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.
The Black Swift is the largest swift in North America. Canada is home to over 80% of the population. It has an almost entirely blackish plumage, has long, pointed wings and is the only North American swift with a notched tail. As well as having many unusual life-history traits compared to other landbird species (single egg clutch, extended maturation, remote waterfall and cave-nesting sites), the Black Swift may be a sensitive indicator for climate change. This is because its waterfall nesting sites are likely to be impacted by decreased snow pack and glacial melt. The Black Swift feeds exclusively on flying insects.
Canada is home to about 80% of the North American population of this bird species. It nests in cliff-side habitats (often associated with waterfalls) in British Columbia and western Alberta. Like many other birds that specialize on a diet of flying insects, this species has experienced a large population decline over recent decades. The causes of the decline are not well understood, but are believed to be related to changes in food supply that may be occurring at one or more points in its life cycle. The magnitude and geographic extent of the decline are causes for conservation 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 (October, 2014 to September, 2015) from November 23 to November 28, 2014 and from April 27 to May 1, 2015. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species.
The wildlife species assessment results for the 2014-2015 reporting period include the following:
Special Concern: 21
Data Deficient: 1
Not at Risk: 1
Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 24 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same risk status as the previous assessment.
The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk.
Please submit your comments byMay 4, 2016, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 4, 2016, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website