Species That Are Endangered Yet Unprotected in Canada

The Canadian government has denied giving legal protection to 13 endangered animals and plants, despite recommendations from scientists to do so.

The endangered species, subspecies and populations listed below were recommended by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) between 2003 and 2007 for protection under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The federal government decided not to follow COSEWIC's recommendations to list these under SARA.

In addition to these endangered species, another 20 proposals by COSEWIC for SARA listing have been turned down. They include nine threatened and eleven special concern species, subspecies and populations. Of the 33 organisms the Canadian government has not followed recommendations to legally protect, 28 are mammals and fish.

A study has concluded that economic considerations are routinely overriding scientific recommendations to protect endangered species in Canada.

Common Name Scientific Name Range Type
Peary Caribou Rangifer tarandus pearyi Northwest Territories, Nunavut mammal
Beluga Whale, Ungava Bay PopulationDelphinapterus leucas Quebec, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean mammal
Beluga Whale, Eastern Hudson Bay Population Delphinapterus leucas Nunavut, Quebec, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean mammal
Atlantic Cod, Newfoundland and Labrador PopulationGadus morhua Atlantic Ocean fish
Porbeagle Shark Lamna nasus Atlantic Ocean fish
Coho Salmon, Interior Fraser PopulationOncorhynchus kisutch British Columbia, Pacific Ocean fish
Sockeye Salmon, Cultus Population Oncorhynchus nerka British Columbia, Pacific Ocean fish
Sockeye Salmon, Sakinaw Population Oncorhynchus nerka British Columbia, Pacific Ocean fish
White Sturgeon, Lower Fraser River Acipenser transmontanus British Columbia fish
White Sturgeon, Middle Fraser RiverAcipenser transmontanus British Columbia fish
Speckled Dace Rhinichthys osculus British Columbia fish
Lake Winnipeg Physa SnailPhysa Manitoba mollusc
Dwarf Woolly-heads, Southern Mountain Population Psilocarphus brevissimus British Columbia plant

A.Ø. Mooers, L.R. Prugh, M. Festa-Bianchet and J.A. Hutchings. 2007. Biases in Legal Listing under Canadian Endangered Species Legislation. Conservation Biology. 21(3): 572-575.

Canada Gazette Part 1. August 11, 2007. 141(32): 2286-2319.

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