More bird species will have their status uplisted on SARA - Submit your comments

The Government of Canada has launched consultations regarding the potential to amend Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). These consultations seek the public’s input into the federal Minister of the Environment’s response to assessments of species at risk submitted by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

In British Columbia there are 7 terrestrial species for which COSEWIC’s assessments could lead to amendments to SARA Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk) including these birds:

Evening Grosbeak - Potential new addition to Schedule 1, listed as Special Concern 

-Evening Grosbeaks have exhibited significant long-term declines (77-90%) over most of its range, since 1970.
Over the past decades, some data suggest a further decline of nearly 40%. Threats to the species
include reduced availability of mature and old-growth mixed wood and conifer forests, collisions with windows, and mortality associated with feeding on grit and salt along roads in winter

Harris's Sparrow -  Potential new addition to Schedule 1, listed as Special Concern

-Harris's Sparrows are the only songbird that breeds exclusively in Canada. Data from Christmas Bird Counts in the US Midwest wintering grounds show a significant long-term decline of 59%. Over the past 35 years, including 16% over the past decade. The species may be affected by climate
change on the breeding grounds, while threats on the wintering grounds include habitat loss, pesticide use ,road mortality, and predation by feral cats.

Pink-footed Shearwater – a bird found off British Columbia’s coast - Potential change in status from Threatened to Endangered 

-This seabird nests on only three islands off the coast of Chile, where it has suffered significant
declines due to nest predation by introduced predators,exploitation by humans and habitat degradation. It also experiences mortality due to incidental take by fisheries across its range, including important foraging areas off the coast of British Columbia. Bycatch risk from fisheries
has increased over the last three generations. This species is also sensitive to offshore oil spills.

Lark Bunting -Potential change in status from Special Concern to Threatened

-Lark Buntings are at the northern edge of its range in the Canadian Prairies. Long-term data shows a
decline of 98% since 1970. Over most of the past decade, the trend has remained strongly negative.
Conversion of grassland habitat and insecticide use are believed to be the primary threats to this species.

Burrowing Owl - Endangered Status Confirmed by COSEWIC-No regulatory amendment required

Rusty Blackbird - Special Concern Confirmed by COSEWIC -No regulatory amendment required

Prothonotary Warbler - Endangered Status Confirmed by COSEWIC - No regulatory amendment required

Several Caribou species are uplisted as Endangered and the full list of Ministerial Response Statements outlining how the Minister of Environment intends to respond to COSEWIC’s assessments is available at Link

You are invited to submit comments on the potential impacts of amending SARA Schedule 1 according to COSEWIC’s assessments. Comments can be submitted via email to email. The comment period ends on May 22, 2018 for most species found in BC, and on October 22, 2018 for Monarch.

Further information regarding the listing and consultation processes for terrestrial species can be found in “Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act -Terrestrial Species: January 2018" posted here ). This document also includes a questionnaire that provides guidance on the types of information and comments Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking.


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