June 19, 2006

Proposal would add 42 new species to Schedule 1 of SARA

OTTAWA, ONT-Federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, in consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn, is proposing to add 42 new animals, plants and fish to the list of species protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The proposals to amend the list of protected species were published in the June 10, 2006 edition of the Canada Gazette, Part 1, for a 30-day comment period ending July 10, 2006. The government will make a final decision on the recommended additions to Schedule 1 of SARA by August 16, 2006. The proposed additions include 32 terrestrial and 10 aquatic species, among them certain populations of white sturgeon, the Atlantic and Pacific fin whale populations, Blanding's turtle in Nova Scotia and the Great Lakes/St Lawrence region, plus a number of plant a moss species. The addition of species to SARA Schedule 1 contributes significantly to maintaining biodiversity and health populations. Recommendations for new additions are based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments and a full spectrum of interested parties. At the same time, the Minister has decided not to propose certain additions at this time, pending further information and input and in view of the fact that conservation efforts are in place for the species in question. These include five populations of beluga whales, the porbeagle shark and two other populations of white sturgeon (each population is considered as a distinct species). More information is available through the SARA on-line public registry, www.sararegistry.gc.ca.

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