One Step Closer to Extinction?

Updated May 6, 2014

woodland caribou, Maligne herd, Jasper National Park, endangered species, COSEWIC

A woodland caribou of the Southern Mountain population

Jasper’s Woodland Caribou now listed ‘Endangered’ by COSEWIC

Jasper National Park’s Woodland Caribou are part of the Southern Mountain population that has just been uplisted from ‘threatened’ to ‘endangered’ species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The tiny Maligne herd of just five animals is part of this population.

However, this new designation by COSEWIC still has to be passed by the Minister of Environment.

The following gives the process as to what happens next under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)

The Listing Process

First Stage: The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assesses the species and assigns it to a status category.

These assessments are based on status reports that consider biological criteria. Social and economic factors are not considered at this stage.

The assessments are then forwarded to the federal Minister of Environment and posted on the public registry

They are reviewed by COSEWIC every 10 years, or more frequently when the status is believed to have changed.

Second Stage: The federal Cabinet determines the species’ legal status.

  • The Minister of Environment must post a statement on the SARA Public Registry within 90 days, describing how he or she intends to respond to COSEWIC’s assessment.
  • Within nine months, the federal Cabinet must change the legal (SARA) list to reflect COSEWIC’s assessment, decide not to add the species to the list, or refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further consideration.
  • If the species is not listed in accordance with COSEWIC’s assessment, reasons must be posted on the Public Registry.
  • Failure to meet the deadline results in the legal list being amended to reflect COSEWIC’s assessment






Comments are closed.