Vol. 151, No. 12 -- June 14, 2017

Registration

SI/2017-29 June 14, 2017

SPECIES AT RISK ACT

List of Wildlife Species at Risk (referral back to COSEWIC) Order

P.C. 2017-560 June 2, 2017

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsections 27(1.1) and (1.2) of the Species at Risk Act (see footnote a)

  1. refers the assessment of the status of the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) Carolinian population back to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for further consideration; and
  2. approves that the Minister of the Environment include in the public registry established under section 120 of that Act the statement that is attached as the schedule to this Order and that sets out the reasons for the referral back to COSEWIC.

SCHEDULE

Statement Setting Out the Reasons for Referring the Assessment of the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus Porphyriticus) Carolinian Population Back to COSEWIC

The Carolinian population of the Spring Salamander, a large lungless salamander, was historically recorded in the Niagara Regional Municipality in southern Ontario. When COSEWIC assessed the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) Carolinian population in 2011, it assigned a status of extirpated to this species because no valid records of it had been documented for more than 50 years. However, since the publication of the assessment, new and emerging information regarding that population has become available that COSEWIC would like to consider in the assessment of the species. Therefore the assessment of this species is referred back to COSEWIC for consideration.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

The objective of this Order is for the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsections 27(1.1) and (1.2) of the Species at Risk Act (the Act), to refer the matter of the assessment of the Spring Salamander (Carolinian population), undertaken pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Act, back to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for further information or consideration.

When COSEWIC assessed the Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) in 2011, it assigned a status of extirpated to the Carolinian population. The Chair of COSEWIC has advised Environment and Climate Change Canada officials that since the publication of the assessment, new information is available regarding this population, and the Committee would like the opportunity to take it into account in their assessment of the species.

Background

The purpose of the Act is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct; to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are 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. COSEWIC was formed as an independent scientific body in 1977 with a mandate to provide a single, official, scientifically sound, national classification of wildlife species at risk in Canada. The Committee provides the Minister of the Environment with assessments of the status of wildlife species in Canada.

Implications

Under subsection 27(1.1) of the Species at Risk Act, the GIC may, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, within nine months after receiving COSEWIC’s assessment of the status of a species, review the COSEWIC assessment, accept the assessment and add the species to the List of species at risk (the List), decide not to add the species to the List, or refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

On September 30, 2016, the Governor in Council acknowledged receipt of assessments for 15 species that COSEWIC provided to the Minister of the Environment. This initiated the nine-month period under the Act, which will end on June 30, 2017. By way of the Order, the Governor in Council is referring the assessment of one of these species, the Spring Salamander (Carolinian population), back to COSEWIC for further consideration.

The Minister of the Environment, in accordance with subsection 27(1.2) of the Act, will include a statement in the public registry setting out the reasons for the decision to refer the assessment of the Spring Salamander (Carolinian population) back to COSEWIC. Those reasons are set out in the Annex to the Order and will be posted on the website of the public registry established under the Act (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca).

Public comments

On October 22, 2016, a proposed order to amend Schedule 1 of the Act was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period. No public comments were received about the Spring Salamander (Carolinian population).

The Department also received a letter from the Chair of COSEWIC requesting that the assessment of the Spring Salamander (Carolinian population) be referred-back for reassessment because new scientific information is available concerning this species.

Departmental contact

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