Vol. 151, No. 50 — December 16, 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-government, independent body of scientific experts, has assessed the following 13 species as being at risk in Canada:

  1. American Badger jeffersonii subspecies (Eastern population)
  2. American Badger jeffersonii subspecies (Western population)
  3. Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle
  4. Barn Owl (Western population)
  5. Grizzly Bear (Western population)
  6. Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee
  7. Macropis Cuckoo Bee
  8. Roell’s Brotherella Moss
  9. Sable Island Sweat Bee
  10. Western Toad (Calling population)
  11. Western Toad (Non-calling population)
  12. Wolverine
  13. Yellow-banded Bumble Bee

Pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act (“SARA” or the “Act”), the Governor in Council (GIC) (see footnote 4) is proposing the Order Amending Schedule 1 to 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 jurisdictions, the Department of the Environment plays a leadership role as regulator in order to prevent species from becoming extinct at the global scale (see footnote 6) or extirpated (see footnote 7) from Canada. The Parks Canada Agency, as the cognizant Department, 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. 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 the proclamation of SARA in 2003, the official list of wildlife species at risk (Schedule 1) 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 548 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 its 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,

If the Governor in Council does not decide within nine months of its 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, depending on their status, as per the general prohibitions (sections 32 and 33 of SARA).

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

Species status

Application of General Prohibitions by
Type of Species and their Location

General Prohibitions

Species Protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

Aquatic Species

All Other Listed Species

Protection of Individuals (Section 32 of SARA)

Residence Protection (Section 33 of SARA)

Special concern

SARA’s general prohibitions are not applicable.

SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply.

SARA’s residence protection does not apply.

Threatened, endangered, and extirpated

General 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 in Canada.

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 as endangered, threatened or extirpated triggers mandatory recovery planning, by the competent minister, in order to address threats to the survival or recovery of the listed species.

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

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, the identification of its critical habitat, and the reasons why its recovery is not feasible.

For wildlife species for which there has been a determination that recovery is feasible, recovery strategies include

Recovery strategies must be prepared in co-operation with

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 co-operation 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

II — Protection of critical habitat

Requirements under SARA for the protection of critical habitat depend on whether the species are aquatic species, 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 federal protected areas listed in the previous paragraph, the competent minister must, pursuant to subsection 58(5), within 180 days following the identification of this habitat in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, make a ministerial order to apply subsection 58(1) of SARA, prohibiting the destruction of this critical habitat. If a ministerial order is not made within 180 days, the competent minister must publish on the Species at Risk Public 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 only be protected once the Governor in Council has made an order to that effect, following recommendation from the competent minister.

For portions of critical habitat for species other than aquatic species or species protected under the MBCA, on non-federal lands, SARA considers the protection of the critical habitat by other governments (e.g. provinces, territories). 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 to apply the SARA prohibition against destruction of that critical habitat on non-federal lands. 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 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 affecting a listed species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals that is prohibited under SARA, 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:

In addition, the permit may only be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the following conditions are met:

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 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 may help enable the species to be managed proactively, maximizes the probability of success, and could help 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 co-operation with the appropriate provincial and territorial minister, other federal government ministers, wildlife management boards and 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, varieties or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism,” SARA 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 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 should also 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 or extinct from Canada and contribute to their recovery.

Description

The proposed Order pertains to 13 wildlife species. Six species are additions to Schedule 1 of SARA and one species is being reclassified. As for the remaining species, the following modifications are proposed to reflect changes to their recognized designatable units:

Table 2 — Proposed modifications to Schedule 1 of SARA

Legal Population Name

Scientific Name

Current Status

Proposed Status

Range

Species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA

Mammals

American Badger jeffersonii subspecies, Eastern population

Taxidea taxus jeffersonii

Endangered

Endangered

British Columbia

American Badger jeffersonii subspecies, Western population

Taxidea taxus jeffersonii

Endangered

Endangered

British Columbia

Grizzly Bear, Western population

Ursus arctos

None

Special concern

Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba

Wolverine

Gulo gulo

None

Special concern

Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador

Amphibians

Western Toad, calling population

Anaxyrus boreas

Special concern

Special concern

Alberta

Western Toad, non-calling population

Anaxyrus boreas

Special concern

Special concern

Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta

Arthropods

Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle

Omus audouini

None

Threatened

British Columbia

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Bombus bohemicus

None

Endangered

All provinces and territories, except Nunavut

Macropis Cuckoo Bee

Epeoloides pilosulus

None

Endangered

Nova Scotia

Sable Island Sweat Bee

Lasioglossum sablense

None

Threatened

Nova Scotia

Yellow-banded Bumble Bee

Bombus terricola

None

Special concern

All provinces and territories, except Nunavut

Mosses

Roell’s Brotherella Moss

Brotherella roellii

None

Endangered

British Columbia

Species proposed for reclassification in Schedule 1 of SARA

Barn Owl, Western population

Tyto alba

Special concern

Threatened

British Columbia

Species proposed to be removed from Schedule 1 of SARA and replaced by new designatable units

American Badger jeffersonii subspecies

Taxidea taxus jeffersonii

Endangered

None

British Columbia

Grizzly Bear, Prairie population

Ursus arctos

Extirpated

None

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba

Western Toad

Anaxyrus boreas

Special concern

None

Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta

Wolverine, Eastern population

Gulo gulo

Endangered

None

Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador

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 the scenario in which the proposed Order is implemented over the same period. The baseline situation includes activities ongoing on federal lands where a species is found, and incorporates any projected changes over the next 10 years (2018–2027) that would occur without the proposed Order in place.

An analytical period of 10 years (2018–2027) was selected, as the status of the species must be reassessed by COSEWIC every 10 years. (see footnote 16) Costs provided in present value terms are discounted at 3% over the period of 2018–2027. Unless otherwise noted, all monetary values reported in this analysis are in 2016 constant dollars.

Any decision about whether to take action to prevent a species from becoming extirpated involves the following three issues which do not usually occur simultaneously in most cost-benefit analyses:

  1. There is uncertainty about whether the effort to prevent extirpation would be successful.
  2. The benefits of protecting the species are known with less certainty than the costs, making a calculation of probable net benefits difficult due to limited information.
  3. A decision to protect could be reversed in the future, if need be. However, a decision against protection that results in the loss of the species cannot be reversed.

To reflect these challenges, this cost-benefit analysis presents the best available information and economic analysis possible. Preventing the 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, some of the benefits presented cannot be attributed to the proposed Order alone. As such, they are provided for context.

Overall, the analysis revealed that any costs to Indigenous peoples and to stakeholders would likely be minor.

Benefits

Endangered, threatened and extirpated species may 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 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, Indigenous peoples and/or stakeholders to protect species and habitats, for example through projects funded by 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 may help enable the species to be managed proactively, maximizing the probability of success and potentially preventing higher-cost measures in the future.

More generally, preventing the extirpation of a given species via a diversity of actions, including those taken under SARA, such as this proposed Order, contributes to overall biodiversity. More diverse ecosystems are generally more stable and less subject to malfunction; therefore, the benefits they provide to humans are also more stable over time. (see footnote 17)

Total economic value

Using the total economic value framework, the analysis found that the species in the proposed Order provide many benefits to Canadians, including

  1. Pollination: It is estimated that over one third of global crop production is dependent upon animal pollination. (see footnote 18) Although many species are pollinators, including some birds, butterflies, and bats, Canadian bee species are especially important pollinators due to the diversity of plants they can pollinate. (see footnote 19) Maintaining a diversity of bee species is crucial, since specific plants are better pollinated by certain pollinators. Moreover, Bumble Bees (including the two in the proposed Order) are more effective and efficient than honey bees at pollinating many crops. (see footnote 20), (see footnote 21) Pollinators may also provide benefits through their contribution to the diversity and abundance of wild flowers, which in turn provide aesthetic value. (see footnote 22)
  2. Pest control: The Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle larvae and adults are known to consume significant quantities of small insects (e.g. ants and centipedes). Similarly, the Barn Owl consumes many crop-damaging small rodents, such as voles, rats and mice. These small rodents are also known to carry harmful diseases. (see footnote 23)
  3. Nutrient cycling and seed dispersal: The Grizzly Bear helps disperse nitrogen and other nutrients through the ecosystem by transporting salmon carcasses and seeds into the forest. (see footnote 24)
  4. Ecotourism: Grizzly Bear viewing is an important economic and social component of British Columbia’s tourism and recreation industries. (see footnote 25)
  5. Research: Many species enable research efforts into broader ecosystem effects. The Barn Owl is a research species for the health of small animal populations because of the species’ rodent-based diet. The Barn Owl is also a good indicator of the state of native grassland and agricultural grassland.
  6. Existence value: Many people derive well-being from simply knowing that a species exists now, and/or for future generations. Studies indicate that society does place substantial value on vulnerable species, (see footnote 26) especially for charismatic species (see footnote 27), (see footnote 28) such as the Barn Owl and the Grizzly Bear. As an indicator of the potential existence value of the Barn Owl and its critical habitat, a U.S. study estimated that households were willing to pay approximately $80 per year for the preservation of the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl and its old-growth forest critical habitat. (see footnote 29) Roell’s Brotherella Moss populations in southern British Columbia also represent the only known remaining populations in the world.

Many of the species in the proposed Order also have important cultural significance for Indigenous peoples. For example, the Grizzly Bear is present in many Indigenous cultural traditions, (see footnote 30) and is respected in stories and rituals. (see footnote 31) The Wolverine is also an important figure in Indigenous mythologies. (see footnote 32) Bumble Bees are culturally significant to Indigenous peoples, (see footnote 33) and are valued in particular for the pollination of rare plants that are used for medicinal purposes. (see footnote 34)

There is also an option value associated with these species, i.e. Canadian residents and firms may hold a value associated with the preservation of genetic information that may be used in the future for biological, medicinal, genetic engineering, and other applications. For example, Bumble Bees are being used by scientists to better understand how to keep small aircraft stable in windy conditions, which is an example of the emerging field of biomimicry. (see footnote 35), (see footnote 36) Bee venom is also being researched for its potential medicinal properties. (see footnote 37), (see footnote 38) Moreover, economic theory suggests there is a benefit to erring on the side of avoiding an irreversible outcome (see footnote 39) such as extinction.

Costs

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

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, not effectively protected, the Minister must make a recommendation to the Governor in Council for a critical habitat protection order to be made. The Governor in Council has the discretion to determine the scope of the order and whether or not an order should be made. As a result, any such future decision is not considered an incremental impact of this proposed Order.

Approach regarding analysis of future critical habitat protection on federal lands

As noted earlier, critical habitat is defined as the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a wildlife species. For wide-ranging species, critical habitat is not generally as broad as the range of the species because critical habitat identification is most often based on known species occurrences in relation to the biophysical attributes the species depends on within the range. The identification of critical habitat is a science-based process guided by a framework (see footnote 40) that is designed to be flexible enough to adapt to the various situations encountered by recovery practitioners, but structured enough to provide consistency in how critical habitat is identified and presented. The identification of critical habitat in federal recovery documents is done in collaboration with Indigenous peoples and jurisdictions and is also open to a public consultation process.

If critical habitat for a listed species is identified on federal land during the creation of a recovery strategy or an action plan, and federal legislation does not already protect the habitat, the competent minister is obligated under section 58 of SARA to make a critical habitat protection order to trigger the protections against the destruction of critical habitat as per subsection 58(1). Thus, in the event such an order is made, it should be considered an incremental impact of the decision to list a species.

However, there is a great deal of uncertainty at the time of listing over whether any such order would ever occur or where it would apply. At the time of listing, the amount and location of critical habitat to meet the population and distribution objectives is unknown, as is whether any part of that future critical habitat will ever be identified on federal lands that are not already protected.

To address this uncertainty, the analysis applied a conservative approach and used the best available information in the analysis of costs. In particular, it used Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to determine economic activities on federal land within the range of a given species and/or wherever on federal land it is known to occur. To do this, relevant databases of federal properties, (see footnote 41) Indigenous lands, (see footnote 42) and activities known to threaten the survival of a species as identified by COSEWIC were analyzed. This approach provides a conservative view on potential changes for stakeholders arising from critical habitat protection, since, as mentioned earlier, critical habitat is generally only a portion of the total range of a given species.

The definition of federal lands under SARA includes First Nations Reserves and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act and all the waters on and airspace above those reserves and lands.

Species found on Department of National Defence lands

It is also worth noting that the Department of National Defence (DND) has an environmental program that provides guidance to support compliance with environmental legislation. In addition, DND has been working with the Department of the Environment and the Parks Canada Agency on terrestrial species at risk matters. Moreover, where activities are related to national security considerations, they can be exempted from the general prohibitions and critical habitat protection under SARA if authorized under another Act of Parliament. (see footnote 43) In light of these factors, no significant impacts are expected on DND properties, and the incremental costs that may be carried by DND under the proposed Order as part of their overall approach to environmental management have not been estimated.

Analysis of costs by species group

Analysis of likely costs associated with both the general prohibitions and potential critical habitat protection are presented below for each species/species group (administrative costs that would be carried by the federal government and/or permit applicants are discussed at the end of this section).

(1) Listing as special concern

Three species are proposed for listing as special concern:

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

(2) Listed species that are being split into newly defined species and/or designatable units, but retain the same status

As noted earlier, based on scientific evidence, a previously assessed species and/or designatable unit may be redefined (see footnote 44) and changes to Schedule 1 of SARA would be required to reflect the new taxonomy. This is the case for two species in the proposed Order: the Western Toad and the American Badger (jeffersonii subspecies). However, as explained below, all populations within these two species would retain their designation, as well as the associated protections afforded to them under SARA. Therefore, no incremental changes for Indigenous peoples or stakeholders would occur.

The Western Toad is currently listed as special concern as one unit. The species was split into two designatable units: the calling population and the non-calling population. Both of these populations have been assessed as special concern and therefore retain the same status.

Similarly, the American Badger (jeffersonii subspecies) is currently listed as endangered as one unit. The species was split into two designatable units: the Eastern population and the Western population. Both of these populations are still assessed as endangered.

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

(3) Listing or reclassifying as threatened/endangered

Five species are proposed for listing, and one for reclassification, as threatened or endangered:

Considerations associated with listing/reclassification of each species are discussed below.

Audouin’s Night-Stalking Tiger Beetle

Based on recent occurrence data, the only federal land where the species is likely to occur is the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Although entry and access to the sanctuary is not restricted, human activities are controlled as per the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations, indirectly protecting Audouin’s Night-Stalking Tiger Beetles and their habitat to a great extent. Therefore, no incremental costs are anticipated for federal land managers beyond the potential requirement to seek a permit for any activity that would affect this species (as discussed under “Total administrative costs”).

Barn Owl

The Barn Owl uses a wide variety of natural and artificial nest structures, including cavities in living and dead trees, chimneys, elevated platforms in barn lofts, silos, hangars, water towers, bridges, overpasses, attics, nest boxes, etc. It is not possible to predict the degree to which alterations of such natural or human-made structures are currently planned on federal land, let alone which of such structures happen to be used for nesting. However, in the event a structure used for nesting is slated for alteration or demolition, mitigation measures are often feasible. Such measures can include delaying the demolition to make sure the structure in question remains intact during the nesting season of the species when being used by individual birds, and/or providing, in proximity to the original site, alternative habitat suitable for individual birds occupying the structure outside of nesting season. One example of alternative habitat that has been proven effective is nest boxes, which could cost between $50 and $400 each depending on the design. (see footnote 45) Thus, although the costs associated with complying with the general prohibitions cannot be estimated, they are not likely to be major.

Barn Owl habitat is threatened by residential and commercial land development and the associated road infrastructure. Given the high profile of the Barn Owl in British Columbia, and its current status as a species of special concern, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to record observations of nests and individual birds, as well as the existence of suitable habitat for both nesting and foraging (i.e. areas like fields, marshes, and agricultural lands that support an abundance of small mammal prey, particularly voles). Preliminary biological evidence suggests that habitat within a 1-km radius of each nest/roost or sighting is likely the most important habitat for this species. Thus, the analysis conducted on the potential impacts of any future critical habitat protection on federal land was focused heavily on activities within these 1-km buffers (henceforth referred to as “important habitat”), but also considered the possibility that other federal land within the whole range of the species could be included later. The results of this analysis, by type of federal property, are summarized below.

(1) Wildlife research and management areas, parks, and recreational sites

The Barn Owl’s range and important habitat overlap several wildlife research and management areas (e.g. national wildlife areas and wildlife conservation areas), as well as parks and historic sites managed by the federal government. Given the protection of the species and land cover that has already been afforded in these areas under existing federal acts and regulations, no incremental costs are anticipated for federal land managers beyond the potential requirement to seek a permit for any activity that would affect this species (as discussed under “Total administrative costs”).

(2) Department of National Defence properties

Barn Owl occurrences have been reported on three DND properties. GIS analysis also found that portions of the important habitat and range overlap lands owned by the Department. On sites where Barn Owl sightings were recorded, DND has measures in place that directly or indirectly protect the species and its habitat. For instance, buildings are inspected prior to demolition to ensure there are no Barn Owls or active nests present, and certain fields are mowed in such a way as to maintain suitable foraging habitat. Therefore, the DND properties, which already make efforts to protect the species, would incur minimal incremental costs (e.g. possible permitting costs).

(3) Indigenous lands

The important habitat intersects 13 reserves belonging to seven First Nations. In addition, two species occurrences have been reported on two other reserves that contain vineyards.

As noted earlier, if delaying the destruction of a nest and/or the creation of alternative habitat would be required for a planned development to be in compliance with the general prohibitions, this is typically a feasible, low-cost undertaking. Similarly, if critical habitat is defined by the Government of Canada on these reserves lands, and in the event a critical habitat protection order is put in place covering these lands, any future large-scale development on these reserves that affects foraging or nesting areas may have to consider maintaining and/or replacing some functionally equivalent habitat. There could also be limitations on heavy use of rodenticides or trapping to control vole populations on croplands/vineyards within any critical habitat. The probability of any of these events occurring cannot be known at this time. The Department of the Environment has not been made aware of any current major development plans or widespread use of rodenticides during pre-consultations. In the event rodenticides are being used to control voles, an alternative is to encourage predation by Barn Owls by installing nest boxes, which can actually be a more effective and less costly method of rodent control. (see footnote 46), (see footnote 47)

(4) Major projects

Less than 1% of the important habitat overlaps with the planned corridor for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which largely runs along existing infrastructure corridors. None of these overlapping lands are federally owned.

Bees
(1) The Macropis Cuckoo Bee

The range of the Macropis Cuckoo Bee is restricted to Nova Scotia. The species was found on only one site, outside of federal lands, in 2002. Therefore, the general prohibitions are not expected to be triggered, resulting in no new impacts on Indigenous peoples or stakeholders. Additionally, no critical habitat would likely be identified for this species on federal lands in the future, limiting the possibility for a ministerial critical habitat protection order.

(2) The Sable Island Sweat Bee and the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee

The Sable Island Sweat Bee and the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee are each found on a limited number of federal lands, and are therefore discussed together.

The confirmed occurrences of the Sable Island Sweat Bee are limited to the Sable Island National Park Reserve in Nova Scotia, while those of the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee are limited to Bruce Peninsula National Park (see footnote 48) in Ontario, Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia, and Kluane National Park and Reserve in the Yukon. The National Parks General Regulations (NPGR) and the National Parks Wildlife Regulations include prohibitions similar to some of SARA’s general prohibitions against killing, possessing or harassing species; or disturbing and destroying residences. Furthermore, permits issued under the Canada National Parks Act (CNPA) would be required to be SARA-compliant if the activity they authorize will affect a species at risk. Therefore, there are not expected to be significant incremental costs associated with listing these two bees.

Moreover, 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 Canada 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 or natural objects. Therefore, there is little to no anticipated incremental impact of critical habitat protection if ever identified in national park lands.

Roell’s Brotherella Moss

On federal lands, known current occurrences of Roell’s Brotherella Moss are on five First Nation reserves, and historical occurrences were on an additional three reserves, all in British Columbia. The listing of this species would result in the general prohibitions applying where this moss is found on these reserves. According to the COSEWIC status report, this moss is restricted to areas such as remnant stands of second-growth forests found within city parks and areas unsuitable for urban development, or in floodplain regions along waterways. If an activity was determined to affect Roell’s Brotherella Moss on federal lands in a way that is prohibited by section 32 or 33 of SARA, a SARA permit would be required, and could be granted if the preconditions under subsection 73(3) of SARA are met. The Department of the Environment has contacted these reserves to obtain more information about planned developments, although a response has not been received. The Department is not aware of any current major development plans on these reserves.

As it relates to the possible identification of critical habitat, this species is highly localized and many of its habitat requirements overlap the habitat qualities of other species already listed in SARA Schedule 1 such as the Oregon Forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana), listed as endangered; the Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa), listed as endangered; and the Coastal Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), listed as threatened. Therefore, if critical habitat were to be identified on these lands, it may already overlap with other areas already identified for protection, thereby minimizing incremental impacts.

Total administrative costs

For all of the species in the proposed Order, some administrative costs would be incurred by the federal government for the development of recovery strategies, action plans and management plans. Recovery strategy and action plan development is estimated to cost $40,000 to $50,000 per species (undiscounted). It should be noted that no government costs are expected for the group of species being split into two designatable units, as recovery documents that are under development are already considering the splits into two designatable units. When added to the costs of management plan development for the three special concern species, estimated to average $10,000 per species, the total present value would be between $234,000 and $286,000 for all species in the proposed Order.

A compliance promotion plan has been drafted for the proposed Order, and it is anticipated that compliance promotion activities would cost approximately $10,000 to the Government of Canada during the year following the coming into force of the proposed Order. Compliance promotion activities would include updates to the Species at Risk Public Registry; outreach to federal land managers and Indigenous peoples to help them understand their obligations under SARA; materials for industry sectors who may perceive that the proposed Order has impacts on their activities; and information on the species and their occurrences on federal lands to be provided to enforcement officers of the Department of the Environment. It is expected that the enforcement of the proposed Order would be mostly reactive, such as responding to formal requests for investigations under the Act. Further analysis would be required to conduct targeted compliance verification to ensure enforcement operations are efficient. This analytical work is estimated to cost approximately $7,000 per year at a minimum and $15,000 per year at a maximum for the species in the proposed Order. An additional $5,000 per year would be required to engage partners such as other government departments. The total compliance promotion and enforcement costs would amount to roughly $112,000–$180,000 in present value terms discounted at 3% over 10 years.

As noted above, permits would be required for activities that would otherwise be prohibited under SARA’s general prohibitions or a potential critical habitat protection order on federal lands. For species found in national parks (the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee and the Sable Island Sweat Bee), the CNPA permits for carrying activities in parks must be made SARA-compliant. Although it is not certain that any additional permit requirements would be triggered as a result of the proposed Order, applications, updates, and the issuance of SARA permits could be foreseen for the following species: the Barn Owl (Western population), Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle and Roell’s Brotherella Moss. In general, the incremental costs to the Government of Canada for the issuance of permits are estimated to be between $500 and $2,600 per permit, including costs associated with reviewing permits, assessing applications, and communicating with applicants. On the part of permit applicants (businesses or researchers), applying for permits for scientific or beneficial activities usually involves costs estimated at $300 to $1,100 per permit. Applying for a permit where affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity is estimated to cost between $600 and $2,400, varying with species and activities involved. For such permits related to high-impact development projects, costs could rise to the tens of thousands of dollars. However, many such projects would undergo an environmental assessment process that requires proponents to gather large amounts of information on species at risk, and in such cases, the costs associated with gathering this information are not fully attributable to the listing of the species under SARA.

Implications for environmental assessments

Generally speaking, there could also be some implications for projects (see footnote 49) required to undergo an environmental assessment by or under an Act of Parliament (hereafter referred to as a federal EA).

EA guidelines already recommend that proponents evaluate effects on species already assessed by COSEWIC that may become listed on Schedule 1 of SARA in the near future. (see footnote 50) Overall, any incremental costs are expected to be minimal relative to the total costs of performing a federal EA. Therefore, no attempt has been made to quantify these potential costs.

“One-for-One” Rule

Although it is not certain that any permit requirements would be triggered as a result of the proposed Order, if they did arise, they would represent an administrative cost to the applicants. Therefore, the amendments are considered to be an “IN” under the Government of Canada’s “One-for-One” Rule.

The only species for which permit applications under SARA may be foreseeable are Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle; the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee; the Sable Island Sweat Bee; Roell’s Brotherella Moss; and the Barn Owl. For the reasons outlined in the “Benefits and costs” section above, permit applications are unlikely to be triggered for all other species in the proposed Order.

Therefore, to be conservative, if it is assumed that one permit could be requested per federal property or First Nations reserve land where each of these species are known to occur in the 10 years following listing, then up to 13 potential permit applications could be received. It is also assumed that 40% of these applications would be for permits where affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity and would be prepared by businesses. The remainder of the permit applications would be for research or activities that benefit the species, and would be prepared by academic institutions or other research organizations (e.g. non-governmental organizations, governments). The 6 incidental permit applications could give rise to $975 in one-time annualized administrative costs (2012 Canadian dollars discounted at 7% to a base year of 2012) on the part of business applicants, or $162 in annualized administrative costs per business (2012 Canadian dollars discounted at 7% to a base year of 2012). These estimates are based upon the experience of SARA permit administrators and data on previously requested permits. The administrative burden costs are based on the assumption that

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as the nationwide cost impacts of the proposal are below $1 million per year and costs for small businesses are not considered disproportionately high.

With the listing order in place, small businesses could seek a SARA permit under paragraph 73(2)(c) of SARA. Permits are assessed on a case-by-case basis and would be granted only where all reasonable alternatives were considered and the best solution is adopted; all feasible measures are taken to minimize the negative impact of the activity; and the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. It is assumed that up to half of the permit applications for activities where affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity could qualify as small businesses and, as a result, up to three permit applications could be received from small businesses over the 10 years following the listing. The annualized average administrative cost for these permits is $486 (2012 Canadian dollars discounted at 7% to a base year of 2012), for an average of $162 per business (2012 Canadian dollars discounted at 7% to a base year of 2012).

Consultation

Under SARA, the scientific assessment of the status of wildlife species 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 thus receive legal protections.

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 the country. 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 (three species (see footnote 51)), December 2012 (one species (see footnote 52)), December 2013 (four species (see footnote 53)), January 2015 (three species (see footnote 54)) and January 2016 (two species (see footnote 55)) for most of the species included in this proposed Order. For the species that are currently on Schedule 1 that are being proposed to be split into newly defined species and/or designatable units, and for which the COSEWIC assessments confirm their classification, no further consultation was undertaken because no impacts are expected for Indigenous peoples or stakeholders. For these species, activities would continue to be undertaken in a manner consistent with the purposes and according to the timelines identified in the Species at Risk Act.

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 SARA 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 (ENGOs) with an interest in a particular species.

Consultations results summary

The Department of the Environment received 1 057 comments pertaining to the species included in this regulatory package, 983 of which were related to one species, the Grizzly Bear, and were the result of letter-writing campaigns. Comments were received from provinces, territories, federal agencies, First Nations, Indigenous organizations, wildlife management boards, NGOs, individuals, municipalities and businesses. The vast majority of comments supported or did not oppose the modifications to Schedule 1 of SARA, while 13 comments opposed the listing of species or expressed concerns with the potential impacts of listing. The opposing comments indicate the abundance of the species in one area, express concerns with the implications of listing on the trapping or forestry industries or question the data used by COSEWIC in assessing the status of the species.

Abundance of the species

One province and six hunters and trappers organizations oppose the listing of Wolverine as special concern, because they feel the number of the species are increasing in their area. One of these organizations is also concerned about the safety of children and pets due to the increase in Wolverine numbers in their area and the fact that the species has habituated to humans.

Two similar comments were received on the addition of Grizzly Bear as special concern to Schedule 1. Two First Nations located in the Yukon indicated that they observe stable or increasing populations of Grizzly Bears on their territory and that these populations are causing concern for their communities. They disagree with the designation of Grizzly Bear as a species of special concern in their communities, although they agree that such a designation may be appropriate in the south.

The Department of the Environment notes that the purpose of SARA is to prevent the extinction of species and provide for their recovery in Canada as a whole, as opposed to individual provincial or territorial jurisdictions. COSEWIC indicates that population estimates for Wolverines are limited and that it appears populations may be increasing in portions of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba and Ontario, while declines have been reported in British Columbia, Quebec and Labrador. As for Grizzly Bear, COSEWIC indicates that the Western population has probably been stable since 1990, although there have been declines in Alberta, and possibly in southern British Columbia and some parts of the Yukon. On the other hand, some expansion of the range of Grizzly Bear in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba appears to be underway.

In order for a subspecies to be recognized, which could lead to different designations in different areas, populations have to be significant or discrete (see footnote 56) from those found in other regions of Canada, which is not the case for Wolverine or Grizzly Bear.

As for the concerns expressed regarding the safety of children and pets, listing Wolverine and Grizzly Bear as species of special concern would not prevent communities from taking steps necessary for the preservation of public safety, as SARA’s general prohibitions would not apply.

Implications of listing on industry

One province questions the data used by COSEWIC when assessing the status of Wolverine, insisting on the uncertainties indicated in the status report as it relates to population size and trends. They feel it would be better to study the species further before adding it to Schedule 1 of SARA. They are also concerned with the implications of listing Wolverine on the trapping industry. One fur trapper association opposes the listing of Wolverine and indicate their opposition to potential bans on harvesting, the closure of Wolverine seasons or the imposition of quotas.

One business opposes the listing of Grizzly Bear as special concern, indicating they are concerned that additional habitat preservation following listing would result in negative impacts on the forestry sector. They also question the data that was used to assess the status of the species, especially since hunting the species is legal in their province.

The Department of the Environment notes that the best available scientific information was used by COSEWIC in their assessments and it supports the proposed listing of the two species at the status determined by COSEWIC. The risk classification assigned is supported by the COSEWIC assessment and the application of the criteria that guide the assessments. (see footnote 57) The assessments 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.

Also, SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply to species of special concern, which is the proposed status for Wolverine and Grizzly Bear. As a result, there should be no impacts on hunters and trappers or forestry activities following listing. Conversely, the development of a management plan may help with addressing some of the concerns related to increasing populations in some areas.

Other comments

One province indicated its opposition to the listing of Yellow-banded Bumble Bee as special concern, indicating that they have all the legislative and regulatory tools to protect the species.

The preamble of the Species at Risk Act indicates that “responsibility for the conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared among the governments in this country and that it is important for them to work cooperatively to pursue the establishment of complementary legislation and programs for the protection and recovery of species at risk in Canada.” The Department of the Environment welcomes measures taken by provinces and territories to offer protection to species at risk within their jurisdictions. However, it is still necessary for the Government of Canada to take action as provincial protections do not apply on federal land.

One First Nation does not support the overall listing or reclassification of any of the species in the December 2013 consultation document. They are concerned that the listing of these species will impact their ability to manage land and resources. They are further 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 are known to be found on their reserve lands or traditional territories.

Finally, two comments were received that are not directly related to the potential listing of Grizzly Bear: one individual expressed concerns with the introduction of Grizzly Bear in the Cascade area of British Columbia near and in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, while another individual wrote to express their support to bear hunting as a way of controlling populations. If the species is listed on SARA as special concern, as proposed by COSEWIC, SARA general prohibitions will not apply, but the development of a management plan may help with addressing these concerns.

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 will take into consideration comments and any additional information received following the publication of the proposed Order and this Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Details on 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 58) The proposed Order would support the survival and recovery of 13 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 may 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) which 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 of the utilization of genetic resources.” (see footnote 59) The Species at Risk Act 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, global crop production is heavily dependent upon animal pollination. 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 60) 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.”

In summary, listing of the species would benefit Canadians in many ways, yet no major costs would be borne by Indigenous peoples or stakeholders. The costs to Government are expected to be relatively 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. Outreach would be targeted to potentially affected Indigenous peoples and stakeholders in order to

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 13 species, the recovery planning process that follows listing and how Indigenous peoples and 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 Agency heritage places, (see footnote 61) 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 measure 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 the Act. 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 is liable to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person is liable 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 of Canada 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, for example a permit issued under another Act of Parliament, such as the Canada National Parks Act, as per section 74 of SARA. 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 62) 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
Department of the Environment
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 jeffersonii subspecies (Eastern population)

The American Badger jeffersonii subspecies is currently listed on Schedule 1 as one unit. Two populations are now recognized for the jeffersonii subspecies (Western population and Eastern population). COSEWIC confirmed both populations’ designation as endangered species.

About this species

The American Badger is a medium-sized burrowing carnivore in the Mustelidae (weasel) family. The Eastern population of the jeffersonii subspecies has reddish, sandy-brown fur, bold facial markings, and a flattened body. This species has strong muscles and broad front paws which are adapted for digging (burrowing and hunting). Its diet is highly varied, consisting primarily of ground squirrels, marmots, gophers, voles and mice.

The Eastern population of American Badger jeffersonii subspecies is found in the East Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia and reported in Kootenay National Park. This species is found in non-forested grassland and in close proximity to linear corridor roads such as fencerows, field edges, and hedgerows. Important habitat features are soil coherence (soil’s ability to maintain structure) required for burrowing, and prey availability. This population is separated from the Western population by the Selkirk Mountains, which is a geographic barrier that is considered habitat which will not support badgers or their prey since it is wet and has close-canopied forests.

The main threats to American Badger are roadkill and declining habitat. Loss and degradation of habitat is primarily due to development, poor range management, forest ingrowth, agriculture and reservoir flooding.

Consultations

Consultations were not undertaken for this subspecies, because consultations and the associated impact analysis have occurred when the original species and/or designatable units were first proposed for listing.

Listing rationale

This subspecies is currently listed as endangered, but is now recognized as two designatable units (Western population and Eastern population). This listing will align Schedule 1 of SARA with current science, which recognizes two distinct populations. There will be no change to the protections afforded to the individuals.

American Badger jeffersonii subspecies (Western population)

The American Badger jeffersonii subspecies is currently listed on Schedule 1 of SARA as one unit. Two populations are now recognized for the jeffersonii subspecies (Western population and Eastern population). COSEWIC confirmed both populations’ designation as endangered species.

About this species

The American Badger is a medium-sized burrowing carnivore in the Mustelidae (weasel) family. The Western population of the jeffersonii subspecies has sandy-brown fur, bold facial markings, and a flattened body. This species has strong muscles and broad front paws that are adapted for digging (burrowing and hunting). Its diet is highly varied, consisting primarily of ground squirrels, marmots, gophers, voles and mice.

The Western population of American Badger jeffersonii subspecies is declining and is found from the Coast Mountains to the Monashee Mountains in south-central British Columbia. This species is found in non-forested grassland and in close proximity to linear corridor roads, such as fencerows, field edges, and hedgerows. Important habitat features are soil coherence (soil’s ability to maintain structure), required for burrowing, and prey availability. This population is separated from the Eastern population by the Selkirk Mountains, which is a geographic barrier that is considered habitat which will not support badgers or their prey since it is wet and has close-canopied forests.

The main threats to the American Badger are roadkill and declining habitat. Loss and degradation of habitat is primarily due to development, poor range management, forest ingrowth, agriculture and reservoir flooding.

Consultations

Consultations were not undertaken for this subspecies because consultations and the associated impact analysis have occurred when the species and/or designatable units were first proposed for listing.

Listing rationale

This subspecies is currently listed as endangered but is now recognized as two designatable units (Western population and Eastern population). This listing will align Schedule 1 of SARA with current science, which recognizes two distinct populations. There will be no change to the protections afforded to the individuals.

Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle

COSEWIC assessed this species as threatened in November 2013.

About this species

Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle is a medium-sized (14–18 mm), dull black, flightless beetle. This species mates in early spring, with females laying 10–20 eggs per day within a suitable substrate for larvae to construct burrows (sand). Adults are opportunistic predators feeding on small arthropods.

Approximately 10% of the global range is restricted to a small area of the Georgia Basin in southwestern British Columbia within 1 km of the marine shoreline and includes Boundary Bay and the Greater Victoria area. Globally, Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle is found along the low elevation coastal terrain on the western coast of North America from southern British Columbia to northern California. This species’s habitat preference is for sparsely vegetated sand ecosystems and Garry Oak ecosystems that include open grassy areas, sparsely vegetated habitats, coastal bluffs, meadows, open forests and older agricultural fields.

Primary threats to this species include habitat loss through agricultural and urban development, ongoing pesticide use in some areas, vegetation succession in sparsely vegetated habitats, disturbance from recreational activities, storm surges, and in the longer term, sea-level rise.

Consultations

No species specific comments were received during initial consultations.

Listing rationale

The species is known from fewer than 10 sites in Canada, and the discovery of more populations is unlikely because it is flightless and thus unlikely to disperse significantly. Since this beetle is restricted to a small area in the Georgia Basin in southwestern British Columbia within a narrow strip of coastal lowlands around Boundary Bay and Greater Victoria, it is at considerable risk. Major threats are prevalent in its range.

Barn Owl (Western population)

The Barn Owl (Western population) was listed on Schedule 1 of SARA as a species of special concern upon the proclamation of the Act in 2003. COSEWIC reassessed this species as threatened in November 2010.

About this species

Barn Owl is a medium-sized, long-legged owl with a heart-shaped face and dark eyes. It has a reddish-brown/golden, vermiculated (marked with wavy lines) grey upper body and white/yellow-brown, dark brown/rust spots on its lower body. Barn Owls require landscapes that provide adequate foraging habitat for their primary prey (voles and mice), and suitable sites for nesting.

In Canada, the Western population resides year-round in southern British Columbia. Globally, this species is found on nearly every continent but its northern reach is limited by cold winters. This species’s primary foraging habitats include old agricultural fields, rough pasture, hayfields, grassy roadsides, and grassy marshes. The Barn Owl uses a wide variety of natural and anthropogenic structures as nests, including cavities in living and dead trees, chimneys, elevated platforms (including those in anthropogenic structures), and nest boxes.

Threats to this species include loss of foraging habitat due to changes in agricultural practices and other land uses. The availability of nesting sites has also severely declined, owing to the conversion of old, open wooden farm buildings to modern, closed metal structures. Barn Owls are also particularly susceptible to being killed on roads and bouts of severe winter weather to which Barn Owls are poorly adapted.

Consultations

Four supporting comments were received regarding the reclassification of the Western population of the Barn Owl to Schedule 1 of SARA. One was from a province, one was from an environmental non-governmental organization, one was from a municipality and one was from a scientist. Two supported the listing and provided advice on the recovery efforts for this species. The other two supported or did not oppose the listing. The municipality requested information and access to advice on the species in order to make better informed land-use decisions, while the individual proposed recovery prioritization in relation to the range of occurrence of this species.

One comment was also received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document. The comment was from a First Nation that indicated its support of the listing of the species and expressed its interest in receiving further communications on the species in the future.

Reclassification rationale

Western Canada supports a small fraction of the global population of this charismatic nocturnal raptor. The Western population in British Columbia is small and threatened by ongoing loss and degradation of grassland and old field habitat to intensive agriculture and urbanization. It is also threatened by the conversion of old wooden barns and other rural buildings to more modern structures.

Grizzly Bear (Western population)

The Grizzly Bear (Prairie population) is currently listed on Schedule 1 as an extirpated species, while the Grizzly Bear (Northwestern population) was previously designated as a species of special concern by COSEWIC but is not listed on Schedule 1. COSEWIC re-examined the entire species in 2012 and the Prairie and Northwestern populations were considered a single unit: Grizzly Bear (Western population). COSEWIC assessed this species as special concern.

About this species

Grizzly Bears are omnivores adapted to digging and rooting, grazing, and hunting. In some areas, they are effective predators of ungulates (hooved mammals) such as moose, elk, and caribou. Pacific-coastal Grizzly Bears feed heavily on spawning salmon, while in the Arctic, Grizzly Bears scavenge along shorelines feeding on whale and seal carcasses.

This species ranges from southern British Columbia northward through all the territories to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is extirpated from southeastern Alberta to Manitoba. It can be found in many of the western national parks, including the mountain national parks (Banff, Kootenay, Jasper, etc.) and those in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait). Globally, this species existed in approximately 48 countries, but have been extirpated in many countries while many other Eurasian populations are insular, small, and endangered. A ban of Grizzly Bear hunting will take effect in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia on November 30, 2017, but the species can still be hunted for its meat outside of that area. Populations in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut can be hunted legally. All regions support and/or formally recognize the right to First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit subsistence hunting.

In the absence of human interference, Grizzly Bear density is largely determined by the abundance and seasonality of its food sources. Grizzly Bears generally experience higher rates of mortality near anthropogenic features like roads and developments. Human activity is believed to lead to fragmentation and isolation, thereby increasing chances of local extinction.

Consultations

Nine hundred and eighty-three comments were received on the listing of Grizzly Bear (Western population). Thirty-three individual comments were received, including two comments unrelated to the listing proposal, while the other nine hundred and fifty comments were the result of three letter-writing campaigns. One of the unrelated comments was against the introduction of the species in a provincial park and the other one was related to the need for hunting to control populations of all bear species to prevent human deaths.

Nine hundred and seventy-eight comments were supportive of the addition of the Grizzly Bear to Schedule 1 of SARA, while three opposing comments were received. They came from a business and two First Nations. The comments and the Department of the Environment’s response were presented in the “Consultation” section of this document.

Five comments related to all the species included in the December 2012 consultation document were also received, all in favour or not opposing the listing.

Listing rationale

The global distribution of this species has declined by over 50% since the 1800s, with Western Canada representing a significant core of the current North American range. The Grizzly Bear is highly sensitive to human disturbance and is at high risk for mortality where human activity is present. While the overall population has remained stable over the past 20 years and records are indicating some range expansion north, a number of populations in southern Alberta and British Columbia are declining, thereby raising concern of unsustainable mortality. The poor condition of the species in some parts of the range, combined with its naturally low reproductive rate and increasing pressures of resource extraction and cumulative impacts in currently intact parts of the range, heightens concern for this species if such pressures are not successfully reversed.

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee

COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in May 2014.

About this species

The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is medium in size with a white-tipped abdomen. This species is an obligate social parasite, meaning it cannot reproduce unless it exploits a suitable host. Mated females seek out host nests in the spring and kill the nest’s queen before laying their own eggs, which are tended to by the host colony because the species does not produce workers. Host species of Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee include the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Eastern Canada), the Western Bumble Bee (Western Canada) and the Yellow-banded Bumble Bee (throughout Canada).

The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee feeds on pollen and nectar from a variety of plant types.

In Canada, the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee has historically been recorded in every province and territory, except Nunavut. It occurs in diverse habitats, including open meadows, mixed farmlands, urban areas, boreal forest and montane meadows. It has also been reported in a few eastern national parks such as Cape Breton and Forillon, as well as the Kluane National Park and Reserve in the Yukon. However, very few specimens have been found in the past 20 years in locations where it was historically present, even in sites where its host species are present, despite a substantial search effort.

The most likely threat to Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is the decline of its host species. At regional scales, pesticide use, pathogen spillover (see footnote 63) and habitat loss are probable threats.

Consultations

Nine species-specific comments were received regarding the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee from two provincial and two territorial governments, four wildlife management boards and one Indigenous organization during pre-consultations. All comments were supportive or did not oppose listing.

Listing rationale

This distinctive bee historically had an extensive range in Canada and has been recorded from all provinces and territories, except Nunavut. Although not known to be abundant, there has been a large observed decline in relative abundance (see footnote 64) in the past 20–30 years in areas of Canada where the species was once common. Significant search efforts throughout Canada in recent years have failed to detect this species, even where its hosts are still relatively abundant. From 2002–2011, the species has only been recorded in the following three provinces: Ontario (1 specimen); Quebec (10 specimens); and Nova Scotia (2 specimens) despite thousands of bees having been collected during surveys.

Macropis Cuckoo Bee

COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in May 2011.

About this species

The Macropis Cuckoo Bee is a cleptoparasitic species, meaning it “steals” pollen made by other bees by sneaking into their hosts’ nests and laying their eggs on the food provision collected by the host bee. The egg or larva of the host bee is killed by the cleptoparasite. The species is thought to use oil-collecting bees as hosts, many of which are rare.

In Canada, this species was originally found in Quebec, but was also historically reported between Ontario and Saskatchewan. In the past 40 years, it has been collected in Canada at one site in Nova Scotia. It has not been found in more recent surveys. It prefers swampy or moist habitats, which support Macropis bees and Yellow Loosestrife (food plant).

Threats to the Macropis Cuckoo Bee include loss or reduction of Macropis nesting sites; reduced gene flow among both floral and bee populations due to the isolation of habitats; and loss of large stands of Yellow Loosestrife through natural and anthropogenic causes, resulting in increased distances between isolated patches of habitat.

Consultations

Two species-specific comments were received from an Indigenous group and a business during pre-consultations. The Indigenous group was in support of listing, while the business did not oppose listing, citing no interaction with the species.

One comment was also received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document. The comment was from a First Nation that indicated their support of the listing of the species and expressed their interest in receiving further communications on the species in the future.

Listing rationale

This species is a habitat specialist, requiring both a suitable host and the host’s foodplant. Historically in Canada, this species was known to be present at six sites across five provinces. Despite recent nationwide increases in bee surveying, this species has only been found once since the 1960s — two specimens were found in one location in Nova Scotia in 2002 — and has not been observed again despite extensive searches. With only one location and a predicted decline in habitat area and quality, this species is at high risk of extinction.

Roell’s Brotherella Moss

COSEWIC assessed this species as endangered in November 2010.

About this species

Roell’s Brotherella Moss is a small, yellow to golden green, shiny moss that forms turf-like mats. This species reproduces via spores or occasionally deciduous shoots bearing flagella. In order to survive, Roell’s Brotherella Moss requires high levels of humidity in their microhabitat of rotten wood, which holds moisture well, and tree trunks in floodplain areas or along creeks.

In Canada, this species is found in southwestern British Columbia. Globally, this species may now be native to Canada, but was historically found in locations in Washington State as well. This species occurs in cool, humid mixed deciduous and conifer, second-growth forests on stream terraces, swampy floodplains, and occasionally in ravines with creeks.

Threats to this species include urbanization, industrialization, agricultural development, mining, construction of pipelines, roads, trails, and air pollution. The highly fragmented nature of its distribution indicates that dispersal may be limited despite this plant’s ability to produce spores.

Consultations

Two supportive species-specific comments were received, one from an environmental non-governmental organization and one from a provincial government ministry during pre-consultations.

One comment was also received supporting the listing of all species included in the December 2011 consultation document. The comment was from a First Nation that indicated their support of the listing of the species and expressed their interest in receiving further communications on the species in the future.

Listing rationale

Extensive collecting within and beyond the southwestern mainland area of British Columbia has shown this species to occur only on hardwoods and rotten logs in remnant second-growth stands within city parks and in areas suitable for urban development. The species is subject to pressures from recreational activities, road construction, and urban, agricultural, resource and industrial development. All of these activities threaten the quantity of its preferred habitat and host trees and logs, as well as the quality of these habitats in terms of moisture levels and air quality. All six known U.S. locations (in Washington State) are historical, meaning that Roell’s Brotherella Moss is effectively endemic to Canada.

Sable Island Sweat Bee

COSEWIC assessed this species as threatened in November 2014.

About this species

The Sable Island Sweat Bee is a small, dull-metallic sweat bee in the family Halictidae and can be distinguished from the three other bee species in their habitat by its small size and dense lateral punctures on the dorsal part of the thorax. Adults fly from June to mid-September. Related species are known to have social organizations in nests, but the social behaviour of the Sable Island Sweat Bee remains unstudied. The Sable Island Sweat Bee visits flowering plants for pollen and nectar resources.

The global distribution is confined to Sable Island, Nova Scotia, which is approximately 34 km2 in area, excluding the intertidal zone, and is isolated from the mainland by 150 km. Sable Island is a National Park Reserve and is protected under the Canada National Parks Act (CNPA). This species’ habitat is primarily composed of sand, with low levels of organic material and few distinct plant communities composed of Marram-Forb grasslands (coarse European grass of coastal sand dunes), sparse grass lands and heath.

Threats to the species include the loss of habitat due to the inundation of vegetation by sand or submersion of low-lying areas as sea levels rise and harsh weather conditions, which could compound this effect while also reducing adult foraging activity. Other influences include past human influence, which may also have reduced the extent and diversity of flowering vegetation.

Consultations

No species-specific comments were received during initial consultations. Four supportive comments were received that relate to all the species included in the January 2016 consultation document. Three of the comments were from First Nations, while one comment was from an individual.

Listing rationale

This species is globally native to Sable Island, and occurs as one isolated population with a very small range. The island has only about 13 km2 of vegetated area that provides forage/nesting sites for this bee. Nesting likely occurs near or within this vegetated area and sweat bees are not known to travel large distances (i.e. less than 200 m) for forage. Increased frequency and severity of storms, in addition to climate change and related sea level rise, are expected to drive change, which will further decrease the quality and quantity of bee habitat on the island. Ecotourism is also a potential future threat, which may also increase the introduction and spread of invasive species. However, this threat may be less significant than first anticipated due to Sable Island’s current status as a National Park Reserve under the CNPA. Habitat on the island is also susceptible to invasive plant species, introduced horses, and seawater flooding.

Western Toad (Calling population)

The Western Toad is currently listed on Schedule 1 of SARA as one unit. Two populations are now recognized for the species (Calling population and Non-calling population). COSEWIC confirmed both populations’ designation as a species of special concern.

About this species

The Western Toad is a large toad with small round or oval “warts” on the back, sides and upper portions of the limbs. The Calling population is distinct from the Non-calling population in that males possess a vocal sac and produce loud advertisement calls during the breeding season.

In Canada, this population is found in Alberta and into the Rocky Mountains, including the mountain national parks such as Banff and Jasper. This species of toad uses a wide variety of aquatic habitats for breeding. Typically, breeding sites include shallow, sandy margins of lakes, ponds, streams, river deltas, river backwaters, river estuaries, and geothermal springs.

Threats to this species include habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation as well as the seasonal use of habitats for anthropogenic activities. Other widespread threats to the Western Toad include the amphibian chytrid fungus, which has been linked to global amphibian declines, and other infectious diseases. Co-stressors, such as habitat degradation, climate change, and increased UV-B rays, may increase vulnerability to disease. In southwest British Columbia, the introduced Bullfrog is a predator, competitor, and a reservoir for disease. The late maturity of females and their infrequent reproduction limit the ability of Western Toad populations to recover from declines.

Consultations

Consultations were not undertaken for this subspecies, as consultations and the associated impact analysis occurred when the species and/or designatable units were first proposed for listing.

Listing rationale

This subspecies is currently listed as a species of special concern, but is now recognized as two designatable units (Calling population and Non-calling population). This listing will align Schedule 1 of SARA with current science. There will be no change to the protections afforded to the individuals.

Western Toad (Non-calling population)

The Western Toad is currently listed on Schedule 1 of SARA as one unit. Two populations are now recognized for the species (Calling population and Non-calling population). COSEWIC confirmed both populations’ designation as a species of special concern.

About this species

The Western Toad is a large toad with small round or oval “warts” on the back, sides and upper portions of the limbs. The Non-calling population is distinct from the Calling population in that males do not possess a vocal sac and produce no advertisement calls during the breeding season.

In Canada, this population occurs in most of British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and in southwestern Alberta and can be seen in many of the national parks in Western Canada. This species of toad uses a wide variety of aquatic habitats for breeding. Typically, breeding sites include shallow, sandy margins of lakes, ponds, streams, river deltas, river backwaters, river estuaries, and geothermal springs.

Threats to this species include habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation as well as the seasonal use of habitats for anthropogenic activities. Other widespread threats to the Western Toad are amphibian chytrid fungus, which has been linked to global amphibian declines, and other infectious diseases. Co-stressors, such as habitat degradation, climate change, and increased UV-B rays, may increase vulnerability to disease. In southwest British Columbia, the introduced Bullfrog is a predator, competitor, and a reservoir for disease. The late maturity of females and their infrequent reproduction limit the ability of Western Toad populations to recover from declines.

Consultations

Consultations were not undertaken for this subspecies, as consultations and the associated impact analysis occurred when the species and/or designatable units were first proposed for listing.

Listing rationale

This subspecies is currently listed as a species of special concern, but is now recognized as two designatable units (Calling population and Non-calling population). This listing will align Schedule 1 of SARA with current science. There will be no change to the protections afforded to the individuals.

Wolverine

Two populations of Wolverine have been recognized since 1989. The Eastern population is currently listed on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered, while the Western population is designated as not at risk. Both populations were recently merged into a single unit, which COSEWIC assessed as a species of special concern during its last evaluation in May 2014.

About this species

Wolverines are a stocky, medium-sized carnivore and the largest terrestrial member of the weasel family. They have long, glossy, coarse brown to black fur, and they often have pale facial masks and stripes running from the shoulders to just above the tail. Wolverines are scavengers and predators, often caching food for future use.

In Canada, this species is found in almost every province and territory in northern and western forested areas, in alpine and Arctic tundra and has been reported in national parks from coast to coast. Wolverines reproduce where snow cover persists into April. Habitats must also have an adequate year-round supply of food, mainly small prey.

The variability in trap efforts, the uncertainty of actual harvest levels in some jurisdictions, and increased access and efficiency of hunting using snowmobiles raise concerns over potential overharvest and the ability to document population size and trends. Transportation corridors, forestry, hydroelectric developments, oil and gas and mineral exploration and development increase access for harvest and contribute to permanent, temporary or functional habitat losses, which may destabilize populations.

Consultations

Twenty-two species-specific comments were received during initial consultations. Thirteen of these comments supported or did not oppose the listing and were received from four organizations of hunters and trappers, one territorial government, six wildlife management boards, one Indigenous organization and one individual. Nine opposing comments were received from two provinces, six organizations of hunters and trappers and one association of fur trappers. Concern over listing focused on hunting season restrictions, quotas, or the banning of the hunt, perceived high prevalence in certain areas, and inadequate scientific information to draw conclusions. SARA’s general prohibitions do not apply to species of special concern, which is the proposed status for the Wolverine. As a result, there will be no negative impacts on hunters and trappers following listing. In fact, hunters and trappers in Quebec and Labrador are obtaining a right to harvest this species, which is currently subject to SARA prohibitions.

Listing rationale

Although population increases appear to be occurring in portions of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba and Ontario, declines have been reported in the southern part of the range (British Columbia) and populations in a large part of the range (Quebec and Labrador) have not recovered. There is no evidence of a decline in harvest over the last three generations. This species’s habitat is increasingly fragmented by industrial activity and climate change, which are impacting animals in the southern part of the range. The species has a low reproductive rate, is sensitive to human disturbances, and requires vast secure areas to maintain viable populations.

Yellow-banded Bumble Bee

COSEWIC assessed this species as a species of special concern in May 2015.

About this species

The Yellow-banded Bumble Bee is a medium-sized bumble bee with a short head and tongue relative to other species, and it has a distinctive yellow and black abdominal band pattern that is consistent throughout its range. It has been recorded foraging on flowers for pollen and nectar from a variety of plant types.

The Yellow-banded Bumble Bee occurs everywhere in Canada, and possibly within the entire network of national parks, with the exception of Nunavut. This species occurs in a diverse range of habitats, including mixed woodlands, farmlands, urban areas, montane meadows, prairie grasslands and boreal habitats.

Threats to this species are largely unknown. Possible threats include exposure to pathogens from managed bumble bees used in greenhouse operations, pesticide use associated with agriculture, climate change and habitat loss within urban areas and areas of intensive agriculture.

Consultations

Sixteen comments were received from two provincial and one territorial government, three ENGOs, three wildlife management boards and seven First Nations specific to this species during pre-consultations. Fifteen of these comments supported or did not oppose listing the Yellow-banded Bumble Bee to Schedule 1 of SARA. One province opposes the listing, indicating that they have all the legislative and regulatory tools to protect the species.

Four supportive comments were also received that relate to all the species included in the January 2016 consultation document. Three of the comments were from First Nations while one comment was from an individual.

Listing rationale

Perhaps 50%–60% of the global range of this species occurs in Canada. This species was historically one of the most common bumble bee species in Canada within its range and is an important pollinator of a variety of agricultural crops and native plant species. However, while this species remains relatively abundant in the northern part of its range, it has recently declined by at least 34% in areas of southern Canada.

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, Species at Risk Act Management and Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3 (fax: 819-938-4066; email: ec.LEPreglementations-SARAregulations.ec@canada.ca).

Ottawa, November 23, 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 65) is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Mammals”:

Bear, Grizzly (Ursus arctos) Prairie population

Ours grizzli population des Prairies

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

Badger jeffersonii subspecies, American
(Taxidea taxus jeffersonii)

Blaireau d’Amérique de la sous-espèce jeffersonii

Wolverine (Gulo gulo) Eastern population

Carcajou population de l’Est

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

Badger jeffersonii subspecies, American (Taxidea taxus jeffersonii) Eastern population

Blaireau d’Amérique de la sous-espèce jeffersonii population de l’Est

Badger jeffersonii subspecies, American (Taxidea taxus jeffersonii) Western population

Blaireau d’Amérique de la sous-espèce jeffersonii population de l’Ouest

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

Bumble Bee, Gypsy Cuckoo (Bombus bohemicus)

Psithyre bohémien

Cuckoo Bee, Macropis (Epeoloides pilosulus)

Abeille-coucou de Macropis

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

Moss, Roell’s Brotherella (Brotherella roellii)

Brotherelle de Roell

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

Owl, Barn (Tyto alba) Western population

Effraie des clochers population de l’Ouest

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

Sweat Bee, Sable Island (Lasioglossum sablense)

Halicte de l’île de Sable

Tiger Beetle, Audouin’s Night-stalking (Omus audouini)

Cicindèle d’Audouin

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

Bear, Grizzly (Ursus arctos) Western population

Ours grizzli population de l’Ouest

Wolverine (Gulo gulo)

Carcajou

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

Owl, Barn (Tyto alba) Western population

Effraie des clochers population de l’Ouest

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

Toad, Western (Anaxyrus boreas)

Crapaud de l’Ouest

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

Toad, Western (Anaxyrus boreas) Calling population

Crapaud de l’Ouest population chantante

Toad, Western (Anaxyrus boreas) Non-calling population

Crapaud de l’Ouest population non-chantante

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

Bumble Bee, Yellow-banded (Bombus terricola)

Bourdon terricole

Coming into Force

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

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