March 8, 2004

Public consultations launched to consider adding 63 species to SARA list

OTTAWA, ONT-Environment Canada last week launched public consultations to consider the addition of 63 species to the legal list of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species put forward for consideration include all of the species designated by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as being at risk and that are under the direct responsibility of the federal Environment Minister. "This is one of the first major steps in the implementation of the new Act and it shows that the protection of species at risk is a responsibility that we take very seriously," said Environment Minister David Anderson. "We promised Canadians that they would have a say in species protection and we are delivering on that promise." A consultation document has been posted on the SARA public registry, It summarizes in plain language the threats affecting each species and the immediate legal implications of listing. SARA requires that a recovery strategy be prepared for any new species added to the legal list within one year for species that are endangered and within two years for threatened or extirpated species. The consultation process will gather Canadians' views on whether or not these wildlife species should be added to the legal list under SARA.
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