On September 2, 2020, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) submitted 21 assessments of species at risk to the federal Minister of the Environment. 

On December 2, 2020, the Government of Canada posted the Ministerial Response Statements for these species on the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Public Registry.  The Government is now launching public consultations on the potential amendment of Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under SARA. The complete set of statements and the consultation path (normal or extended) for each species are available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-act-accord-funding/listing-process/minister-environment-response-assessments-2020.html

Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking comments on proposed amendments to Schedule 1 resulting from assessments of 12 terrestrial species. Ten of these wildlife species are eligible to be added to Schedule 1, while two are already listed, but are being considered for up-listing to a higher risk category. Two other listed terrestrial species at risk have had their current Schedule 1 status confirmed. These are not included in this consultation process, as no regulatory amendment is required.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will conduct consultations for one aquatic species eligible for addition to the list. One aquatic species is eligible for reclassification, two have had their status confirmed and two are the result of a DU split at the same status as the original unit.  Those five aquatic species will not require public consultations since there will be no potential regulatory impact for these species.  One aquatic species, the Stripped Bass (St. Lawrence River population), will be referred back to COSEWIC for additional information in order to inform meaningful future consultations on whether or not Striped Bass (St. Lawrence River population) should be removed from Schedule I.

In addition, where authorized by a land claims agreement to perform functions in respect of an aquatic wildlife species, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will consult the wildlife management board.  

Additional information on the listing and consultation processes for terrestrial species, as well as the possibility of amending Schedule 1 by adding or reclassifying species, is available in “Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act -Terrestrial Species". This document also includes a questionnaire that provides you guidance on the types of information and comments Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking. It is posted on the SARA Public Registry at: https://species-registry.canada.ca/index-en.html#/consultations/1823

You are invited to submit comments on the potential impacts of amending the List of Wildlife Species at Risk according to these COSEWIC status assessments. Your comments will be considered and will inform the Minister’s recommendation to Cabinet. Please provide comments by April 2, 2021 for species under a normal consultation process. Two terrestrial species, namely the Suckley’s Cuckoo Bumble Bee and the Western Harvest Mouse megalotis subspecies, will follow an extended consultation process. Please provide comments by September 2, 2021 for species following an extended consultation path. There will also be an opportunity to provide comments during the 30-day public consultation period associated with pre-publication in Canada Gazette Part I.  More detailed information on individual species is included in the COSEWIC status reports, which are available on the SARA Public Registry. The Public Registry also provides more general information about SARA.