The federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) aims to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery.

Environment Canada recently released information regarding consultation on amending the list of species under SARA and launched public consultations on the list of eligible terrestrial species for amendment to Schedule 1. 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). Environment Canada is seeking feedback regarding the impacts of the Schedule 1 amendment.

Eligible species for amendment to Schedule 1 include 20 terrestrial species, seven of which are located in the Prairie Provinces and include:

  1. three species being newly assessed as Special Concern: Baird’s Sparrow, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Grizzly Bear (Western population); and
  2. four species scheduled for reclassification: Black-tailed Prairie Dog being uplisted and assessed as Threatened, Buffalograss and Hairy Prairie-clover downlisted as Special Concern and Tiny Cryptantha being downlisted as Threatened.

Threatened species are likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to their extinction and the term Special Concern is used for wildlife species that may become threatened or endangered.

The deadline to submit remarks is March 4, 2013 for most species, but for comments on the Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the Grizzly Bear, the consultation process is open until October 4, 2013. Please submit any comments on the potential impacts of amending the list electronically here or in writing to:

Director General
Canada Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Gatineau, QC  K1A  0H3

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be conducting separate consultations for aquatic species.

At the provincial level, the Alberta Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan guides grizzly bear management which includes reducing human-caused mortality (i.e. hunting), reducing human/bear conflict, working across provincial jurisdictions to maintain accurate information and managing bear behavior. A status report on the grizzly bear population and habitat in Alberta was completed in 2010 which established a new baseline of information.  In June 2010, grizzly bears were designated as a Threatened species under Alberta’s Wildlife Act.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Tasha Blumenthal
Policy Analyst
780.955.4094

Kim Heyman
Director of Advocacy & Communications
780.955.4079

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