Vol. 151, No. 24 -- June 17, 2017

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

Statutory authority
Species at Risk Act

Sponsoring department
Department of the Environment

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Order.)

Issues

Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. (see footnote 1) Today’s extinction rate is estimated to be between 1 000 and 10 000 times higher than the natural rate. (see footnote 2) Biodiversity is positively related to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency (see footnote 3) (i.e. the ability of an ecosystem to respond to changes or disturbances). Given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services (e.g. natural processes such as pest control, pollination, coastal wave attenuation, temperature regulation and carbon fixing). These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can therefore result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a non-governmental, independent body of scientific experts, has assessed the following 32 species as being at risk in Canada:

  1. American Badger taxus subspecies
  2. Black-tailed Prairie Dog
  3. Crooked-stem Aster
  4. Dakota Skipper
  5. Eastern Musk Turtle
  6. Eastern Tiger Salamander (Carolinian population)
  7. Eastern Tiger Salamander (Prairie population)
  8. Eastern Waterfan
  9. Fernald’s Braya
  10. Georgia Basin Bog Spider
  11. Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle
  12. Greenish-white Grasshopper
  13. Haida Gwaii Slug
  14. Hairy Braya
  15. Hare-footed Locoweed
  16. Massasauga (Carolinian population)
  17. Massasauga (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population)
  18. Mormon Metalmark (Prairie population)
  19. Nahanni Aster
  20. Plymouth Gentian
  21. Riverine Clubtail (Great Lakes Plains population)
  22. Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog
  23. Showy Goldenrod (Boreal population)
  24. Showy Goldenrod (Great Lakes Plains population)
  25. Sweet Pepperbush
  26. Tweedy’s Lewisia
  27. Wandering Salamander
  28. Water Pennywort
  29. Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population)
  30. Western Tiger Salamander (Southern Mountain population)
  31. Western Waterfan
  32. Yukon Draba

Pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act (“SARA” or the “Act”), the Governor in Council (see footnote 4) is proposing the Order Amending Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act.

Background

Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of its national identity and history. Wildlife is valued by Canadians for aesthetic, cultural, spiritual, recreational, educational, historical, subsistence, medical, ecological and scientific reasons. Canadian wildlife species and ecosystems are also part of the world’s heritage. (see footnote 5) Part of the Department of the Environment’s mandate is to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, including flora and fauna. Although the responsibility for the conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared among governments, the Department of the Environment plays a leadership role as federal regulator in order to prevent species from becoming extinct (see footnote 6) or extirpated (see footnote 7) from Canada. The Parks Canada Agency contributes to the protection and conservation of these species within its network of protected heritage places, (see footnote 8) including national parks and national marine conservation areas.

The primary federal legislative mechanism for delivering on this responsibility is Canada’s Species at Risk Act (“SARA” or the “Act”). The purposes of SARA are to prevent wildlife species from becoming extirpated from Canada or extinct; to provide for recovery of wildlife species that are listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity; and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened. At the time of proclamation in 2003, the official list of wildlife species at risk (Schedule 1 of SARA) included 233 species. Since then, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the Governor in Council has amended the list on a number of occasions to add, remove or reclassify species. There are currently 532 species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, which classifies those species as being extirpated, endangered, threatened, or special concern. (see footnote 9)

With the proclamation of SARA in 2003, the Act established the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as the body responsible for providing the Minister of the Environment with assessments of the status of Canadian wildlife species that are potentially at risk of disappearing from Canada. The assessments are carried out in accordance with section 15 of SARA, which, among other provisions, requires COSEWIC to determine the status of species it considers and identify existing and potential threats. COSEWIC meets twice annually to review information collected on wildlife species and assigns each wildlife species to one of seven categories: extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened, special concern, data deficient, or not at risk. (see footnote 10)

After COSEWIC provides its assessments of species at risk to the Minister of the Environment, the Minister has 90 days to post a response statement on the Species at Risk Public Registry indicating how the Minister intends to respond to the assessment and related anticipated timelines. These statements outline the extent of consultations on proposed changes to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Subsequent to the consultations and required analysis being carried out, the Governor in Council formally acknowledges receipt of the COSEWIC assessments. This then triggers a regulatory process through a proposed Order whereby the Governor in Council may, within nine months of the receipt, on the recommendation of the Minister:

  • (1) add a wildlife species to Schedule 1 of SARA according to COSEWIC’s status assessment;
  • (2) not add the wildlife species to Schedule 1; or
  • (3) refer the assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

If the Governor in Council does not decide within nine months of formal receipt of the COSEWIC assessments, SARA states that the Minister shall amend Schedule 1 according to those assessments. This timeline does not apply to reclassifications or removal of a listed species from Schedule 1.

Reclassification allows Schedule 1 of SARA to be consistent with the best available scientific information, as provided by COSEWIC, thus allowing for better decision-making regarding the species in terms of its conservation prioritization. Species can be proposed for up-listing when populations have declined since their last assessment. When species populations recover, they can be proposed for down-listing to ensure that the species are protected according to the purposes of SARA while minimizing impacts on stakeholders and resources.

Upon listing, wildlife species benefit from various levels of protection, which vary depending on their status. Table 1 below summarizes the various protections afforded following listing to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Table 1: Summary of protections offered to wildlife species and their residences immediately upon their addition to Schedule 1 of SARA

Species statusApplication of General Prohibitions by Type of Species and their LocationGeneral Prohibitions
Species protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994Aquatic SpeciesAll Other Listed SpeciesProtection of Individuals (SARA, section 32)Residence Protection (SARA, section 33)
Special concernSARA’s general prohibitions are not applicable (SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply for species of special concern)SARA’s general prohibitions do not applySARA’s residence protection does not apply
Threatened, endangered, and extirpatedGeneral prohibitions apply everywhere in Canada for migratory birds.General prohibitions apply everywhere in Canada for aquatic species.

In the provinces, general prohibitions apply only on federal lands.(see footnote 11)

In the territories, general prohibitions apply only on federal lands under the authority of the Minister of the Environment or the Parks Canada Agency.

Protection for individuals of the species against being killed, harmed, harassed, captured or taken.

Prohibition against the possession, collection, buying and selling or trading of an individual of the species or any part or derivative of this individual.

It is an offence to damage or destroy the residence of one or more individuals of a species.

The residence of extirpated species is only protected if a recovery strategy recommends reintroduction into the wild.

On non-federal lands, listed species that are not an aquatic species or a migratory bird protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 can only be protected under SARA by an order made by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment. (see footnote 12) The Minister of the Environment must recommend that such an order be made if the Minister is of the opinion that the laws of the province or territory do not effectively protect the species or the residences of its individuals.

I -- Recovery planning

Listing a species under an endangered, threatened or extirpated status triggers mandatory recovery planning, by the competent minister, in order to address threats to the survival or recovery of these listed species.

SARA states that a proposed recovery strategy must be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry (SAR Registry):

  • endangered species: within one year of listing;
  • threatened species: within two years of listing; and
  • extirpated species: within two years of listing.

In preparing the recovery strategy, the competent minister must determine whether the recovery of the listed wildlife species is technically and biologically feasible. If it is not feasible, the recovery strategy must include a description of the species’ needs and, to the extent possible, an identification of its critical habitat, and the reasons why its recovery is not feasible.

For wildlife species for which it has been determined that recovery is feasible, recovery strategies include

  • a description of the species and its needs;
  • an identification of the threats to the survival of the species and of the threats to its habitat, and a description of the broad strategy to be taken to address those threats;
  • an identification of critical habitat (i.e. the habitat that is necessary for a listed wildlife species’ recovery or survival);
  • examples of activities that are likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat;
  • a schedule of studies to identify critical habitat where available information is inadequate;
  • a statement of the population and distribution objectives for the species (i.e. the number of individuals, populations and/or geographic distribution of the species required to successfully recover the species);
  • a general description of the research and management activities needed to meet those objectives; and
  • a statement of the time frame for the development of one or more action plans.

Recovery strategies must be prepared in cooperation with

  • appropriate provincial or territorial governments;
  • other federal ministers with authority over federal lands where the species is found;
  • relevant wildlife management boards authorized by a land claims agreement;
  • directly affected Aboriginal organizations; and
  • any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate.

Recovery strategies must also be prepared in consultation with landowners (including provinces and territories) or other persons whom the competent minister considers to be directly affected by the strategy.

The competent minister must prepare one or more action plans based on the recovery strategy. Action plans are also prepared in cooperation and consultation with the above-mentioned individuals or organizations. SARA does not mandate timelines for their preparation or implementation; rather, these are set out in the recovery strategy. Action plans must include

  • an identification of critical habitat, to the extent possible, if not already identified, and consistent with the recovery strategy;
  • examples of activities likely to destroy critical habitat;
  • a statement of the measures that are proposed to protect the species’ critical habitat, including entering into conservation agreements under section 11 of SARA;
  • an identification of any portions of critical habitat that have not been protected;
  • methods to be used to monitor the recovery of the species and its long-term viability;
  • an evaluation of the socio-economic costs of the action plan and the benefits from its implementation; and
  • any other matters that are prescribed by regulations.
II -- Protection of critical habitat

The requirements under SARA for the protection of critical habitat depends on whether the species are aquatic, migratory birds protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA) or other species, as well as whether these species are found on federal lands, in the exclusive economic zone, on the continental shelf of Canada or elsewhere in Canada.

When critical habitat or portions of critical habitat have been identified on federal lands, in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or on the continental shelf of Canada, SARA requires that it be legally protected within 180 days of its identification in a recovery strategy or an action plan. Protection can be achieved through provisions in or measures under SARA or any other Act of Parliament, including conservation agreements under section 11 of the Act.

If critical habitat is located in a migratory bird sanctuary (MBS) under the MBCA, in a national park included in Schedule 1 of the Canada National Parks Act (CNPA), in the Rouge National Urban Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, in a marine protected area under the Oceans Act, or in a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act (CWA), the competent minister must publish a description of that critical habitat in the Canada Gazette within 90 days of the date that the critical habitat was identified in a final recovery strategy or action plan. Subsection 58(1) of SARA, which prohibits the destruction of critical habitat, applies to the critical habitat described in the Canada Gazette 90 days after its publication.

In the case of critical habitat identified on federal land but not found in the protected areas listed above, the competent minister must, within 180 days following the identification of this habitat in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan and under subsection 58(5) of SARA, either make a ministerial order to apply subsection 58(1) of SARA, which would prohibit the destruction of this critical habitat, or publish on the SAR Registry a statement explaining how the critical habitat (or portions of it) is protected under another Act of Parliament, including conservation agreements under section 11 of the Act.

If the critical habitat of a migratory bird species protected by the MBCA is located outside federal lands, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf of Canada or a migratory bird sanctuary under the MBCA, the critical habitat will be protected only once the Governor in Council has made an order to that effect, following recommendation from the competent minister.

For portions of critical habitat on non-federal lands, SARA grants the power to protect the critical habitat to other governments (e.g. provinces, territories). In the event that critical habitat is not protected in these areas, the Governor in Council may, by order, apply the SARA prohibition against destruction of that critical habitat. In cases where the Minister of the Environment is of the opinion that critical habitat on non-federal lands is not effectively protected by the laws of a province or territory, by another measure under SARA (including agreements under section 11) or through any other federal legislation, the Minister must recommend an order to the Governor in Council. Before making the recommendation, the Minister must consult with the appropriate provincial or territorial minister. In all cases, the Governor in Council makes the final decision on whether to proceed with the order to protect the critical habitat in question. (see footnote 13)

III -- SARA permits

A person intending to engage in an activity that is prohibited under SARA and that affects a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals may apply to the competent minister (see footnote 14) for a permit under section 73 of the Act. A permit may be issued if the Minister is of the opinion that the activity meets one of these three purposes:

  • (a) the activity is scientific research relating to the conservation of the species and is conducted by qualified persons;
  • (b) the activity benefits the species or is required to enhance its chance of survival in the wild; or
  • (c) affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity. (see footnote 15)

Additionally, the permit may only be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the following preconditions are met:

  • (a) all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered, and the best solution has been adopted;
  • (b) all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals; and
  • (c) the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

Section 74 of SARA allows for a competent minister to issue permits under another Act of Parliament (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act) to allow a person or organization to engage in an activity that affects a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals, and have the same effect as those issued under subsection 73(1) of SARA, if certain conditions are met. This is meant to reduce the need for multiple authorizations.

IV -- Management of species of special concern

The addition of a species of special concern to Schedule 1 of SARA serves as an early indication that the species requires attention. Triggering the development of a management plan at this stage helps to ensure that the species is managed proactively, maximizes the probability of success, and is expected to avoid higher-cost measures in the future. SARA does not require that critical habitat be identified for species of special concern.

The management plan includes conservation measures deemed appropriate to preserve the wildlife species and avoid a decline of its populations. It is developed in cooperation with the appropriate provincial and territorial minister, other federal government ministers, wildlife management boards, Aboriginal organizations and in consultation with any other affected or interested stakeholders. The management plan for a species must be posted within three years of the species being listed.

V -- New designatable units

Through the definition of wildlife species as a “species, subspecies, variety or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism,” the Species at Risk Act recognizes that conservation of biological diversity requires protection for taxonomic entities below the species level (i.e. designatable units), and gives COSEWIC a mandate to assess those entities when warranted. These designatable units and their proposed classification (e.g. endangered, threatened, species of special concern) are presented in COSEWIC’s assessments in the same way as with other wildlife species. In some cases, based on scientific evidence, wildlife species that were previously assessed may be reassessed and recognized to include fewer, additional or different designatable units. COSEWIC will publish assessments and classifications for any designatable units which may or may not correspond to the previously recognized wildlife species.

Should COSEWIC assess a newly defined designatable unit at the same classification level as the originally listed wildlife species, Schedule 1 may be amended to reflect this more current listing of the species, consistent with the best available scientific information.

Objectives

The objective of the proposed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (the proposed Order) is to help maintain Canada’s biodiversity and the health of Canadian ecosystems by preventing wildlife species from becoming extirpated in Canada or extinct and contributing to their recovery.

Description

The proposed Order to amend Schedule 1 of SARA pertains to 31 wildlife species. These species were grouped together in this proposed Order because they have similar analytical requirements. One of the assessed species (the Yukon Draba) will instead be referred back to COSEWIC.

Of the 31 species,

  • 12 species are proposed for listing or reclassification as species of special concern;
  • 6 species are proposed for reclassification from threatened to endangered designations or vice versa;
  • 9 species are proposed for listing as threatened, endangered or extirpated; and
  • 4 listed species were recognized as new designatable units and proposed for listing at the same status as the previously recognized species.

These proposed changes can be found in Tables 2 and 3 below. A description of each species, its range and threats is found in Annex 1. Additional information on these species can be found in the COSEWIC status reports. (see footnote 16)

Table 2: Addition of 21 species to Schedule 1 of SARA and reclassification of 10 species

Species (21) proposed to be added to Schedule 1 of SARA
Common name (scientific name)Proposed status
Mammals
Badger taxus subspecies, American (Taxidea taxus taxus)Special concern
Amphibians
Salamander, Eastern Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum) Carolinian populationExtirpated
Salamander, Eastern Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum) Prairie populationEndangered
Salamander, Wandering (Aneides vagrans)Special concern
Salamander, Western Tiger (Ambystoma mavortium)
Prairie / Boreal population
Special concern
Salamander, Western Tiger (Ambystoma mavortium) Southern Mountain populationEndangered
Reptiles
Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) Carolinian population (see footnote 17)Endangered
Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population (see footnote 18)Threatened
Molluscs
Slug, Haida Gwaii (Staala gwaii)Special concern
Arthropods
Clubtail, Riverine (Stylurus amnicola) Great Lakes Plains populationEndangered
Grasshopper, Greenish-white (Hypochlora alba)Special concern
Spider, Georgia Basin Bog (Gnaphosa snohomish)Special concern
Tiger Beetle, Gibson’s Big Sand (Cicindela formosa gibsoni)Threatened
Species (21) proposed to be added to Schedule 1 of SARA
Common name (scientific name)Proposed status
Plants
Aster, Nahanni (Symphyotrichum nahanniense)Special concern
Braya, Hairy (Braya pilosa)Endangered
Goldenrod, Showy (Solidago speciosa) Boreal population (see footnote 19)Threatened
Goldenrod, Showy (Solidago speciosa) Great Lakes Plains population (see footnote 20)Endangered
Lewisia, Tweedy’s (Lewisiopsis tweedyi)Endangered
Locoweed, Hare-footed (Oxytropis lagopus)Threatened
Lichens
Waterfan, Eastern (Peltigera hydrothyria)Threatened
Waterfan, Western (Peltigera gowardii)Special concern
Species (10) proposed to be reclassified in Schedule 1 of SARA 
Common name (scientific name)Proposed status
Mammals
Prairie Dog, Black-tailed (Cynomys ludovicianus)Special concern to threatened
Amphibians
Frog, Rocky Mountain Tailed (Ascaphus montanus)Endangered to threatened
Reptiles
Turtle, Eastern Musk (Sternotherus odoratus)Threatened to special concern
Arthropods
Metalmark, Mormon (Apodemia mormo) Prairie populationThreatened to special concern
Skipper, Dakota (Hesperia dacotae)Threatened to endangered
Plants
Aster, Crooked-stem (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides)Threatened to special concern
Braya, Fernald’s (Braya fernaldii)Threatened to endangered
Gentian, Plymouth (Sabatia kennedyana)Threatened to endangered
Pennywort, Water (Hydrocotyle umbellata)Threatened to special concern
Pepperbush, Sweet (Clethra alnifolia)Special concern to threatened

Table 3: Species proposed for referral back to COSEWIC

Species (1) proposed for referral back to COSEWIC
Common name (scientific name)Proposed status
Plants
Draba, Yukon (Draba yukonensis)Endangered

Benefits and costs

The quantitative and qualitative incremental impacts (benefits and costs) of the proposed Order were analyzed. Incremental impacts are defined as the differences between the baseline scenario and a scenario in which the proposed Order is implemented over the same period. The baseline scenario includes ongoing activities on federal lands where a species is found, and incorporates any projected changes over the next 10 years (2017–2026) that would occur without the proposed Order in place.

An analytical period of 10 years (2017–2026) was selected, as the status of the species must be reassessed by COSEWIC every 10 years. (see footnote 21) Costs provided in present value terms are discounted at 3% over the period of 2017–2026, unless otherwise noted. All costs are in 2016 constant dollars.

Overall, costs associated with the proposed Order are expected to be low. Preventing the extinction or extirpation of these species would likely result from a combination of the proposed Order and additional protection measures undertaken by various levels of governments, Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Therefore, benefits provided by the continued existence of these species cannot be attributed to the proposed Order alone.

Benefits

Overall, the proposed Order is expected to benefit the environment and culture of Canadians.

Endangered, threatened and extirpated species would benefit from the development of recovery strategies and action plans that identify the main threats to species’ survival, as well as identify, when possible, the habitat that is necessary for their survival and recovery in Canada. Special concern species would benefit from the development of a management plan, which includes measures for the conservation of the species. These documents would enable coordinated action by responsible land management authorities wherever the species are found in Canada. Improved coordination among authorities increases the likelihood of species survival. This process would also provide an opportunity to consider the impact of measures to recover the species and to consult with Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. These activities may be augmented by actions from local governments, stakeholders and/or Indigenous Peoples to protect species and habitats, for example, through projects funded through the Habitat Stewardship Program, which requires support and matching funds from other sources. These projects enhance the ability to understand and respond effectively to the conservation needs of these species and their habitats.

The special concern designation would also serve as an early indication that the species require attention due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats, and would help enable the species to be managed proactively, maximizing the probability of success and potentially preventing higher cost measures in the future. For species that are being down-listed to special concern, an incremental benefit would be that management efforts for the species would reflect the best available scientific information, as provided by COSEWIC, in order to ensure that the species are protected according to the purposes of SARA, while minimizing impacts on stakeholders, Indigenous Peoples and resources. Since for these species, SARA’s general prohibitions would no longer apply, there could be avoided costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders who would no longer need to apply for a permit or mitigate their practices to respect the prohibitions.

A benefit of reclassifying species from threatened to endangered or vice versa will be that the designation will be consistent with the best available scientific information, as provided by COSEWIC, thus allowing for better decision-making regarding the species in terms of its conservation prioritization. For the three species being recommended for up-listing from threatened to endangered, this would also provide national recognition that these species are facing higher risks of extirpation or extinction.

It is also important to note that preventing the extinction or extirpation of a given species is an integral part of maintaining biodiversity in Canada and conserving Canada’s natural heritage. More diverse ecosystems are generally more stable, and thus the benefits (goods and services) they provide are also more stable over time. (see footnote 22) For example, it can be noted that

  • Salamanders reduce carbon emissions by consuming insects that break down leaf litter and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; (see footnote 23)
  • Grasslands with prairie dog colonies are richer in nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter compared to those without, as a result of the dogs’ burrowing; and
  • Lichens are a source of natural dyes, medicine (including antibiotics), and food. Lichens also absorb pollutants in the air which scientists can then extract to understand chemicals present in the atmosphere. (see footnote 24)

Given that the costs associated with the proposed Order are expected to be low (see below), a complete analysis of how Canadians benefit from the ecosystem goods and services associated with these species was not conducted.

Costs

In terms of incremental costs, the following matters were considered.

  • Costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders of complying with general prohibitions.
  • Federal government costs of recovery strategy, action plan or management plan development, permit applications and issuance, compliance promotion and enforcement.
    • There may also be costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders for voluntarily participating in the process of recovery strategy, action plan or management plan development. These costs could vary widely depending upon the species in question and the chosen level of engagement, and so could not be estimated.
  • Potential implications of a ministerial critical habitat protection order on federal lands, if one is required in the future.
    • As indicated above, if critical habitat is identified on federal land, protection must be afforded either by ensuring that the critical habitat is protected under existing federal laws including conservation agreements under section 11 of SARA or, if it is not already protected under federal laws, by issuing a ministerial order to prohibit the destruction of critical habitat. Since critical habitat is only identified in a recovery strategy or action plan following the listing stage, the extent of critical habitat identification is unknown. Thus, the need for, and the form of, future critical habitat protection measures on federal lands are not known at the time of the listing. Hence, the analysis of potential changes to critical habitat protections resulting from this proposed Order is illustrative, based upon best available information at this stage.

It is important to note a distinction regarding critical habitat on non-federal lands. If any critical habitat identified on non-federal lands is, in the opinion of the Minister, insufficiently protected, he must make a recommendation to the Governor in Council for a critical habitat protection order. The Governor in Council has the discretion to determine the scope of the order and whether or not an order should be made. As such, the potential for critical habitat protection on non-federal lands is not considered an incremental impact of the proposed Order.

The Department of the Environment’s assessment of the proposed Order indicated that the cost impacts would be low. This is because each species falls within at least one of four groups associated with minimal costs and impacts on Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders, as described below:

1. Listing or reclassification to special concern

Twelve species are proposed for listing or reclassification as special concern: American Badger taxus subspecies, Crooked-stem Aster, Eastern Musk Turtle, Georgia Basin Bog Spider, Greenish-white Grasshopper, Haida Gwaii Slug, Mormon Metalmark (Prairie population), Nahanni Aster, Wandering Salamander, Water Pennywort, Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie/Boreal population), and Western Waterfan.

As previously indicated, SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply to special concern species, meaning that this listing does not create any incremental costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. The identification of critical habitat is also not required. However, a management plan must be prepared and published within three years of listing for these species.

The development of management plans is expected to cost the Government of Canada approximately $10,000 per species, for an undiscounted total of $120,000 for all species in this group.

2. Reclassification from threatened to endangered or vice versa

Four species are proposed for reclassification between threatened and endangered designations: Dakota Skipper, Fernald’s Braya, Plymouth Gentian, and Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog.

Endangered and threatened species receive identical protections. They also have the same requirements for preparing recovery strategies, action plans and identifying critical habitat. The only difference between the two statuses is the mandated timelines to publish the recovery strategies, which is one year for endangered species and two years for threatened species. Therefore, these reclassifications may result in minimal costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders.

Updates to the recovery strategies and action plans for these species would be required following reclassification. However, the cost of updating these documents would be less than the development of new recovery strategies and action plans. It is estimated that the cost to Government of updating recovery strategies and action plans is up to $10,000 per document per species. For two of the species, the Dakota Skipper and the Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog, the action plans have not yet been finalized so no additional effort is required to what was planned before the proposed change. Therefore, the total undiscounted cost to Government for this group is estimated to be $60,000.

3. Species that are not found on federal lands

Seven species have not been found or are not expected to be found on federal lands in the near future, and were assessed by COSEWIC as endangered, threatened or extirpated: Eastern Tiger Salamander (Prairie population), Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle, Hairy Braya, Hare-footed Locoweed, Riverine Clubtail (Great Lakes Plains population), Sweet Pepperbush, and Tweedy’s Lewisia. All of these species would be new additions to Schedule 1 of SARA, except for Sweet Pepperbush, which would be up-listed from special concern to threatened.

Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle occurs in Saskatchewan on two community pastures, the Rudy Rosedale and Montrose, both of which are being divested to the province after the 2016 and 2017 grazing season, respectively. As a result, the species will no longer occur on federal lands.

Given that search efforts have not recorded any additional populations of these species on federal lands, the general prohibitions would not be expected to apply immediately upon listing, resulting in no new impacts on Indigenous Peoples or stakeholders. Additionally, no critical habitat would likely be identified for these species on federal lands in the future, lowering the probability of a future ministerial critical habitat protection order.

Efforts to recover these species through the development of both a recovery strategy and action plan are estimated to cost the Government of Canada between $40,000 and $50,000 per species. The total undiscounted cost to the Government of Canada for the species in this group is therefore estimated to total $280,000 to $350,000.

4. Species that are known to be found in one national park

The Black-tailed Prairie Dog and Eastern Waterfan were assessed by COSEWIC to be threatened and endangered, respectively. Their known occurrences on federal properties are limited to national parks. The Black-tailed Prairie dog occurs in Grasslands National Park, and the Eastern Waterfan occurs in Fundy National Park. Given that the National Parks General Regulations and the National Parks Wildlife Regulations include prohibitions similar to SARA’s general prohibitions, there are not expected to be incremental costs associated with listing Black-tailed Prairie Dog or Eastern Waterfan as threatened or endangered. Similarly, SARA allows for permits issued under other Acts of Parliament to have the same effect as SARA permits under certain conditions, further avoiding incremental costs of listing Black-tailed Prairie Dog or Eastern Waterfan.

Although critical habitat identification and activities likely to destroy critical habitat are not known at the time of listing, habitat in national parks already receive some protection from the National Parks General Regulations and the National Parks Wildlife Regulations. Subsection 8(2) of the Canadian National Parks Act (CNPA) states that maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of parks, and a permit is required for the disturbance or destruction of flora or natural objects. The National Parks General Regulations prohibit the removing, defacing, damaging or destruction of any flora and natural objects. Therefore, there is little to no anticipated incremental impacts of critical habitat protection if ever identified on national park lands.

Furthermore, habitat for the Black-tailed prairie dog colonies were indirectly protected as of 2007 when a “regulation zone” established critical habitat for the black-footed ferret and burrowing owl, which are currently listed under Schedule 1 of SARA as extirpated and endangered, respectively. Critical habitat for these two species is described as “the limits of the black-tailed prairie dog colonies in Canada based on their boundaries mapped in 2007.” This critical habitat, which by definition includes important prairie dog habitat, is protected from cultivation, gravel extraction, industrial development, exploration or infrastructure, development (including roads and buildings), deliberate flooding or in-filling, and the construction of permanent fire breaks. Therefore, there are no anticipated incremental impacts of any future critical habitat protection for the Black-tailed prairie dog, if ever identified in Grasslands National Park or within the 2007 regulation zone specifically.

Creating both a recovery strategy and action plan for a species is estimated to cost between $40,000 and $50,000. Species in this group will also require compliance promotion and enforcement efforts, with an estimated cost of $10,000 for compliance promotion in the first year, and an annual enforcement cost of approximately $18,500 per year. The total undiscounted cost to the Government of Canada for the species in this group is estimated to be between $275,000 and $295,000.

5. Newly recognized species

From time to time, based on the best available scientific information, species that were previously assessed may be reassessed and recognized by COSEWIC to include fewer, additional, or different designatable units. This has happened for three species in the proposed Order: the Showy Goldenrod, the Massasauga, and the Tiger Salamander. Specifically:

  • For Showy Goldenrod, COSEWIC recognized two separate populations: Boreal population and Great Lakes Plains population;
  • For the Massasauga, COSEWIC recognized two separate populations: Carolinian population and Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population; and
  • For the Tiger Salamander, COSEWIC recognized two separate Tiger Salamanders each with two populations:
    • Carolinian and Prairie populations for the Eastern Tiger Salamander, and
    • Southern Mountain and Prairie / Boreal populations for the Western Tiger Salamander.

In their respective assessments, the status of four newly recognized designatable units were confirmed by COSEWIC at the same level as that of the previously recognized and listed species:

  • Showy Goldenrod (Great Lakes Plains population) -- endangered;
  • Massasauga (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population) -- threatened;
  • Eastern Tiger Salamander (Carolinian population) --extirpated; and
  • Western Tiger Salamander (Southern Mountain population) -- endangered.

Two of the newly recognized designatable units are recommended for listing at a higher or lower status than the originally recognized species. Specifically:

  • the newly recognized Massasauga (Carolinian population) was assessed as endangered; and
  • the newly recognized Showy Goldenrod (Boreal population) was assessed as threatened.

The remaining newly recognized populations for each species were already discussed in Group 1 and 3 above [i.e. Western Tiger (Prairie / Boreal population) and Eastern Tiger Salamander (Prairie population)].

Since general prohibitions already apply to all the previously recognized and listed species, no new costs to Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders are expected related to the protection of individuals of the newly recognized species.

Updates to current recovery documents would be required to reflect the newly recognized species that were assessed at the same level as the previously recognized and listed species. These changes would be associated with minimal government costs.

Updates to the recovery strategy for the Massasauga would be required based on the COSEWIC reassessment of the Carolinian population. However, the cost of updating this document would be less than the development of a new recovery strategy. The action plan has not yet been finalized so no additional effort is required to what was planned before the proposed change. It is estimated that the cost to Government of updating the recovery strategy is $10,000.

The Showy Goldenrod (Boreal population) would require a new recovery strategy and action plan, as the population is not addressed in the existing recovery strategy for the previously recognized Showy Goldenrod species, and an action plan was not previously required. A new recovery strategy and action plan are estimated to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

The total undiscounted cost to Government for this group is estimated to be between $50,000 and $60,000.

The proposed amendments will provide for a more current listing of these species, consistent with the best available scientific information.

6. Species proposed for referral back to COSEWIC

COSEWIC assessed the Yukon Draba as endangered in November 2011. Since the publication of the assessment, COSEWIC has advised the Department of the Environment that a reassessment is warranted based on new information regarding the species range in Canada and its population dynamics.

No impacts are anticipated for the proposed referral back to COSEWIC.

7. Costs summary

Given the analysis above, the overall costs to the Government of Canada of listing these species are anticipated to be low, and no costs are anticipated for Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Costs would arise from the development of recovery strategies, action plans or management plans that are required when a species is listed under SARA, and from compliance promotion and enforcement activities.

Based on the list of species included in the proposed Order, an overall cost to Government was estimated at $683,000 to $769,000 in present value terms over 10 years (2017–2026), discounted at 3% to a base year of 2016.

The extent of future critical habitat protection is undetermined at this stage, but an analysis of species occurrences relative to land tenure and current protections suggests that no associated costs are expected.

There could be some implications for projects (see footnote 25) required to undergo an environmental assessment by or under an Act of Parliament (hereafter referred to as federal EA). However, any costs are expected to be minimal relative to the total costs of performing a federal EA. Once a species is listed in Schedule 1 of SARA, under any designation, additional requirements under section 79 of SARA are triggered for project proponents and government officials undertaking a federal EA. These requirements include identifying all adverse effects that the project could have on the species and its critical habitat and, if the project is carried out, to ensure that measures are taken to avoid or lessen those effects and to monitor them. However, the Department of the Environment always recommends to proponents in EA guidelines (early in the EA process) to evaluate effects on species already assessed by COSEWIC that may become listed on Schedule 1 of SARA in the near future so these costs are likely already incorporated in the baseline scenario.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply because the proposed additions to Schedule 1 of SARA would not impose new administrative costs on business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there would be no anticipated impact on small businesses.

Consultation

Under SARA, the scientific assessment of wildlife species’ status conducted by COSEWIC and the decision made by the Governor in Council to afford legal protection by placing a wildlife species on Schedule 1 of the Act are two distinct processes. This separation guarantees that scientists may work independently when assessing the biological status of wildlife species and that Canadians have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in determining whether or not wildlife species will be listed under SARA and receive legal protection.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the conservation of wildlife is a joint responsibility and that the best way to secure the survival of species at risk and their habitats is through the active participation of all those concerned. SARA’s preamble stipulates that all Canadians have a role to play in preventing the disappearance of wildlife species from Canada’s lands. One of the ways that Canadians can get involved is by sharing comments concerning the addition or reclassification of species to Schedule 1 of SARA. Comments are considered in relation to the potential consequences of whether or not a species is included on Schedule 1, and comments received from those who will be most affected by the proposed changes are given particular attention. All comments received feed into the proposed listing recommendations from the Minister to the Governor in Council.

The Department of the Environment begins initial public consultations with the posting of the Minister’s response statements on the Species at Risk Public Registry within 90 days of receiving a copy of an assessment of the status of a wildlife species from COSEWIC. Indigenous Peoples, stakeholders, organizations, and the general public are also consulted by means of a publicly posted document titled Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act, Terrestrial Species. This was published in December 2011 (1 species (see footnote 26)), December 2012 (1 species (see footnote 27), December 2013 (13 species (see footnote 28), and January 2015 (12 species (see footnote 29) for most of the species included in this proposed Order. For the species that are currently on Schedule 1 that are being split into newly defined species and/or designatable units, and for which the COSEWIC assessments confirm their classification, no further consultation is undertaken because no impacts are expected for stakeholders.

The consultation documents provide information on the species, including the reason for their designation, a biological description and location information. They also provided an overview of the listing process. These documents were distributed directly to over 3 600 individuals and organizations, including Indigenous Peoples and organizations, provincial and territorial governments, various industrial sectors, resource users, landowners and environmental non-governmental organizations with an interest in a particular species.

Consultations results summary

A total of 39 written comments were received from 31 different Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. A large proportion of the feedback was positive, with comments stemming from six different environmental non-governmental organizations, five First Nations, four individuals, four provincial/territorial governments and one Indigenous organization. These stakeholders expressed their support for the proposals, noting that they welcomed increased protection for the species, and shared their interest in contributing to the recovery planning process. One stakeholder also highlighted that listing these species will help consolidate their efforts with their own stakeholders to help preserve biodiversity.

Four businesses and business associations expressed their concerns about listing two particular species, the American Badger taxus subspecies and the Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population). In particular, the main concern for these stakeholders was that, in their view, the assessment for these species was based on little empirical data. One stakeholder suggested that additional information be gathered for both these species as well as further collaboration with provincial governments prior to listing. For the American Badger taxus subspecies, one business owner shared his views on the problems this species causes for the cattle industry and noted that this species is found in abundance on his ranch lands, suggesting that the data used for the assessment was incomplete or inaccurate.

Another stakeholder noted that the limited data for the American Badger taxus subspecies was generally from fur trade records, and is subject to seasonal variations that are not necessarily associated with abundance of the species. They also remarked that these records do not indicate any observable population trend, putting into question the reason for listing in the first place. They further suggested increased monitoring efforts should be done with provincial governments to reduce trapping limits (of which there currently are none in the Prairie Provinces) to assist with conservation efforts, rather than listing this species as special concern. This idea to limit trapping was also supported by another business as a first measure to protecting the species rather than listing it under the Species at Risk Act.

The Department of the Environment notes that the best available scientific information was used by COSEWIC in its assessments. For the assessment of the American Badger taxus subspecies in particular, COSEWIC obtained data from numerous sources, including aerial surveys, public reports of badger observations, data from badger-focused research projects, sightings from professional biologists, provincial conservation data centres, and provincial and federal Canadian agencies, in addition to trapping records. (see footnote 30)

The information included in the COSEWIC status reports supports the proposed listing of these species, and the risk classifications assigned are supported by the COSEWIC reasons for designation and the application of the criteria that guide these assessments. (see footnote 31) These listings also respect SARA’s principle that if there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to a wildlife species, cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for a lack of full scientific certainty. The suggestions of increased monitoring and improved management and conservation would be the outcome of listing and the subsequent development of management or recovery strategies and action plans in cooperation with the provinces.

One individual expressed concern with the proposal to reclassify the Eastern Musk Turtle from threatened to special concern. In their view, this species should remain designated as threatened because it faces a multitude of threats and the continued loss of appropriate habitat. The Department of the Environment notes that since COSEWIC’s previous assessment in 2002, increased survey effort has found more populations of this species in eastern Ontario and adjacent areas of Quebec, and has concluded that the search efforts were sufficient to justify reclassifying this species as special concern.

As described above, during the initial public consultations, letters and the publicly posted document titled Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act, Terrestrial Species are sent to Indigenous communities and organizations. The Department received a letter from one First Nation indicating that it does not support the overall listing or reclassification of any of the species in the December 2013 consultation document. They are concerned that the proposed amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA do not consider the social, cultural or economic impact on them, and their development of an integrated resource management strategy for their land. The Department of the Environment’s analysis shows that none of the species proposed in this Order for listing are known to be found on their traditional territories. The Department is committed to working with Indigenous Peoples to protect species at risk.

Public comment period following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I

The Department of the Environment is committed to a collaborative process throughout the assessment, listing and recovery planning processes. The results of the public consultations are of great significance to the process of listing species at risk. The Department of the Environment carefully reviews the comments it receives to gain a better understanding of the benefits and costs of changing the List.

The Minister of the Environment takes into consideration comments and any additional information received following publication of the proposed Order and this Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Details for each species are provided in Annex 1.

Rationale

Biodiversity is crucial to ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency, yet is rapidly declining worldwide as species become extinct. (see footnote 32) The proposed Order would support the survival and recovery of 31 species at risk in Canada, thus contributing to the maintenance of biodiversity in Canada. In the case of endangered or threatened species, they would be protected on federal lands through the general prohibitions of SARA, including prohibitions on killing, harming, harassing, capturing, possessing, collecting, buying, selling and trading. In addition, these species would benefit from the development of recovery strategies and action plans that identify the main threats to species survival, as well as identify, when possible, the critical habitat that is necessary for their survival and recovery in Canada. Species listed as special concern would benefit from the development of a management plan, which includes measures for the conservation of the species.

In 1992, Canada signed the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that committed the federal government to “[conserve] biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out the utilization of genetic resources.” (see footnote 33) The Species at Risk Act (SARA) was designed as a key tool for the conservation and protection of Canada’s biological diversity and the proposed Order helps fulfill this important commitment under the CBD.

The strategic environmental assessment (SEA) concluded that the proposed Order would result in important positive environmental effects. Specifically, that the protection of wild animal and plant species at risk contributes to national biodiversity and protects ecosystem productivity, health and resiliency. Given the interdependency of species, a loss of biodiversity can lead to decreases in ecosystem function and services. These services are important to the health of Canadians, and also have important ties to Canada’s economy. For example, carbon sequestration can help mitigate climate change–related economic repercussions such as property damage due to floods or other weather events. (see footnote 34) Small changes within an ecosystem resulting in the loss of individuals and species can result in adverse, irreversible and broad-ranging effects.

This proposal has direct links with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2016-2019 (FSDS). (see footnote 35) The proposed amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA would have important environmental effects and support the goal of “healthy wildlife populations” of the FSDS. Under this goal, these amendments will help fulfill the target that “by 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.”

The overall costs to Government of listing these species are limited to government actions related to recovery and management plan development and are anticipated to be low.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Following the listing, the Department of the Environment and the Parks Canada Agency would implement a compliance promotion plan. Compliance promotion initiatives are proactive measures that encourage voluntary compliance with the law through education and outreach activities and raise awareness and understanding of the prohibitions. Potentially affected Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders would be reached to

  • increase their awareness and understanding of the proposed Order;
  • promote the adoption of behaviours that will contribute to the overall conservation and protection of wildlife at risk;
  • achieve their compliance with the proposed Order; and
  • enhance their knowledge regarding species at risk.

These objectives would be accomplished through the creation and dissemination of information products explaining the new prohibitions applicable on federal lands where they relate to those 31 species, the recovery planning process that follows listing and how stakeholders can get involved, as well as general information on each of the species. These resources will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry. Mail-outs and presentations to targeted audiences may also be considered as appropriate.

In Parks Canada Heritage Places, (see footnote 36) front line staff are given the appropriate information regarding the species at risk found within their sites to inform visitors on prevention measures and engage them in the protection and conservation of species at risk.

SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including fines or imprisonment, seizure and forfeiture of things seized or of the proceeds of their disposition. Alternative measures agreements may also be used to deal with an alleged offender under certain conditions. SARA also provides for inspections and search and seizure operations by enforcement officers designated under SARA. Under the penalty provisions of the Act, a corporation found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $300,000, a non-profit corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 and any other person is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. A corporation found guilty of an indictable offence is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.

The Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, which came into effect on June 19, 2013, impose a 90-day timeline on the Government to either issue or refuse permits under section 73 of SARA to authorize activities that may affect listed wildlife species. The 90-day timeline may not apply in certain circumstances. These Regulations contribute to consistency, predictability and transparency in the SARA permitting process by providing applicants with clear and measurable service standards. The Department of the Environment measures its service performance annually, and performance information is posted on the Department’s website (see footnote 37) no later than June 1 for the preceding fiscal year.

Contact

Mary Jane Roberts
Director
Species at Risk Act Management and Regulatory Affairs
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 1-800-668-6767
Email: ec.LEPreglementations-SARAregulations.ec@canada.ca

Annex 1 -- Description of species being added or reclassified to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act

American Badger taxus subspecies (Taxidea taxus taxus)

COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern in November 2012.

About this species

The American Badger is a medium-sized burrowing carnivore in the weasel family, often recognized by its distinctive head markings. There are four subspecies of American Badger, three of which occur in Canada: jacksoni (listed -- endangered), jeffersonii (listed -- endangered) and taxus.

The American Badger taxus subspecies occurs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. The main threats for the species are habitat loss or degradation via cultivation agriculture; mortality from roadkill, trapping, and secondary poisoning from anticoagulant rodenticides.

Consultations

Seven comments were received regarding the listing of American Badger taxus subspecies. Three comments supporting the listing of the species were received from two environmental non-governmental organizations and from one individual. Four opposing comments were received from two businesses and two business associations.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing, while one comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated serious impacts on their use of the land.

The details of the opposing comments were presented in the Consultation section of this document.

Listing rationale

This mammal is subject to furbearer harvest but also unmonitored and unregulated mortality by landowners, such as through the application of rodenticides. Among other things, the ongoing road mortality and the limited amount of habitat in cultivated areas lead to concern for the species in a large part of its range.

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the American Badger taxus subspecies in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan, which would include measures to prevent the species from becoming further at risk. A listing would also likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)

This species has been listed as special concern since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. COSEWIC assessed this species as threatened in November 2011.

About this species

The Black-tailed Prairie Dog is a burrow-dwelling squirrel that is yellowish in overall colour with a relatively long tail with a black tip. No bigger than a house cat, a distinctive feature of the prairie dog is its territorial “jump-yip” display, in which the animal stretches its body vertically and throws its forefeet high into the air as it makes a bark-like call.

In Canada, the Black-tailed Prairie Dog only occurs in and near the Frenchman River Valley in the very southern portion of Saskatchewan.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from an environmental non-governmental organization regarding the reclassification of the Black-tailed Prairie Dog. One association did not oppose reclassification, but expressed concerns that listing the species could have implication for agriculture.

Four comments were also received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2012 consultation document.

Listing rationale

It is proposed that the status of this species be changed from special concern to threatened. The change is based mainly on the threat of increased drought, and sylvatic plague (an infectious bacterial disease that affects rodents such as prairie dogs), both of which would be expected to cause significant population declines if they occur frequently. Although the Canadian population is in a Federal Protected Area, it exists within a small area and is isolated from other populations, all of which are located in the United States.

An up-listing from special concern to threatened would benefit the species by requiring the development of a recovery strategy and action plan(s), and would trigger general prohibitions for individuals and their residences under SARA when they are found on federal lands.

Crooked-stem Aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides)

This species has been listed as threatened since January 2005. COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern in November 2012.

About this species

This perennial herb has pale blue flower heads and can grow up to 90 cm tall. The species has a restricted distribution in Canada. It is found only in southwestern Ontario and was listed as threatened in January 2005. The species has experienced historic declines and is threatened by invasive plants as well as other indirect threats such as roadside maintenance.

Consultations

Eight comments were received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing, while one comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land. No comments specific to the Crooked-stem Aster were received.

Listing rationale

The Canadian population of Crooked-stem Aster has been relatively stable since the COSEWIC 2002 assessment. Three new sites were discovered in 2007 and one population not surveyed by COSEWIC (2002), near St. Thomas, Ontario, was relocated. None of the previously known sites are known to have been extirpated since 2002 (although not all were surveyed in 2010). The area of occupancy and extent of occurrence have not changed since 2002, but COSEWIC’s assessment criteria have changed. As a result, the species no longer meets the guidelines for threatened under the criteria previously used in assessing the species.

A down-listing from threatened to special concern does not preclude the conservation efforts already underway by requiring the development of a management plan to prevent the species from becoming further at risk.

Dakota Skipper (Hesperia dacotae)

This species was listed as threatened in July 2005. COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in May 2014.

About this species

The Dakota Skipper is an orange/brown butterfly that is dependent on tall-grass and mixed-grass prairie habitats, which have suffered over 99% historical losses since the 1850s. The species occurs within fragmented patches of habitat in three population centres in Canada, all within Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It has a small home range and is associated with specific prairie plants, making it sensitive to the conversion of prairie remnants to cropland, spring and summer haying, overgrazing, controlled burns, drainage of natural sites, and natural disturbances such as floods.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from a provincial government department regarding the reclassification of the Dakota Skipper.

Listing rationale

The long-term persistence of this butterfly is dependent on the appropriate management of its habitat, most of which consists of small fragments. The loss of this skipper from Canada would represent the loss of a significant species of the endangered prairie ecosystem.

Dakota Skipper is currently listed as threatened under SARA, which provides protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan. A recovery strategy has already been posted for this species when it was listed as threatened. Reclassifying the species as endangered reflects the continuing decline of the species, but would not entail additional SARA prohibitions.

Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)

This species was listed as threatened in January 2005. COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern in November 2012.

About this species

This freshwater turtle has a brown-black dorsal shell that rarely exceeds 13 cm in length. It has grey to black skin, and many individuals have two prominent light stripes on the side of the head. When disturbed, the species emits a musky odour from four glands located along the bottom edge of the shell.

The Eastern Musk Turtle occupies shallow waters of lakes, rivers, and ponds in Ontario and Quebec. This species is vulnerable to increased mortality of adults and juveniles from recreational boating, development and loss of shoreline habitat, and fisheries by-catch. The species has delayed maturity and a low reproductive rate.

Consultations

One opposing comment was received from an individual. In their view, the COSEWIC assessment does not support the down-listing of the Eastern Musk Turtle from threatened to special concern.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land.

Listing rationale

Since the previous assessment in 2002, increased survey effort has found more populations in eastern Ontario and adjacent areas of Quebec.

A proposed recovery strategy for this species was posted in 2016. A down-listing from threatened to special concern does not preclude the conservation efforts already underway by requiring the development of a management plan to prevent the species from becoming further at risk.

Eastern Tiger Salamander (Prairie population) (Ambystoma tigrinum) and Eastern Tiger Salamander (Carolinian population) (Ambystoma tigrinum)

The Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) was originally assessed by COSEWIC in November 2001 as including three separate populations; therefore, three wildlife species are recognized for the purposes of SARA:

  1. Great Lakes population (Extirpated);
  2. Prairie / Boreal population (Not at Risk); and
  3. Southern Mountain population (Endangered).

The Great Lakes and Southern Mountain populations have been listed as extirpated and endangered respectively since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003.

In November 2012, COSEWIC recognized two separate Tiger salamander species [the Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) and the Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium)] each with two populations:

Eastern Tiger Salamander

  1. Carolinian population; and
  2. Prairie population.

Western Tiger Salamander

  1. Southern Mountain population; and
  2. Prairie / Boreal population.

In 2013, COSEWIC assessed the Prairie population of the Eastern Tiger Salamander as endangered and the Carolinian population as extirpated.

About this species

Eastern Tiger Salamanders are robust mole salamanders and among the largest terrestrial salamanders in North America. Adults are primarily dark olive to grey or brown with lighter olive to yellow spots on the back and sides.

In 2013, COSEWIC reported that the Prairie population is known from only six sites in Canada within a landscape modified by livestock production, pastures, and forage crops, and intersected by roads. There are recent records from only one of these sites, and the species may be extirpated from one site. The persistence of populations is precarious because of the salamander’s small Canadian range, isolation of populations, and the tendency of salamander numbers to fluctuate widely among years, exacerbated by increasing frequency of droughts and other severe weather events.

Consultations

Two supporting comments were received regarding the addition of the Eastern Tiger Salamander (Prairie population) to Schedule 1 of SARA. One of them was from a provincial government department and the second was from an environmental non-governmental organization.

Listing rationale

A SARA listing as endangered creates immediate protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands and would require the development of a recovery strategy and action plan(s).

COSEWIC assessed the newly recognized Carolinian population at the same classification level as the originally listed species. Schedule 1 will be amended to reflect this more current listing of the species, consistent with the best available scientific information.

Eastern Waterfan (Peltigera hydrothyria)

COSEWIC assessed the Eastern Waterfan as threatened in November 2013.

About this species

This rare, leafy lichen is endemic to eastern North America. In Canada, it is known only from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec; which represents approximately one-quarter of the known global population. It grows at or below water level in cool, clear, partially shaded streams. It is threatened in the short term by disturbance from activities that cause stream siltation, alteration of microclimate and declines in water quality. In the longer term, changes in weather patterns that alter water levels and flow in its preferred habitat are another threat.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

Listing as threatened under SARA provides immediate protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

Fernald’s Braya (Braya fernaldii)

Fernald’s Braya has been listed as threatened since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in November 2012.

About this species

Fernald’s Braya is a small perennial plant in the mustard family. It only grows a few centimetres high (1–7 cm) and has clusters of small white flowers. It is also endemic to the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. This species is at increased risk over its limited range due to numerous threats. Ongoing habitat loss and degradation, combined with a non-native agricultural moth, result in low rates of survival and reproduction. These threats and the additional impact of climate change lead to the prediction that the species will go extinct in the wild within the next 80 years.

Consultations

Eight comments were received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land. No comments specific to Fernald’s Braya were received.

Listing rationale

Fernald’s Braya is currently listed as threatened under SARA, which provides protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan. A recovery strategy has already been posted for this species when it was listed as threatened. Reclassifying the species as endangered reflects the continuing decline of the species, but would not entail additional SARA prohibitions.

Georgia Basin Bog Spider (Gnaphosa Snohomish)

COSEWIC assessed the Georgia Basin Bog Spider as special concern in November 2012.

About this species

This small (1 cm) wetland spider has a very limited global distribution. The species is endemic to the Puget Sound and Georgia Basin area in the Pacific Northwest of North America and about half of the known occurrences are in Canada. In Canada, it is known from only four sites in southwestern British Columbia. These populations may become threatened over a very short time period. The greatest threat is inundation by sea water, since three of the four known sites are less than 3 m above sea level and are at risk from projected increases in the frequency and severity of storms.

Consultations

Eight comments were received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing, while one comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land. No comments specific to the Georgia Basin Bog Spider were received.

Listing rationale

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the Georgia Basin Bog Spider in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan that would include measures to prevent the species from becoming further at risk, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle (Cicindela formosa gibsoni)

COSEWIC assessed the Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle as threatened in November 2012.

About this species

The Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle is one of the largest tiger beetles in North America. The global distribution of the Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle is centred on southwestern Saskatchewan, with two small disjunct populations in Colorado and Montana in the United States. The main threat to the species is the loss of suitable habitat due to continued stabilization of sand dunes. Less than 1% of the dune areas within the Canadian prairies is currently bare sand. There are also believed to be fewer than 73 sites and a 10% possibility of extinction within 100 years based on rates of decline of these open sand dunes.

Consultations

Three supporting comments were received regarding the addition of the Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle to Schedule 1 of SARA. Two of them were from environmental non-governmental organizations, while the third was from an individual.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land.

Listing rationale

Listing as threatened under SARA provides immediate protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

Greenish-white Grasshopper (Hypochlora alba)

COSEWIC assessed the Greenish-white Grasshopper as special concern in November 2012.

About this species

This milky green grasshopper is restricted to dry mixed grass prairie in southernmost Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. Most of the Canadian population is found in only a few sites, with many sites having very small populations. There is evidence that there has been a decline in the western part of the range. A number of threats have been documented including conversion to cultivated fields, pesticide use and overgrazing. Re-establishment of lost populations and rescue effect are limited by the fact that this species is mostly flightless, although some Canadian habitat is continuous across the United States border.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from an environmental non-governmental organization regarding the addition of the Greenish-white Grasshopper to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land.

Listing rationale

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the Greenish-white Grasshopper in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan which would include measures for the conservation of the species, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

Haida Gwaii Slug (Staala gwaii)

COSEWIC assessed the Haida Gwaii Slug as special concern in May 2013.

About this species

The Haida Gwaii Slug was discovered in 2003 in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and has subsequently been found on Brooks Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Both areas harbour unique ecosystems and contain many rare species and subspecies as a result of the glacial history of the islands. The Haida Gwaii Slug is the only known terrestrial gastropod in western North America that is a relic of pre-glaciation times and has not expanded its range outside restricted areas. Grazing and browsing by introduced deer on Haida Gwaii have greatly modified the species’ habitat and have probably reduced its population. Climate change also threatens to reduce the extent of the slug’s preferred subalpine habitat.

Consultations

Eight comments were received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land. No comments specific to the Haida Gwaii Slug were received.

Listing rationale

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the Haida Gwaii Slug in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan that would include measures for the conservation of the species, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

Hairy Braya (Braya pilosa)

COSEWIC assessed the Hairy Braya as endangered in May 2013.

About this species

Hairy Braya is a flowering perennial plant that only grows in a very small area (Cape Bathurst) in the Northwest Territories. It is endangered by the loss of habitat through very rapid coastal erosion and saline wash resulting from storm surges, and by permafrost melting. These events appear to be increasing in frequency and severity as a consequence of a significant reduction in sea ice cover on the Beaufort Sea due to climate change and changes in weather patterns.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from a territorial government department regarding the addition of the Hairy Braya to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land.

Listing rationale

Listing as endangered under SARA provides immediate protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

Hare-footed Locoweed (Oxytropis lagopus)

This species was designated as Special Concern by COSEWIC in 1995, and has been listed as such on Schedule 3 of the Species at Risk Act since proclamation in 2003. COSEWIC re-assessed this species in 2014 using the revised criteria appropriate for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA. It is proposed that the Hare-footed Locoweed be listed as threatened on Schedule 1.

About this species

The Hare-footed Locoweed is a perennial of the pea family that in Canada occurs in highly restricted habitat in southern Alberta. It has bluish-purple flowers and can grow up to 13 cm tall. The Alberta occurrences represent a large portion of the world population. The plants face numerous threats including competition with invasive alien plant species, mining and quarrying, cultivation, oil and gas drilling, road development, and intensive livestock grazing, all of which have not been mitigated and are contributing to continuing habitat loss and degradation.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from a provincial government department regarding the addition of the Hare-footed Locoweed to Schedule 1 of SARA.

Listing rationale

An up-listing from special concern to threatened would benefit the species by requiring the development of a recovery strategy and action plan(s), and would trigger general prohibitions for individuals and their residences under SARA when they are found on federal lands.

Massasauga (Carolinian population) (Sistrurus catenatus) and
Massasauga (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence) (Sistrurus catenatus)

The Massasauga was listed as threatened in January 2005.

In November 2012, COSEWIC split the Massasauga into two populations, recognizing the Massasauga (Carolinian population) and the Massasauga (Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population), and assessed their status as endangered, and threatened, respectively.

About this species

These populations of Massasauga are Ontario’s only remaining venomous snakes. While relatively small, they are a thick-bodied rattlesnake with a segmented rattle on its tail tip. The size of the Canadian range of the Massasauga populations has decreased considerably in comparison to their historical range and continues to shrink.

The Carolinian population of the Massasauga has been reduced to two highly isolated and restricted areas surrounded by intense threats from neighbouring development and subject to poaching for the pet trade. The subpopulations are small and at an increased risk of random and unpredictable events (e.g. disease and flooding) that endanger future growth. Habitat quality also continues to decline.

Consultations

Eight comments were received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document, which included the Massasauga (Carolinian population). Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land. No comments specific to the Massasauga (Carolinian population) were received.

Listing rationale

Assessing the Carolinian population as endangered reflects the continuing decline of the species, but does not entail additional SARA prohibitions as compared to the previously listed Massasauga, and the preparation of a recovery strategy would still be required.

COSEWIC assessed the newly defined Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population at the same classification level as the originally listed species. Schedule 1 will be amended to reflect this more current listing of the species, consistent with the best available scientific information.

Mormon Metalmark (Prairie population) (Apodemia mormo)

The Mormon Metalmark (Prairie population) was listed as threatened in January 2005. In May 2014 COSEWIC assessed the species as special concern.

About this species

This butterfly occurs in the remote badlands and grassland habitats of Grasslands National Park and adjacent community pastures in Saskatchewan (see footnote 38). Because of extensive surveys in the last decade, the known population of this butterfly is now large enough that it no longer meets the criteria for the threatened designation. There are few direct threats to the butterfly, although the slow spread of non-native plants that may compete with host plants and overgrazing in areas outside of the park are of concern and may impact habitat quality.

Consultations

No comments specific to this species were received.

Listing rationale

A recovery strategy has already been posted for this species when it was listed as threatened. Listing as special concern would continue to complement the recovery efforts already undertaken by requiring the development of a management plan to prevent the species from becoming further at risk.

Nahanni Aster (Symphyotrichum nahanniense)

In May 2014 COSEWIC assessed the species as special concern.

About this species

The Nahanni Aster is a perennial wildflower up to 35 cm tall with white to pale pink flower heads. This species is endemic to Canada and known to be found only in Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories. A very small range and population size make this species susceptible to losses through natural alterations due to geothermal processes or to landslide events. It is proposed that the Nahanni Aster be listed as special concern.

Consultations

Two supporting comments were received regarding the addition of the Nahanni Aster to Schedule 1 of SARA. One was from a territorial government department and the other was from a First Nation.

Listing rationale

A special concern listing under SARA would contribute to the conservation of the Nahanni Aster in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan, which would include measures for the conservation of the species, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities. This listing does not create prohibitions under SARA.

Plymouth Gentian (Sabatia kennedyana)

The Plymouth Gentian has been listed as threatened since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. In November 2012 COSEWIC assessed the species as endangered.

About this species

The Plymouth Gentian is a showy perennial with pink flowers that can measure up to 50 cm. It is a lakeshore plant that has a restricted global range with a disjunct distribution limited to southernmost Nova Scotia. There is a concern regarding potential widespread and rapid habitat degradation due to recent increases in levels of phosphorus in lakes, tied to a rapidly growing mink farming industry. Though the population size is now known to be larger than previously documented due to greatly increased survey effort, the species is also at risk due to the continuing impacts associated with shoreline development, and historical hydro-development.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from an Indigenous organization regarding the reclassification of the Plymouth Gentian.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land.

Listing rationale

Plymouth Gentian is currently listed as threatened under SARA, which provides protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan. Reclassifying the species as endangered reflects the continuing decline of the species but would not entail additional SARA prohibitions, and the preparation of a recovery strategy would still be required.

Riverine Clubtail (Great Lakes Plains population) (Stylurus amnicola)

In November 2012 COSEWIC assessed the species as endangered.

About this species

The Riverine Clubtail is a dragonfly that occurs in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. The Great Lakes Plains population is restricted to two small creeks that flow into Lake Erie. The impact of a variety of threats (including water withdrawal from the streams, pollution, and invasive alien species of fish that feed on dragonfly larvae) was determined to be very high, suggesting that there may be a substantial decline over the next decade.

Consultations

Eight comments were received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document. Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land. No comments specific to the Riverine Clubtail (Great Lakes Plains population) were received.

Listing rationale

Listing as endangered under SARA provides immediate protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog (Ascaphus montanus)

This species has been listed as endangered since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. In November 2013 COSEWIC assessed the species as threatened.

About this species

In Canada, this stream-breeding frog has a very small and restricted range in the Kootenay Mountains of southern British Columbia.

Since the previous COSEWIC status assessment in 2000, ten Wildlife Habitat Areas (WHAs) for Rocky Mountain Tailed Frogs were established by the province of British Columbia in the Flathead River watershed and another nine in the Yahk River watershed. The WHAs altogether cover 1 239 ha of habitat and are intended to protect all known breeding and adjacent foraging habitats for Rocky Mountain Tailed Frogs in British Columbia. The effectiveness of the protection in reducing chronic siltation from the surrounding landscape remains to be established and is currently monitored. A ban on mining exploration and development has eliminated threats from these sources in the Flathead portion of the species’ range. Despite these measures, the total population of this species remains small, consisting of approximately 3 000 adults, which increases the vulnerability of the population to environmental disturbances.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

The Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is currently listed as endangered under SARA, which provides protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan. A recovery strategy has already been posted for this species. Reclassifying from endangered to threatened recognizes that the species is still under threat. This status change would not affect the existing SARA general prohibitions already in place for this species.

Showy Goldenrod (Boreal population) (Solidago speciosa) and
Showy Goldenrod (Great Lakes Plains population) (Solidago speciosa)

Showy Goldenrod was designated as endangered in April 1999 and it has been listed as such since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. Since the listing of the species and after the confirmation of a morphologically and ecologically distinct population found at a single location in northern Ontario (Boreal population), COSEWIC recognized two separate populations of Showy Goldenrod in November 2010 (Boreal population and Great Lakes Plains population). The Boreal population was assessed as threatened and the Great Lakes Plains was assessed as endangered.

About this species

The Showy Goldenrod is a perennial plant that can reach up to 1.5 m tall. As the common name suggests, this species is one of the showiest of the goldenrods, as it features many tiny, bright yellow flowers in dense clusters that last well into October in Ontario.

The Boreal population occurs in a geographically distinct area from the Great Lakes Plains population and may consist of about 1 000 individuals. While the population trend is unknown, such geographically restricted small populations remain potentially subject to negative chance events.

Consultations

One comment was received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document, which included the Showy Goldenrod (Boreal population), but no comments specific to Showy Goldenrod (Boreal population) were received.

Listing rationale

Listing the Boreal population as threatened reflects that the species is still under threat. A threatened status does not entail additional SARA prohibitions, as compared to the previously listed Showy Goldenrod that was listed as endangered. In addition, the preparation of a recovery strategy would still be required.

COSEWIC assessed the newly recognized Great Lakes Plains population as endangered, which is the same classification level as the originally listed species. Therefore, Schedule 1 will be amended to reflect this more current listing of the species, consistent with the best available scientific information.

Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

This species has been listed as special concern since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. In May 2014, COSEWIC assessed this species as threatened.

About this species

Sweet Pepperbush is a deciduous, woody, wetland shrub that is one of many nationally rare, disjunct species of the Atlantic Coastal Plain in southern Nova Scotia. Outreach programs have resulted in fairly wide understanding and appreciation of this rare flora. Sweet Pepperbush is particularly appreciated by some landowners because of its showy flowers and strong, pleasant fragrance, characteristics that have made it a widely used ornamental species with many developed cultivars.

Canadian populations of Sweet Pepperbush are isolated from others by over 200 km and are the northernmost worldwide, suggesting potential significance to the species’ range-wide genetic diversity. The species is restricted to the shores of six southern Nova Scotia lakes. Newly identified threats from the invasive exotic shrub Glossy Buckthorn as well as eutrophication have increased the risk of extirpation of this species in Canada.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

An up-listing from special concern to threatened would benefit the species by requiring the development of a recovery strategy and action plan(s), and would trigger general prohibitions for individuals and their residences under SARA when they are found on federal lands.

Tweedy’s Lewisia (Lewisiopsis tweedyi)

In November 2013, COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered.

About this species

Tweedy’s Lewisia is a perennial herb with evergreen, fleshy leaves, often recognized for its showy salmon-coloured, yellowish-pink or white flowers. In Canada, it is known from two sites in the Cascade Mountain Ranges, both in E.C. Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia. These small subpopulations have undergone a decline of up to 30% in recent years, possibly due to plant collecting. The small population size and potential impact from changes in moisture due to climate change place the species at ongoing risk.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

Listing as endangered under SARA provides immediate protection for individuals and their residences on federal lands, and includes provisions for the protection of critical habitat once identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

Wandering Salamander (Aneides vagrans)

In May 2014, COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern.

About this species

The Canadian distribution of this terrestrial salamander is restricted mainly to low elevation forests on Vancouver Island and adjacent small offshore islands in southwestern British Columbia. These salamanders depend on the availability of moist refuges and large diameter logs on the forest floor, as found in intact forests. The salamanders are threatened by logging, residential development, and severe droughts, and storm events predicted under climate change. Low reproductive rate, poor dispersal ability, and specific habitat requirements contribute to the vulnerability of the species.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the Wandering Salamander in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan, which would include measures for the conservation of the species, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

Water Pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata)

This species has been listed as threatened since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003. In May 2014, COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern.

About this species

Water Pennywort is a small herbaceous plant with rounded green leaves. It is known from only three disjunct lakeshore locations in southern Nova Scotia, one of which was discovered since the last COSEWIC assessment. Populations appear to have been stable since the previous status report. Despite the population stability, alterations and damage to shorelines from development and off-road vehicles are ongoing threats.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

A recovery strategy has already been posted for this species when it was listed as threatened. Listing as special concern would continue to complement the recovery efforts already provided by requiring the development of a management plan.

Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population) (Ambystoma mavortium) and
Western Tiger Salamander (Southern Mountain population) (Ambystoma mavortium)

The Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) was originally assessed by COSEWIC in November 2001 as including three separate populations; therefore, three wildlife species are recognized for the purposes of SARA:

  1. Great Lakes population (Extirpated);
  2. Prairie / Boreal population (Not at Risk); and
  3. Southern Mountain population (Endangered).

The Great Lakes and Southern Mountain populations have been listed as extirpated and endangered respectively since the proclamation of the Species at Risk Act in 2003.

In November 2012, COSEWIC recognized two separate Tiger salamander species (the Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) and the Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium)) each with two populations:

Eastern Tiger Salamander

  1. Carolinian population; and
  2. Prairie population.

Western Tiger Salamander

  1. Southern Mountain population; and
  2. Prairie / Boreal population.

Also in 2012, COSEWIC assessed the Prairie / Boreal population of the Western Tiger Salamander as special concern and the Southern Mountain population of the Western Tiger Salamander as endangered.

About this species

Western Tiger Salamanders are among the largest salamanders in North America and are top predators in the largely fishless ponds and lakes where they occur. Terrestrial adults have a blotched, barred or reticulate pattern of yellow or off-white on a dark background.

In 2012, COSEWIC found that while the Prairie / Boreal population remains widely distributed in the Prairie provinces, it faces numerous threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, fish stocking, and emerging diseases, such as the Ambystoma tigrinum virus that can decimate local populations. Salamander habitats are becoming increasingly fragmented by agricultural and oil and gas developments, and associated infrastructures and roads. The disruption of migration routes, mortality through roadkill, and deterioration and loss of breeding and upland habitat for terrestrial adults and juveniles lead to concern for the species in a large part of its Canadian range. It is proposed that this species be listed as special concern.

Consultations

Three comments were received regarding the listing of the Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population). One comment supporting the listing of the species was received from an environmental non-governmental organization, while the two opposing comments were received from a business and a business association.

Eight comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the December 2013 consultation document, which included the Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population). Seven of the comments supported or did not oppose listing. One comment from a First Nation opposed the addition of all species to SARA, because they anticipated impacts on their use of the land.

The details of the opposing comments were presented in the “Consultation” section of this document.

Listing rationale

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population) in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan, which would include conservation measures for the species, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

COSEWIC assessed the newly recognized Western Tiger Salamander (Southern Mountain population) as endangered, which is the same classification level as the originally listed species. Therefore, Schedule 1 will be amended to reflect this more current listing of the species, consistent with the best available scientific information.

Western Waterfan (Peltigera gowardii)

COSEWIC assessed the Western Waterfan as special concern in November 2013.

About this species

This lichen is endemic to western North America. There are only five known occurrences in Canada, all in British Columbia. Two former occurrences appear to be extirpated. This lichen is unique in growing at or below water level in clear, permanent, unshaded alpine or subalpine streams. Habitat loss is likely to result from temperature increases caused by climate change. Because of that change, larger plant species currently below the subalpine zone will be able to grow at higher elevations. Subalpine meadows are therefore predicted to become increasingly colonized by shading vegetation.

Consultations

No comments were received.

Listing rationale

Although a special concern listing does not create prohibitions under SARA, it would contribute to the conservation of the species in Canada by requiring the development of a management plan, which would include measures to prevent the species from becoming further at risk, and would likely promote further research and monitoring activities.

Yukon Draba (Draba yukonensis)

COSEWIC assessed the Yukon Draba as endangered in November 2011.

About this species

Yukon Draba is a small herbaceous mustard plant. At the time of COSEWIC’s assessment in 2011, the only occurrence known worldwide was in a single meadow complex in southwestern Yukon. The meadow complex is under threat from industrial activities, nearby human habitation, invasive species, trampling by humans, and forest encroachment. Human use of the meadows is projected to increase, and encroachment by woody species due to natural succession is causing suitable habitat to decline. Given the rarity of suitable habitat within the range of natural dispersal, the restricted range, and extreme population fluctuations as understood at the time of the assessment, COSEWIC proposed that the Yukon Draba be designated as endangered.

Consultations

One supporting comment was received from a territorial government concerning the Yukon Draba.

Four comments were also received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2012 consultation document.

Rationale for referring back to COSEWIC

Since the publication of the assessment, COSEWIC has advised the Department of the Environment that a reassessment is warranted based on new information regarding the species range in Canada and its population dynamics.

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of the Species at Risk Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Order within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Mary Jane Roberts, Director, SARA Management and Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 (email: ec.LEPreglementations-SARAregulations.ec@canada.ca).

Ottawa, June 1, 2017

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

Amendments

1 Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (see footnote 39) is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Amphibians”:

Salamander, Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum) Great Lakes population
Salamandre tigrée population des Grands Lacs

2 Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Amphibians”:

Salamander, Eastern Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum) Carolinian population
Salamandre tigrée de l’Est population carolinienne

3 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Amphibians”:

Frog, Rocky Mountain Tailed (Ascaphus montanus)
Grenouille-à-queue des Rocheuses

Salamander, Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum) Southern Mountain population
Salamandre tigrée population des montagnes du Sud

4 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Amphibians”:

Salamander, Eastern Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum) Prairie population
Salamandre tigrée de l’Est population des Prairies

Salamander, Western Tiger (Ambystoma mavortium) Southern Mountain population
Salamandre tigrée de l’Ouest population des montagnes du Sud

5 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Reptiles”:

Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) Carolinian population
Massasauga population carolinienne

6 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Arthropods”:

Clubtail, Riverine (Stylurus amnicola) Great Lakes Plains population
Gomphe riverain population des plaines des Grands Lacs

Skipper, Dakota (Hesperia dacotae)
Hespérie du Dakota

7 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Plants”:

Goldenrod, Showy (Solidago speciosa)
Verge d’or voyante

8 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Plants”:

Braya, Fernald’s (Braya fernaldii)
Braya de Fernald

Braya, Hairy (Braya pilosa)
Braya poilu

Gentian, Plymouth (Sabatia kennedyana)
Sabatie de Kennedy

Goldenrod, Showy (Solidago speciosa) Great Lakes Plains population
Verge d’or voyante population des plaines des Grands Lacs

Lewisia, Tweedy’s (Lewisiopsis tweedyi)
Léwisie de Tweedy

9 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Mammals”:

Prairie Dog, Black-tailed (Cynomys ludovicianus)
Chien de prairie

10 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Amphibians”:

Frog, Rocky Mountain Tailed (Ascaphus montanus)
Grenouille-à-queue des Rocheuses

11 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Reptiles”:

Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)
Massasauga

Turtle, Eastern Musk (Sternotherus odoratus)
Tortue musquée

12 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Reptiles”:

Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) Great Lakes/ St. Lawrence population
Massasauga population des Grands Lacs et du Saint-Laurent

13 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Arthropods”:

Metalmark, Mormon (Apodemia mormo) Prairie population
Mormon population des Prairies

Skipper, Dakota (Hesperia dacotae)
Hespérie du Dakota

14 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Arthropods”:

Tiger Beetle, Gibson’s Big Sand (Cicindela formosa gibsoni)
Cicindèle à grandes taches de Gibson

15 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Plants”:

Aster, Crooked-stem (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides)
Aster fausse-prenanthe

Braya, Fernald’s (Braya fernaldii)
Braya de Fernald

Gentian, Plymouth (Sabatia kennedyana)
Sabatie de Kennedy

Water-pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata)
Hydrocotyle à ombelle

16 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Plants”:

Goldenrod, Showy (Solidago speciosa) Boreal population
Verge d’or voyante population boréale

Locoweed, Hare-footed (Oxytropis lagopus)
Oxytrope patte-de-lièvre

Pepperbush, Sweet (Clethra alnifolia)
Clèthre à feuilles d’aulne

17 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Lichens”:

Waterfan, Eastern (Peltigera hydrothyria)
Peltigère éventail d’eau de l’Est

18 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Mammals”:

Prairie Dog, Black-tailed (Cynomys ludovicianus)
Chien de prairie

19 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Mammals”:

Badger taxus subspecies, American (Taxidea taxus taxus)
Blaireau d’Amérique de la sous-espèce taxus

20 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Amphibians”:

Salamander, Wandering (Aneides vagrans)
Salamandre errante

Salamander, Western Tiger (Ambystoma mavortium) Prairie/Boreal population
Salamandre tigrée de l’Ouest population boréale et des Prairies

21 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Reptiles”:

Turtle, Eastern Musk (Sternotherus odoratus)
Tortue musquée

22 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Molluscs”:

Slug, Haida Gwaii (Staala gwaii)
Limace de Haida Gwaii

23 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Arthropods”:

Grasshopper, Greenish-white (Hypochlora alba)
Criquet de l’armoise

Metalmark, Mormon (Apodemia mormo) Prairie population
Mormon population des Prairies

Spider, Georgia Basin Bog (Gnaphosa snohomish)
Gnaphose de Snohomish

24 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Plants”:

Pepperbush, Sweet (Clethra alnifolia)
Clèthre à feuilles d’aulne

25 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Plants”:

Aster, Crooked-stem (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides)
Aster fausse-prenanthe

Aster, Nahanni (Symphyotrichum nahanniense)
Aster de la Nahanni

Pennywort, Water (Hydrocotyle umbellata)
Hydrocotyle à ombelle

26 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Lichens”:

Waterfan, Western (Peltigera gowardii)
Peltigère éventail d’eau de l’Ouest

Coming into Force

27 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.

[24-1-o]

  • Footnote 1
    Butchart S. M. H. et al. May 2010. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science. 328: 1164-1168.
  • Footnote 2
    Bamosky A. D. et al. March 2011. Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature 471: 51-57.
  • Footnote 3
    Hooper D. U. et al. February 2005. Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge. Ecological monographs, 75: 3-35.
  • Footnote 4
    The Governor in Council is the Governor General of Canada acting by and with the advice of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada (Cabinet).
  • Footnote 5
    Preamble to the Species at Risk Act (2003).
  • Footnote 6
    COSEWIC defines an extinct species as a wildlife species that no longer exists: http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=29E94A2D-1#e.
  • Footnote 7
    Section 2 of SARA defines an extirpated species as a wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the wild.
  • Footnote 8
    Heritage places under Parks Canada authority include places such as national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals, national marine conservation areas and the Rouge National Urban Park.
  • Footnote 9
    As of February 22, 2017.
  • Footnote 10
    More information on COSEWIC can be found on its website at www.cosewic.gc.ca.
  • Footnote 11
    Federal land means (a) land that belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada, or that Her Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above that land; (b) the internal waters of Canada and the territorial sea of Canada; and (c) reserves and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves and lands.
  • Footnote 12
    Subsection 34(2) of SARA for provinces and subsection 5(2) for territories.
  • Footnote 13
    As per section 61 of SARA.
  • Footnote 14
    As per the definition in SARA, “competent minister” means (a) the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency with respect to individuals of the wildlife species in or on federal lands administered by that Agency; (b) the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to aquatic species, other than species mentioned in (a); and (c) the Minister of the Environment with respect to all other individuals of the wildlife species.
  • Footnote 15
    Species at Risk Act Permitting Policy [Proposed] http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=2983.
  • Footnote 16
    http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/search/advSearchResults_e.cfm?stype=doc&docID=18
  • Footnote 17
    COSEWIC recognized the currently listed Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) as two separate wildlife species under SARA. The proposed Order strikes Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) from Schedule 1 and adds these new designatable units.
  • Footnote 18
    COSEWIC recognized the currently listed Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) as two separate wildlife species under SARA. The proposed Order strikes Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) from Schedule 1 and adds these new designatable units.
  • Footnote 19
    COSEWIC recognized the currently listed Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) as two separate wildlife species under SARA. The proposed Order strikes Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) from Schedule 1 and adds these new designatable units.
  • Footnote 20
    COSEWIC recognized the currently listed Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) as two separate wildlife species under SARA. The proposed Order strikes Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) from Schedule 1 and adds these new designatable units.
  • Footnote 21
    As required by section 24 of SARA.
  • Footnote 22
    Cardinale et al., June 2012. [Cardinale, J.; Emmett, Duffy; Gonzalez, Andrew; Hooper, David U.; Perrings, Charles; Venail, Patrick; Narwani, Anita; Mace, Georgina M.; Tilman, David; Wardle, David A.; Kinzig, Ann P.; Daily, Gretchen C.; Loreau, Michel; Grace, B.; Larigauderie, Anne; Srivastava, Diane S.; Naeem, Shahid.] Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity. Nature. 486: 56-67. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11148.html.
  • Footnote 23
    Best, M. L. and H. H. Welsh, Jr. (February 2014). The trophic role of a forest salamander: impacts on invertebrates, leaf litter retention, and the humification process. Ecosphere 5(2):16. Wyman, R. L. (May 1998). Experimental assessment of salamanders as predators of detrital food webs: Effects on invertebrates, decomposition and the carbon cycle. Biodiversity and Conservation, 7, p. 641-650.
  • Footnote 24
    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (2016). “Why are lichens important?” http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/lichens/importance.shtml.
  • Footnote 25
    Under section 79 of SARA, a project means a designated project as defined in section 2 or section 66 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, a project as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act or a development as defined in subsection 111(1) of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
  • Footnote 26
    Showy Goldenrod -- Boreal population.
  • Footnote 27
    Black-tailed Prairie Dog.
  • Footnote 28
    American Badger taxus subspecies, Crooked-stem Aster, Eastern Musk Turtle, Fernald’s Braya, Georgia Basin Bog Spider, Gibson’s Big Sand Tiger Beetle, Greenish-white Grasshopper, Haida Gwaii Slug, Hairy Braya, Massasauga (Carolinian population), Plymouth Gentian, Riverine Clubtail (Great Lakes Plains population), and Western Tiger Salamander (Prairie / Boreal population).
  • Footnote 29
    Dakota Skipper, Eastern Tiger Salamander (Prairie population), Eastern Waterfan, Hare-footed Locoweed, Mormon Metalmark (Prairie population), Nahanni Aster, Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog, Sweet Pepperbush, Tweedy’s Lewisia, Wandering Salamander, Water Pennywort, and Western Waterfan.
  • Footnote 30
    https://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/virtual_sara/files/cosewic/sr_blaireau_am_badger_1113_e.pdf
  • Footnote 31
    http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=ED199D3B-1
  • Footnote 32
    Butchart S. M. H. et al. May 2010. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science. 328:1164-1168.
  • Footnote 33
    United Nations. 1992. Convention on Biological Diversity. www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-en.pdf.
  • Footnote 34
    OECD. 2015. The economic consequences of climate change. OECD Publishing, Paris. http://www.oecd.org/env/the-economic-consequences-of-climate-change-9789264235410-en.htm.
  • Footnote 35
    http://www.fsds-sfdd.ca/
  • Footnote 36
    Heritage places under Parks Canada authority include places such as national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals, national marine conservation areas and Rouge National Urban Park.
  • Footnote 37
    https://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=5902EA6D-1
  • Footnote 38
    These community pastures are being divested to the province after the 2017 grazing season.
  • Footnote 39
    S.C. 2002, c. 29
  • Footnote a
    S.C. 2002, c. 29