November 30, 2017

The federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) aims to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. The Government of Canada has released an Order amending the list of birds under Schedule 1 of SARA. 

There are 11 newly assessed species included in this Order with the following being located in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba:


  • Bank Swallow (Riparia magna)
  • Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
  • Boblink (Dolichonyx oryzicorus)

Special Concern

  • Eastern Wood-pewee (Contopus virens)
  • Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

The federal government identifies that biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct, noting that the current extinction rate is significant. Even minimal changes within an ecosystem impact the survival of species, potentially resulting in adverse and irreversible effects.

The addition of a species at risk to Schedule 1 of SARA strengthens and enhances the federal government’s capacity to provide for listed species protection and conservation. Species become eligible for addition to Schedule 1 once they have been assessed as being at risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). “Threatened” species are likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to their population decline and the term “Special Concern” is used for wildlife species that may become threatened or endangered. An infographic describing the levels of risk is available here.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Tasha Blumenthal
Policy Analyst

Kim Heyman
Director, Advocacy & Communications

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