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Legal Listing Consultation Workbook- Speckled Dace, Okanagan Chinook and Northern Fur Seal


2007 Legal Listing Consultation Workbook

Speckled Dace

Species at Risk Act- Legal Listing of Aquatic Species

Speckled Dace, Okanagan Chinook and Northern Fur Seal

Consultation Workbook

Objective of this Consultation

Your views are being sought to assist the Government of Canada in making an informed decision on whether to add any or all of the following three aquatic species to Schedule 1 (List of Wildlife Species at Risk) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species have been designated by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and include: Speckled Dace (Endangered), Northern Fur Seal (Threatened), and Okanagan Chinook (Threatened).

This workbook provides background information on SARA and the three species being considered for legal listing. At the end of this workbook, questions are provided to guide your feedback. Please complete any or all of the questions starting on page 12 and provide any additional comments you feel are relevant. Your ideas, knowledge, and advice are important to this process and will help the Government of Canada assess the impacts of adding any or all of these three species to Schedule 1.

A downloadable workbook, additional background information, references and contact information are available at:

http://www-comm.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pages/consultations/consultation2006/main_e.htm under:  Species At Risk Act.  For further information on how to submit your workbook please see page 11.

To make sure your comments are considered, please send in your submission by February 28th, 2007.

What is the Species at Risk Act?

The Species at Risk Act (SARA) was created to ensure the survival of wildlife species and the protection of our natural heritage. It requires Canada to provide for the recovery of species at risk due to human activity, and to manage species of special concern to make sure they do not become endangered or threatened. It provides protection for species, their residences and critical habitat.

Legal Listing – What does this mean?

A species is not protected under SARA until it is included in the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1 of the Act).

Following receipt of COSEWIC assessments and public consultations, the federal government must do one of the following:

  1. Accept the assessment and add the species to the List;
  2. Decide not to add the species to the List; or
  3. Refer the current assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

The decision on whether to add the species to the list takes into account the COSEWIC assessment, information received from consultations and factors such as the potential social and economic impacts of the listing.

Once a species is legally listed as extirpated, endangered, or threatened, specific protection measures come into effect barring any harmful actions against species and their residences. In addition, a recovery process must be completed within prescribed timelines.

SARA prohibitions only apply to species listed as extirpated, endangered and threatened, and not to species of special concern.Further, existing protections and prohibitions, such as those authorized by the Fisheries Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Canada National Parks Act, continue to be in force.


Once species are legally listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened, automatic prohibitions apply. SARA has general prohibitions against killing, harming, taking, possessing, capturing, collecting and damaging or destroying the residences of species that are legally listed. SARA defines a 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. There is a need to define more explicitly what a residence is in the case of aquatic species, and to determine whether the term applies to each species.

Recovery and Management Planning

The recovery process is designed to improve the status of species at risk. There are two parts to the recovery planning process for species listed as either extirpated, endangered, or threatened: 1) the development of a recovery strategy, which identifies threats to the species, describes recovery objectives for that species, and identifies the species’ critical habitat; 2) and the development of an action plan, which describes activities to be carried out to promote the recovery of the species. Action plans are the method used to implement the recovery strategies. Recovery strategies and action plans are only developed for species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. For species of special concern, management plans are to be developed (or existing plans may be adopted if adequate) outlining conservation measures and species’ habitats.

The timeline for recovery strategies will be one year from the time of legal listing for endangered species, two years for species listed as extirpated or threatened, and three years for species of special concern.


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