Consultations on listing under the Species at Risk Act
Pugnose Shiner (Photo credit: Konrad Schmidt)
One of the purposes of the Species at Risk Act(SARA), proclaimed by the Government of Canada in 2003, is to provide for the legal protection of wildlife species and the conservation of biological diversity.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has the mandate to conduct assessments on the status of wildlife species and categorize them according to their level of risk for extinction (extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened, or special concern).
The Government of Canada considers scientific evidence, comments received from Canadians during consultations, and potential socio-economic impacts before making a decision whether or not to include the species on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under SARA.
Recovery planning is undertaken for all listed species, and prohibitions are put in place protecting species assessed as extirpated, endangered or threatened.
As part of the consultation process, the Government of Canada would like to hear your opinions on listing the Pugnose Shiner as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act, and any comments on the potential positive and negative impacts this listing would have on you, your industry, your community and/or the ecosystem.
Pugnose Shiner has recently been re-assessed as “Threatened” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. It is currently listed under the Species at Risk Act at the higher risk level of “Endangered”. Before deciding whether to accept the re-assessment under the act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada would like your opinion, comments and suggestions regarding the possible ecological, cultural and economic impacts of listing the species as Threatened.
Please provide your input September 30, 2014 using the survey below or go to the Species at Risk Public Registry Website.
The Pugnose Shiner is a member of the minnow family (Cyprinidae). The Pugnose Shiner has a slender and small body with an extremely small upturned mouth. It has distinct black lateral bands that extend around the snout and chin, with an overall colouration of silver with pale yellow and olive tints above the black lateral band. The total length of a Pugnose Shiner is approximately 50 mm for males and 60 mm for females. A complete species profile on the Pugnose Shiner can be found on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.
In Canada, this species has only been found in four main areas of Ontario: southern Lake Huron drainage; Lake St. Clair; Lake Erie; and eastern Lake Ontario/upper St. Lawrence River drainage. It is assumed to be extirpated from Point Pelee and Rondeau Bay.
Distribution map of the Pugnose Shiner in Canada
Distribution of the Pugnose Shiner in Canada found in four main areas of Ontario: southern Lake Huron drainage; Lake St. Clair; Lake Erie; and eastern Lake Ontario/upper St. Lawrence River drainage.
Proposed listing under SARA: Threatened
In 2013, Pugnose Shiner was assessed as Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Pugnose Shiner is currently listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act and, as a result, a recovery strategy has already been prepared. For species listed as either threatened or endangered, an action plan is also required and will be developed.
Provincially, the Pugnose Shiner is listed as Endangered by the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007.
The Pugnose Shiner requires clear water with abundant aquatic vegetation. Habitat degradation and loss is the principal threat. Activities that contribute to these threats include agricultural, industrial and urban development, removal of aquatic vegetation, and changes in water quality/quantity. As many habitat areas are fragmented, there is limited connection between populations. Aquatic invasive species are also a growing threat, particularly Common Carp and Eurasian watermilfoil, due to their negative effects on native aquatic vegetation.
Special significance of the species
The Pugnose Shiner is a good indicator of environmental quality due to its strict habitat requirements; it is intolerant of habitat degradation such as increased turbidity. Further, although Pugnose Shiner is at the northern edge of its range in Canada, climate change may potentially allow it to spread into watersheds in Southern Quebec and central Ontario.
Possible management measures
If the listing of Pugnose Shiner is changed from Endangered to Threatened under the act, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will, in collaboration and consultation with stakeholders and partners, continue to use the best available information to develop an action plan for this species, which will be required for species listed as either Endangered or Threatened. A recovery strategy has already been prepared.
Protection and recovery of species under SARA
If the Pugnose Shiner is added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as Threatened, it will still be legally protected under SARA and subject to prohibitions. It will continue to be illegal to kill, harm, harass, capture or take a Pugnose Shiner, or possess, buy, sell or trade any part of one unless authorized by a permit issued under SARA. It will also continue to be illegal to destroy the critical habitat of Pugnose Shiner – the habitat necessary for its survival and recovery. Critical habitat has been identified to the extent possible, using the best available information, in the existing recovery strategy.
- Which stakeholder group best represents you?
- General public
- Non-profit organization
- Small business
- Wildlife Management Board
- Other? ________________________
- Do you think protecting the Pugnose Shiner under the Species at Risk Act would have economic, environmental, cultural and/or social BENEFITS for your organization?
- Do you think protecting the Pugnose Shiner under the Species at Risk Act would have economic, environmental, cultural and/or social COSTS for your organization?
- Should the Government of Canada add the Pugnose Shiner as Endangered to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk for protection under the Species at Risk Act?
- Do you have any other comments about this listing consultation that you would like us to consider?
- Date Modified: