PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
North Pacific Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi) is an easily identified small shark, with spines in front of both dorsal fins. Until recently, this species was considered to be the same as Squalus acanthias in the Atlantic and south Pacific; however, a recent review has reclassified it as a separate species. The colouration is typically grey-brown with irregular white spots on sides and back.
This small shark is widely distributed in the north Pacific throughout the shelf waters of western Canada. An average of six pups are born every two years; the gestation period of 18-24 months is one of the longest known for any vertebrate, and the age of female sexual maturity (35 years) is one of the oldest. The species is subject to both targeted and bycatch fishing mortality. The species remains relatively abundant in Canadian waters, but low fecundity, long generation time (51 years), uncertainty regarding trends in abundance of mature individuals, reduction in size composition, and demonstrated vulnerability to overfishing are causes for concern.
Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”.
COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (September 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) from November 21 to 25, 2011 and from April 29 to May 4, 2012. On February 3, 2012, an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee of COSEWIC also assessed the status of the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). During the current reporting period COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 67 wildlife species.
For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern).
The wildlife species assessment results for the 2011-2012 reporting period include the following:
Special Concern: 15
Data Deficient: 2
Not at Risk: 6
Of the 67 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 49 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment (see Table 1a).