Why a report on species in Canada?
The Wild Species series on the general status of species in Canada is a requirement of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, an agreement in principle established in 1996 by provincial, territorial, and federal ministers responsible for wildlife. The goal of the Accord is to prevent species in Canada from becoming extinct or extirpated because of human impact. As part of this goal, parties to the Accord agree to "monitor, assess and report regularly on the status of all wild species" with the objective of identifying those species whose populations are starting to decline, those for which a formal status assessment or additional management attention is necessary, and those for which more information is needed. Each province, territory, and federal agency responsible for wildlife undertakes to assess the species occurring within its jurisdiction.
Reports from the Wild Species series also serve as the basis to fulfill a requirement under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) of Canada. This Act is a key federal government commitment to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. Section 128 of this law stipulates that "five years after this section comes into force and at the end of each subsequent period of five years, the Minister must prepare a general report on the status of wildlife species" (Government of Canada, 2002). The first of the general report was tabled in Parliament in 2008 and reports from the Wild Species series will thereafter continue to serve as the basis to fulfill this requirement (Environment Canada, 2009).