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COSEWIC Annual Report 2003

COSEWIC Annual Report - May 2003

 

ANNUAL REPORT TO

THE CANADIAN ENDANGERED SPECIES

CONSERVATION COUNCIL

(CESCC)

MAY 2003

COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS

OF

ENDANGERED WILDLIFE IN CANADA

(COSEWIC)


MARCO FESTA-BIANCHET

CHAIR



PREFACE

COSEWIC was given its mandate in 1976 by recommendation 6 of the 40th Federal-Provincial Wildlife Conference. In June, 1988, the Canadian Wildlife Directors directed COSEWIC to report to their Committee.

In March 1999 the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) released new Terms of Reference for COSEWIC.

COSEWIC determines the status in Canada of wildlife species whose future may be in doubt and releases to the public the information upon which the designation of status is based.

The twenty-sixth annual report of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada is herein provided to you, the Canadian Wildlife Directors' Committee, for your review and comment.

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Part 1

 

November 25-29, 2002 meeting

 

General Information

The fall, 2002, meeting of COSEWIC took place at the Cartier Place Suite Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario, chaired by Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet.

All members were in attendance. World Wildlife Fund Canada, Canadian Nature Federation and Canadian Wildlife Federation attended the meeting as continuing observers.

Workshop/Presentation/Special Meeting

On November 25 during the afternoon a Workshop entitled "Approaches to Status Assignments Below the Species Level" took place. All members were in attendance as well as a number of observers. Several presentations were made by members and invited guest speakers.

On November 26 in the evening, a meeting took place between members of COSEWIC as well as some observers at the Species Assessment Meeting, Lynda Maltby, director of the Species at Risk Branch of the Canadian Wildlife Service and two representatives of the Canadian Wildlife Directors' Committee (CWDC), Bruce Morgan, British Columbia and Steve Bowcott, Ontario. Marco Festa-Bianchet, chair of COSEWIC, was invited to attend part of a meeting of the CWDC during the week of February 10, 2003 in Victoria, British Columbia, to address mutual concerns with the CWDC as well as other issues which arose during the course of the Species Assessment Meeting held that week.

On November 27 in the evening, members/observers attended an interesting and informative presentation by Steve Carr on the "Use of Molecular Genetics to Identify Taxonomic Units".

Approval of Changes to Membership

It was decided that following public calls for membership in Species Specialist Subcommittees (with the exception, of course, of co-chairs) renewals/new member selections will be recorded in the minutes of the Co-chairs Subcommittee meeting and that it was not necessary for these changes to be provided to the full committee.

Note: A reallocation of responsibilities for the Plants & Lichens Specialist Subcommittee was announced. Erich Haber will be responsible for all vascular plants and René Belland will not only handle mosses but will also be responsible for lichens.

The following committee members were recommended for approval for a four-year term effective January 1, 2003:

Species Specialist Subcommittee co-chairs

Following a public call for members and submission by the chairs of Selection Committees of top candidates where there were more than one applicant, the members voted either by e-mail or at the full committee meeting with the following results:

Marty Leonard is the new co-chair of the Birds Specialist Subcommittee.
Gerry Mackie, renewed as co-chair for Molluscs of the Lepidopterans & Molluscs Specialist Subcommittee
Ron Brooks, renewed as co-chair of the Amphibians & Reptiles Specialist Subcommittee.

Non-government Member
Steve Carr, renewed.

Jurisdictional Members
Juanita Ptolemy, new alternate from British Columbia.
Gilles Seutin (formerly alternate), now member from Parks Canada.
Earl Wiltse, (member from Saskatchewan) announced he will no longer be the member.
Irene Bowman announced that she will be retiring from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and as COSEWIC member from Ontario).

The above membership changes/renewals are herein submitted for your recommendation to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC).

A schedule of renewal dates for jurisdictional members was circulated and Marco stated that this process needs to be clearly defined.

Organization and Procedures Manual - Version # 17

  • Steve Brechtel, outgoing chair of the Organization & Procedures Manual Working Group attended to present this version. Marco thanked Steve for his hard work and dedication to this task. The members of the working group, Michael Bradstreet, Ron Brooks, Joe Brazil and Ruben Boles, were also thanked.
  • Steve stated that the working group built on the work of many people, first Bob Campbell and then Theresa Fowler and for two and a half years tried to pull together existing practice, make improvements and put together a cohesive text.
  • Steve recommended that a permanent subcommittee be set up with least one jurisdictional member, one co-chair and one non-government member and someone from the Secretariat as ex officio allowing the manual to continue to evolve without taking up too much time at future meetings.
  • Michael Bradstreet was chosen as chair of the Organization & Procedures Manual Subcommittee which will include the following members: Ron Brooks, Jake Rice, Siu-Ling Han, Lynda Maltby and someone from the Secretariat as ex officio.
  • The subcommittee was charged to begin working under its Terms of Reference to monitor operations and procedures of COSEWIC, identify opportunities to improve efficiency and/or compliance with appropriate guidelines and policies and propose changes as appropriate.

Terms of Reference for COSEWIC

Some modifications to the Terms of Reference (ToR) were discussed and a further draft of the revised ToR was circulated after the meeting for review/comment by members.

Reports from Existing Ad Hoc Working Groups

a) Instructions to Authors Working Group (WG)

Gerry Mackie, chair, provided a revised draft for review along with eight motions which were approved. The WG will finish these Instructions for the spring, 2003 Species Assessment Meeting.

b) Intellectual Property (IP) WG

Ruben Boles gave a presentation on IP matters after which it was agreed that status reports will now undergo an additional step wherein the draft report will be revised by the report writer who will produce a "background report". A second contract will then be issued, possibly to the same individual who wrote the draft report, to produce the interim report.

c) Taxonomic Coverage within COSEWIC WG

Gerry Mackie, chair, provided a report following which it was recommended that a new Species Specialist Subcommittee (SC) be added to COSEWIC resulting from the separation of the current Lepidopterans and Molluscs SC into Molluscs as one separate SC and Lepidopterans being included in a new SC for Arthropods. This will create one additional vote and two additional co-chairs.

d) Guidelines for Data Deficient WG

Following discussion, David Green was charged to provide by e-mail appropriate wording for further review/comment.

New Ad Hoc Working Groups Established

a) Template for Technical Summary WG

David Green, chair and Gerry Mackie.

b) Habitat and Threats WG

Jake Rice, chair, Erich Haber, Gerry Mackie and Gina Schalk (Secretariat). It was suggested that this Working Group liaise with someone from the Recovery Secretariat as a succinct identification/reporting of threats is very important for recovery purposes. The Chair of COSEWIC and the Chair of RENEW (Lynda Maltby) are to meet to discuss how the two committees can better liaise.

c) Designatable Units WG

Gilles Seutin, Sherman Boates, Howard Powles, David Green, Suzanne Carrière, Jeff Hutchings, Mart Gross are to provide wording for the O & P Manual under guidelines for listing units below the species level. Marco suggested that this working group should liaise with the Ecozones Working Group.

d) Ecozones WG

Bob Campbell, chair, Maureen Toner, Rosemary Curley, Howard Powles, Gilles Seutin, Tom Jung, Andrew Trites or Hal Whitehead, Gerry Mackie, someone from the Secretariat, Mart Gross (unsure).

e) Criteria for Delisting WG

Dave Fraser, chair, Lucie Métras, Al Dextrase, David Green, Sherman Boates.

f) Long Term Planning WG

Jim Duncan, chair, René Belland, Suzanne Carrière, Tom Jung, Dave Fraser, someone from Secretariat.

Report from the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee.

Henry Lickers, interim Co-chair of the ATK Subcommittee advised as follows:

  • There was a good meeting with the Aboriginal Working Group (AWG)
  • It was decided to retain the word "Recovery" in the ATK Terms of Reference (ToR) because native groups feel that recovery is very important.
  • The AWG is looking across the country for people to serve on the ATK Subcommittee.
  • They are also trying to decide who will be other co-chair.
  • They think it is a good idea to meet with the WMBs, COSEWIC and the Recovery Secretariat.
  • The AWG hope that by the next meeting, they will have people who can provide advice - contacts within each major ecozone of Canada.

David Green added that reference to Recovery in the ToR of the ATK Subcommittee will allow them to obtain information about assessment and recovery all at once rather than contacting the elders twice).

Emergency Assessments

A request for an emergency status assignment for two populations of sockeye salmon. (Cultus Lake population and Sakinaw Lake population) was received. An emergency assessment subcommittee was struck comprised of Marco , Mart Gross, Richard Haedrich, Bob Campbell as co-chairs of the Marine and Freshwater Fishes Specialist Subcommittees, Howard Powles, Dave Fraser, Theresa Fowler as jurisdictional members and Henry Lickers from the Aboriginal Traditional Knowlege (ATK) Subcommittee because of the importance of salmon to native groups. The request was evaluated during a teleconference that first determined the eligibility and need for emergency assessment. The status of "endangered" was given to both populations on October 24, 2002. The assessments were based on two excellent reports prepared by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans and the Emergency Assessment Subcommittee commented on the good information provided. Mart Gross is having these reports converted to COSEWIC reports to be considered at the spring meeting in Whitehorse at which time they will be reassessed.

Request for Reassessment of four species from Ontario

Prior to the scheduled status assessments, Irene Bowman (member from Ontario) moved that COSEWIC reassess the following four species which were assigned status at the prior spring meeting of COSEWIC. At the prior meeting, no member was present from Ontario due to the provincial public service strike. Justifications were provided by Irene Bowman for each request but following discussion, COSEWIC decided not to reassess these species at this time and provided the following recommendations:

1) Climbing Prairie Rose
Recommendation - That Ontario provide to the Plants & Lichens Specialist Subcommittee an addendum or update report incorporating new information so that the species could come back as soon as possible (maybe at the spring 2003 meeting).

2) Lakeside Daisy
Recommendation: That the chair of the Plants & Lichens Specialist Subcommittee further discuss with Ontario the concerns addressed regarding this report.

3) Grey Fox
Recommendation: That the chair of the Terrestrial Mammals Specialist Subcommittee accelerate the process of revisiting this species.

4) Stinkpot
Recommendation: That Ontario discuss this matter further with the Amphibians and Reptiles Specialist Subcommittee.

Designations
See Appendix I.

Press Release
See Appendix II.

Other Business

Some discussion took place regarding the definition of observer status at a meeting indicating that anyone who is not a voting member or required secretariat staff is an observer. Marco suggested that the status of Lynda Maltby, director of the Species at Risk Branch (which includes the COSEWIC Secretariat) of the Canadian Wildlife Service should be normalized as "ex officio". There was general agreement with this but it was felt that some appropriate wording needs to be developed to be subsequently discussed and recommended for approval. Marco was charged to come up with some appropriate wording for further discussion.

Other Scheduled Meetings, Etc.

  • Marco was invited to meet with the CWDC February 12, 2003 in Victoria.
  • Marco and some members of COSEWIC will meet with the Fisheries Council of Canada and the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council in the afternoon of January 13, 2003 at Place Vincent Massey, Hull (Gatineau) to discuss some issues and concerns from these two organizations.
  • Marco to co-chair with Bob Stevenson a meeting of COSEWIC members and members of the AWG March 8, 2003 at the Odawa Centre in Ottawa to discuss the ATK Terms of Reference.
  • A Workshop with WMBs and COSEWIC to take place April 26-27, 2003 immediately prior to the next COSEWIC Species Assessment meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon. This workshop is scheduled as an opportunity to meet face to face to see how COSEWIC can continue to work together with WMBs.

Next Species Assessment Meeting

April 28 - May 2, Whitehorse.

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Part 2

 

April 28 - May 2 meeting

 

Special Note

The spring meeting of COSEWIC was preceded by a one and a half day workshop held April 26-27, 2003 attended by several members of COSEWIC and representatives of nearly all Wildlife Management Boards (WMBs). The workshop was informative and productive and was an important step in furthering the relationship of the committee with these boards. An Appendix setting out the details of this relationship was discussed and redrafted with the representatives of the WMBs and COSEWIC. A later draft of this Appendix will eventually become part of the Operations & Procedures Manual of COSEWIC.

General Information

The spring, 2003, meeting of COSEWIC took place at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon from April 28 to May 2, 2003 chaired by Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet.

All members were in attendance with the exception of Siu-Ling Han from Nunavut. Henry Lickers, interim co-chair of the ATK Subcommittee was also absent. Both members expressed regrets they were unable to attend due to illness.

Approval of Changes to Membership/Membership Renewals

Calls for membership were issued as the following members' terms would be expiring December 31, 2003.

The following incumbent members were the only applicants. They were considered and recommended by the Selection Committees for renewal:

Andrew Trites, co-chair, Marine Fishes Specialist Subcommittee
René Belland, co-chair, Plants & Lichens Specialist Subcommittee
Claude Renaud, co-chair, Freshwater Fishes Specialist Subcommittee
Marco Festa-Bianchet, co-chair, Terrestrial Mammals Specialist Subcommittee

The following members were renewed following a selection process whereby all applications were considered and evaluated by a Selection Committee. The top two candidates for each position were presented to COSEWIC and voted upon:

Michael Bradstreet, non government member
Richard Haedrich, co-chair, Marine Fishes Specialist Subcommittee.

The following other membership changes were provided:

Parks Canada
Alternate member , Parks Canada - Dr. Peter Achuff

Saskatchewan
New member - Jeanette Pepper (vacated by Earl Wiltse)
Alternate member - currently vacant (vacated by Dr. Rick Espie)

ATK Subcommittee
New interim co-chair - Larry Carpenter, Chair of the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (NWT), who was nominated by the Aboriginal Working Group in March, 2003.

The above new members attended this meeting.

The membership changes/renewals indicated above are herein submitted for your recommendation to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC).

A Working Group was struck to establish better guidelines for selecting among competing applicants. The following volunteered:
Marco Festa-Bianchet
Claude Renaud
Gerry Mackie
Marty Leonard
Steve Brechtel

Terms of Reference - COSEWIC

The revised Terms of Reference for COSEWIC were reviewed and discussed.

The revised Terms of Reference for COSEWIC are herein submitted for your recommendation to CESCC.
See Appendix III.

Terms of Reference - ATK Committee

Version # 16 of the draft Terms of Reference for the ATK Committee (which include the function of the ATK Subcommittee within COSEWIC) were discussed at the meeting of COSEWIC with the Aboriginal Working Group in March, 2003. These Terms of Reference were provided following the March meeting to Environment Canada for review and comment. Members reviewed this version and it was agreed that Marco would write a letter to the Aboriginal Working Group addressing specific concerns.

Report of the Co-chairs Subcommittee

The following key points were noted:
1. Schedule 2 Species (SARA)
The list of species was reviewed and co-chairs felt that the remaining species on this list could be reassessed within three years.

2. Confidentiality of Locality Data for Species at Risk
This matter was discussed and it was felt that with Access to Information that important information setting out precise locality information on species at risk should not be subject to general public access.
As currently there is nothing prohibiting release of this information, it was felt that this is a matter that needs to be addressed very soon. The Secretariat will look further into this matter.

3. Review of Status Reports by Jurisdictions
A first draft of a template to provide guidelines for reviewing status reports was discussed. The template will be further elaborated and will be submitted to COSEWIC for approval.

Nominating Committee for Election of Chair - Spring, 2004

The following members volunteered to comprise the Nominating Committee:
Jeff Hutchings (chair)
René Belland
Gilles Seutin
Al Dextrase
Lucie Métras (Secretariat)

Species Status Assignments

Members were reminded about confidentiality and asked following designation, to ensure the range of occurrence is confirmed, the criteria met are clearly stated and that the reasons for designation also point out any major areas of uncertainty.

See Appendix IV which includes the confirmation of the Emergency Designations of October, 2003 for the Sakinaw Lake and Cultus Lake, British Columbia, populations of the Sockeye Salmon.

Press Release

Marco Festa-Bianchet, Howard Powles, Richard Haedrich, Al Dextrase and Erich Haber volunteered to assist in the drafting of the press release, which was later reviewed by all COSEWIC members.
See Appendix V.

Operations & Procedures Manual

It was agreed that the manual be renamed Operations ( not Organization) & Procedures Manual . COSEWIC clarified that responsibility for the content and changes to the Operations & Procedures Manual is vested with COSEWIC. The O & P Subcommittee may incorporate minor changes but will consult COSEWIC for major changes requiring a 2/3 majority vote.

Ex Officio Membership

Following discussion by the members it was decided that no "ex officio" status would be given to the director of the Species at Risk branch of the Canadian Wildlife Service. Members stated that they will continue to welcome the director and all wildlife directors to COSEWIC meetings. However, the status of all non-COSEWIC members and alternates aside from COSEWIC Secretariat staff will continue to be observer status.

Strengthening the Relationship (COSEWIC - RENEW)

Following discussion, it was agreed that a Working Group be set up to look at the form, content and format of a document that would link species assessment with recovery. This Working Group would also look at the validity and appropriateness of the items requested by RENEW.

Linking COSEWIC with RENEW Working Group:
Marco Festa-Bianchet
Dave Fraser
Joe Brazil
Jim Duncan
Dick Cannings
Steve Brechtel
Lucie Métras, Secretariat.

Marco was tasked to contact the chair of RENEW on this matter.

Secretariat Work Plan and Budget

A working group was struck to review and comment on the draft Work Plan and Budget for 2003-2004 comprised of Gilles Seutin, Mart Gross, Bob Campbell and Erich Haber.

The finalized draft of the Work Plan & Budget was reviewed and approved.
See Appendix VI.

Candidate List

The co-chairs agreed to put together a candidate list selecting priority species for new reports along with justifications and will produce a document to be agreed on by COSEWIC for approval by e-mail.

Electronic Voting

It was decided that there will be electronic voting by COSEWIC at future meetings. The Secretariat will acquire the equipment for this.

Reassessments

The following was noted.
-Species listed as Not at Risk are reassessed only if re-prioritized
-Species listed as Data Deficient are reassessed after 10 years.

Instructions to Authors

Gerry Mackie, chair of the working group provided the revisions to the Instructions to Authors for review and comment.

A working group was struck to identify the issues related to unsolicited reports for the next meeting in the fall :

Gilles Seutin, chair
Marty Leonard
Maureen Toner

Conflict of Interest Guidelines

The revised draft was approved and it was agreed that it should go in the O & P Manual.

Designatable Units

The report of the Working Group was reviewed and comments made. It was particularly noted that the reference to species of "National Significance" will now be removed from the O & P Manual and also from reports.

It was agreed that a report author may suggest status assessments below the species level and discuss it with the appropriate Species Specialist Subcommittee, but that the authority of which units to recommend to COSEWIC for designation rests with the Species Specialist Subcommittee.

It was agree that the Working Group comprised of the following continue its work although the document will be incorporated "as is" in the O & P manual:
David Green, chair
Howard Powles
Jeff Hutchings
Steve Carr
Mart Gross
Gilles Seutin

Proposal for Arthropods Specialist Subcommittee

A document was submitted for review and approval and is presented herein for recommendation to CESCC.
See Appendix VII.

Ecozones

The Freshwater Fishes map and the Amphibians, Reptiles & Terrestrial Molluscs Map were submitted to be added to the existing Ecozones map of COSEWIC and contained within the O & P Manual.

Next Meetings

November 24-28, 2003, Ottawa
April 26-30, 2004, Port Rowan, Ontario

Joe Brazil, Newfoundland & Labrador, offered to host the spring 2005 Species Assessment Meeting at Gros Morne National Park.

Acknowledgments

Marco thanked the members, and particularly the Secretariat staff for their continued initiative, hard work, professionalism and support. Special thanks were given to Tom Jung and the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Branch for hosting a highly successful and smooth-running meeting in Whitehorse.

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix I.

 

COSEWIC Status Assessments, November 2002.

Results are grouped by taxon and then by status category. A reason for designation is given for each species. A short history of status designations follows. The Canadian range of each species (by province / territory / ocean) is provided.

Mammals

 
Northern Bottlenose WhaleHyperoodon ampullatusEndangered
 Scotian Shelf population
 Reason for Designation
 This population totals about 130 individuals and appears to be currently stable. Oil and gas development in and around the prime habitat of this population poses the greatest threat and will likely reduce the quality of their habitat. However, there is little information as to how this species is, or is not, affected by oil and gas development activities.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1996. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an existing status report with an addendum.
 
Polar BearUrsus maritimusSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 This very large carnivore plays a key role in Canada's Arctic ecosystem and is of tremendous importance to northern native peoples. The wealth of long-term information available for this species indicates that most populations appear stable. A few populations have declined, and corrective measures are being taken to reverse those trends. This species, however, has a slow reproductive rate and is highly vulnerable to overharvest of adult females. Its conservation is therefore heavily dependent on appropriate management strategies. Polar bears are also affected by climate change. In the southern part of their distribution, a trend towards longer ice-free seasons has affected their life history. Additionally, as top predators, the bears concentrate a number of pollutants in their bodies, which could increase mortality if the levels become toxic.
 OccurrenceYT NT NU MB ON QC NL 
 Status History
 Designated Not at Risk in April 1986. Status re-examined and uplisted to Special Concern in April 1991. Status re-examined and confirmed as Special Concern in April 1999 and in November 2002. Last assessment based on an existing status report with an addendum.
 

Birds

 
Long-billed CurlewNumenius americanusSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 The species is associated with prairie habitat that has declined and is projected to decline further. The global population is in decline.
 OccurrenceBC AB SK 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1992. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 

Reptiles

 
Eastern MassasaugaSistrurus catenatus catenatusThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 The Massasauga has undergone a large decline in distribution and abundance because of persecution by humans, mortality on the expanding road system in southern Ontario, loss of habitat via drainage of wetlands and destruction of hibernacula and fragmentation of habitat by roads. Recent efforts by the Recovery Team have reduced persecution by people, but expanding road systems, and cottage and urban development continue to reduce the range and abundance of this species.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1991. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 

Amphibians

 
Northern Leopard FrogRana pipiensSpecial Concern
 Western Boreal/Prairie populations
 Reason for Designation
 This species remains widespread but has experienced a severe contraction of range and loss of populations, particularly in the west. This has been accompanied by increased isolation of remaining populations, which fluctuate widely in size. The species is adversely affected by habitat conversion, including wetland drainage and eutrophication, game fish introduction, collecting, pesticide contamination, and fragmentation, which curtails recolonization and rescue of declining populations.
 OccurrenceNT AB SK MB 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1998. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an existing status report.
 
Western ToadBufo boreasSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 This species has suffered population declines and population extirpations, at least one of which is well documented. It is relatively intolerant of urban expansion and the conversion of habitat for agricultural use. Dependent upon oligotrophic and fishless ponds and small lakes for breeding, it is also sensitive to habitat deterioration, introduced exotic predators and competitors, and disease. This species remains widespread and locally abundant throughout most of its historic range in Canada despite its known vulnerabilities to urban expansion, conversion of habitat for agriculture, habitat deterioration, introduced exotic predators and competitors, and disease, all of which have severely reduced its abundance and range further south.
 OccurrenceYT NT BC AB 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Fishes

 
Benthic Enos Lake SticklebackGasterosteus sp.Endangered
 Reason for Designation
 These fish are restricted to a single, small lake on Vancouver Island and are experiencing severe decline in numbers due to deteriorating habitat quality and the introduction of exotics.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Original designation (including both Benthic and Limnetic species) was Threatened in April 1988. Split into two species when re-examined: the Benthic Enos Lake Stickleback was designated Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Limnetic Enos Lake SticklebackGasterosteus sp.Endangered
 Reason for Designation
 These fish are restricted to a single, small lake on Vancouver Island are experiencing severe decline in numbers due to deteriorating habitat quality and the introduction of exotics.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Original designation (including both Benthic and Limnetic species) was Threatened in April 1988. Split into two species when re-examined: the Limnetic Enos Lake Stickleback was designated Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Northern MadtomNoturus stigmosusEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This species has a very restricted Canadian range (two extant locations), which is impacted by deterioration in water quality and potential negative interactions with an exotic species. One population (Sydenham River) has been lost since 1975.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Examined in April 1993 and placed in the Data Deficient category. Re-examined in April 1998 and designated Special Concern. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an existing status report with an addendum.
 
Pugnose ShinerNotropis anogenusEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 The Pugnose Shiner has a limited, fragmented Canadian distribution, being found only in Ontario where it is subject to declining habitat quality. The isolated nature of its preferred habitat may prevent connectivity of fragmented populations and may prevent gene flow between existing populations and inhibit re-colonization of other suitable habitats. Two out of five localities have been lost.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1985. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Salish SuckerCatostomus sp.Endangered
 Reason for Designation
 The Salish Sucker has a very restricted Canadian range within which populations are in decline as a result of habitat loss and degradation resulting from urban, agriculture and industrial development.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in April 1986. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Speckled DaceRhinichthys osculusEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 The Speckled Dace has a very restricted Canadian range where it is subject to deteriorating water quality as a result of urban and industrial development, as well as to loss of preferred habitat and fragmentation due to construction of a proposed dam.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1980. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
BocaccioSebastes paucispinisThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 A combination of low recruitment and impact by harvest has resulted in severe declines and low spawning abundance of this Canadian species.
 OccurrencePacific Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Bering WolffishAnarhichas orientalisData Deficient
 Reason for Designation
 Information to establish any COSEWIC risk category with assurance is not available. Data on distribution, abundance and specific habitat, including any observed changes over time, are especially needed.
 OccurrenceArctic Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1989. Status re-examined in November 2002 and changed to Data Deficient. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 

Molluscs

 
Puget Oregonian SnailCryptomastix deviaExtirpated
 Reason for Designation
 In Canada, the species was known previously (1850 - 1905) from only three old records from Vancouver Island and southwestern mainland of British Columbia. In spite of surveys of 38 forested localities in 1986 and 450 localities since 1990 for terrestrial gastropods and 142 localities specifically to locate C. devia (total of about 110 person hours) no specimens have been found. Regions in which known localities for C. devia were said to have occurred have been heavily impacted by urbanization and agricultural use.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Extirpated in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Lake WinnipegPhysa SnailPhysa sp.Endangered
 Reason for Designation
 Populations of this Canadian endemic are confined to Lake Winnipeg where there are continuing declines in extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and extent of habitat due to habitat alteration, human disturbance and quality of habitat. Evidence suggests that nutrients and contaminants from sewage lagoons, industries, waste storage facilities and/or landfills are contributing to the declines.
 OccurrenceMB 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Oregon ForestsnailAllogona townsendianaEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 The species is restricted to a very small area of the extreme southwestern British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. Populations are severely fragmented with continuing declines observed in extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and area, extent and quality of habitat due mainly to urban development. Even though there may be other locations, the species is still very uncommon.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Plants

 
Forked Three-awned GrassAristida basirameaEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 Few disjunct and fragmented populations found in very small habitats within populated areas subject to further habitat disruption and loss through activities such as sand extraction, recreational use and urban development.
 OccurrenceON QC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Small-flowered LipocarphaLipocarpha micranthaEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 A disjunct species occurring in only three sites with the largest population at risk from potentially significant habitat and population losses.
 OccurrenceBC ON 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1992. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Small-flowered Sand-verbenaTripterocalyx micranthusEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 An annual of a few widely dispersed sand hill habitats where populations occupy very small sites and consist of low numbers that fluctuate greatly with precipitation levels.
 OccurrenceAB SK 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1992. Re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Streambank LupineLupinus rivularisEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 A highly restricted species with very few populations extant and extremely low numbers of plants remaining. Populations are all close to industrial and other development and at risk from impacts such as habitat loss, herbicide spraying, predation by exotic slugs and subject to genetic swamping through hybridization with a non-native lupine species.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Common HoptreePtelea trifoliataThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 A species of restricted range in Canada and small population size occurring primarily along sandy shoreline habitats. It has experienced substantial losses at some sites from cottage land development, damage to habitats by increasing numbers of nesting cormorants and other unknown factors. A newly recognized potential threat of unknown impact is posed by a recently discovered twig-boring beetle, which is causing damage to flowers and large portions of the tree crown.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1984. Status re-examined and uplisted to Threatened in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Van Brunt's Jacob's LadderPolemonium vanbruntiaeThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 Few extant populations occupying very small habitats at risk from agricultural impacts, logging and other development pressures, and recreational activities.
 OccurrenceQC 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1994. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Western SpiderwortTradescantia occidentalisThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 A perennial restricted to four disjunct sand dune habitats where the species is at risk from invading leafy spurge, cattle grazing and dune stabilization.
 OccurrenceAB SK MB 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1992. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
White Wood AsterEurybia divaricataThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 Geographically restricted and fragmented populations at risk from continued habitat loss, invasive species, deer browsing and recreational activities impacting populations along trails.
 OccurrenceON QC 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1995. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 

Mosses

 
Macoun's Shining MossNeomacounia nitidaExtinct
 Reason for Designation
 This robust, conspicuous moss belongs to a monotypic genus, endemic to Canada. It was first found in 1864 in elm and cedar swamps near Belleville, and has only ever been known from those original collections. The original site had been cleared by 1892, and the species has never been found again despite searches in 1972 and 2001.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Extinct in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Incurved Grizzled MossPtychomitrium incurvumExtirpated
 Reason for Designation
 A small moss that is widely distributed in the eastern deciduous forests of eastern North America, and whose frequency of occurrence attenuates toward the northern portion of its range. In Canada, the only known location for the species is a single record from a boulder in southern Ontario in 1828. Despite many years of collection made in the region, the species has never been rediscovered.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Extirpated in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Margined Streamside MossScouleria marginataEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This moss is a large, showy species that occurs just above water's edge along small montane streams. A rare North American endemic, its northern-most and single occurrence in Canada is in southern British Columbia. Although the species was not relocated at this station in recent surveys, the species may be present in nearby watersheds.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Silver Hair MossFabronia pusillaEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 Silver hair moss is a small species that typically grows among other mosses as an epiphyte on trees. In Canada, it is known from two locations: one that is now submerged, and a second associated with a cliff in southwestern British Columbia. The latter is the northernmost location for this species. Although the species was not relocated at its extant site during recent surveys, the expanse of available habitat at the only known sites combined with small stature of the moss, suggest that the species may still be present in Canada.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Lichens

 
Flexuous Golden StubbleChaenotheca servitiiData Deficient
 Reason for Designation
 A globally rare stubble lichen. In Canada, it has been found only once, on a decomposing yellow birch log in an old growth forest stand in Nova Scotia. In Europe, it is known from only three sites, and no longer occurs at one of these sites. More information and study are required.
 OccurrenceNS 
 Status History
 Designated Data Deficient in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Red Oak StubblePhaeocalicium minutissimumData Deficient
 Reason for Designation
 A tiny fungus parasitic on red oak that is related to genera that resemble or are parasitic on lichens. It is known from four localities worldwide, all from northeastern North America, but turns up about once in every five red oak stands in which it is sought. Its extreme small size (fruiting stalks less than 0.5 mm tall, and barely visible thallus) makes it highly likely that it has been overlooked.
 OccurrenceQC NB 
 Status History
 Designated Data Deficient in November 2002. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Note: The report on the Frosted Glass-whiskers (Sclerophora peronella) was withdrawn for inclusion of additional information. The report on the Anatum Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) was withdrawn so that a combined report for all Peregrine Falcons in Canada could be brought to COSEWIC at a later date.

 

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix II

 

COSEWIC Logo

 

COSEWIC adds to Canada's list of Species at Risk

Ottawa, November 29, 2002 - Eleven species, including the Oregon Forestsnail and the Silver Hair Moss have been added to the Canadian list of Species at Risk following scientific assessments completed this week by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

There are now 415 species in various risk categories on the list, including 141 that are Endangered, 99 that are Threatened, and 142 species of Special concern. In addition, 21 species are Extirpated (no longer found in Canada), and 12 Extinct.

The Scotian Shelf population of the Northern Bottlenose Whale was uplisted to Endangered. The estimated population of these whales, which are mainly found in an underwater canyon in the Atlantic Ocean known as "the Gully" off the coast of Nova Scotia, totals about 130 individuals. Northern Bottlenose Whales are known as one of the "friendliest" species of whales, often coming right up to boats that sail into their habitat. This friendliness made them an easy target for whalers, who actively hunted the species until the mid 1960s. The Northern Bottlenose Whale, a beaked whale, is one of the deepest divers of all mammals, regularly diving to depths below 1,000 metres.

The Scotian Shelf population of the Northern Bottlenose Whale is threatened by oil and gas exploration and development in and around its prime habitat near Sable Island. Beaked whales elsewhere have perished because of loud underwater noises associated with undersea exploration and military exercises.

COSEWIC assessed 31 species during its five-day meeting in Ottawa. Assessments on two additional species were deferred. Fifteen species were assessed for the first time. Of these, the Oregon Forestsnail, the Lake Winnipeg Physa Snail, the Streambank Lupine and the Forked Three-awned Grass were added to the list in the Endangered category, which is the highest category of risk for species still present in Canada.

Seven of the species that were re-assessed were uplisted to a higher category of risk, including three freshwater fishes (the Pugnose Shiner, the Speckled Dace, and the Northern Madtom) and three plants (the Small-flowered Lipocarpha, the Common Hoptree, and the Small-flowered Sand-verbena).

The Macoun's Shining Moss was designated Extinct. Its only documented site was deforested in 1892, and it has never been found again. Two species have been determined to be Extirpated from Canada: the Puget Oregonian Snail, from southwestern British Columbia, and the Incurved Grizzled Moss, from southern Ontario.

"COSEWIC has recently devoted much time and energy to reassessments of Threatened and Endangered species," said committee chair Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet," and we are now ready for the government's proposed Species at Risk legislation."

COSEWIC is an independent organization of wildlife experts that uses the best information available to determine the level of risk of extinction for Canada's wildlife species. Since the committee was formed 25 years ago, it has completed 589 species assessments. COSEWIC is composed of government and non-government members, members from academic institutions, and one member with expertise in Aboriginal traditional knowledge. COSEWIC will hold its next meeting in the Yukon in the spring of 2003, the first time the Committee will meet North of 60.

Definition of COSEWIC terms and risk categories

Species: Any indigenous species, subspecies, variety or geographically defined population of wild fauna and flora.
Population: A geographically or otherwise distinct group of plants or animals that has little demographic or genetic exchange with other such groups.
Extinct: A species that no longer exists.
Extirpated: A species no longer existing in the wild in Canada, but occurring elsewhere.
Endangered: A species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
Threatened: A species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.
Special Concern: Those species that are particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events but are not endangered or threatened species.
Not at Risk: A species that has been evaluated and found not to be at risk.
Data Deficient: A species for which there is insufficient scientific information to support status designation.

For further information, contact:

Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet
Chair, COSEWIC
(819) 563-6226
(819) 821-8000 (Ext. 2061)
Marco.Festa-Bianchet@usherbrooke.ca

Inquiries on the Northern Bottlenose Whale should be directed to:

Dr. Hal Whitehead
Co-chair, Marine Mammal Specialist Sub-committee
(902) 479-1861
hal.whitehead@dal.ca

Inquiries on mosses should be directed to:

Dr. René Belland
Co-chair, Plants and Lichens Species Sub-committee
(780) 987-3054
rene.belland@ualberta.ca

General inquiries:
COSEWIC Secretariat
(819) 997-4991
www.cosewic.gc.ca

Note to members of the media: Dr. Festa-Bianchet, Dr. Belland and Dr. Whitehead will be in transit Friday afternoon November 29, but will return calls and e-mail messages late in the afternoon or in the early evening.

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix III

Revised May 27, 2003
(with new text bolded)

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF

ENDANGERED WILDLIFE IN CANADA

(COSEWIC)

 

Role:

To assess the conservation status of species that may be at risk in Canada, to report the results of its assessments, including their reasons and uncertainties, to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) and to the Canadian public. COSEWIC uses the best available scientific, Aboriginal and community knowledge to assess species. The assessment process is independent and transparent.

Context:

On behalf of the CESCC, the Canadian Wildlife Directors Committee provides general direction to COSEWIC on matters of organization and procedures, such as membership, structure and criteria. Within this framework, COSEWIC's assessments are carried out and reported in an independent and transparent manner. To determine candidate species for assessment, COSEWIC uses, among other sources of information, the evaluations provided by the National General Status Working Group. COSEWIC documentation is provided to the National Recovery Working Group as a starting point for recovery planning.

Structure and Composition:

COSEWIC includes scientific experts in conservation biology, ecology, taxonomy, wildlife management, stock assessment, population biology, Aboriginal or community knowledge, and related fields. It is composed of experts from each of the provinces and territories (1 each for a total of 13), one from each of four federal agencies/departments (CWS, DFO, Parks Canada, and the Museum of Nature on behalf of the Federal Biosystematics Partnership), their alternates, the Co-Chairs of the Species Specialist Subcommittees, the Co-Chairs of the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee and three Non-government scientific experts. All members are appointed under federal legislation to four-year, renewable terms. Details of member selection are provided in Annex 1. The Chair of COSEWIC is a two-year appointment elected by COSEWIC from among its members by secret ballot.

Species Specialist Subcommittees- Species Specialist Subcommittees (SSCs, Annex 2) include two Co-Chairs and a minimum of five members. They develop status reports for COSEWIC assessments. The need for new Species Specialist Subcommittees is assessed by COSEWIC in consultation with CESCC.

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee- The Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee facilitates the incorporation of Aboriginal traditional knowledge into the COSEWIC status assessment process. It is led by two Co-Chairs, selected by the Subcommittee from among its members.

Co-Chairs Subcommittee - The COSEWIC Co-Chairs Subcommittee includes the Co-Chairs of the Species Specialist and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittees, and is chaired by the chair of COSEWIC. It deals with technical aspects of the work of the SSCs and provides advice on such matters to COSEWIC.

Emergency Assessment Subcommittee- The Chair of COSEWIC may set up an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee to deal specifically with a request for Emergency Assessment. An Emergency Assessment Subcommittee includes the Chair of COSEWIC, COSEWIC members from the species' range jurisdictions, the Co-Chairs of the appropriate SSC and other COSEWIC members at the Chair's discretion. The Subcommittee assesses the available evidence and may classify the species into an appropriate risk category. As soon as possible, a report on the species will be examined by COSEWIC at a Species Assessment Meeting and the species will be re-assessed.

Operations and Procedures Subcommittee- This Subcommittee is composed of COSEWIC members and updates the COSEWIC Operations and Procedures Manual as requested by COSEWIC. All substantive changes to the Manual must be approved by COSEWIC.

Secretariat - Administration services and technical support will be provided by a Secretariat funded and staffed by the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Mode of Operation:

Assessments are made on the basis of the best available biological information, including scientific, Aboriginal and community knowledge.

COSEWIC will be guided by the precautionary approach as set out in the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada.

COSEWIC meets at least once a year. Quorum is two thirds of the voting membership.

COSEWIC develops its own operations and procedures, including the creation of subcommittees and working groups, recognizing its accountability to the Canadian Wildlife Directors Committee.

Assessment decisions are made on the basis of consensus whenever possible. When unanimity is not possible, decisions are based on a two-thirds majority vote.

COSEWIC provides to CESCC and to the public the complete reasons for each status assessment and identifies any uncertainties noted during the assessment.

The Chair of COSEWIC may seek advice from appropriate members on any issue of concern to COSEWIC.

Functions:

COSEWIC

To review and approve candidate and priority lists of species for assessment as submitted by the Co-Chairs Subcommittee.

To assess the status of species using accepted criteria and definitions.

To report its assessments and findings to the CESCC, and to publish its assessments and status reports.

To develop and periodically review scientific definitions, guidelines, standards and criteria to assess the status of wildlife species, to forward them to CESCC for endorsement and to publish them.

To review plans, annual reports, budgets, and activities of COSEWIC and its Subcommittees.

To establish working groups to deal with specific issues.

To provide direction to the Secretariat.

To prepare an annual report of all COSEWIC activities.

To receive unsolicited reports that have been reviewed by the appropriate SSC.

Species Specialist Subcommittees

To establish, with input from the Co-Chairs Subcommittee, priority lists of species to be assessed.

To commission status reports on eligible candidate species.

To review unsolicited reports and ensure that they meet the standards of commissioned reports.

In cooperation with COSEWIC members from range jurisdictions, wildlife management boards and outside experts, to review draft status reports to ensure accuracy, completeness, quality of analysis and application of relevant listing criteria.

To recommend a status to COSEWIC.

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee

[The roles and functions of the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommitee are currently being developed.]

Co-Chairs Subcommittee

To recommend priorities for assessments within and among each taxonomic group.

To establish guidelines for the selection of competing bids for status reports, the drafting of status reports, and for the assessment of the quality and suitability of unsolicited reports.

To undertake actions requested by COSEWIC.

To provide advice to COSEWIC on matters related to the work of SSCs.

Secretariat

To provide administrative services, such as organizing and servicing meetings.

To provide administrative and technical support to subcommittees.

To administer financial support for status reports.

To maintain financial records.

To maintain files, records and other archival materials.

To disseminate information to the public, including the publication of status reports in both official languages.

Responsibilities

Members

To perform their duties in an independent manner.

To attend COSEWIC meetings, including Emergency Assessment meetings as requested by the Chair.

To review draft and interim status reports and contribute to status assessment deliberations to the best of their knowledge and ability.

For jurisdictional members, to advise writers of status reports of known sources of information, suggest species for the priority list and for status reports, guide report writers to appropriate contacts within their jurisdictions, review draft and interim reports, and provide regional expertise on the status of, and threats to species within their jurisdiction.

Chair

To ensure that meetings proceed in an orderly fashion maintaining the principles of independence, transparency, and scientific integrity upon which COSEWIC is based.

To head the Co-Chairs subcommittee.

To initiate Emergency Status Assessments.

To serve as contact person and spokesperson to CESCC, news media, and the general public.

Observers

At the discretion of the Chair, observers may attend COSEWIC meetings with advance special permission if their presence assists COSEWIC in fulfilling its mandate. Observers will maintain confidentiality over the proceedings and decisions of COSEWIC.

 

ANNEX 1

Selection of COSEWIC membership:

Species Specialist Subcommittee Co-Chairs and Non-government experts are recommended to CESCC by COSEWIC after an open competition. SSC members are selected by the SSC through an open competition. Jurisdictional members are recommended by their jurisdiction to the CESCC. All jurisdictional members of COSEWIC have one Alternate, also recommended by their jurisdiction. Alternates are members of COSEWIC. The Co-Chairs of the ATK Subcommitee are recommended to the CESCC by COSEWIC following nomination by appropriate aboriginal organizations.

 

ANNEX 2

COSEWIC Species Specialist Subcommittees:

There are nine* Species Specialist Subcommittees representing birds, terrestrial mammals, freshwater fishes, marine fishes, marine mammals, plants and lichens, amphibians and reptiles, molluscs and arthropods.*

* COSEWIC received approval from the Canadian Wildlife Directors in May 2003 to replace the previous Lepidopterans and Molluscs Specialist Subcommittee with a new Arthropod Specialist Subcommittee and a Molluscs Specialist Subcommittee. All lepidopterans will henceforth be considered by the new Arthropods Specialist Subcommittee.

 

ANNEX 3

COSEWIC Membership and voting structure:

Members of COSEWIC include 3 Non-government experts, 18** Co-Chairs of Species Specialist Subcommittees, 2 Co-Chairs of the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee, one Member and one Alternate of the following Federal Agencies: Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, and the Canadian Museum of Nature on behalf of the Federal Biosystematics Partnership. There are one Member and one Alternate from each of the following Provincial and Territorial agencies:
Yukon: Department of Environment
Northwest Territories: Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development
Nunavut: Department of Sustainable Development
British Columbia: Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
Alberta: Department of Sustainable Resource Development
Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Environment
Manitoba: Manitoba Conservation
Ontario: Ministry of Natural Resources
Québec: (1) Société de la Faune et des parcs du Québec (for animals) and (2) Ministère de l'Environnement (for plants, mosses and lichens)
New Brunswick: Department of Natural Resources and Energy
Nova Scotia: Department of Natural Resources
Prince Edward Island: Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Environment
Newfoundland and Labrador: (1) Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation (for plants and animals except saltwater fishes) and (2) Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (for saltwater fishes)
There are 30**voting members: the 3 Non-government experts, 1 Co-Chair for each of the 9** Species Specialist Subcommittees, 1 Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee, 1 for each of the 4 Federal agencies and 1 for each of the 10 provinces and 3 territories.

** One each of the Co-chairs of the previous Lepidopterans and Molluscs Specialist Subcommittee will become a Co-chair of the Arthropods Specialist Subcommittee and the Molluscs Specialist Subcommittee, respectively. A call for applications for the remaining two Co-chair positions and any additional members that may be required by the two subcommittees is planned for the fall of 2003.

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix IV.

 

COSEWIC Status Assessments, May 2003.

Results are grouped by taxon and then by status category. A reason for designation is given for each species. A short history of status designations follows. The Canadian range of each species (by province, territory and ocean) is provided.

Mammals

 
North AtlanticRight WhaleEubalaena glacialisEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 The species, found only in the North Atlantic, was heavily reduced by whaling. The total population currently numbers about 322 animals (about 220-240 mature animals), has been decreasing during the last decade, and is experiencing high mortality from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. A sophisticated demographic model gives an estimated mean time to extinction of 208 years.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 The Right Whale was considered a single species and designated Endangered in 1980. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1985 and in April 1990. Split into two species in May 2003 to allow a separate designation of the North Atlantic Right Whale. North Atlantic Right Whale was designated Endangered in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Sei WhaleBalaenoptera borealisEndangered
 Pacific population
 Reason for Designation
 This was one of the most abundant species sought by whalers off the British Columbia coast (with over 4000 individuals killed) and was also commonly taken in other areas of the eastern North Pacific. Sei whales have not been reported in British Columbia since whaling ended and may now be gone. There are few, if any, mature individuals remaining in British Columbia waters; and there is clear evidence of a dramatic decline caused by whaling and no sign of recovery.
 OccurrencePacific Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Townsend's MoleScapanus townsendiiEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 There are only about 450 mature individuals in a single Canadian population with a range of 13 km², adjacent to a small area of occupied habitat in the USA. Threats to the population include trapping by pest removal companies and property owners. The habitat has been degraded through fragmentation and urbanization. There is no evidence of decline over the last 10 years. It is uncertain whether immigration across the international border may rescue the Canadian population.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1996. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
WolverineGulo guloEndangered
 Eastern population
 Reason for Designation
 There have been no verified reports of this species in Québec or Labrador for about 25 years but there are unconfirmed reports almost every year. Any remaining population would be extremely small and therefore at high risk of extinction from stochastic events such as incidental harvest. The apparent lack of recovery despite the recent high local abundance of caribou suggests that this population may be extirpated.
 OccurrenceQC NL 
 Status History
 Canadian range considered as one population in April 1982 and designated Special Concern. Split into two populations in April 1989 (Western population and Eastern population). Eastern population was designated Endangered in April 1989 and confirmed in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Humpback WhaleMegaptera novaeangliaeThreatened
 North Pacific population
 Reason for Designation
 Heavily reduced by whaling, the North Pacific population seems to have regrown over the last decades, and anecdotal information from British Columbia suggests that numbers are increasing. However, there is considerable population segregation, and the number of animals that use British Columbia waters is probably in the low hundreds. The high-level of feeding ground fidelity suggests that if animals are exterminated from a particular area, it is unlikely that the area will be rapidly repopulated from other areas. Two extirpated British Columbia populations have shown no sign of rescue. Humpbacks are occasionally entangled in fishing gear in British Columbia, though the number entangled is not thought to threaten or limit the population. In summary, humpback whales in British Columbia appear to be well below historical numbers and have not returned to some portions of their former range.
 OccurrencePacific Ocean 
 Status History
 The "Western North Atlantic and North Pacific populations" were given a single designation of Threatened in April 1982. Split into two populations in April 1985 (Western North Atlantic population and North Pacific population). North Pacific population designated Threatened in 1985. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Harbour PorpoisePhocoena phocoenaSpecial Concern
 Northwest Atlanticpopulation
 Reason for Designation
 Harbour porpoise are widely distributed and can be divided into three populations that summer in the Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy, the Gulf of St Lawrence, and Newfoundland-Labrador. Many animals (probably thousands and perhaps a significant proportion of the population) die each year due to incidental capture in fisheries. Reduced fishing for groundfish may have lowered bycatch, but the benefits to porpoise, if any, need to be quantified. Management plans to reduce bycatch are only in place in the Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy. Harbour porpoise can be excluded from important habitat by acoustic harassment devices associated with aquaculture.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1990. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1991. Downlisted to Special Concern in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
WolverineGulo guloSpecial Concern
 Western population
 Reason for Designation
 Estimated total population size exceeds 13,000 mature individuals. Declines have been reported in Alberta and parts of British Columbia and Ontario. A distinct subspecies may be extirpated from Vancouver Island. Many pelts used locally are not included in official statistics, and harvest levels may be underreported. There is no evidence, however, of a decline in harvest. There are no data on overall population trends other than those provided by local knowledge and harvest monitoring programs. This species' habitat is increasingly fragmented by industrial activity, especially in the southern part of its range, and increased motorized access will increase harvest pressure and other disturbances. The species has a low reproductive rate and requires vast secure areas to maintain viable populations.
 OccurrenceYT NT NU BC AB SK MB ON 
 Status History
 Canadian range considered as one population in April 1982 and designated Special Concern. Split into two populations in April 1989 (Western and Eastern populations). Western population was designated Special Concern in April 1989. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Humpback WhaleMegaptera novaeangliaeNot at Risk
 Western North Atlantic population
 Reason for Designation
 Although heavily reduced by whaling, this well-studied population seems to have regrown to at least a substantial proportion of its pre-whaling size. The population does face threats (including entanglement in fishing gear, habitat degradation on breeding grounds, possible resumption of commercial whaling), but neither the North Atlantic population, nor any of its feeding sub-populations, is at risk from current activity levels, or levels that may reasonably be foreseen in the next few years.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 The "Western North Atlantic and North Pacific populations" were given a single designation of Threatened in April 1982. Split into two populations in April 1985 (Western North Atlantic population and North Pacific population). Western North Atlantic population designated Special Concern in April 1985. Status re-examined and de-listed (Not at Risk) in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Sei WhaleBalaenoptera borealisData Deficient
 Atlantic population
 Reason for Designation
 This species is seen off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. However, data are lacking to determine the degree of depletion caused by whaling, to assess current population size, or to determine whether the population has recovered in any way since whaling ended. The effects of current threats, especially oil and gas exploration and development, are unknown. There is also uncertainty regarding possible population substructure.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Data Deficient in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Birds

 
Cerulean WarblerDendroica ceruleaSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 This species breeds in mature deciduous forests in southern Ontario and southwestern Quebec, a habitat which has disappeared from much of its Canadian range in the last 200 years. The species has been steadily declining in numbers (three per cent per annum over the last 30 years), but most of this decline has been occurring in the core of the species' range in the U.S. and numbers may be relatively stable in eastern Ontario. Numbers in southwestern Ontario, however, have declined markedly, and overall numbers in Canada are low - less than 2000 mature individuals. The two dominant limiting factors for this species are habitat destruction on breeding, migration, and wintering grounds; and fragmentation of existing habitats.
 OccurrenceON QC 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1993. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 

Reptiless

 
Rubber BoaCharina bottaeSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 Although this species may be widespread in British Columbia its status is difficult to determine because the species is cryptic. However, searches indicate that this species is uncommon and patchily distributed. Because the species' abundance is poorly documented, it could qualify as Data Deficient, but the species' life history traits - low reproductive rate, delayed age at maturity and extended longevity, make it sensitive to human activity. Therefore, this species merits the current status until further investigation shows that it is at higher risk or is secure.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Northwestern GartersnakeThamnophis ordinoidesNot at Risk
 Reason for Designation
 Although this species has a fairly limited distribution in Canada and is susceptible to several threats (mortality on roads, habitat loss, and depredation by domestic and feral cats) and direct persecution, it appears to be abundant and to have suffered declines only where urban development is most intense.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Not at Risk in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Amphibians

 
Canadian ToadBufo hemiophrysNot at Risk
 Reason for Designation
 Despite continuing loss of native grassland habitat, and the degradation of wetlands necessary for reproduction, recent information indicates that populations of Canadian toads overall, though patchy in distribution and exhibiting declines in south-central Alberta, remain numerous and widely distributed through most of the species' Canadian range.
 OccurrenceNT AB SK MB 
 Status History
 Designated Not at Risk in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Plains SpadefootSpea bombifronsNot at Risk
 Reason for Designation
 Despite continuing loss of native grassland habitat and degradation of the wetlands necessary for reproduction, the maintenance of large areas of more southern portions of its range in grazing reserves and recent reports of occurrence in its extensive range indicate that this species is more secure than previous information would have indicated.
 OccurrenceAB SK MB 
 Status History
 Designated Not at Risk in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Fishes

 
Atlantic CodGadus morhuaEndangered
 Newfoundland and Labrador population
 Reason for Designation
 Cod in the inshore and offshore waters of Labrador and northeastern Newfoundland, including Grand Bank, having declined 97% since the early 1970s and more than 99% since the early 1960s, are now at historically low levels. There has been virtually no recovery of either the abundance or age structure of cod in offshore waters since the moratoria imposed in 1992 and 1993. Threats to persistence include fishing (now halted), predation by fish and seals, and natural and fishing-induced changes to the ecosystem.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 The species was considered a single unit and assigned a status of Special Concern in April 1998. When the species was split into separate populations in May 2003, the Newfoundland and Labrador population was designated Endangered. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Sockeye SalmonOncorhynchus nerkaEndangered
 Cultus population
 Reason for Designation
 The Cultus population has unique genetic and biological characteristics (migratory delay of adults at the Fraser estuary, protracted lake residency before spawning, exclusive lake spawning, late spawning date, deepwater life of fry). The lack of success with previous attempts to transplant sockeye to Cultus lake and other lakes, suggests that Cultus sockeye are irreplaceable. The Cultus population has collapsed primarily due to overexploitation, including directed and incidental catches in mixed-stock fisheries at levels above those that can be sustained. An additional key source of impact on spawning adults since 1995 has been very high pre-spawn mortality, associated with unusually early migration into freshwater and with Parvicapsula parasite infestation. There are also ecological impacts to the lake habitat from colonization by Eurasian Watermilfoil, land development, stream channelization, nutrient input, and recreational use. Under present conditions, there is a high probability of extinction of the Cultus sockeye.
 Occurrence  
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in an emergency listing in October 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Sockeye SalmonOncorhynchus nerkaEndangered
 Sakinaw population
 Reason for Designation
 The Sakinaw population has unique genetic and biological characteristics (early river-entry timing, protracted lake residency before spawning, small adult size, low fecundity, large smolts). The lack of success with previous attempts to transplant sockeye to Sakinaw lake and other lakes suggests that Sakinaw sockeye are irreplaceable. The Sakinaw population has collapsed primarily due to overexploitation, including directed and incidental catches in mixed-stock fisheries at levels above those that can be sustained. In addition, water flow and water level have at times been insufficient to allow adult fish to enter the lake. There are also ecological impacts on the lake habitat from logging, residential development and water usage. Because very few fish remain, the population is at high risk of extinction from even minor impacts from fishing, poaching, impediments to spawning migration, predation, habitat degradation and water usage.
 OccurrenceBC Pacific Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in an emergency listing in October 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Atlantic CodGadus morhuaThreatened
 Laurentian North population
 Reason for Designation
 Cod in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence and along the south coast of Newfoundland comprise an assemblage of stocks within which there is considerable mixing. They are currently at low levels as a group and overall have declined by about 80% over the past thirty years. However, there is evidence that current levels of abundance are not unprecedented for cod along the south coast of Newfoundland, and the population there has been stable since 1974. Threats to persistence include fishing (now halted in the Northern Gulf), predation by fish and seals, and natural and fishing-induced changes to the ecosystem.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 The species was considered a single unit and assigned a status of Special Concern in April 1998. When the species was split into separate populations in May 2003, the Laurentian North population was designated Threatened. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
CuskBrosme brosmeThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 The main population of this large, slow-growing, solitary bottom-living fish resides in the Gulf of Maine/Southeastern Scotian Shelf and has been in decline since 1970. Over three generations, the decline rate is over 90%, and the fish occurs in fewer and fewer survey trawls over time. Fishing, unrestricted until 1999, is now capped but remains a source of mortality. This species is in a monotypic North Atlantic genus.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Shortjaw CiscoCoregonus zenithicusThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 This species has been extirpated from Lakes Huron and Erie and is in decline in Lake Superior and Great Slave Lake. It is still present in Lake Nipigon and numerous smaller lakes where its status is not well known. Threats include fishing, introduction of exotics and climate change.
 OccurrenceNT AB SK MB ON 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and confirmed Threatened in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Atlantic CodGadus morhuaSpecial Concern
 Maritimes population
 Reason for Designation
 Cod in the Southern Gulf of the St. Lawrence, across the Scotian Shelf and into the Gulf of Maine comprise a heterogeneous assemblage of stocks that are at low levels of abundance as a group. These levels are not unprecedented for the cod in the Southern Gulf, Southwest Scotian shelf, Bay of Fundy and George's Bank, but those on the Eastern Scotian Shelf, are at historic lows and have continued to decline in the absence of directed fishing. Overall, cod in the entire region have declined 14% in the past 30 years, and have demonstrated a sensitivity to human activities. Threats to persistence include directed fishing, bycatch in other fisheries, natural predation, and natural and fishing-induced changes to the ecosystem.
 OccurrenceAtlantic Ocean 
 Status History
 The species was considered a single unit and assigned a status of Special Concern in April 1998. When the species was split into separate populations in May 2003, the Maritimes population was designated Special Concern. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Atlantic CodGadus morhuaSpecial Concern
 Arctic population
 Reason for Designation
 Cod in Arctic waters occur mostly in a few coastal salt lakes, and numbers of adults may be no more than a few thousand. Uncertainty with respect to the actual number of locales and populations makes it difficult to assign any higher status, but the known populations are sensitive to human activities. Poorly regulated fishing is a potential threat.
 OccurrenceArctic Ocean 
 Status History
 The species was considered a single unit and assigned a status of Special Concern in April 1998. When the species was split into separate populations in May 2003, the Arctic population was designated Special Concern. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Banded KillifishFundulus diaphanusSpecial Concern
 Newfoundland population
 Reason for Designation
 The population is separated from others by a major barrier to movement, i.e. 200 km of ocean. Newfoundland populations have a very limited area of occupancy. The possibility of range expansion is limited by steep gradients and impassable rapids and/or falls. Habitat degradation resulting from proposed logging would negatively impact populations in some areas.
 OccurrenceNL 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1989. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
ChiselmouthAcrocheilus alutaceusNot at Risk
 Reason for Designation
 The Canadian distribution of this species is restricted to a few disjunct populations in south-central British Columbia where they are found in low densities, but appear stable and are not subject to any known factors that could put them at risk.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Data Deficient in April 1997. Status re-examined and designated Not at Risk in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Wolf-eelAnarrhichthys ocellatusNot at Risk
 Reason for Designation
 The charismatic appearance and behaviour of the wolf-eel in the presence of divers has made it a favourite for underwater photo opportunities. The scuba diving community no longer regards the killing of wolf-eels as sport, and the prevailing attitude toward the species is very protective. In the absence of any significant exploitation factors or habitat losses, combined with reports of apparently stable and abundant adult populations, the future of the wolf-eel appears secure.
 OccurrencePacific Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Not at Risk in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Pighead PricklebackAcantholumpenus mackayiData Deficient
 Reason for Designation
 There are insufficient data on population size and distribution.
 OccurrenceArctic Ocean 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1989. Status re-examined in May 2003 and designated Data Deficient. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 

Lepidopterans

 
Mormon MetalmarkApodemia mormoEndangered
 Southern Mountain population
 Reason for Designation
 The Southern Mountain population of this species is a very small, disjunct, northern outlier of a species whose main range occurs in the southwestern US. The butterflies are confined to a very small area in a narrow valley in a populated area in southern British Columbia. The valley bottom is also an important transportation and utility corridor. The butterfly is vulnerable to natural stochastic events, and human activity can easily cause the extirpation of colonies.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Mormon MetalmarkApodemia mormoThreatened
 Prairie population
 Reason for Designation
 The Prairie population of this species is a small, northern outlier of a species whose main range occurs in the southwestern US. Known populations are not currently threatened by human activities and half the known sites are within the boundaries of a National Park. However, the total population is quite small, likely undergoes extreme fluctuations, is a habitat specialist, and occurs in a highly restricted area, making it vulnerable to stochastic events.
 OccurrenceSK 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Molluscs

 
KidneyshellPtychobranchus fasciolarisEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This species has been lost from about 70% of its historical range in Canada due to impacts of the zebra mussel and land use practices. It is now restricted to the East Sydenham and Ausable rivers. Although both populations appear to be reproducing, there is evidence that abundance has declined in the East Sydenham River. Agricultural impacts, including siltation, have eliminated populations in the Grand and Thames Rivers, and threaten the continued existence of this species in Canada.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Round HickorynutObovaria subrotundaEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This species has been lost from 90% of its former range in Canada. Populations in the Grand and Thames rivers are extirpated and populations in the Sydenham River are declining, all due to the combined effects of pollution and agricultural impacts. Most of the Great Lakes populations have been lost due to impacts of the zebra mussel, and the remaining population in the St. Clair delta near Walpole Island may be at risk. If the Eastern Sand Darter were the host of this species, then the decline of this threatened fish would affect the mussel's survival.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Dromedary Jumping-slugHemphillia dromedariusThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 A rare mollusc found on Vancouver Island. All known sites are in old growth forest or in forests that contain old growth characteristics.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Warty Jumping-slugHemphillia glandulosaSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 Habitat loss and fragmentation through clear-cut logging forest practices are altering quantity and quality of coarse woody debris that provides refuges for the slugs and may be restricting dispersal movements. The species exists at the northern extremity of its range on southern Vancouver Island and the low numbers of scattered populations render it vulnerable to both natural and human disturbances.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 

Plants

 
Coastal Scouler's CatchflySilene scouleri ssp. grandisEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This is a species of highly restricted geographical occurrence in Canada with fewer than 350 plants comprising three remaining populations present on very small islands. Along with other historical population extirpations, a Vancouver Island population has recently been extirpated. These islands are located within an area of active shipping and recreational activities where invasive plants and human activities present on-going risks.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Eastern Prairie Fringed OrchidPlatanthera leucophaeaEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This is a perennial species of scattered remnant wetland habitats and of mesic prairies that has undergone significant declines in population size and is at continued risk from further habitat change due to successional processes, land development, water table impacts, and spread of invasive species.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1986. Status re-examined and uplisted to Endangered in May 2003. Last assessment based on an update status report.
 
Howell's TriteleiaTriteleia howelliiEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This is a geographically highly restricted species with a small population occurring at a few scattered sites within remnant Garry Oak habitats. It is located within a highly urbanized region with on-going risks to the species from such factors as habitat loss, competition with invasive species, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and competition with invasive species.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Kellogg's RushJuncus kelloggiiEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This is a tiny, inconspicuous, annual species that likely numbers fewer than 600 plants. It occurs in a single, seasonally wet microhabitat that is subject to impacts from human recreational and developmental activities within an urban park located in a nationally rare Garry Oak habitat.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Lemmon's Holly FernPolystichum lemmoniiThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 This species consists of a single small population occurring within a geographically highly restricted area of specialized habitat. The habitat consists of shallow soils over serpentine bedrock high in heavy metals. The population is considerably disjunct from other such populations in the adjoining state to the south and occurs in an area potentially subject to mineral extraction.
 OccurrenceBC 
 Status History
 Designated Threatened in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.
 
Willowleaf AsterSymphyotrichum praealtumThreatened
 Reason for Designation
 This is a geographically highly restricted species that has undergone range contraction and occurs mainly in fragmented remnant prairie habitats. There are few occurrences and on-going risks from further habitat and population losses due to presence primarily in urbanized centres.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1999. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1996. Status re-examined and uplisted to Threatened in May 2003. Last assessment based on an existing status report.
 
Climbing Prairie RoseRosa setigeraSpecial Concern
 Reason for Designation
 This is a shrub of remnant prairie habitats and clearings that is capable of also colonizing a variety of open disturbed sites within a geographically and climatically restricted region where decline in the extent and quality of habitat continues. Threats include factors such as urban expansion and intensive agricultural land use.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Special Concern in April 1986. Status re-examined and uplisted to Threatened in May 2002. Downlisted to Special Concern in May 2003. Last assessment based on an existing status report with an addendum.
 

Mosses

 
Spoon-leaved MossBryoandersonia illecebraEndangered
 Reason for Designation
 This species is endemic to eastern North America. The species reaches its northernmost limit in southern Ontario where it is known presently from only three locations and covers an area of < 14 m². Although previously recorded from an additional five sites in Canada, the species was not relocated in recent field studies. The species grows in humid deciduous woods and does not disperse easily. In Canada, it occurs in woodlots that are severely fragmented by intense urbanization and agriculture. The status of this species is based on a small number of locations, very small population size, and decline in the quality and quantity of forest habitat.
 OccurrenceON 
 Status History
 Designated Endangered in May 2003. Assessment based on a new status report.

Note: The reports for Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris), Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus) and Small-flowered Tonella (Tonella tenella) were withdrawn to allow incorporation of additional information.

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix V


COSEWIC Logo

 

Two Atlantic Cod populations designated at risk
Canadian List of Species at Risk increases to 431

Whitehorse, Yukon, May 2, 2003 - Two populations of the Atlantic Cod have been designated as threatened and endangered following assessments this week by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

There are now 431 species in various COSEWIC risk categories, including 153 that are endangered, 102 that are threatened, and 143 species of special concern. In addition, 21 species are extirpated (no longer found in Canada), and 12 are extinct. Another 29 species are considered data deficient. The number of species on the list has increased by 16 since the November 2002 COSEWIC meeting.

The Newfoundland and Labrador population (see below for specific stocks) of the Atlantic Cod was designated as endangered. Over the last 30 years, there has been a 97% decline in cod off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the species has essentially disappeared from offshore portions of its range. Fishing has been the main threat to the cod, but directed commercial and recreational fisheries have now been closed.

The Laurentian North population of the Atlantic Cod, which extends from the northern Gulf of the St-Lawrence to Newfoundland's south coast, was assessed as threatened. Cod remain abundant in the eastern part of the region (southern coast of Newfoundland), but have declined substantially in the northern Gulf, where the fishery is now also closed.

The Maritimes population of the Atlantic Cod remains in the special concern category.

Two species were downlisted to a lower category of risk. The Western North Atlantic population of the Humpback Whale, previously listed in the special concern category, was removed from the list, due in part to the success of recovery efforts. Fewer Humpback Whales are becoming entangled in fishing nets, and people have become more proficient at untangling those that are caught. There are now about 10,000 Humpback whales in the Western North Atlantic.

The Northwest Atlantic population of the Harbour Porpoise was also downlisted, from threatened, to special concern. Because of reduced fishing activities in the Atlantic and measures to reduce bycatch in the Bay of Fundy, fewer porpoises are killed accidentally. However concerns remain about potential bycatch levels, and further monitoring is required.

Three species of plants found in British Columbia's Garry Oak ecosystems were added to the list. The Howell's Triteleia, the Coastal Scouler's Catchfly and the Kellogg's Rush were all found to be endangered. Garry Oak ecosystems are home to more plant species than any other terrestrial ecosystem in coastal British Columbia. Over recent decades, habitat conversion of the ecosystems to agricultural and urban uses has occurred at an accelerating rate. Less than five per cent of the original Garry Oak habitat remains. It is one of the most endangered ecosystems in Canada.

The Western population of the Wolverine, found in five provinces and three territories, including the area around Whitehorse, remained in the special concern category after being reassessed. The eastern population remains endangered, and may no longer exist.

COSEWIC confirmed two emergency listings made in October 2002. The Cultus and Sakinaw populations of the Sockeye Salmon are both endangered.

The Committee also spent two days meeting with representatives of Wildlife Management Boards from across Canada during its stay in Whitehorse. "This was an important first step in launching a new partnership with Boards established under land claim settlements, who play a major role in wildlife conservation," said COSEWIC chair Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet. "They welcomed us to the North enthusiastically, and helped us gain a better appreciation of the broad range of their activities," he added.

COSEWIC assessed 40 species during its five-day meeting. Twenty-four species were assessed for the first time, 19 of which were added to the COSEWIC list of Species at Risk.

COSEWIC is an independent committee of wildlife experts that uses the best information available to determine the level of risk of extinction for Canada's wildlife species. Since the committee was formed in 1977, it has completed 612 species assessments. COSEWIC is composed of government and non-government members, members from academic institutions, and two members who facilitate the inclusion of Aboriginal traditional knowledge.

 

Definition of COSEWIC terms and risk categories

Species: Any indigenous species, subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically defined population of wild fauna and flora.
Population: A geographically or otherwise distinct group of plants or animals that has little demographic or genetic exchange with other such groups.
Extinct: A species that no longer exists.
Extirpated: A species no longer existing in the wild in Canada, but occurring elsewhere.
Endangered: A species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
Threatened: A species likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.
Special Concern: Those species that are particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events but are not endangered or threatened species.
Not at Risk: A species that has been evaluated and found not to be at risk.
Data Deficient: A species for which there is insufficient scientific information to support status designation.

Cod stocks The following stocks comprise cod populations assessed by COSEWIC:

Newfoundlandand Labrador population: Laurentian North population:
2GH, 2J3KL, 3NO 3Ps, 3Pn4RS
   
Maritimes population:  
4TVn, 4VsW, 4X, Georges Bank  



For further information, contact:

Note to members of the media: All of the contacts listed below will be in Whitehorse through Sunday May 4, and can be reached at the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel at (867) 393-9700.

Dr. Marco Festa-Bianchet
Chair, COSEWIC
(819) 821-8000 (Ext. 2061)
Marco.Festa-Bianchet@usherbrooke.ca
General inquiries:
COSEWIC Secretariat
(819) 953-3215
  
For inquiries on Cod:For inquiries on whales:
  
Dr. Richard Haedrich
Co-chair, Marine Fishes Specialist Sub-committee
(709) 737-8833
haedrich@mun.ca
Dr. Hal Whitehead
Co-chair, Marine Mammal
Specialist Sub-committee
hal.whitehead@dal.ca

Further details on the species assessed, and the reasons behind each designation, can be found on the COSEWIC website at:

www.cosewic.gc.ca

 

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix VI

 

 COSEWIC Work Plan and Budget - May 2003
ProjectWhenWhoWhatCost estimateDeliverables
COSEWIC and WMBs joint workshop and Species Assessment Meeting - spring26 April - 2 May 2003 in WhitehorseAllLogistics, travel, hospitality,$60,000a)Improve WMBs participation into COSEWIC species assessment process;
b)Assess 39 taxa, confirm priority species for new status reports, approve changes and addition to membership, review revised Terms of Reference for COSEWIC, review and approve new guidelines & appendices, to include to the Organization & Procedures Manual
COSEWIC , WMBs and Aboriginal Working Group joint workshop and Species Assessment Meeting - fall23 -28 November, 2003 in OttawaAllLogistics, travel, hospitality, contract$100,000a)Continue to define the process to facilitate the inclusion of ATK into COSEWIC assessment process
b)Assess 20-25 taxa, approve changes to membership, continue to review and approve appendices to include to the Organizations and Procedures Manual
Species Specialist Subcommittees annual meetings, including few public forumAnnualSSC co-chairs, members, observers, SecretariatLogistics, travel$90,000Candidate lists of priority species, review of status reports, proposals for status, preparation of annual work plan and report
Non-government member costsAnnualnon-government members, SecretariatTravel, contract, honoraria$430,000co-chairs: prioritized candidate lists of species, preparation of status reports, proposals for status, management of SSCs; other non-government members: participation at COSEWIC meetings and on working groups
Prioritized candidate listsapproval by COSEWIC at spring meetingMarine fishes SSC co-chairs, SecretariatContract for preparation of candidate list of Marine Fishes for the Pacific$20,000priority species for assessment
Preparation of a list for all Salmonids for the PacificCall for bids September 2003Fishes SSC Co-chairs, SecretariatContract$20,000Identification and ranking for all Salmonids for the Pacific
Status report commissioningcall for bids May and September 2003SSC co-chairs, SecretariatContracts$250,000Status reports on priority species for assessment including when possible the inclusion of ATK is status reports
Status report finalizationongoingSSC co-chairs, SecretariatContracts$100,000editing and translation of >100 status reports for publication on public registry under SARA
Secretariat operationsongoingCOSEWIC, SecretariatAdministrative and technical costs, contracts, translation of the Operations and Procedures Manual$100,000administrative and technical support for COSEWIC and its subcommittees, reporting to CESCC and the public
Communications, outreachongoingCOSEWIC members, SSCs co-chairs, SecretariatContract for communication activities after each assessment meeting and web site continued development$25,000information on assessments of species at risk in Canada to the scientific community and the public
Total   $1,195,000 

 

Return to Table of Contents

Appendix VII

 

AN ARTHROPODA SSC FOR COSEWIC

A proposal by COSEWIC to the

Canadian Wildlife Directors

and the

Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council

Prepared by a COSEWIC Working Group chaired by Gerry Mackie and including Sherman Boates, Dick Cannings, Jim Duncan, Theresa Fowler, Henry Lickers and Marco Festa-Bianchet

Introduction

COSEWIC is currently mandated to cover only two groups of invertebrates, the molluscs and butterflies. The work of the Molluscs and Lepidopterans Specialist Sub-committee has led to the assessment of 32 species since its creation in 1995.

Many invertebrate phyla that are not included within the taxonomic expertise of any current COSEWIC SSC contain species potentially at risk. Some phyla deserve attention because they are well known and face significant threats (e.g., habitat degradation, harvest, exploitation); these include Cnidaria (especially corals), Porifera (sponges), Echinodermata (starfishes, sea urchins, etc), and Arthropoda (spiders, crustaceans and insects).

However, resources for, and feasibility of, species assessments are limited for many of these groups. Arthropoda is the logical phylum of choice for an expansion of the taxonomic coverage of COSEWIC, because several species that are important ecologically, economically, socially, recreationally or aesthetically are under threat, and considerable expertise exists in Canada to support the assessment process. We therefore propose that a new SSC be added to COSEWIC on the phylum Arthropoda, resulting in one additional vote on COSEWIC. Limited availability of data on the status of most arthropod species indicates that the number of species assessed in the first five years of work of the proposed new SSC should be limited to approximately 20 species.

Criteria for Selecting Taxa for COSEWIC

1.     Taxonomic stability and specimen availability:

About 4,500 species of arachnids, 400 species of crustaceans and 30,000 species of insects occur in Canada. The largest collection of arachnids in Canada is the Canadian National Collection (CNC); about 70% of the collection is curated to the species level. The Canadian Museum of Nature has about 85,000 lots of crustaceans, most of them identified to species.

About 20 million insect specimens are held in more than 100 collections in Canada. About 13 million of these specimens are in the Canadian National Collection in Ottawa. In addition, there are about 50 collections that contain more than 10,000 specimens each. Most agriculture and forestry laboratories and many universities and museums hold smaller, more or less specialized, collections, most of them built up by one or a few interested individuals within the larger institution. Curation to the species or species group level varies greatly, depending largely on whether revisions for particular families are available for the North American fauna.

2.     Expertise on Taxon:

There are approximately 100 acarologists in Canada, mostly associated with universities and federal and provincial museums or collections. The distribution of expertise appears to be mainly central and western Canada (especially BC).

There is less information available on the numbers of crustacean experts in Canada. We estimate that about 20-30 crustacean experts are actively doing ecological and taxonomic research on a variety of crustaceans. COSEWIC members are already in contact with several of these experts.

More than 1,000 entomologists work in Canada, and several hundred conduct research. Research efforts are carried out in federal and provincial government services and in universities, and to a lesser extent in private industry.

3.     Expertise to serve as SSC co-chairs and members:

Most of the membership for the Arthropoda SSC will be derived from the large pool of experts described above.

4.     Expertise to serve as authors of status reports:

The pool of experts to serve as authors for arachnid reports will be from graduate students of taxonomic experts, the members of the SSC, research technicians, and consultants. About 25 people are registered in the workgroup database on arachnid taxa, most of them from western (BC, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba) and central Canada (Ontario and Québec).

Many departments of the federal government employ entomologists, but by far the greatest number work for Agriculture Canada which has 28 regional agricultural stations and 6 forestry centres. Professional entomologists in universities are as numerous as those in the federal service. One or more entomologists are included in many university departments of biology or zoology, and larger numbers work in entomology departments at the University of Manitoba and Macdonald College of McGill University, the Department of Environmental Biology at the University of Guelph, and biology departments of the Universities of Toronto, Alberta and British Columbia. More than 300 graduate students are currently registered in entomology at Canadian universities, about 130 proceeding to the degree of Ph.D. Several dozen entomologists are employed by provincial ministries of agriculture, environment, etc., and several more work at Provincial Museums in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Consulting companies conducting environmental studies, pest control firms, pesticide companies, and a few other private organizations also employ a modest number of entomologists.

Canadian Arthropods (not including Lepidoptera) Potentially at Risk

Most Canadian jurisdictions do not currently list any Arthropoda other than Lepidopterans in Provincial or Territorial Species at Risk legislation. Nevertheless, three species of tiger beetle are either listed as "Vulnerable" or under consideration for possible listing in Manitoba, while in Québec a list of possible candidate species is being prepared for coleopterans and crayfishes.

The website, http://rbcm1.rbcm.gov.bc.ca/end_species/insectax.html, lists the following arachnid and insect taxa as species at risk in BC; presumably sufficient information exists for each of them and they would be among the first to be recommended for evaluation by COSEWIC:

Arachnids:
Sun Scorpion (Eremobates gladiolus)

Insects:
Coleoptera: Parowan Tiger Beetle (Cicindela parowana)
Odonata: Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida)
Orthoptera: Ground Mantid (Litaneutria minor)
Diptera: Apiocerid Fly (Apiocera barri)
             Robber Fly (Megaphorus willistoni)
Hymenoptera: Scoliid Wasp (Campsomeris pilipes)

Crustaceans:
Two species of crayfish, Fallicambarus fodiens and Cambarus diogenes, also appear worthy of consideration immediately. Both species are burrowing, semi-terrestrial crayfishes of southern Ontario.

For the most part, our understanding of most insect groups would result in rankings reflecting inadequate data and poor knowledge of life histories. Consequently, those groups and species would be unlikely to be considered by COSEWIC, at least in the immediate future. We emphasize that the new Arthropoda SSC will avoid commissioning reports on species for which available information is insufficient to evaluate conservation status.

The total number of arthropod species that a new SSC is likely to review over the first few years of its existence would be determined by a working group composed of experts in all three classes (see "Conclusions and Recommendations"). A reasonable estimate would be double those listed above (i.e., about 20 species) within 5 years, in addition to butterflies that are already within the mandate of the current "Molluscs and Lepidopterans" SSC.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

There are several arthropod species that would be immediately eligible for review as well as several knowledgeable report writers that could bid for the production of status reports. There is also adequate expertise to form a Species Specialist Subcommittee. Because information on most species is insufficient for a COSEWIC assessment, there is no need currently to create distinct sub-committee for the spiders, crustaceans and insects.

We recommend the establishment of a new SSC with mandate to cover Arthropods, including the lepidopterans that are currently covered by the Molluscs and Lepidopterans SSC. The latter SSC would have its mandate limited to molluscs. It is useful to note here that the current Molluscs and Lepidopterans SSC presently works as two essentially independent sub-groups because of the very different nature of the taxa covered and conservation issues those taxa face.

The creation of new SSC and revision to a current one would result in one additional vote for COSEWIC, and two new "members" (i.e., the two co-chairs).

The proposed Arthropoda SSC would be based on the current Lepidoptera SSC members and would then recruit other members. A COSEWIC working group would be established to develop, under the guidance of the COSEWIC Chair, a working plan for the Arthropoda SSC. The working group will decide on the co-chair expertise required and on the number and expertise of SSC members. Once it is formed, the Arthropoda SSC will develop a prioritization scheme based on probable risk and available information on Canadian species. That prioritization scheme will be examined by COSEWIC before status reports are commissioned.

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