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Canadian Species at Risk (November 2003)

About COSEWIC

 

COSEWIC Mandate

Designations are made on native species for the following taxonomic groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, arthropods, molluscs, vascular plants, mosses, and lichens. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assesses the national status of wild species, subspecies, varieties, or other designatable units that are considered to be at risk in Canada.

COSEWIC membership

COSEWIC comprises members from each provincial and territorial government wildlife agency, four federal agencies (Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Federal Biosystematics Partnership, chaired by the Canadian Museum of Nature), three nonjurisdictional members and the co-chairs of the species specialist and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge subcommittees. The Committee meets to consider status reports on candidate species.

Definitions

The following definitions were reviewed by COSEWIC in May 2003:

Species   Any indigenous species, subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically distinct population of wild fauna and flora.

Extinct (X)   A species that no longer exists.

Extirpated (XT)   A species no longer existing in the wild in Canada, but occurring elsewhere.

Endangered (E)   A species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.

Threatened (T)  A species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.

Special Concern (SC)*   A species of special concern because of characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events.

Not at Risk (NAR)**     A species that has been evaluated and found to be not at risk.

Data Deficient (DD)*** A species for which there is insufficient scientific information to support status designation.

 


 

* Formerly described as "Vulnerable" from 1990 to 1999, or "Rare" prior to 1990.

** Formerly described as "Not In Any Category", or "No Designation Required."

*** Formerly described as "Indeterminate" from 1994 to 1999 or "ISIBD" (insufficient scientific information on which to base a designation) prior to 1994.