When might I need a SARA permit?
Permits are required by anyone who wants to conduct an activity that would otherwise violate SARA’s prohibitions. SARA contains prohibitions against the killing, harming, harassing, capturing, taking, possessing, collecting, buying, selling or trading of individuals of endangered, threatened and extirpated species listed in Schedule 1 of the Act. The Act also contains a prohibition against the damage or destruction of their residences (e.g. nest or den).
These prohibitions apply to individuals of such SARA-listed species that are:
- found on federal lands in a province, or on lands in a territory under the authority of the Minister of the Environment or of the Parks Canada Agency;
- migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, anywhere they occur, including private lands, lands in a province and lands in a territory; and
- aquatic species anywhere they occur, including private lands, lands in a province and lands in a territory.
SARA also contains a prohibition against destroying any part of the critical habitat of any listed endangered or threatened species, or of any listed extirpated species if a recovery strategy has recommended its reintroduction, if:
- the critical habitat is on federal land, in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or on the continental shelf of Canada;
- the listed species is an aquatic species; or
- the listed species is a species of migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
For example, if you operate a business giving boat tours and are likely to encounter an endangered or threatened whale, you may require a permit.
Or, if you are a scientist and would like to conduct research on a listed species found on federal lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, you may similarly require a permit.
These are only two examples of when you may require and be eligible for a permit under SARA. If you are in doubt, please contact the local office of the department or agency responsible for issuing permits for the species concerned.
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