall conservation and protection of wildlife at risk; compliance with the Order by the affected communities; and to increase knowledge of the affected communities.

If approved, implementation of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act will include activities designed to encourage compliance with the general prohibitions. Compliance promotion initiatives are proactive measures that encourage voluntary compliance with the law through education and outreach activities, and raise awareness and understanding of the prohibitions, by offering plain language explanations of the legal requirements under the Act. Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency will promote compliance with the general prohibitions of SARA through activities which may include online resources posted on the SARA Public Registry, fact sheets, mail-outs and presentations. These activities will specifically target groups who may be affected by this Order and whose activities could contravene the general prohibitions, including other federal government departments, First Nations, private land owners, recreational and commercial fishers, national park visitors and recreational ATV users on parks lands. The compliance plan outlines the priorities, affected communities, timelines and key messages for compliance activities.

In the case of the Speckled Dace, being added to Schedule I as endangered, the general prohibitions described above apply wherever they are found, as is the case for all aquatic species. Since the known threats to the species are related to reductions in available habitat as a result of water extraction, the focus of compliance promotion for affected communities will be generally focused on increasing overall awareness of the role of water extraction as a threat to Speckled Dace. This will be accomplished through multi-species compliance promotion activities related to SARA, with minimal incremental costs. Should inspections or investigations related to the prohibitions be required for Speckled Dace, response will be based on a priority setting process, except for where requests are made pursuant to section 93 of the Act. Where the latter is the case, the response timeline set out in the Act will be followed and costs will be addressed through general funds for SARA compliance and enforcement.

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 an agreement or a permit. These authorizations 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. In accordance with SARA, agreements and 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 where affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity.

Performance measurement and evaluation

Environment Canada has put in place a Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) and Risk-based Audit Framework (RBAF) for the Species at Risk Program. The frameworks provide for:

  • a sound governance structure, where the roles and responsibilities in delivering the program are clear;
  • a results-based logic model outlining how activities are expected to lead to the achievement of final outcomes;
  • an explicit understanding of the risks that may influence the achievement of the program’s outcomes;
  • a performance and risk measurement strategy;
  • an evaluation strategy;
  • a reporting strategy; and
  • an implementation review strategy that integrates continual improvement.

The specific measureable outcomes for the program and the performance measurement and evaluation strategy are described in the Species at Risk Program RMAF-RBAF. The reporting mechanisms and their timing are summarized in the following table. The next program evaluation is scheduled for 2010-2011.

Species at Risk Program Reporting Strategy
Reporting ActivityProductTiming
On-going performance and risk measurementReport on the performance and risk measurement strategy to departmental management and SAR governance structuresAnnual
Departmental Performance Report (DPR)Annual
Minister of the Environment report on the administration of SARAReport to Parliament on the administration of SARAAnnual
Competent Ministers monitor the implementation of recovery strategies, action plans and management plansSAR 5-Year Implementation ReportsEvery 5 years
Outcome evaluationSAR Program Evaluation Report2010-2011

Contacts

Mary Taylor
Director
Conservation Service Delivery and Permitting
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-9097

Jaclyn Shepherd
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Analyst
Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6
Telephone: 613-991-9410

Footnote a
S.C. 2002, c. 29

Footnote 1
S.C. 2002, c. 29

Footnote 2
M.A. Rudd. Memorial University of Newfoundland EVPL Working Paper 07-WP003 (2007).

Footnote 3
Loomis, J.B. and D.S. White. 1996. “Economic Benefits of Rare and Endangered Species: Summary and Meta-analysis”, Ecological Economics 18, pp. 197-206.

Footnote 4
Martin-Lopez, Berta, Carlos Monte and Javier Benayas. 2007. Economic Valuation of Biodiversity Conservation: the Meaning of Numbers. Conservation Biology, In-press. October 2007.

Footnote 5
Kahneman, D., and I. Ritor. 1994. “Determinants of Stated Willingness to Pay for Public Goods: a Study in the Headline Method”, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 9, no. 1, 5-38.

Footnote 6
Kahneman, D., and I. Ritor. 1994. “Determinants of Stated Willingness to Pay for Public Goods: a Study in the Headline Method”, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 9, no. 1, 5-38.

Footnote 7
Martin-Lopez, Berta, Carlos Monte and Javier Benayas. 2007. Economic Valuation of Biodiversity Conservation: the Meaning of Numbers. Conservation Biology, In-press. October 2007.

Footnote 8
M.A. Rudd. 2007. Memorial University of Newfoundland EVPL Working Paper 07-WP003.

Footnote 9
Loomis. 2005. Economic Benefits of Expanding California’s Southern Sea Otter Population. Defenders of Wildlife Report, Washington, D.C.