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Proposed Recovery Strategy for Vancouver Lamprey

Recovery Strategy for Vancouver Lamprey (Lampetra macrostoma) in Canada

Vancouver Lamprey


Vancouver Lamprey


About the Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series

What is the Species at Risk Act (SARA)?

SARA is the Act developed by the federal government as a key contribution to the common national effort to protect and conserve species at risk in Canada. SARA came into force in 2003 and one of its purposes is “to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity.”

What is recovery?

In the context of species at risk conservation, recoveryis the process by which the decline of an endangered, threatened, or extirpated species is arrested or reversed and threats are removed or reduced to improve the likelihood of the species’ persistence in the wild. A species will be consideredrecoveredwhen its long-term persistence in the wild has been secured.

What is a recovery strategy?

A recovery strategy is a planning document that identifies what needs to be done to arrest or reverse the decline of a species. It sets goals and objectives and identifies the main areas of activities to be undertaken. Detailed planning is done at the action plan stage.

Recovery strategy development is a commitment of all provinces and territories and of three federal agencies -- Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada -- under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk.  Sections 37–46 of SARA (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/the_act/) outline both the required content and the process for developing recovery strategies published in this series.

Depending on the status of the species and when it was assessed, a recovery strategy has to be developed within one to two years after the species is added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.  Three to four years is allowed for those species that were automatically listed when SARA came into force.

What’s next?

In most cases, one or more action plans will be developed to define and guide implementation of the recovery strategy. Nevertheless, directions set in the recovery strategy are sufficient to begin involving communities, land users, and conservationists in recovery implementation. Cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for lack of full scientific certainty.

The series

This series presents the recovery strategies prepared or adopted by the federal government under SARA. New documents will be added regularly as species get listed and as strategies are updated.

To learn more

To learn more about the Species at Risk Act and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/)and the Web site of the Recovery Secretariat    (http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/).



This proposed recovery strategy for Vancouver lamprey has been prepared by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reviewed and accepts this document as its recovery strategy for Vancouver lamprey as required by the Species at Risk Act. The British Columbia Ministry of Environment has reviewed and accepts this document as scientific advice.

This document identifies the recovery strategies that are deemed necessary, based on the best available scientific and biological information, to recovery Vancouver lamprey populations in Canada. Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada or any other jurisdiction alone. In the spirit of the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans invites all Canadians to join Fisheries and Oceans Canada in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of Vancouver lamprey and Canadian society as a whole. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the BC Ministry of Environment will support implementation of this strategy to the extent possible, given available resources and its overall responsibility for species at risk conservation. The Minister will report on progress within five years.

This strategy will be complemented by one or more action plans that will provide details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation of the species. The Minister will take steps to ensure that, to the extent possible, Canadians interested in or affected by these measures will be consulted.


The responsible jurisdiction for Vancouver lamprey under the Species at Risk Act is Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Province of British Columbia co-led the development of this recovery strategy.


DFO and the Province of British Columbia cooperated in the development of this recovery

strategy. A recovery team was assembled to provide science-based recommendations to

government with respect to the recovery of Vancouver lamprey. Members of the Vancouver Lamprey Recovery Team are listed below:

Jordan Rosenfeld, MoE, (co-chair)

Dan Sneep, DFO, (co-chair) 

Todd Hatfield, Solander Ecological Research, (coordinator)

Dick Beamish, DFO

John Richardson, UBC

Dolph Schluter, UBC

Eric Taylor, UBC


Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of BC are grateful to the technical experts

involved in drafting this strategy, for their time and effort in attending meetings and reviewing the

document. Development of this strategy was partially funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust

Fund of British Columbia.


A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning

documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of

Policy, Plan and Program Proposals . The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental

considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support

environmentally-sound decision making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it

is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the

intended benefits. The recovery planning process based on national guidelines directly

incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible

impacts on non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly in

the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the

Vancouver lamprey. The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects

on other species was considered. The SEA concluded that this strategy will clearly benefit the

environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects. Refer to the following sections of

the document in particular: Description of the Species – General Biology, Ecological Role and

Limiting Factors; Potential Management Impacts for Other Species; and Recommended

Approach/Scale for Recovery.


SARA defines residence as: “a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or

hibernating[SARA S2(1)].

Residence descriptions, or the rationale for why the residence concept does not apply to a given species, are posted on the SARA public registry:http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/plans/residence_e.cfm


The Vancouver lamprey is a freshwater fish and was listed as Threatened under SARA in June 2003. The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species. Fisheries and

Oceans Canada – Pacific Region co-led the development of this recovery strategy with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. The proposed strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41).

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