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COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005

Item IV - COSEWIC Operations And Procedures

 COSEWIC approach to streamlining reassessment:

As a first step toward developing an approach to deal with reassessment,commissioned COSEWIC status reports after May 2001 are "living documents": after the status report is concluded, any subsequent update reports will be prepared simply by adding new information to the existing report and, where appropriate, updating factual information. COSEWIC is cited as the author on the report's cover page (ownership and copyright rest with the Crown). 

One of the options for consideration at this time is to contact authors of COSEWIC status Reports produced before May 2001 to ask if they would give to the Crown the ownership and copyright of the report(s) they authored. Furthermore, the Species at risk Act (SARA) offers some flexibility concerning species reassessment, as SARA refers to the review of the classification of each species at least once every ten years, without requiring specifically that COSEWIC must reassess  each species.

At its May 2005 assessment meeting, COSEWIC struck a working group to develop options to streamline the reassessment process, for consideration by COSEWIC in a near future.

Community Knowledge into COSEWIC Assessment Process:

COSEWIC has established a Working Group (WG) charged to define what constitutes Community Knowledge for the purpose of the COSEWIC species assessment process and to identify [R1] means for accessing, gathering, validating and incorporating this knowledge in the assessment process. A drafted framework on how to incorporate community knowledge in the COSEWIC assessment process, was presented at the COSEWIC May 2005 meeting for members review and input, along with a draft Website model and questionnaire to be used as a tool to provide to communities to inform COSEWIC of knowledge that they may have and could be useful for Status assessment.

As a first step, COSEWIC has agreed to use the website as contact point to receive input for species status reports in preparation and to distribute the Interim report to individuals and organizations expected to be able to provide community knowledge. Procedures to develop the questionnaire and to provide the Interim report to holders of community knowledge are to be developed in time for the 2006 COSEWIC meeting in Saskatchewan.  During the next year, COSEWIC will continue its work toward developing options on how to incorporate community knowledge into COSEWIC Assessment process.

Report on the Marine Fish Workshop and Recommendations for COSEWIC:  This was discussed by COSEWIC at the May 2005 meeting and COSEWIC has agreed:

  • to have the Chair as an “editor in chief ” to ensure that all important comments and information have been considered in final reports.
  • to establish within COSEWIC a working group to consider other assessment criteria used to assess marine fish, based on the work done by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), CITES ( Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) and NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service).


 COSEWIC Assessment Process and Criteria:

At its May 2005 meeting, COSEWIC agreed to establish a permanent Working Group on criteria within its Operations and Procedures Subcommittee to ensure that COSEWIC continues its tradition of quality and rigor in its assessment process. This permanent Working Group will receive and review the feedback in the near future from other COSEWIC members who have been tasked to consider other assessment criteria used for marine fish. (see above)

Emergency Assessment Process:

In May 2005, COSEWIC approved a slight change to its O&P Manual to clarify that, at the discretion of the Chair, COSEWIC members other than SSC Co-chairs and members from Range Jurisdictions may be added to the Emergency Assessment Subcommittee (EAS).

Species Priorization Process:

COSEWIC modified its procedures to better reflect the process adopted at its May 2005 meeting. The choice of species for the commissioning of new status reports is based on the ranking of selected species from the Candidate List according to their perceived level of risk.

SSCs first select species from their respective Candidate List (available from the COSEWIC website), and for each species, submit a supporting paragraph structured around the prioritization criteria given in Appendix E1, Part 2 of  the COSEWIC O&P Manual. The Secretariat compiles the submissions with supporting paragraphs, which are then distributed to all COSEWIC members at least two months before a Species Assessment Meeting. Jurisdictional and non-government members review the supporting paragraphs to verify information.  All members of COSEWIC rank the proposed species from highest to lowest, using guidelines shown in Appendix E1, Part 2 of the COSEWIC O&P Manual. Members submit their ranks to the Secretariat, which then generates a ranked list based on the median rank for each species.  The Secretariat distributes the ranked list, together with the list of required updates to all COSEWIC members one month before the Species Assessment Meeting.

Summary –  Documents Recommended for Approval

 Appendix V:  Guidelines For Recognizing Designatable Units Below the Species Level (COSEWIC O&P Manual –Appendix F5)

 Appendix VI:  COSEWIC Assessment Process, Categories and Guidelines

 (COSEWIC O&P Manual –Appendix E3)

Appendix VII: Applications for Species Assessment and Unsolicited Reports

 (COSEWIC O&P Manual –Appendix F9)

Item V – Species Status Assignments

List of Species assessed since the last reporting indicating status assigned, reasons (including uncertainties where applicable and COSEWIC Criteria (with alphanumeric codes.

See Appendix VIII

The status reports are available on the Public Registry - www.sararegistry.gc.ca- in English and French.

Item VI - Wildife Species Assessed By COSEWIC Since Its Inception

See Appendix IX:

May 2005 Canadian Species at Risk . This publication is available on the Public Registry and includes all wildlife species assessed by COSEWIC since its inception.


 [R1]Either way that "some" could be interpreted in this usage is overly restrictive.