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Species at Risk Act Annual Report for 2013

3 Listing of Species at Risk

3.1 Listing Process

Upon formally receiving COSEWIC’s assessments, the Minister of the Environment has 90 days to post a response statement on the Species at Risk Public Registry indicating how the Minister intends to respond to each assessment and, to the extent possible, providing timelines for action.

During this 90-day period, the competent minister carries out an internal review to determine the level of public consultation and socio-economic analysis necessary to inform the listing decision. Timelines for action and the scope of consultations included in the response statement are based on the results of this initial review.

When COSEWIC assesses an aquatic species as threatened or endangered, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as the competent department under SARA, undertakes a number of actions. Many of these actions require scientific information on the current status of the species, population or designatable unit, threats to its survival and recovery, and the feasibility of its recovery. In many cases, this advice is provided through a recovery potential assessment that Fisheries and Oceans Canada prepares following the COSEWIC assessment. These recovery potential assessments are taken into consideration in the SARA processes, including at the recovery planning stage. In 2013, Fisheries and Oceans Canada led a total of 36 reports associated with recovery potential assessments (8 proceedings, 25 research documents, 15 science advisory reports and 1 science response).

The next step in the listing process is for the Minister of the Environment to provide the COSEWIC assessments to the Governor in Council, and for the Governor in Council to officially acknowledge receipt of the assessments by publishing, in the Canada Gazette, an order acknowledging receipt.

Following receipt by the Governor in Council, the Minister must prepare a recommendation to the Governor in Council regarding each of the species proposed for listing, delisting, reclassification or referral back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. When making a recommendation to the Governor in Council, the Minister of the Environment cannot vary the status of a species as assessed by COSEWIC. As required by the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation, the competent minister will conduct public consultations and socio-economic analyses, and consider the results prior to making a recommendation.

Under section 27 of SARA, the Governor in Council may, on recommendation of the Minister, decide to add a species to Schedule 1, to change the status designation of a species already listed on Schedule 1 in accordance with the status reassessment by COSEWIC, to not add a species to Schedule 1 of SARA, or to remove a species from Schedule 1 of SARA. The Governor in Council also has the authority to refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. If no decision is made within nine months of receipt of the assessment, the Minister must amend the List of Wildlife Species at Risk in accordance with COSEWIC’s assessment.

All of the species that COSEWIC had assessed as being at risk prior to October 1999 (when it adopted new criteria) were included at proclamation on SARA’s Schedules 2 (endangered and threatened) and 3 (special concern). These species are being reassessed by COSEWIC using current criteria as part of the process to determine if they should be added to Schedule 1. Species on Schedule 1 benefit from SARA’s provisions for recovery and prohibitions in the case of extirpated, endangered or threatened species, or management in the case of special concern. All Schedule 2 species have since been reassessed by COSEWIC. For Schedule 3, nine species remained to be reassessed at the end of 2013.

The chart shown in Figure 1 further describes the species listing process. Table 3 (see section 3.4) provides the status of the listing process for each batch of assessed species.

Figure 1: The Species Listing Process under SARA


The Minister of the Environment receives species assessments from COSEWIC at least once per year.


The competent departments undertake an internal review to determine the extent of public consultation and socio-economic analysis necessary to inform the listing decision.


Within 90 days of receipt of the species assessments prepared by COSEWIC, the Minister of the Environment publishes a response statement on the SARAPublic Registry that indicates how he or she intends to respond to the assessment and, to the extent possible, provides timelines for action.


Where appropriate, the competent departments undertake consultations and any other relevant analysis needed to prepare the advice to the Minister of the Environment.


The Minister of the Environment forwards the assessment to the Governor in Council for receipt.


Within nine months of receiving the assessment, the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, may decide whether or not to list the species under Schedule 1 of SARA or refer the assessment to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.


Once a species is added to Schedule 1, it benefits from the applicable provisions of SARA.

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3.2 Federal Government Response to COSEWIC Assessments

In September 2013, the Minister of the Environment received from COSEWIC the assessments for Batch 11. These assessments included 67 species at risk (44 terrestrial and 23 aquatic). For 1 terrestrial species (Spiked Saxifrage), COSEWIC provided an assessment and a brief reason for status designation but did not provide a status report. COSEWIC indicated that it would provide the status report at a later date. The Minister of the Environment will initiate the listing process for this species after the status report, containing full details for the assessment, has been provided.

The response statements for the other species in Batch 11 were posted in December 2013 (for details see section 3.3, Public Consultations). The response statements (full list included in Table 1) indicate the following:

  • For 22 terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species, normal consultations (i.e., consistent with the consultation path that is typical for most species; see Figure 1) will be undertaken. These include 20 terrestrial species and 2 aquatic species. Seven of these 22 species are already listed on Schedule 1--1 as extirpated, 1 as endangered and 5 as threatened. The 1 endangered species is now eligible to have its risk status lowered (“downlisted”) to threatened. Of the 5 threatened species, 2 are now eligible to be downlisted to special concern and 3 are eligible to have their risk status raised (“uplisted”) to endangered. For 1 terrestrial wildlife species, COSEWIC advised the Minister that it had received new information and would therefore like to reassess it. No consultation will be undertaken at this time.

  • For 12 aquatic wildlife species, extended consultations will be undertaken, because listing these species could potentially have marked impacts on the activities of Aboriginal peoples, commercial and recreational fishers, or Canadians at large.

  • The Minister will also post 32Footnote4 response statements for species already listed and for which COSEWIC had confirmed the current Schedule 1 risk status. For these 32 species, no changes to Schedule 1 are required.

Table 1: List of species received from COSEWIC in September 2013 and for which the government posted a response statement in December 2013

Note: The table has been split into four separate components: No consultation COSEWIC to reassess, Normal consultation, Extended consultation, and Status confirmed – no consultations.

No consultation – COSEWIC to reassess
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
ThreatenedVascular PlantSpiked SaxifrageMicranthes spicata

 

Normal consultation
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
EndangeredArthropodMottled Duskywing (Boreal population)Erynnis martialis
EndangeredArthropodMottled Duskywing (Great Lakes Plains population)Erynnis martialis
EndangeredArthropodRiverine Clubtail (Great Lakes Plains population)Stylurus amnicola
EndangeredVascular PlantHairy BrayaBraya pilosa
ThreatenedBirdBank SwallowRiparia riparia
ThreatenedBirdWood ThrushHylocichla mustelina
ThreatenedArthropodIsland Tiger MothGrammia complicata
ThreatenedArthropodGibson’s Big Sand Tiger BeetleCicindela Formosa gibsoni
ThreatenedVascular PlantSilky Beach PeaLathyrus littoralis
Special ConcernMammalAmerican Badger taxus subspeciesTaxidea taxus taxus
Special ConcernBirdEastern Wood-peweeContopus virens
Special ConcernAmphibianWestern Tiger Salamander (Prairie/Boreal population)FootnoteaAmbystoma mavortium
Special ConcernMolluscHaida Gwaii SlugStaala gwaii
Special ConcernArthropodGreenish-white GrasshopperHypochlora alba
Special ConcernArthropodGeorgia Basin Bog SpiderGnaphosa snohomish
Uplist from Threatened to EndangeredReptileMassasauga (Carolinian population)FootnotebSistrurus catenatus
Uplist from Threatened to EndangeredVascular PlantPlymouth GentianSabatia kennedyana
Uplist from Threatened to EndangeredVascular PlantFernald’s BrayaBraya fernaldii
Downlist from Extirpated to EndangeredFishStriped Bass (St. Lawrence River population)FootnotecMorone saxatilis
Downlist from Endangered to ThreatenedFishPugnose ShinerNotropis anogenus
Downlist from Threatened to Special ConcernReptileEastern Musk TurtleSternotherus odoratus
Downlist from Threatened to Special ConcernVascular PlantCrooked-stem AsterSymphyotrichum prenanthoides

 

Extended consultation
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
EndangeredFishCuskBrosme brosme
EndangeredFishStriped Bass (Bay of Fundy population)Morone saxatilis
EndangeredFishWhite Sturgeon (Upper Fraser River population)FootnotecAcipenser transmontanus
EndangeredMolluscLilliputToxolasma parvum
ThreatenedFishBull Trout (Saskatchewan/Nelson Rivers populations)Salvelinus confluentus
ThreatenedFishWhite Sturgeon (Lower Fraser River population)Acipenser transmontanus
ThreatenedMolluscThreehorn WartybackObliquaria reflexa
Special ConcernFishBull Trout (South Coast British Columbia populations)Salvelinus confluentus
Special ConcernFishBull Trout (Western Arctic populations)Salvelinus confluentus
Special ConcernFishEulachon (Nass/Skeena Rivers population)Thaleichthys pacificus
Special ConcernFishStriped Bass (Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence population)Morone saxatilis
Downlist from Endangered to ThreatenedFishSalish SuckerCatostomus sp. cf. catostomus

 

Status confirmed – no consultations
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
ExtirpatedMolluscPuget OregonianCryptomastix devia
EndangeredMammalAmerican Badger jeffersonii subspecies (Western population)FootnotedTaxidea taxus jeffersonii
EndangeredMammalAmerican Badger jeffersonii subspecies (Eastern population)FootnotedTaxidea taxus jeffersonii
EndangeredMammalAmerican Badger jacksoni subspeciesTaxidea taxus jacksoni
EndangeredMammalSei Whale (Pacific population)Balaenoptera borealis
EndangeredBirdNorthern BobwhiteColinus virginianus
EndangeredAmphibianWestern Tiger Salamander (Southern Mountain population)FootnoteaAmbystoma mavortium
EndangeredFishWhite Sturgeon (Upper Kootenay River population)Acipenser transmontanus
EndangeredFishWhite Sturgeon (Upper Columbia River population)Acipenser transmontanus
EndangeredMolluscKidneyshellPtychobranchus fasciolaris
EndangeredMolluscOregon ForestsnailAllogona townsendiana
EndangeredMolluscRound HickorynutObovaria subrotunda
EndangeredArthropodYucca MothTegeticula yuccasella
EndangeredArthropodNon-pollinating Yucca MothTegeticula corruptrix
EndangeredArthropodFive-spotted Bogus Yucca MothProdoxus quinquepunctellus
EndangeredVascular PlantSlender Bush-cloverLespedeza virginica
EndangeredVascular PlantPink CoreopsisCoreopsis rosea
ThreatenedBirdNorthern Goshawk laingi subspeciesAccipiter gentilis laingi
ThreatenedReptileMassasauga (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population)FootnotebSistrurus catenatus
ThreatenedReptileGreat Basin GophersnakePituophis catenifer deserticola
ThreatenedReptileEastern Ribbonsnake (Atlantic population)Thamnophis sauritus
ThreatenedFishNorthern WolffishAnarhichas denticulatus
ThreatenedFishSpotted WolffishAnarhichas minor
ThreatenedArthropodDun Skipper vestris subspeciesEuphyes vestris vestris
ThreatenedVascular PlantSoapweedYucca glauca
Special ConcernReptileEastern Ribbonsnake (Great Lakes population)Thamnophis sauritus
Special ConcernReptileNorthern Map TurtleGraptemys geographica
Special ConcernAmphibianWestern Toad (Calling population)FootnotebAnaxyrus boreas
Special ConcernAmphibianWestern Toad (Non-calling population)FootnotebAnaxyrus boreas
Special ConcernFishAtlantic WolffishAnarhichas lupus
Special ConcernFishBridle ShinerNotropis bifrenatus
Special ConcernMolluscWarty Jumping-slugHemphillia glandulosa

Footnotes

Footnote a

Currently listed on Schedule 1 as one species with three populations. Split into two species, each with two populations, in November 2012. The two populations of Western Tiger Salamander were assessed in November 2012. The assessment of the two populations of Eastern Tiger Salamander was deferred.

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Footnote b

Currently listed on Schedule 1 as a single species. Subspecies reassessed in November 2012 and split into two populations.

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Footnote c

A wildlife species of this name is currently listed on Schedule 1. This newly assessed unit now includes two population units that were not included in the earlier entity.

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Footnote d

Currently listed on Schedule 1 as a single subspecies. Reassessed in November 2012 and split into two populations.

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3.3 Public Consultations

In 2013, the Minister of the Environment carried out consultations for 20 terrestrial species for which status assessments had been received from COSEWIC as part of Batch 10. The consultations were undertaken to provide the Minister with a better understanding of the potential social and economic impacts of listing the species on Schedule 1 of SARA. Information collected during consultations is used to inform the Minister’s recommendations to the Governor in Council.

As well, in December 2013, the Minister of the Environment launched consultations on whether to modify the status of, or add to Schedule 1 of SARA, the 22 terrestrial species whose assessments were received in September 2013 as part of Batch 11. The document Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2013 was posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

In 2013, Fisheries and Oceans Canada consulted Canadians on the possible listing on Schedule 1 of 14 aquatic species (from batches 10, 11 and 12). Public consultations were facilitated through emails to stakeholders and interested parties, and by posting supporting documents on the Species at Risk Public Registry and the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. Fisheries and Oceans Canada also mailed consultation documents directly to other government departments, Wildlife Management Boards, stakeholders, Aboriginal peoples and non-governmental organizations for their input, and held meetings with potentially affected groups and organizations.

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3.4 Listing Decisions

When making a listing decision, the Governor in Council relies on the scientific assessments provided by COSEWIC, any other relevant scientific information, an assessment of the costs and benefits (including social, cultural and economic) to Canadians, and comments received through consultations with other federal departments or agencies, other levels of government, Aboriginal peoples, wildlife management boards, stakeholders and the public. Governor in Council decisions to add a species to Schedule 1 are published as orders amending Schedule 1 of SARA in the Canada Gazette, and include Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements. Decisions to not add a species at risk to Schedule 1 of SARA or to refer the matter back to COSEWIC are published in the Canada Gazette with an explanatory note. The orders are also posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry. In 2013, the Governor in Council did not receive any listing recommendations from the Minister of the Environment.

In 2013, the Governor in Council added seven aquatic species (three species from Batch 4, two from Batch 5 and two from Batch 7) to Schedule 1 of SARA. Two aquatic species (from Batches 8 and 9) were downlisted on Schedule 1 to a lower risk status. The Governor in Council made three decisions to not list aquatic species in 2013 (from Batches 2, 3 and 4) and two decisions to refer aquatic species back to COSEWIC (from Batch 9).

Table 2: SARA listing decision made by the Governor in Council in 2013

Note: The table has been split into four separate components: Moved to a lower level of risk (downlisted), Added to List of Wildlife Species at Risk (listed), Decision to not list, and Decision to refer back to COSEWIC.

Moved to a lower level of risk (downlisted)
Risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
Special ConcernFishShorthead SculpinCottus confuses
Special ConcernMolluscWavy-rayed LampmusselLampsilis fasciola

 

Added to List of Wildlife Species at Risk (listed)
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
EndangeredFishSpring CiscoCoregonus sp.
EndangeredMolluscEastern PondmusselLigumia nasuta
EndangeredMolluscRainbowVillosa iris
EndangeredMolluscMapleleaf (Saskatchewan/Nelson population)Quadrula quadrula
ThreatenedFishWestslope Cutthroat Trout (Alberta population)Oncorhynchus clarkia lewisi
ThreatenedMolluscMapleleaf (Great Lakes/Western St. Lawrence population)Quadrula quadrula
Special ConcernMolluscBrook FloaterAlasmidonta varicosa

 

Decision to not list
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
ThreatenedFishCuskBrosme brosme
ThreatenedFishStriped Bass (Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence population)Morone saxatilis
Special ConcernMammal (marine)Beluga Whale (Eastern High Arctic/Baffin Bay population)Delphinapterus leucas

 

Decision to refer back to COSEWIC
COSEWIC risk statusTaxonEnglish legal nameScientific name
Special ConcernMammal (marine)Humpback Whale (North Pacific population)Megaptera novaeangliae
Special ConcernFishEulachon (Nass/Skeena population)Thaleichthys pacificus

 

Table 3: Listing processes for species at risk at year-end 2013 (Batches 1 to 11)
Batch and year of Minister’s receiptTotal number of species assessedFootnoteeAssessed as at riskConfirm-
ation of current status
Added to Schedule 1FootnotefUplistedDownlistedNot listedReferred backListing decision pending
(Proclamation)̶̶233̶̶233̶̶̶̶̶̶̶̶̶̶
Batch 1 (2004)11595475008Footnoteg8Footnoteg0
Batch 2 (2004)5951 (+9Footnoteh)046001310
Batch 3 (2005)735944400614
Batch 4 (2006)68 (+5Footnotei)5944020427
Emergency Assessment (2006)110000100
Batch 5 (2007)6453829240010
Batch 6 (2008)4639141830103
Batch 7 (2009)4846171831007
Batch 8 (2010)79783414353019
Batch 9 (2011)9281310010247
Batch 10 (2012)6457280000029
Emergency Assessment (2012)330000003
Batch 11 (2013)7367320000035

Footnotes

Footnote e

The total includes species assessed for the first time, species being reassessed and previously assessed species that have been split into more than one designatable unit.

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Footnote f

The total listed as “Added to Schedule 1” may not add up to number of species included on Schedule 1 (518) because it does not account for species that were subsequently split into more than one designatable unit with no corresponding change in status and were therefore treated as status confirmations, or were subsequently removed from the list.

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Footnote g

One species was referred back and subsequently not listed. It is counted under “not listed.”

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Footnote h

Includes four wildlife species that were not listed for further consideration from Batch 1 and reconsidered in Batch 2, and five additional wildlife species when one designatable unit received by COSEWIC was split into six for listing.

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Footnote i

Includes five wildlife species in Batch 1 that were referred to COSEWIC and resubmitted by COSEWIC with the original assessments.

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3.5 SARA Schedule 1 Current Status

When SARA was proclaimed in June 2003, Schedule 1, the official List of Wildlife Species at Risk, included 233 species. Starting in 2005, species have been added to the list every year, except in 2008. As of December 31, 2013, Schedule 1 listed 23 extirpated species, 238 endangered species, 127 threatened species and 130 species of special concern, for a total of 518 species.

Tables 4 and table5 show the number of species added to Schedule 1 each year, by risk status and government agency, respectively.

Table 4: Numbers of species added to Schedule 1 each year by risk status, as of December 2013
YearRisk status:
Extirpated
Risk status:
Endangered
Risk status:
Threatened
Risk status:
Special concern
Total
June 2003
(proclamation)
17
107
67
42
233
2005
4
47
30
31
112
2006
0
18
14
12
44
2007
0
20
5
11
36
2008
0
0
0
0
0
2009
0
8
3
11
22
2010
0
8
4
2011
2
7
4
10
23
2012
0
11
2
5
18
2013
0
4
2
1
7
TotalFootnotej
23
233
135
127

Footnotes

Footnote j

The Eastern Foxsnake was split into two populations. The new populations inherited the species’ status on Schedule 1 of SARA before it was split, and both new populations were uplisted in 2010. For the purpose of this table, one of the new Eastern Foxsnake populations was treated as an addition to Schedule 1.

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Footnote k

Although the total number of listed species (518) is correct, the total listed as endangered, threatened and special concern is slightly off because the values presented in this table do not reflect status changes (i.e., uplisting or downlisting of a species).

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Table 5: Number of species listed on Schedule 1 by department/agency responsible for recovery planning, as of December 2013
TaxonEnvironment CanadaFisheries and Oceans CanadaParks Canada AgencyTotal
Terrestrial mammals
27
4
31
Aquatic mammals
22
23
Birds
70
3
73
Reptiles
34
1
5
40
Amphibians
20
1
21
Fishes
69
68
Molluscs
5
19
2
26
Arthropods
33
4
37
Plants
122
 52
174
Lichens
9
1
10
Mosses
11
4
15
Total
331
111
76
518

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3.6 Emergency Listing Orders

Under section 29 of SARA, if the Minister of the Environment, after consultation with the other competent ministers, is of the opinion that there is an imminent threat to the survival of a wildlife species, the Minister must recommend to the Governor in Council that the species be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as an endangered species on an emergency basis. Upon receipt of such a recommendation, the Governor in Council determines whether or not the species will be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as an endangered species.

As of 2013, no species had been added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk on an emergency basis.

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3.7 Listing Policy and Directive for Do Not List Advice

In December 2013, Fisheries and Oceans Canada finalized a Species at Risk Act Listing Policy (Policy) and Directive for Do Not List Advice (Directive). The objective of the Policy and Directive is to ensure nationally consistent standards and to increase efficiency in the development of listing and do not list advice for aquatic species at risk by the Department to be provided to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Footnotes

Footnote 4

COSEWIC reported that 26 wildlife species had their status confirmed by assessments in 2013. Thirty-two wildlife species are treated as status confirmations for listing purposes. The difference is accounted for by wildlife species’ being split into two or more designatable units at the most recent assessment. If a new designatable unit keeps the same status as its parent, it is treated as a status confirmation for listing purposes, while COSEWIC treats it as a new assessment.

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