Warning This Web page has been archived on the Web.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards, as per the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity.

Skip booklet index and go to page content

Recovery Strategy for the Sea Otter

Appendix B: Anthropogenic Threat Classification Table Definitions

The following definitions are taken from the draft Guidelines on Identifying and Mitigating Threats to Species at Risk, February 1, 2007, prepared by Environment Canada.

 Threat Definitions

 Threat category – Broad category indicating the type of threat.  The threat categories are:

  • Habitat Loss or Degradation
  • Exotic or Invasive Species
  • Changes in Ecological Dynamics or Natural Processes
  • Pollution
  • Accidental Mortality
  • Consumptive Use
  • Disturbance or Persecution
  • Climate and Natural Disasters
  • Natural Processes or Activities
General threat
Typically the general activity causing the specific threat.  To be determined by status report author or recovery team/planner.
Specific threat
The specific factor or stimulus causing stress to the population.  To be determined by status report author or recovery team/planner.  Note that not every threat can be specified to all three levels in this classification hierarchy. Thus, in these situations, specify either a general or specific threat.
Stress
Indicated by an impairment of a demographic, physiological, or behavioural attribute of a population in response to an identified or unidentified threat that results in a reduction of its viability.  To be determined by status report author or recovery team/planner.
Extent
Indicate whether the threat is widespread, localized, or unknown across the species range.
Occurrence
Indicate whether the threat is historic (contributed to decline but no longer affecting the species), current (affecting the species now), imminent (is expected to affect the species very soon), anticipated (may affect the species in the future), or unknown.  If applicable, also indicate whether the occurrence differs between ‘local’ populations or smaller areas of the range and the full ‘range-wide’ distribution.
Frequency
Indicate whether the threat is a one-time occurrence, seasonal (either because the species is migratory or the threat only occurs at certain times of the year – indicate which season), continuous (on-going), recurrent (reoccurs from time to time but not on an annual or seasonal basis), or unknown.  If applicable, also indicate whether the frequency differs between ‘local’ populations or smaller areas of the range and the full ‘range-wide’ distribution.
Causal certainty
Indicate whether the best available knowledge about the threat and its impact on population viability is high (evidence causally links the threat to stresses on population viability), medium (correlation between the threat and population viability, expert opinion, etc), or low (assumed or plausible threat only).  This should be a general reflection of the degree of evidence that is known for the threat, which in turn provides information on the risk that the threat has been misdiagnosed.  If applicable, also indicate whether the level of knowledge differs between ‘local’ populations or smaller areas of the range and the full ‘range-wide’ distribution.
Severity
Indicate whether the severity of the threat is high (very large population-level effect), moderate, low, or unknown.  If applicable, also indicate whether the severity differs between ‘local’ populations or smaller areas of the range and the full ‘range-wide’ distribution.
Level of concern
Indicate whether managing the threat is an overall high, medium, or low concern for recovery of the species, taking into account all of the above factors. 
Local
indicates threat information relates to a specific site or narrow portion of the range of the species. 
Range-wide
indicates threat information relates to the whole distribution or large portion of the range of the species.
Page 11