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COSEWIC Annual Report 2004

Appendix VI

 

COSEWIC

Applications for Species Assessment

and Unsolicited Species Status Reports

May 2004

All of COSEWIC's actions are directed towards assessing the biological status of native wild species suspected of being at risk of extinction or extirpation across their range in Canada. COSEWIC uses the best available information relevant to assessing a species' risk of extinction or extirpation, which it may obtain from credible sources of knowledge of the species and its habitat. The evaluation process is independent and transparent, and the results are reported to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) and the Canadian public. COSEWIC is established under Section 14(1) of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and its assessments form the foundation for the legal List of Species at Risk under that legislation. Sections 21, 22 and 28 of SARA direct that COSEWIC will consider applications for the assessment of species and species status reports accompanied by applications for the assessment of species, subject to regulations. Any such application constitutes a request for assessment.

COSEWIC maintains and continually updates a Candidate List of species for commissioning Status Reports. Before preparing a request for assessment, potential applicants are asked to contact, via the COSEWIC Secretariat, the appropriate COSEWIC Species Specialist Subcommittee (SSC) or, in the case of a species not covered by any of COSEWIC's nine SSC's, the Chair of COSEWIC. Potential applicants will be advised concerning the estimation of threats to the species in question, the imminence of the threats, the species' current standing on COSEWIC's Candidate List for assessment, valuable sources of information, and other advice concerning the preparation of a request for assessment and/or status report.

 

Requests for Assessment

Scope of Applications

Applications to COSEWIC may consist either of:

  • a request to COSEWIC to consider a particular species for assessment, or;
  • a request to COSEWIC to consider a particular species for assessment accompanied by Species Status Report that has not been solicited by COSEWIC.

COSEWIC's approach to assigning status is, first, to examine a species as a whole. Only if deemed appropriate in cases where a single status designation for a species is not sufficient to accurately portray probabilities of extinction within the species will COSEWIC examine the status of entities below the level of species, be they subspecies, varieties, or geographically or genetically distinct populations (i.e. Designatable Units).

  • Requests for Assessment - A Request for Assessment application may propose an eligible species or Designatable Unit for assessment. A request for assessment of a subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically distinct population must contain a clear explanation of the validity of the Designatable Unit(s).
  • Species Status Reports - Unless specifically requested by COSEWIC, a Species Status Report must consider the whole of a species' occurrence within Canada. Should a Species Status Report propose separate status designations for putative Designatable Units within the species in question, the report must contain clear explanations of the validity of the Designatable Units.

Species' Eligibility

To be eligible for assessment, a species must meet certain criteria regarding taxonomic validity, native origin, regularity of occurrence, and dependence on Canadian habitat. COSEWIC normally only considers species and subspecies or varieties that have been established as taxonomically valid. They must be native to Canada, occur regularly in Canada (thus excluding vagrants), and require habitat in Canada for at least one key life history stage. Any case that is an exception to these rules must be justified with supporting information; this should normally be reviewed and agreed to by COSEWIC before a status report is prepared. Ineligible species (for example domestic, feral, or artificially introduced species of animals and plants, or bacteria and viruses which are specifically excluded by SARA) cannot be assessed by COSEWIC.

Imminence of Threat

Species for which the threat of extinction or extirpation is extreme (e.g., greater than 50% probability of loss within 10 years) and for which immediate action is required if the species is to survive may be subject to emergency assessment. If an emergency assessment is requested, a full justification for considering the threat to be extreme must be provided. A status report is not required to accompany a request for an emergency assessment but is recommended. Applicants who wish to request an emergency assessment are strongly urged to contact COSEWIC and the appropriate SSC Co-Chair beforehand to determine if the emergency assessment is warranted.

Justification for the Request and Sources of Information

An explication of why the species might be considered to be at risk is required. This should indicate the nature of the particular threats to the species, population and distribution trends of the species, evidence of decline, and other estimations of its status in Canada including General Status of Species in Canada rankings and provincial or territorial rankings, or other systems. If there is more information than can be contained in three pages of text, a species status report should be prepared. Sources for the information contained in the justification for the request, be they published literature, unpublished reports, personal observations, or the observations of others, must be listed.

Conflict of Interest

Applicants for Species Status Assessment and suppliers of Species Status Reports for COSEWIC must declare any conflicts of interest pertaining to the application for assessment and its possible outcome (Annex I). Failure to do so may cause applications and reports to be returned unreceived by COSEWIC.

Species Status Reports

A Species Status Report for COSEWIC is a comprehensive, fully documented technical compilation and analysis of the best available information on a species' status in Canada that indicates the threats to that species. A Species Status Report for COSEWIC must conform to the guidelines for preparation of Status Reports.

Waiver of Moral Rights and Permission to use Species Status Report

Authors and owners of Species Status Reports must grant permission to COSEWIC and to Environment Canada to use, edit, reformat, reproduce, modify, distribute, and share the Species Status Report and any subsequent revisions to that Report by the author. Authors furthermore must provide Environment Canada with a waiver of their moral rights to the Species Status Report. A separate waiver is required from each contributing author. The permission to use the Species Status Report and the waiver of moral rights enable COSEWIC and Environment Canada to treat the final COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report as a living document subject to periodic updates as may be required without having to specifically name the author of the original Species Status Report.

Accordingly, legal owners of a Species Status Report must sign a copy of Annex II (Permission To Use Species Status Report) and each author of a report must sign a copy of Annex III (Waiver of Moral Rights) . Failure to include signed copies of Annexes II and III with a Species Status Report that accompanies an Application for Assessment may cause the report to be returned unreceived by COSEWIC.

Employees of the Government of Canada who prepare Species Status Reports are not required to tender the permission in Annex II as the report is automatically the property of the Crown. Employees of a province or territory who prepare Species Status Reports may or may not be required to provide Annex II and should contact the COSEWIC Secretariat (cosewic/cosepac@ec.gc.ca). Author(s) who are government employees are, however, still required to sign the waiver in Annex III.

Completeness of Applications

An Application for Assessment that is incomplete cannot be considered by COSEWIC and will be returned. An application must contain:

  • A completed application form "Request for Assessment", signed and dated, that includes a justification for why the species may be at risk of extinction
  • Annex I (Conflict of Interest), completed and signed separately by all applicants

If the Application also includes a Species Status Report, it must also include:

  • A Copy of Annex II (Permission To Use Species Status Report), signed by all copyright owners (ordinarily the authors) with regards to the Status Report
  • Copies of Annex III (Waiver of Moral Rights) signed by each of the authors of the Status Report

An Application for Assessment that is complete but is accompanied by a Species Status Report that is not acceptable may be considered by COSEWIC only on its merits as a request for assessment of a particular species.

Submission of Applications

Applications for Assessment should be mailed to:

COSEWIC Secretariat
c/o Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H3
attn: the appropriate Species Specialist Subcommittee or the Chair of COSEWIC
(courier address: Vincent Massey Bldg., 4th floor - 351 St. Joseph blvd, Gatineau, Quebec, J8Y 3Z5) 

Process

Applications for Assessment, including Applications that are accompanied by an unsolicited Species Status Report, will initially be considered by the appropriate SSC or, in the case of a species not covered by one of COSEWIC's nine SSCs, an ad hoc subcommittee struck by the Chair of COSEWIC.

An Application for Assessment that is not accompanied by a Species Status Report may be forwarded to COSEWIC by the SSC or ad hoc subcommittee with a recommendation and may be received by COSEWIC for consideration at a Species Assessment Meeting. If accepted, the application will be referred to the COSEWIC Co-chairs subcommittee for placement on the COSEWIC Candidate List and assigned a priority level for commissioning a Status Report.

A Species Status Report that accompanies an Application for Assessment is first evaluated by the appropriate SSC or ad hoc subcommittee. A Status Report that is complete and in conformity to the guidelines for completion of Status Reports, as judged by the SSC or ad hoc subcommittee, will be subjected to review in compliance with normal COSEWIC procedure for all status reports. A valid Status Report will be forwarded to the relevant jurisdictions (including, as necessary, any relevant Wildlife Management Boards) and the COSEWIC ATK Subcommittee. Jurisdictions are allowed 6 months to review all reports prior to a COSEWIC Species Assessment Meeting. The report will be distributed to all members of COSEWIC two months prior to a Species Assessment Meeting accompanied by a copy of the Application, a Technical Summary prepared by the SSC or ad hoc subcommittee, and a recommendation from the SSC or ad hoc subcommittee. Throughout this review process, the author(s) of a Species Status Report may be asked to make editorial changes, add available information, and/or delete inapplicable sections of the report. Failure to comply with such requests may result in a report being deemed unacceptable.

The application and report will only be received for consideration by COSEWIC at a Species Assessment Meeting.

An Application for Assessment that is complete but is accompanied by an unsolicited Species Status Report that is incomplete or not in conformity to the guidelines for completion of status reports as judged by the SSC or ad hoc subcommittee, or is unaccompanied by a waiver of moral rights and a grant of permission to use the Species Status Report may be considered by COSEWIC as though only a Request for Assessment without a status report. In this case, the Species Status Report will be returned unreceived by COSEWIC. The Applicant will have the option either to proceed with the Request for Assessment without the Status Report or withdraw the Application in order to revise the report.

An Application for Assessment that requests an emergency assessment will be consigned to an ad hoc Emergency Assessment Subcommittee consisting of the Chair of COSEWIC, the appropriate Subcommittee Co-chair(s), and the relevant jurisdictional member(s) of COSEWIC. The Emergency Assessment Subcommittee will consider the imminence of the threats to the species and whether a status listing on an emergency basis is warranted. If the emergency listing is warranted, the Emergency Assessment Subcommittee will forward its recommendation to the federal Minister of Environment and advise COSEWIC. If the emergency listing is not warranted, the Application will be considered in the same manner as a regular request for assessment.

Outcomes

An Application for Assessment that is not accompanied by a Species Status Report or is accompanied by an unacceptable Species Status Report will either:

  • be accepted by COSEWIC and result in the species in question being placed on the Candidate List and assigned a priority level for commissioning a Species Status Report. Priority level will be determined by COSEWIC on advice from the appropriate SSC or ad hoc subcommittee, or;
  • be accepted by COSEWIC and result in the species in question being assigned a new level of priority for commissioning a species status report, or;
  • be rejected by COSEWIC.

An unsolicited Species Status Report that accompanies an Application for Assessment will either:

  • be accepted by COSEWIC and result in the species in question being assessed by COSEWIC at a Species Assessment Meeting, or;
  • be rejected by COSEWIC.

An Application for Assessment that requests an emergency assessment may either:

  • be accepted by the ad hoc Emergency Assessment Subcommittee and forwarded to the Minister of Environment with a recommendation, or;
  • be rejected by the ad hoc Emergency Assessment Subcommittee and considered in the same terms as an other request for assessment.

Applicants will be informed by COSEWIC of its decisions. For all rejected Applications and Status Reports, COSEWIC will indicate to the applicant the reason(s) for rejection. In these matters, COSEWIC's decision is final for any particular Application.

Additional Information on the COSEWIC Website (http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/index.htm):

Attachments:

Application Form "Request for Assessment" (Required for all applications)

Annex I: Declaration of Conflict of Interest (Required for all applications)

Annex II: Permission To Use Species Status Report (To accompany status reports only)

Annex III: Waiver of Moral Rights (To accompany status reports only)

 

Request for Species Assessment


Date of Application:_______________
Name(s) of applicant(s):
Address:
telephone, fax, email:

Status report: attached ∗ not attached ∗


Species (Scientific name, English and French common names):   

_____________________________________________________
                     
Species' Distribution
   Globally:

   In Canada:


Imminence of Threat:    extreme ∗    very high ∗    high ∗   moderate ∗    not known ∗ not applicable ∗

Is the threat of extinction or extirpation from Canada sufficiently grave as to warrant an emergency assessment ∗ yes ∗ no ?

Justification for Request for Assessment (maximum 3 pages)
(i.e. evidence of decline, threats to the species, other reasons to suspect the species is at risk of extinction or extirpation from Canada)

Sources of Information:

The applicant(s) attest that the information in this request for assessment is, to the greatest extent possible, accurate and true. Furthermore, if a Species Status Report is attached, the author(s) agree(s) that the status report may be reviewed and edited by COSEWIC and the corresponding Subcommittee Co-Chair, that the author(s) will receive no royalty or other compensation from the Government of Canada or from COSEWIC, and that the manuscript contains no matter that is libellous, invades individual privacy, or infringes upon any proprietary rights.

Signature(s): ________________________________________

 

 


Annex I

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

To accompany all applications


A separate copy of this form must be completed by each applicant.

Pursuant to the Request for Assessment of:

(species)____________________________________________________,

I, (name)________________________________, hereby declare any and all proprietary or commercial interest or conflicts of interest I may have that relate directly or indirectly to the subject of this application.

Details:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signature ___________________________

Date:_______________________________

 


Annex II

Permission To Use Species Status Report

To accompany submission of a status report

 

I/We _____________________________________________________ as legal owner(s) name(s)

of the intellectual property in the Species Status Report entitled

(Update) Status report on the ____________________________________ in Canada
                                                                    name of species

hereby grant permission to COSEWIC and to Environment Canada (EC) to use, edit, reformat, reproduce, modify, distribute, and share the Species Status Report, a copy of which is attached to this Permission, in whole or in part, in support of the COSEWIC species status assessment process.

I/we understand that EC will be using the Species Status Report to produce a COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report and future updates to this latter report. I/we also understand and agree the COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report and future updates shall be the intellectual property of EC and that I/we have no rights to them.

I am/we are submitting, with this Permission, waivers of Moral Rights from all authors who contributed to the Species Status Report.

Signature _____________________________

Name    ______________________________

Address _____________________________
______________________________
______________________________


Signature ______________________________

Name    ________________________________
Address ______________________________
______________________________
______________________________


Signature ______________________________

Name    ________________________________
Address ______________________________
______________________________
______________________________

Annex III

Waiver of Moral Rights

To accompany submission of a status report

A separate copy of this form must be completed by each author.

I _________________________________________________________ declare that I
name of author

have contributed to the creation or production of the Species Status Report entitled:

(Update) Status report on the ______________________________________ in Canada
                                                      name of species

(hereinafter referred to as the "Work") and briefly described as a report containing the best available information on the species status in Canada that will form the basis for a status assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). I recognize that:

__________________________________________________________________
name(s) of copy right owner(s)

is/are the lawful owner(s) of the copyright in the Work.

I am are fully aware that my moral rights, as defined by the Copyright Act, include a) the right of having my name associated with the Work, where reasonable in the circumstances; and b) the right to the integrity of the Work such as preventing the Work from being changed, corrected or amended.

I hereby waive in whole all moral rights which I may have in the Work in favour of the Government of Canada (Environment Canada), including the right to the integrity of the Work, the right to be associated with the Work in all contexts and in connection with all products and/or services.

For purposes of this Waiver, "Work" shall include without limitation all multimedia presentations, software, documentation, data, designs, reports, flowcharts, specification and source code listings, and of any related works, including any enhancements, modifications, or additions to the software and hardware products owned, marketed, or used by the Government of Canada.

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of

______________________       ______________________
Witness (signature)                      Author (signature)

______________________       ______________________
Name of Witness (printed)                Name of Author (printed)

______________________
Date