Vol. 139, No. 15 -- July 27, 2005

Registration
SOR/2005-224 July 14, 2005

SPECIES AT RISK ACT

Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act

P.C. 2005-1342 July 14, 2005

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 Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.

ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULES 1 TO 3
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 replacing the heading "LEPIDOPTERANS" with "ARTHROPODS".

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

Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca) Northeast Pacific southern resident population
Épaulard population résidente du Sud du Pacifique Nord-Est

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

Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca) Northeast Pacific southern resident population
Épaulard population résidente du sud du Pacifique Nord-Est

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

Bobwhite, Northern (Colinus virginianus)
Colin de Virginie

Crossbill percna subspecies, Red (Loxia curvirostra percna)
Bec-croisé des sapins de la sous-espèce percna

Lark strigata subspecies, Horned (Eremophila alpestris strigata)
Alouette hausse-col de la sous-espèce strigata

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

Salamander, Small-mouthed (Ambystoma texanum)
Salamandre à nez court

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

Skink, Prairie (Eumeces septentrionalis)
Scinque des Prairies

Turtle, Spotted (Clemmys guttata)
Tortue ponctuée

7. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "FISH":

Dace, Nooksack (Rhinichthys sp.)
Naseux de Nooksack

8. 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)
Naseux de Nooksack

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

Pigtoe, Round (Pleurobema sintoxia)
Pleurobème écarlate

10. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by replacing the heading "LEPIDOPTERANS" with "ARTHROPODS".

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

Moth, Sand-verbena (Copablepharon fuscum)
Noctuelle de l'abronie

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

Butternut (Juglans cinerea)
Noyer cendré

Collomia, Slender (Collomia tenella)
Collomia délicat

Owl-clover, Rosy (Orthocarpus bracteosus)
Orthocarpe à épi feuillu

Pussytoes, Stoloniferous (Antennaria flagellaris)
Antennaire stolonifère

Sandwort, Dwarf (Minuartia pusilla)
Minuartie naine

Sand-verbena, Pink (Abronia umbellata)
Abronie rose

Tonella, Small-flowered (Tonella tenella)
Tonelle délicate

Trefoil, Bog Bird's-foot (Lotus pinnatus)
Lotier à feuilles pennées

13. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "MAMMALS":

Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca) Northeast Pacific northern resident population
Épaulard population résidente du Nord Pacifique Nord-Est

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

Whale, Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) St. Lawrence Estuary population
Béluga population de l'estuaire du Saint-Laurent

Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca) Northeast Pacific northern resident population
Épaulard population résidente du nord du Pacifique Nord-Est

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

Albatross, Short-tailed (Phoebastria albatrus)
Albatros à queue courte

Shearwater, Pink-footed (Puffinus creatopus)
Puffin à pieds roses

Shrike excubitorides subspecies, Loggerhead (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides)
Pie-grièche migratrice de la sous-espèce excubitorides

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

Rattlesnake, Western (Crotalus oreganos)
Crotale de l'Ouest

17. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "FISH":

Lamprey, Cowichan Lake (Lampetra macrostoma)
Lamproie du lac Cowichan

Smelt, Lake Utopia Dwarf (Osmerus sp.)
Éperlan nain du lac Utopia

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

Lamprey, Vancouver (Lampetra macrostoma)
Lamproie de Vancouver

Smelt, Lake Utopia Dwarf (Osmerus spectrum)
Éperlan nain du lac Utopia

19. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by replacing the heading "LEPIDOPTERANS" with "ARTHROPODS".

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

Skipper, Dakota (Hesperia dacotae)
Hespérie du Dakota

Skipperling, Poweshiek (Oarisma poweshiek)
Hespérie de Poweshiek

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

Aster, Gulf of St. Lawrence (Symphyotrichum laurentianum)
Aster du golfe Saint-Laurent

Bartonia, Branched (Bartonia paniculata ssp. paniculata)
Bartonie paniculée

Gentian, Victorin's (Gentianopsis procera ssp. macounii var. victorinii)
Gentiane de Victorin

Hackberry, Dwarf (Celtis tenuifolia)
Micocoulier rabougri

22. Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following after the last reference under the heading "PLANTS":

LICHENS

Jellyskin, Flooded (Leptogium rivulare)
Leptoge des terrains inondés

23. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "MAMMALS":

Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca) Northeast Pacific transient population
Épaulard population au large du Pacifique Nord-Est

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

Bat, Spotted (Euderma maculatum)
Oreillard maculé

Porpoise, Harbour (Phocoena phocoena) Pacific Ocean population
Marsouin commun population de l'océan Pacifique

Sea Lion, Steller (Eumetopias jubatus)
Otarie de Steller

Whale, Grey (Eschrichtius robustus) Eastern North Pacific population
Baleine grise population du Pacifique Nord-Est

Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca) Northeast Pacific transient population
Épaulard population océanique du Pacifique Nord-Est

25. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "AMPHIBIANS":

Frog, Northern Leopard (Rana pipiens) Western Boreal/Prairie populations
Grenouille léopard populations boréales de l'Ouest/des Prairies

26. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "AMPHIBIANS":

Frog, Northern Leopard (Rana pipiens) Western Boreal/Prairie populations
Grenouille léopard populations de l'Ouest de la zone boréale et des Prairies

27. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "FISH":

Sculpin, Columbia Mottled (Cottus bairdi hubbsi)
Chabot tacheté de Columbia

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

Sculpin, Columbia Mottled (Cottus bairdii hubbsi)
Chabot tacheté de Columbia

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

Lampmussel, Yellow (Lampsilis cariosa)
Lampsile jaune

Mussel, Rocky Mountain Ridged (Gonidea angulata)
Gonidée des Rocheuses

30. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by replacing the heading "LEPIDOPTERANS" with "ARTHROPODS".

31. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "PLANTS":

Lilaeopsis, Eastern (Lilaeopsis chinensis)
Liléopsis de l'Est

Rush, New Jersey (Juncus caesariensis)
Jonc du New Jersey

Water-hemlock, Victorin's (Cicuta maculata var. victorinii)
Cicutaire de Victorin

32. Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following after the last reference under the heading "PLANTS":

MOSSES

Moss, Columbian Carpet (Bryoerythrophyllum columbianum)
Érythrophylle du Columbia

Moss, Twisted Oak (Syntrichia laevipila)
Tortule à poils lisses

33. Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "MAMMALS":

Caribou, Peary (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) Banks Island population
Caribou de Peary population de l'île Banks

Caribou, Peary (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) High Arctic population
Caribou de Peary population du haut Arctique

Whale, Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) St. Lawrence River population
Béluga population du fleuve St-Laurent

34. Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "BIRDS":

Bobwhite, Northern (Colinus virginianus)
Colin de Virginie

35. Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "MAMMALS":

Caribou, Peary (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) Low Arctic population
Caribou de Peary population du bas Arctique

36. Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "BIRDS":

Shrike, Prairie Loggerhead (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides)
Pie-grièche migratrice des Prairies

37. Schedule 3 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "MAMMALS":

Bat, Spotted (Euderma maculatum)
Oreillard maculé

38. Schedule 3 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "AMPHIBIANS":

Salamander, Small-mouthed (Ambystoma texanum)
Salamandre à nez court

39. Schedule 3 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "REPTILES":

Skink, Prairie (Eumeces septentrionalis)
Scinque des Prairies

Turtle, Spotted (Clemmys guttata)
Tortue ponctuée

40. Schedule 3 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading "PLANTS":

Aster, Gulf of St. Lawrence (Symphyotrichum laurentianum)
Aster du golfe Saint-Laurent

Bartonia, Branched (Bartonia paniculata ssp. paniculata)
Bartonie paniculée

Gentian, Victorin's (Gentianopsis procera ssp. macounii var. victorinii)
Gentiane de Victorin

Hackberry, Dwarf (Celtis tenuifolia)
Micocoulier rabougri

Lilaeopsis, Eastern (Lilaeopsis chinensis)
Liléopsis de l'Est

Rush, New Jersey (Juncus caesariensis)
Jonc du New Jersey

Water-hemlock, Victorin's (Cicuta maculata var. victorinii)
Cicutaire de Victorin

COMING INTO FORCE

41. 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.)

Description

The Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, amends, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, by adding 39 new species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, wildlife management boards, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

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. At the time of Royal Assent, 233 species were included in Schedule 1. On January 12, 2005, the GIC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, added 73 species to Schedule 1.

The purpose of SARA is threefold: to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct; to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity; and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened. SARA complements provincial and territorial laws as well as existing federal legislation (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act, the Canada Wildlife Act,the Fisheries Act, the Oceans Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act).

By means of an Order issued by the GIC, SARA provides for wildlife species to be added to or removed from Schedule 1, or their classification changed, following their assessment by COSEWIC. The regulatory process for amending the List of Wildlife Species at Risk is subject to the federal regulatory policy, which requires consultations with Canadians as well as consideration of social and economic impacts.

SARA establishes COSEWIC as an independent, scientific advisory body on the status of species at risk. The Committee's primary function is to assess the level of risk for wildlife species based on the best available information on the biological status of a species, including scientific knowledge, Aboriginal traditional knowledge and community knowledge. This assessment is based on biological factors identified in detailed status reports and the application of assessment criteria.

The degree of risk to a species is categorized according to the terms extirpated, endangered, threatened and special concern. A species is assessed by COSEWIC as extirpated when it no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but still exists elsewhere in the wild. It is endangered if it is facing imminent extirpation or extinction, and threatened if the species is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction. Special concern status is given to a species if it may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Adding a species to Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened under SARA may lead to the application of prohibitions that make it an offence to kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual of a wildlife species, or to damage or destroy the residence of one or more individuals of a wildlife species. Prohibitions may also apply that make it an offence to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade individuals of a wildlife species. Generally speaking, these prohibitions apply automatically to aquatic species and migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA, 1994) that are listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened wherever they are found, and to all other wildlife species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened on federal lands. For all species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened, a recovery strategy must be developed within fixed timelines and, in general, at least one action plan must be prepared based on the recovery strategy. For those listed as species of special concern, a management plan must be prepared. Should species not be effectively protected by the laws of a province or a territory, SARA has provisions that give the federal government the power to apply prohibitions on non-federal lands to secure their protection. The federal government would consult with the jurisdiction concerned before invoking any provisions.

On October 19, 2004, the GIC officially received the COSEWIC assessments for 44 species that had been assessed by COSEWIC at its meetings of November 2003 and May 2004. This action initiated a nine-month timeline by the end of which the GIC must decide whether or not to add these 44 species to Schedule 1 of SARA, or to refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further consideration or information. Of the 44 species, the GIC has decided, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, to add 39 species to Schedule 1 but not add the plains bison, the Peary caribou, the Dolphin and Union population of barren-ground caribou and the Porsild's bryum moss. The GIC has referred the dwarf woolly-heads assessment back to COSEWIC for further information and consideration. Of the 39 species, 32 are terrestrial species for which the Minister of the Environment is responsible. Seven are aquatic species for which the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has primary responsibility under the Act. The Minister of the Environment also has responsibility for 4 of these 7 aquatic species as they occur on lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency.

In addition, the GIC has decided, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, to refer the polar bear back to COSEWIC. This species was proposed to be listed on October 23, 2004 and, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the GIC decided, on January 12, 2005, to not list the polar bear at that time in order to consult further with the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB) and the Nunavut government. In total, the GIC has decided to add 39 species to Schedule 1, to not add four species and to refer two other species back to COSEWIC.

The risk status, as assessed by COSEWIC, for each of the 39 listed species is presented in Appendix 1. Detailed information on each species added to Schedule 1 is available from the COSEWIC status reports, which can be found on the SARA Public Registry at www.sararegistry.gc.ca.

Terrestrial Species

Thirty-two terrestrial species are added to Schedule 1 of SARA. These include terrestrial mammals, birds, one amphibian, reptiles, arthropods, plants, mosses and lichens.

Terrestrial Mammals

One terrestrial mammal is added to Schedule 1 of SARA, the spotted bat. This species has a low reproductive rate and is constrained by the availability of its naturally limited and fragmented roosting habitat. It is also potentially threatened by the loss of its riparian feeding habitat and the effects of pesticides on its insect prey.

Birds

There are six bird species that are added to Schedule 1. These are the Northern Bobwhite and the following five migratory birds: the Horned Lark strigata subspecies, the Red Crossbill percna subspecies, the Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies, the Short-tailed Albatross and the Pink-footed Shearwater. Habitat loss on breeding, migration and wintering grounds is considered the greatest contributor to the decline of many bird populations. Continuing habitat loss and fragmentation are exacerbated by urban encroachment and resource extraction, and they result in increased predation.

The Northern Bobwhite, the Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies and the Horned Lark strigata subspecies occur at the northern extent of their distributions in restricted ranges in parts of southern Canada. There, they are limited by climatic conditions, the habitat may be suboptimal (further reduction in the quality of habitat puts the species at risk), and human populations and their impacts are greatest. As a result, the Northern Bobwhite is affected by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation resulting from a variety of human activities, but mostly from urban and industrial development, conversion of native prairie to agriculture and increasing predation. It is threatened by the effects of pesticides, both on the birds and on their insect prey. In many areas, bobwhites are believed to be mixed with released captive-bred birds from more southern origins, resulting in a mixed stock that may not be well adapted to Canadian winters and further impairing the survival potential of the species. The Northern Bobwhites on Walpole Island constitute the only viable population of this species in Canada that has not interbred with captive-bred birds.

Habitat-related problems, especially the conversion of grasslands to croplands, impact the Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies resulting in population declines, a southward range contraction, and a decline in the reproductive success. Grasslands reverting to forests along the northern edge of the shrike's range, pesticides (which impair reproduction and kill birds and their insect prey), collision with vehicles, as well as increased predation, further threaten this subspecies.

The Horned Lark strigata subspecies has always had a restricted range and patchy distribution. However, further habitat loss to urbanization, development, recreation, agriculture, invasive plant species, as well as the effects of pesticides, have left it with next to no suitable habitat and have driven the subspecies to near extinction.

The Red Crossbill percna subspecies occurs on the island of Newfoundland. It has undergone precipitous population declines and now occurs in low populations, with its range being restricted because suitable forest habitat is lost, degraded and fragmented by logging, fires caused by humans, and insect outbreaks. It is possible that the species' situation may be further aggravated by competition from, and predation by, introduced red squirrels that are flourishing on the island.

The Short-tailed Albatross and the Pink-footed Shearwater both nest in small colonial concentrations on islands outside Canada, but frequent Canadian waters while feeding in the summer months. Populations of the Pink-footed Shearwater had declined drastically in the past because of introduced predators, human disturbance, removal of chicks, as well as destruction of habitat and nesting burrows. The Short-tailed Albatross is long-lived, slow-maturing and has a low breeding potential, making it slow to recover from past drastic population declines from hunting on its breeding grounds. Its nesting colonies are now protected, but are still subject to stochastic events as a result of volcanic activity. While in Canadian waters, both species are threatened by incidental take in the longline fishery, oil fouling and plastic pollution.

Amphibians

One amphibian is added to Schedule 1, the small-mouthed salamander. It occurs in Ontario at the northern edge of its range and is probably limited by climate. Two of the five known sites for this species have been lost to development. Other threats include low water levels, drainage of wetlands, tree cutting and removal of rotting trunks, road kill during breeding movements, and environmental degradation.

Reptiles

Three species of reptiles are added to Schedule 1. They are the Prairie skink, the spotted turtle and the Western rattlesnake. All three species occur at the northern extent of their respective ranges, are probably limited by climate, and may be living in suboptimal habitats. They all have small ranges and are threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, which restrict gene flow, thereby increasing the vulnerability of isolated populations to disease outbreaks and other random events. If local populations disappear, isolated habitat patches are not likely to be re-colonized.

The Prairie skink occurs as two disjunct northern outlier populations in a habitat that is naturally limited and fragmented, but which is being further lost or degraded by agriculture, succession to forests, tree plantation, invasion by exotic plants, road construction and urbanization. The skink has a low reproductive rate, making it slow to recover from population declines. It is further threatened by periods of extended drought.

Both the western rattlesnake and the spotted turtle are long-lived, late-maturing species that have a low reproductive rate, making them slow to recover from population declines and vulnerable to the loss of local populations. In both cases, populations and habitat are becoming fragmented as a result of continuing habitat loss and degradation. The western rattlesnake is confined to a small number of valleys in south-central British Columbia, where it is threatened by continuing habitat loss and degradation by ranching, urban and rural development, increasing human populations, road construction and tourism. The rattlesnake is also threatened by road mortality resulting from increased road traffic, mortality from haying machinery, exposure to pesticides, persecution and destruction of dens. The spotted turtle has undergone significant population and habitat declines, and some populations, even in protected areas, are no longer viable. The turtle's situation is aggravated by a low number of juveniles. Population declines resulted from habitat loss because of overgrazing by livestock, agriculture and pollution, collecting for the pet trade and increased predation by species that benefit from urbanization, such as raccoons and skunks.

Arthropods

Three arthropod species (butterflies) are added to Schedule 1. These are the sand-verbena moth, the Dakota skipper and the Poweshiek skipperling. All three species are habitat specialists that occur as small fragmented populations and are particularly susceptible to habitat loss and degradation.

The sand-verbena moth occupies open, sandy, coastal habitats (which are restricted, fragmented and rare in British Columbia) with substantial populations of its host plant. It is known to occur at only three sites and is threatened by habitat loss and degradation from invasive species, land development, intensive recreational use, and factors modifying the natural disturbance regime of coastal habitats that maintain open sand habitat.

Both the Dakota skipper and Poweshiek skipperling are particularly susceptible to any activity that alters the natural suite of native prairie plant species. Most of their prairie habitat has been lost due to conversion to agriculture, overgrazing, succession, invasion by exotic weeds, weed control, haying too early in the season, and the use of prescribed burns to maintain the vegetation of native prairie remnants. In historic times, the populations of both species likely declined severely with the drastic loss of prairie habitat. Dakota skipper populations continue to decline as most of their suitable habitat is on private land that remains subject to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. The Poweshiek skipperling persists as small fragmented populations in isolated remnant prairies. The Canadian populations are now disjunct from the main species' range in the United States. Most of the populations occur within a provincial protected area; unfortunately, the management practices used in the past were detrimental to the butterfly. As populations outside the protected area occur on habitat that is generally unsuitable for agriculture, they are probably currently stable.

Plants, Lichens and Mosses

Eighteen species, subspecies, varieties or populations of vascular plants, lichens and mosses are added to Schedule 1. They are the stoloniferous pussytoes, slender collomia, small-flowered tonella, butternut, bog bird's-foot trefoil, dwarf sandwort, rosy owl-clover, pink sand-verbena, branched bartonia, dwarf hackberry, Gulf of St. Lawrence aster, Victorin's gentian, eastern lilaeopsis, New Jersey rush, Victorin's water-hemlock, flooded jellyskin, Columbian carpet moss, and twisted oak moss.

Habitat is the single most important issue for these plants, especially for stoloniferous pussytoes, dwarf hackberry, slender collomia, small-flowered tonella, New Jersey rush, eastern lilaeopsis, bog bird's-foot trefoil, dwarf sandwort, twisted oak moss, rosy owl-clover and pink sand-verbena, all of which occur at the northern extent of their range. The Canadian ranges of these species are restricted to the southern parts of the country and are often limited by climatic conditions. Frequently, the southern parts of the country where peripheral species occur are also the areas where human populations and their impacts are greatest. As a result, virtually all peripheral species are affected by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation resulting from a variety of human activities, but mostly from urban and industrial development, extraction operations, conversion of native habitats to agriculture, draining of wetlands, cottage development and recreational activities. Stoloniferous pussytoes, dwarf hackberry, slender collomia, New Jersey rush and twisted oak moss do not face imminent threats to their restricted habitat. They are nevertheless potentially threatened by a variety of additional activities, including road construction, herbicide use, trampling, tree cutting, wetland drainage, infilling, air pollution, invasive plants and human activities that could alter or destroy their habitat by altering water levels.

Among the peripheral species, slender collomia, New Jersey rush, eastern lilaeopsis and bog bird's-foot trefoil occur in Canada as small, disjunct, northern outlier populations, separated from the main part of the species' ranges by hundreds of kilometres. Such populations are particularly vulnerable to inbreeding depression and stochastic events, and their habitats are unlikely to be re-colonized if the species become extirpated.

The Columbian carpet moss, Victorin's water hemlock, Victorin's gentian and Gulf of St. Lawrence aster are North American endemics with small, restricted ranges, all or a large portion of which occur in Canada. The Columbian carpet moss is restricted to western North America. Canadian sites have been lost to cultivation and stochastic events. Remaining sites are threatened by grazing, land cultivation, vineyards, trampling, urban development, road building, and recreational activities. The Victorin's water hemlock, Victorin's gentian and Gulf of St. Lawrence aster are coastal species endemic to the St. Lawrence estuary. The habitat of these three species is declining slowly and populations are threatened by trampling, mowing, water pollution, oil spills, coastline infilling, construction of retaining walls, cottage development and all-terrain vehicle traffic.

The flooded jellyskin lichen occurs in Canada as disjunct populations that are likely relicts of a previous much more widespread, continuous distribution. It persists where conditions are still favourable and may be limited by suitable habitat. The flooded jellyskin lichen is threatened by habitat loss and degradation from tree cutting, recreational activities, development, and vandalism.

The branched bartonia is another species that occurs in Canada as a restricted, disjunct population. The species is normally a member of the Atlantic coastal plains flora. However, the Ontario population is isolated from the main range, occurs in small numbers in a restricted area and is therefore subject to stochastic events, and is potentially threatened by invasive shrubs.

The butternut, a species that is relatively common and widespread in Ontario and Quebec, is being affected by an exotic disease, the butternut canker, which is spreading rapidly. In the United States, where this canker started affecting butternut trees, mortality rates are high. Canadian populations are expected to experience similar mortality rates. The canker poses by far the most serious threat to the butternut, but habitat is also declining in parts of its Canadian range, and some trees are lost to timber harvesting and development.

Aquatic Species

There are seven aquatic species that are added to Schedule 1 of SARA, including three freshwater molluscs and four marine mammals.

Freshwater Molluscs

The yellow lamp mussel, the round pigtoe and the Rocky Mountain ridged mussel are added to Schedule 1 of SARA.

The yellow lamp mussel is a freshwater bivalve mollusc found in the Sydney River of Nova Scotia and the Saint John River near Fredericton, New Brunswick. Although the population of yellow lamp mussel is quite stable in Canada, the potential for the introduction of zebra mussels into the Saint John River is a concern because zebra mussels may out-compete lamp mussels for habitat and resources. The maintenance of habitat quality in the Sydney River, an urban environment, is also a concern.

The round pigtoe occurs in the shallow nearshore areas of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair as well as in the Grande and Thames rivers. The introduction of zebra mussels has decimated freshwater communities in the Great Lakes. Approximately 63% of its habitat has been invaded by zebra mussels. It is likely reproducing only in the Sydenham River and Lake St. Clair. Zebra mussels have been the primary reason for the loss of Great Lakes populations (the delta acts as a refuge), while the river populations have been impacted by municipal, industrial and agricultural contamination (sediment, nutrients, pesticides). The Grand River population was likely heavily impacted by urban contamination during the 1960s and 1970s as the entire mussel fauna of this river showed significant declines at that time. Although there is evidence that the river is recovering from environmental damage, it is unclear if the round pigtoe is. The Sydenham and Thames rivers populations are likely more heavily impacted by agriculture, given their locations in these watersheds.

The Rocky Mountain ridged mussel is a freshwater mollusc that inhabits the bottoms of lakes and streams. In Canada, this species' range is limited to the Okanagan and Kootenay rivers in southern British Columbia. It is also found in the western United States. Primary risks to the survival of this species are the continued loss and degradation of suitable habitat through forestry or riverside and lakeside development as well as an increased demand for water.

Marine Mammals

The Harbour porpoise (Pacific Ocean population), Steller sea lion, beluga whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) and grey whale are added to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Harbour porpoises are one of the world's smallest cetaceans (whales, dolphins or porpoises), growing to an average length of 1.55 metres and a mass of 55 kilograms. The Pacific populations inhabit British Columbia nearshore coastal waters, where they have regular contact with humans. As a result, they are threatened by human activities, including entanglements in fishing gear, exposure to pollution, vessel traffic disturbances and underwater noise.

Steller sea lions are the largest member of the family Otariidae (eared seals). Stellar sea lions occur only in British Columbia and there are three main breeding areas: (1) off the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island (rookeries on Maggot, Sartine and Triangle Islands); (2) off the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands (rookeries on the Kerouard Islands); and (3) off the northern mainland coast (rookeries on North Danger Rocks). They are threatened by several human activities, including oil spills, shootings during commercial fishing because this species is seen as a pest, displacement or degradation of their habitat, environmental contaminants, and entanglement in debris.

The St. Lawrence Estuary beluga is the southernmost population of that species and is geographically isolated from other beluga populations. It was estimated that, before 1885, there were as many as 5000 belugas in the St. Lawrence Estuary system. Today, the St. Lawrence population is made up of only 1,000 animals and is showing no signs of increasing. The examination of beluga carcasses recovered from the shores of the St. Lawrence Estuary has revealed disturbing concentrations of toxic chemicals in this population, which is thought to be a potentially limiting factor for its recovery. Dredging, shipping, tourism, industrial activity and environmental pollution have also resulted in a decline in habitat quality and contamination of food supply.

In Canada, the grey whale is found along the coast of British Columbia. As bottom feeders often in nearshore areas, grey whales are more vulnerable to human pollution and activities than other whales. Although the population had been recovering, a decline of up to one third of the Pacific population may have taken place between 1998 and 2002, and this may have been related to insufficient feeding opportunities in the Bering Sea during the summers of 1998 and 1999. The grey whales in Canada are primarily threatened by entanglement in fishing gear, loss of habitat, and disturbance associated with human activities such as seismic tested along their migratory routes and feeding grounds. These effects may be mitigated using practices agreed upon in the Statement of Canadian Practice on the Mitigation of Seismic Noise in the Marine Environment (2005).

In addition to adding 39 species to Schedule 1, this Order corrects spelling, typographical and taxonomic errors for species already listed on Schedules 1, 2 and 3. It also removes species from Schedule 2 (beluga whale, Northern bobwhite and Prairie loggerhead shrike) and Schedule 3 of the Act (spotted bat, small-mouthed salamander, Prairie skink, spotted turtle, Gulf of St. Lawrence aster, eastern lilaeopsis, New Jersey rush and Victorin's water-hemlock) because they have been added to Schedule 1. As a result of this amendment, the names of species in Schedule 1 have been updated to correspond to those currently used by COSEWIC.

Alternatives

Under SARA, the GIC can, within nine months after receiving an assessment of the status of a species by COSEWIC, take one of three courses of action: (1) accept the assessment and add the species to Schedule 1; (2) decide to not add the species to Schedule 1; or (3) refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. All three courses of action were considered when developing this Order.

The first course of action is to accept the assessments and to propose adding the species to Schedule 1 of SARA, thereby ensuring that these species receive protection in accordance with the provisions of SARA, including mandatory recovery planning. The GIC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, is adding 39 species to Schedule 1 of SARA.

The second course of action is to not add the species to Schedule 1. Although species may still be protected under other federal, provincial or territorial legislation, species at risk not added to Schedule 1 would not benefit from the protection and recovery planning measures afforded by SARA.

The GIC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, is not listing the plains bison at this time because of potential economic implications for the Canadian bison industry. According to the Canadian Bison Association, there is a current producer investment base that is generating more than $50 million in sales annually. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has supported bison ranching as an important diversification of the livestock industry. Besides its role in diversification, the bison industry has contributed to sustainable land management as a result of the conversion of cultivated land back to permanent forage cover and to the preservation of native pasture lands. Development of primary and secondary processing industries has provided additional benefits to many communities. The federal government is working with provincial governments, the bison industry and other stakeholders to develop an approach for the recovery of wild plains bison. By working cooperatively, benefits would be achieved for both wild and captive-farmed populations of plains bison in Canada. Three species, the Peary caribou, the Dolphin and Union population of barren-ground caribou and the Porsild's bryum are not added to Schedule 1 at this time in order to consult further with the NWMB and the Nunavut government on concerns that have been raised.

The third course of action is to refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. It would be appropriate to send an assessment back if, for example, significant new information became available after a status report is developed, through public consultation or others means. During the time that COSEWIC reviews the new information and confirms or modifies its assessment, the species would not benefit from the protection and recovery planning measures afforded by SARA. The dwarf woolly-heads assessment is referred back to COSEWIC for further information and consideration, by order of the GIC on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment. As a result of receiving notification from members of COSEWIC that the dwarf woolly-heads be referred back for further information and consideration in light of new information. This is as a result of newly-discovered populations in the prairies. The new information indicates that the BC population mentioned in the status report is not the only one in Canada. It appears that there is a population in the southern prairies on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, which was previously thought to be Psilocarphus elatior (Tall Woolly-heads), is actually also Psilocarphus brevissimus dwarf woolly-heads. COSEWIC has asked the Minister to send back the assessment in order to revise the status report on this species and re-assess its level of risk.

The polar bear assessment is referred back to COSEWIC for further information and consideration, by order of the GIC on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment. The COSEWIC assessment was based on a status report completed in 1999 and supplemented with an addendum in 2002. The NWMB raised a number of concerns about the status report. Firstly, it did not include any community or aboriginal traditional knowledge, and secondly, it was incomplete with respect to the best available scientific information available. Under subsection 15(2) of SARA, COSEWIC is required to carry out its functions on the basis of the best available information on the biological status of the species, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge and aboriginal traditional knowledge. In light of the above, a more thorough analysis of all available information should be undertaken to determine if the overall assessment of "special concern" is correct.

Benefits and Costs

This Order entails both benefits and costs in terms of social, economic and environmental considerations through the implementation of the Act's immediate prohibitions upon listing and the recovery requirements. Some impacts can be quantified in absolute terms, while others are more qualitative, such as the intrinsic value of species or their contribution to the biological diversity of the planet.

Benefits

SARA provides a framework for actions across Canada to ensure the survival of wildlife species at risk and the protection of our natural heritage. Protecting species from the effects of pollution, overharvesting, alien invasive species and destruction of habitat is essential. Ultimately, the success of SARA will depend on the cooperation of the many different constituencies involved in its implementation. Left intact, natural habitat also provides many intangible and hard to quantify benefits to society, for example, protection of genetic diversity, aesthetic appreciation and wildlife enhancement.

Upon being listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened on Schedule 1 of SARA, migratory birds protected by the MBCA, 1994 and aquatic species wherever they are found, as well as all extirpated, endangered or threatened species found on federal lands, benefit from immediate protection in the form of prohibitions against killing, harming, harassing, capturing or taking individuals of species. Once listed, these species are also protected by prohibitions against possessing, collecting, buying, selling or trading individuals, or parts or derivatives thereof, of extirpated, endangered or threatened listed species. In addition, the damage or destruction of the residences of one or more individuals of these species is prohibited for those species listed as endangered or threatened, or for those species listed as extirpated if a recovery strategy has recommended the re-introduction of the species into the wild in Canada.

Listed species also benefit from the implementation of recovery strategies, action plans and management plans. If a species is listed on Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened, under section 37 of SARA, the competent minister is required to prepare a strategy for its recovery. Recovery strategies and action plans are developed through consultation and cooperation with people likely to be affected by the implementation of recovery measures. Action plans implement recovery strategies for listed species by identifying: measures to achieve the population objectives for the species; activities that would destroy the species' critical habitat; ways to preserve unprotected critical habitat; and methods to monitor the recovery of the species and its long-term viability. An action plan also requires an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and the benefits to be derived from its implementation. For those listed as species of special concern, management plans must be prepared. Proposed recovery strategies, actions plans and management plans must be included in the Public Registry within the timelines set out under SARA.

Many of the species occupy an ecological niche as predators, prey or symbionts, such that their recovery may contribute to strengthening related predator/prey populations and ecosystems. Conservation measures taken to protect species listed under SARA may also prevent other species from becoming at risk.

Species provide various ecosystem services and serve as indicators of, and contributor to, environmental quality. Many of these geographically and biologically distinct species are of public and scientific interest due to their unique genetic composition and evolutionary histories.

Additional potential benefits stemming from recovery measures for wetlands and watersheds are: improvements in water quality; decrease in water treatment costs; increase in recreational opportunities; mitigation flooding; and lower dredging costs of waterways. In addition, freshwater fish and molluscs are often indicators of good water quality in watersheds where they occur. Furthermore, some recovery measures may provide benefits to the agricultural sector from a more efficient use of fertilizers, through improved nutrient management techniques and reduced soil erosion.

Industries such as forestry and fishing have recognized that sustainable use of the resource can result in immediate cost savings as well as the long-term viability of the resource. The protection of marine mammals can provide increased opportunities to expand the ecotourism industry.

Canadians depend upon biodiversity for continued food sources, new medicines and the natural resource economy. Ecosystem health and the sustainable use of our current natural resources may be the source of future economic and employment opportunities. Many of these species are also valued by Aboriginal peoples for cultural, spiritual and subsistence purposes.

Species also have substantial non-economic or intrinsic value to Canadian society. Canadians want to preserve species for future generations to enjoy. Many derive value from knowing the species exists, even if they will never personally see or "use" them. There is also value derived from retaining the option to observe or even use the species at some future time.

A significant benefit of adding species to Schedule 1 is the conservation of biological, genetic and ecological diversity. Biological diversity, often referred to as biodiversity, includes both the amount and variety of life forms at several levels of scale, for instance, individual, population, community, ecosystem, landscape or biome. Genetic diversity refers to the number and abundance of gene types within a population and is important for maintaining the health of individuals and populations over time. Ecological diversity refers to the number and abundance of ecological types or zones (e.g. ecosystems and landscape features) and is important for maintaining a variety of habitats needed by species, particularly in times of stress such as drought or increased predation.

Biodiversity is invaluable to the sustainable productivity of soils and provides the genetic resources for harvested species. It protects against ecosystem disruptions and disease outbreaks, and is an essential source of bio-control agents. The importance of biological diversity has been recognized internationally, as more than 180 countries have become parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, committing to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Adding species to Schedule 1 will also help Canada meet its recent commitment under the Convention to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss.

Listing of species under SARA may also contribute to Canada's image as international leader in environmental conservation and supports our role in international trade discussions. In the past, some American interests have charged that the lack of federal endangered species legislation in Canada has presented Canadian industry with an unfair advantage over U.S. firms.

Costs

Adding an endangered or threatened species to Schedule 1, and the resulting application of prohibitions and mandatory recovery provisions, may lead to costs for industry, Aboriginal communities, governments and other affected parties. Costs may also arise from recovery and critical habitat protection measures, once they are in place. As a result of the protection afforded by the prohibitions applying to listed species found on federal lands and to listed aquatic and migratory birds species protected by the MBCA, 1994 everywhere, listing of these species creates obligations for all federal resource or land management departments (in addition to Environment Canada, the Parks Canada Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada) to ensure compliance with SARA.

A major cause of the decline of species at risk is the conversion of our natural areas for other uses (e.g. non-renewable resource extraction, transportation corridors, industrial use of renewable resources, industrial food production and urban space). These land uses provide a value to society -- people need homes, jobs, food, goods and services. However, meeting these requirements coincidentally forces us to find substitutes for the services that the natural habitat provides. Such services include water purification, waste treatment, cleansing of the atmosphere, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, erosion control, pollination, pest control, flood prevention, soil formation and retention, alternative recreation services and more. The substitutes for natural services may be more expensive to build and to continuously operate.

Species found within the boundaries of national parks or other lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, including species at risk, are already protected under the Canada National Parks Act or through measures and management tools available to the Parks Canada Agency under other legislation. Protection measures that result from adding species to Schedule 1 will not, therefore, impose significant additional burdens on the public with respect to those lands. The species, added to Schedule 1, that have occurrences on lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency include the loggerhead shrike, the spotted turtle, the Victorin's water-hemlock, the Victorin's gentian, the butternut, the grey whale, the Steller sea lion, the pink-footed shearwater, the Gulf of St. Lawrence aster, the dwarf hackberry, the sand-verbena moth, the pink sand-verbena, the Pacific population of harbour porpoise, the red crossbill, and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga.

Terrestrial Species

There are 11 terrestrial species s, assessed as either endangered, threatened or special concern, being added to Schedule 1, as well as five migratory birds protected by the MBCA, 1994. This may require that some current activities on federal lands, other than Parks Canada lands, including the activities of lessees of federal lands and Aboriginal peoples, may have to be modified to ensure protection of the species. For federal landholders, there will be a need to ensure that adequate protection measures are put in place to guard against any practices that could harm listed species. The species include the Prairie skink, the spotted turtle, the sand-verbena moth, the dwarf sandwort, the pink sand-verbena, the rosy owl-clover, butternut, the dwarf hackberry, the Gulf of St. Lawrence aster, the Victorin's gentian, the flooded jellyskin, the horned lark strigata subspecies, the Red Crossbill percna subspecies, the Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies, the Short-tailed Albatross, and the Pink-footed Shearwater.

The implementation of the prohibitions resulting from the listing of the five migratory bird species will not result in any additional costs to Canadians because these species are already protected by similar prohibitions under the MBCA, 1994.

Of the three arthropod species that are added to Schedule 1 of SARA, the prohibitions apply to only the sand-verbena moth as it is found on federal lands in British Columbia. The impact upon listing may potentially restrict collection of the species for research.

Six of the 18 vascular plants, lichens and mosses added to Schedule 1 are found on federal lands. For these species, there may be restrictions on access to shoreline habitat, recreational use and operation or maintenance of federal lands or properties.

Aquatic Species

For the recovery process to be effective, restrictions on activities to protect aquatic species may have economic repercussions. For the freshwater mollusc species added to Schedule 1, there may be restrictions on the operation and maintenance of marinas, dredging operations and coastal development, such as cottage and recreational development, urban development, transportation development and agriculture.

For the marine mammals listed, four main industry sectors could face economic costs as a result of protection and recovery actions: the shipping industry; the oil and gas industry; the fishing industry; and the tourism industry. In order to reduce the risk of disturbance or collisions with vessels, the shipping industry may be affected by re-routing traffic, changing shipping lanes and slowing vessel speed that could lead to increased costs for fuel and time. The oil and gas industry may be subject to more restrictive guidelines for seismic exploration and development. It has agreed to implement the Statement of Canadian Practice on the Mitigation of Seismic Noise in the Marine Environment, as released for public comment on February 19, 2005. The fishing industry may be subject to gear, time and area restrictions to minimize entanglements. Adding the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga whale to Schedule 1 of SARA could translate into stricter regulations and potentially increased operating costs for the whale watching industry, similar to the regulations that manage the activities in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.

Although there are potential costs associated with listing these aquatic species, it appears at the present time that they will be limited because existing management measures for these species are similar to those required under SARA. Incremental costs will be mitigated to the extent possible through stakeholder involvement using mechanisms such as recovery teams.

For future projects that are likely to affect a listed wildlife species and trigger a federal environmental assessment, SARA requires that the competent Minister be notified in writing of the project. The person required to ensure that a federal environmental assessment is conducted must identify any adverse effects on the listed wildlife species and its critical habitat, and, if the project is carried out, ensure that measures are taken to avoid or lessen those effects and to monitor them. These requirements may lead to additional costs to the proponent in both preparing the environmental assessment and fulfilling any mitigation and monitoring requirements.

A variety of direct management costs will result from adding a species to Schedule 1, including developing and implementing recovery strategies, action plans and management plans, as well as conducting research, consultation, negotiation, monitoring, enforcement and stewardship activities. Indirect costs could include the loss of tax and royalty income if listing reduced economic activity. There could also be an increase in social benefit payments to affected individuals. However, these expenditures could generate offsetting revenue/economic benefits for local economies.

There are three main federal funding programs centered on the protection and recovery of species at risk that add to the investments made by Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Parks Canada Agency and many other federal departments and corporations involved in the recovery of species at risk. The three federal funding programs are: the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk; the Endangered Species Recovery Fund; and the Interdepartmental Recovery Fund.

To help Canadians protect and recover species at risk, the federal government established the Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP) in 2002. The program allocates up to $10 million a year to projects that conserve and protect species at risk and their habitat. For every dollar spent in federal HSP funds, one dollar and seventy cents of non-federal resources was contributed. In its first three years of operation, the HSP funded 217 projects directed at benefiting the habitat of approximately 250 nationally listed and approximately 100 provincially listed species at risk. It also contributed to the protection of more than 127,000 hectares of habitat and the improvement of 108,000 hectares of habitat.

The Endangered Species Recovery Fund, a joint initiative of Environment Canada and World Wildlife Fund (Canada), was established to support recovery activities for species at risk of extinction. Since its inception in 1988, over $7 million has been invested by partners in support of several hundred projects and 100 different species at risk.

The Interdepartmental Recovery Fund became operational in 2002 to assist federal departments in meeting the requirements set out under SARA. The aim of this fund is to contribute to the recovery of extirpated, endangered and threatened species by supporting high-priority recovery activities.

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 the legal list involve two distinct processes. This separation guarantees that scientists benefit from independence when making assessments of the biological status of wildlife species and that Canadians have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in determining whether or not species will be listed under SARA.

Public consultations were conducted on the proposed listing of species under the responsibilities of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Environment Canada, the Parks Canada Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada worked closely to ensure that their stakeholders were consulted and to avoid duplication of consultation efforts. Canadians were invited to express their views on the proposal to include or not each of the 44 species on the legal list established under SARA.

Terrestrial Species

Environment Canada began public consultations on the 37 terrestrial species assessed to be at risk by COSEWIC in November 2004. 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: November 2004. The document, which was posted on the SARA Public Registry, outlined the species for which addition to Schedule 1 is being considered, the reasons for considering listing, and the implications of listing species. The process also consisted of wide distribution of the discussion document and direct consultation with identified stakeholders, including various industrial sectors, provincial/ territorial governments, federal departments and agencies, Aboriginal organizations, wildlife management boards, resource users, landowners and environmental non-governmental organizations. Meetings were held with affected Aboriginal peoples, the Species at Risk Advisory Committee and other identified concerned groups.

The majority of Canadians who provided comments support COSEWIC's assessments. They asked the Minister of the Environment to proceed with recommending the inclusion of these species in Schedule 1 of SARA.

Provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples and industry stakeholders signalled support for the protection and recovery of species at risk, while raising concerns regarding negative implications to social and economic activities. The provincial governments of Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador expressed support for the designations of the terrestrial species.

In the fall of 2004, First Nation communities in British Columbia were consulted on the species that are proposed for listing on Schedule 1 of SARA. The feedback received during the consultations varied in each region. Several local communities were interested in the aquatic species as many of the members rely on the fishing industry for their food source and income. They expressed the need for more information on SARA and the species found on their land, on compliance and on the potential social and economic impacts of listing species.

The strongest and most widespread opposition to listing was received during consultations on the plains bison. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recommends that this species not be added to Schedule 1 of SARA. That department has supported bison ranching as an important diversification of the livestock industry. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada expressed the view that, besides its contribution to the genetic health of the plains bison species and role in diversification, the bison industry has contributed to sustainable land management as a result of the conversion of cultivated land back to permanent forage cover and to the preservation of native pasture lands. It is for reasons such as these that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recommended that the plains bison not be added to Schedule 1 of SARA.

The governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are also opposed to having the plains bison listed as threatened. Alberta's main position is that any federal listing of plains bison must exclude domestic bison stocks. Saskatchewan is concerned about the potential international trade implications of such a designation and about the consultation process. The free-ranging population in northeastern British Columbia is a concern for the province.

A number of organizations and industry associations, including the Canadian Bison Association, disagree with the proposed recommendation to list the plains bison as threatened. Representatives of the Canadian bison industry contacted Environment Canada to indicate that the listing of the plains bison may have serious implications for the bison industry. According to the Canadian Bison Association, there is a current producer investment base that exceeds $1 billion and is generating more than $50 million in sales annually. Although listing plains bison as threatened applies only on federal lands, stakeholders are concerned that such action would result in resistance domestically and internationally to buying bison products, given a lack of understanding of legal listing. Consequently, the industry is concerned that listing of the plains bison may have a significant impact on over 1,900 producers who own an estimated 230,000 bison in Canada.

In addition, the industry is concerned that COSEWIC's assessment excluded 1,000 younger animals in Elk Island National Park and the many commercial private herds in Canada. However, COSEWIC has excluded young animals because they are not mature, breeding animals. This practice is based on internationally recognized species assessment guidelines used by the IUCN-World Conservation Union. These guidelines, which are also followed by COSEWIC in its species assessment process, ensure that species assessments reflect the true biological status of species in the wild.

Concern about listing the butternut was raised by the Ministère de l'Environnement and the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation in Quebec. The Government of Quebec recognizes that the status of the butternut tree is sufficiently worrisome to justify adding it to the List. However, it is recommending that a status of special concern for this species would be more appropriate.

Following review of the COSEWIC status report on the sand-verbena moth, the Department of National Defence expressed concern that the scientific information used to support the listing of the moth as an endangered species is incomplete; therefore, they feel that listing is not justified at this time. That department suggests that the requirement to protect the moth's critical habitat and residence will also require protection of the host plant, the yellow sand-verbena. However, the yellow sand-verbena has not been identified for similar protection measures under SARA. The Department of National Defence's recommendation that the assessment be referred back to COSEWIC for further investigation is based on these statements. Protection of the yellow sand-verbena could only result in enhanced protection for the sand-verbena moth. Therefore, referring the assessment back to COSEWIC is not warranted.

The Loggerhead Shrike excubitorides subspecies was assessed by COSEWIC as threatened. Comments concerning the shrike were received by Alberta Sustainable Resources Development. Alberta's Endangered Species Conservation Committee had reviewed the status of this species in the province and recommended a status of special concern in recognition of the relatively robust shrike population in Alberta. The province intends to create a management plan for shrikes that should satisfy the requirements of SARA.

The NWMB wrote to express its concern regarding the listing of Dolphin-and-Union caribou and the Porsild's bryum moss. The NWMB feels that listing Dolphin-Union caribou is not necessary because population is currently increasing and the threats mentioned in the COSEWIC report are speculative for this population. The board opposes listing Porsild's bryum based on inadequate information and high potential that other unidentified population exist.

Aquatic Species

In September 2004, Fisheries and Oceans Canada commenced consultation with Canadians on whether or not to add seven aquatic species to Schedule 1 of SARA. Consultations were facilitated through workshops, workbooks and other supporting documents, which were posted online on the SARA Public Registry and Fisheries and Oceans Canada Web sites. These documents were also mailed directly to other government departments, stakeholders, Aboriginal peoples and non-governmental organizations. Public sessions were conducted in communities, and additional meetings were held with interested or potentially affected individuals, organizations and Aboriginal peoples. Consultations were organized as efficiently as possible by grouping species by their geographical location and by using existing mechanisms, such as pre-scheduled recovery strategy workshops or regular industry consultation meetings.

Consultations on the listing of the yellow lamp mussel were conducted with the general public and interested stakeholders from September 15 to November 3, 2004. Thirteen of the twenty-nine consultation sessions and workshops targeted First Nation organizations. There are no identified harvests under Marshall Response Initiative or Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries, but a management plan will need to consider Aboriginal concerns and input. The Membertou First Nation has expressed the following position regarding this species: "Please be advised that the community of Membertou reserves the right to harvest this species pursuant to its constitutionally protected right to commercial fish as recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Marshall." Overall, the majority of those consulted were supportive of adding this species to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Opportunities for public comment on the proposed listing of the Rocky Mountain ridged mussel were provided between January and November 2004, primarily through a news release, letters to First Nation organizations and stakeholders. There was also a Web site notification where interested parties could submit comments or fill out a workbook questionnaire. No comments, inquiries or concerns were expressed about the listing of this species.

Fisheries and Oceans sent out 840 letters and questionnaires to stakeholder groups, individuals and 27 First Nation organizations located in impacted watersheds, requesting input to assist the Government in its decision on whether or not to add the round pigtoe to Schedule 1 of SARA. The Bait Association of Ontario questioned if the science justified the listing. Ten individuals supported the listing, but one correspondent also expressed concern about possible impacts on his activities and compensation. Farming organizations questioned what constitutes killing the pigtoe, how this species benefits the ecosystems and what the consequences to landowners will be. No response was received from the First Nation organizations.

In October and November 2004, Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducted a series of First Nation information meetings, open houses and stakeholder dialogue sessions on the proposed listing of the Steller sea lion, Harbour porpoise, grey whale and Rocky Mountain ridged mussel. Many fishermen questioned the recommendation to list the Steller sea lion based on their experience in sighting a high number of sea lions on their fishing trips. Participants also questioned why the grey whale is being proposed for listing when its populations appear to be increasing. Many were concerned about the cost of listing the species.

A consultation guide was created to inform the public about SARA and what this legislation implies, as well as the reasons for COSEWIC designating the St. Lawrence beluga as "threatened". This guide was published in October 2004 and distributed to the representatives of the different stakeholders (tourism industry, industrial associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, fishermen associations, First Nation communities, citizens groups and navigation associations). This guide was also posted on the SARA Public Registry, and advertisements were made in newspapers, to ensure access to all Canadians. Citizens that responded to the survey were supportive of the listing. Industrial and transportation associations were also generally supportive of the listing, but wanted to be involved in recovery planning and implementation.

In October and November 2004, Fisheries and Oceans Canada met with representatives of the coastal First Nation communities of Quebec (Seven Islands and Carleton) to discuss the potential listing of this species. Although these First Nation organizations did not object to the listing of the St.-Lawrence beluga, they did indicate that their ancestors had hunted this species for food.

In March, 2005, Deputy Ministers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec were requested to provide their government-wide positions on the listing of the seven aquatic species.

None of the provinces objected to the listing of the species. However, the Government of British Columbia indicated concern regarding whether or not the listing of the species will augment current management activities. As well, they indicated that the Government of Canada has yet to identify management actions that would be put into place as a result of the Listing.

Canada Gazette, Part I

Following initial consultations, the proposal to add species to Schedule 1 was pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I for a final, 30-day period of public review and comment on May 14, 2005.

Some comments were received from groups and individuals. The Canadian Bison Association, the member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, the Saskatchewan Bison Association, on behalf of the industry, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development for Alberta wrote to express support to the proposed recommendation to not add the plains bison to Schedule 1.

The New Brunswick government expressed objections to the listing of butternut based on the impracticality of prohibition enforcement, permitting and the complexities of identifying critical habitat.

The Nunavut Government requests that the decision to add Peary caribou to Schedule 1 be postponed until such time as the residents of Nunavut have been adequately informed on how this particular listing might impact their lives and hunting rights.

The Grise Fiord Hunters & Trappers Organization (HTO) and the Resolute Bay Hunters & Trappers Association (HTA) both responded negatively to the proposal to add Peary caribou to Schedule 1. Both groups argue that Peary caribou are being managed at the community level. The Grise Fiord HTO feels that more public education is needed about the implication for harvesting caribou. The Resolute Bay HTA is concerned that the recommendation was based on information from a limited portion of the species range.

The Wildlife Management Advisory Council (N.W.T.) expressed concerns that listing Peary and Dolphin-and-Union caribou would severely limit some communities' harvest of caribou. They pointed out that management plans they have put in place restricting the harvest of both of these populations should allow for their recovery.

No comments on the aquatic species were received following pre-publication of the proposed Order in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

After consideration of the results from consultations, analysis of biological and socio-economic impacts, and comments received during publication of proposed recommendations in the Canada Gazette Part I, the Minister of the Environment has recommended that the Porsild's bryum and the Dolphin-and-Union population of barren-ground caribou, as well as the Peary caribou and the plains bison, not be added to Schedule 1 of SARA, and the assessments for dwarf woolly-heads and polar bear be referred back to COSEWIC for further information and consideration. The explanations for these recommendations are outlined in the Alternatives section, above.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

A decision to list 39 of the species assessed as at risk by COSEWIC will ensure that they receive the full benefits of the protection and recovery measures established in the Species at Risk Act. This will result in overall benefits to the environment both in terms of the actual species protected and in terms of the conservation of Canada's biological diversity.

A decision not to list the plains bison at this time means that the prohibitions under the Act will not apply. When this species is found within the boundaries of national parks or other lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, the species will 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. Wild or semi-wild herds found in other areas would not be protected. Bison on federal lands that are not parks (for example, Department of National Defence lands) would not be protected except by consent of DND. Currently, such lands are not managed for bison conservation, and oil and gas exploration is actively occurring. It is recommended that activities be undertaken to support their recovery. In particular, measures should be taken to protect bison on federal lands where they are not already protected, and a recovery strategy should be developed and implemented as soon as possible. To help mitigate the decision not to list the plains bison, the federal government, in partnership with the owners of private plains bison herds and bison habitat, could continue to develop recovery measures, even without SARA's protection provisions, for both federal and non-federal lands.

Parks Canada has played a significant role in the recovery of plains bison and will continue to be a leader in the recovery and management of these animals. Among other recovery initiatives, the Elk Island National Park herd is the direct or indirect source for all plains bison herds in Canada, including the recent release of 50 bison at Old Man on his Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area in southern Saskatchewan. It will continue to be the primary source of plains bison for conservation and recovery efforts. As well, Grasslands National Park plans to re-introduce 50 to 75 yearlings and calves into an 18, 000 ha area of Grasslands National Park in the fall 2005. In addition, efforts are underway with multiple stakeholders and jurisdictions to create a cooperative and inter-jurisdictional Plains Bison Management Strategy for the population that is found in Prince Albert National Park and adjacent private and Provincial lands). Re-introduction of plains bison is currently planned in some national parks, and could also be planned and undertaken with innovative partnerships in other areas with suitable habitat. It should be noted, however, that after further consultations on the plains bison are completed, and depending upon the comments received, the Minister of the Environment may make a further recommendation to the Governor in Council on whether the species should be listed.

The decision not to add to Schedule 1 the Peary caribou and Dolphin-and-Union caribou population of barren-ground caribou and the Porsild's bryum at this time, pending further consultations with the NWMB and the Nunavut government, means that the mandatory development of management plans and other SARA provisions (such as those relating to project review) would not apply. Consequences of not listing the Peary caribou, barren-ground caribou (Dolphin and Union population) and Porsild's bryum would be that they would not be protected under SARA; consequently, recovery strategies, action plans and management plans would not be required, although they could be developed outside of SARA.

Referring the assessments of the dwarf woolly-heads and the polar bear back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration will mean a delay in adding these species to Schedule 1 if COSEWIC confirms that they are at risk. In the interim, the dwarf woolly-heads will not benefit from mandatory SARA prohibitions and recovery planning, while the polar bear will not benefit from mandatory management planning under SARA. Consequences of referring back the assessments of the polar bear and the dwarf woolly-heads would be that they would not be protected under SARA; consequently, recovery strategies, action plans and management plans would not be required, although they could be developed outside of SARA. Intensive management planning is currently underway for polar bears through the Polar Bear Technical Committee. However,the potential adverse effects resulting from a delay in recovery planning would be most significant for this species. When the polar bear and the dwarf woolly-heads are found within the boundaries of national parks of Canada or other lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, these species continue to be protected under the Canada National Parks Act or measures and management tools available to the Parks Canada Agency under other legislation.

Compliance and Enforcement

SARA promotes protection and recovery of species at risk by engaging Canadians in stewardship programs, and by giving landowners, land users and other stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the recovery process. Stewardship actions include the wide range of voluntary actions Canadians are taking to monitor species at risk and their habitats, recovery measures to improve the status of species at risk, and direct actions to protect species at risk.

Environment Canada, the Parks Canada Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada facilitate stewardship activities and promote compliance with SARA by producing promotional and educational materials, and by organizing educational activities. These materials and activities include, for example, the SARA Public Registry, an electronic information bulletin, posters, information sessions, engaging learning activities, Web features, curricula and other public education projects. As well, funding under the Habitat Stewardship Program is available for those groups or individuals wishing to undertake projects to protect and enhance important habitat.

At the time of listing, timelines apply for the preparation of recovery strategies, action plans or management plans. The implementation of these plans may result in recommendations for further regulatory action for protection of the species. It may draw on the provisions of other acts of Parliament, such as the Fisheries Act, to provide required protection.

SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including liability for costs, fines or imprisonment, alternative measures agreements, seizure and forfeiture of the proceeds of an illegal activity. SARA also provides qualified officers designated under the Act with inspections and search and seizure powers. Under the penalty provisions of SARA, 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 to a fine of not more than $50,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. In the case of a corporation found guilty of an indictable offence, it is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.

Certain activities affecting a listed species will require permits. Such permits can be considered only for research relating to the conservation of a species that is conducted by qualified scientists, for activities that benefit a listed species or enhance its chances of survival, or when affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of an activity. These exceptions can be made only when it is established that all reasonable alternatives to the activity have been considered and the best solution has been adopted, when all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity, and when the survival or recovery of the species will not be jeopardized by the activity.

Contacts

Renée Bergeron
Regulatory Analyst
Legislative Services
Program Integration Branch
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
E-mail: sararegistry@ec.gc.ca

Michelle Dyck
Regulatory Analyst
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6
E-mail: sararegistry@ec.gc.ca

Maryse Mahy
Project Manager
SARA Legislation and Policy
National Parks Directorate
Parks Canada Agency
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5
E-mail: sararegistry@ec.gc.ca

Appendix 1: Thirty-nine species for listing on Schedule 1, List of Wildlife Species at Risk, to the Species at Risk Act

TaxonSpecies
Endangered 
BirdsBobwhite, Northern
BirdsLark strigata subspecies, Horned
BirdsCrossbill percna subspecies, Red
AmphibiansSalamander, Small-mouthed
ReptilesSkink, Prairie
ReptilesTurtle, Spotted
MolluscsPigtoe, Round
ArthropodsMoth, Sand-verbena
PlantsPussytoes, Stoloniferous
PlantsCollomia, Slender
PlantsTonella, Small-flowered
PlantsButternut
PlantsTrefoil, Bog Bird's-foot
PlantsSandwort, Dwarf
PlantsOwl-clover, Rosy
PlantsSand-verbena, Pink
Threatened 
MammalsWhale, Beluga
St. Lawrence Estuary population
BirdsShrike excubitorides subspecies, Loggerhead
BirdsAlbatross, Short-tailed
BirdsShearwater, Pink-footed
ReptilesRattlesnake, Western
ArthropodsSkipper, Dakota
ArthropodsSkipperling, Poweshiek
LichensJellyskin, Flooded
Vascular PlantsBartonia, Branched
Vascular PlantsHackberry, Dwarf
TaxonSpecies
Threatened 
Vascular PlantsAster, Gulf of St. Lawrence
Vascular PlantsGentian, Victorin's
Special Concern 
MammalsBat, Spotted
MammalsPorpoise, Harbour
Pacific Ocean population
MammalsSea Lion, Steller
MammalsWhale, Grey
Eastern North Pacific population
MolluscsMussel, Rocky Mountain Ridged
MolluscsLampmussel, Yellow
Vascular PlantsLilaeopsis, Eastern
Vascular PlantsRush, New Jersey
Vascular PlantsWater-hemlock, Victorin's
MossesMoss, Columbian Carpet
MossesMoss, Twisted Oak

Footnote a

S.C. 2002, c. 29

Footnote 1

S.C. 2002, c. 29