The vision of the general status assessment approach is of a single platform
for wild species assessment and monitoring: a tool that places all kinds of
species from all regions of Canada on the same page in the same data
language; a tool that allows everyone from the resource manager to the high school
student the ability to place a species in a geographic, taxonomic, and ecological
context and to gain an impression of the speciesí general status in that context.
Wild Species 2000 is the first and biggest step towards the realization of that vision:
assessments have been made of an unprecedented number and variety of Canadian
species from every province, territory, and ocean region. But it is only the first
step. Provinces, territories, and federal agencies represented in the Accord for the
Protection of Species at Risk have committed to both an ongoing process and a
comprehensive one. This means that the next Wild Species report due in 2005 will
- Incorporate new data for those species already assessed. Wild Species
2000 is a snapshot of how some of our species are faring at the time of
writing, but these speciesí status can change for better or worse. So, general
status assessments must be repeated periodically with new data that reflect the
best estimate of these speciesí status at that time.
- Address gaps in coverage for those species groups already assessed.
Data were lacking for some species in some regions (Not Assessed), or the
data were not strong enough to allow a confident assessment of the speciesí
general status to be made (Undetermined). It is hoped that part of the effect
of Wild Species 2000 will be to raise the profile of existing data gaps and so
stimulate people to contribute data for these species or even to collect new
data to address these shortfalls.
- Increase the number and variety of species assessed. Over 1 600 species
were assessed in this report, accounting for most of our vertebrate species
(mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fishes), an important group
of insects (butterflies), and two high-profile groups of plants (ferns, orchids).
Still, there are more than 70 000 described species in Canada, most of them
invertebrates (e.g., insects, spiders, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, jellyfishes),
plants, and fungi. Future reports will aim to get greater representation from