Wildlife species assessments (detailed version)

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Wildlife Species Assessments (detailed version), April 2017*. Results are grouped by taxon and then by status category. The range of occurrence in Canada (by province, territory or ocean) and history of status designation are provided for each wildlife species.

Mammals

Atlantic Walrus (Nova Scotia - Newfoundland - Gulf of St Lawrence population)
Common Name:
Atlantic Walrus (Nova Scotia - Newfoundland - Gulf of St Lawrence population)
Scientific Name:
Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus
Status:
Extinct
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This population was hunted to extinction by the mid 1800’s. Sporadic recent sightings of individuals and small groups in the Gulf of St Lawrence and off Nova Scotia are not considered evidence of re-establishment, and there is no evidence of breeding in the region.
Range:
QC NB PE NS NL Atlantic Ocean
Status History:
The Atlantic Walrus in Canada was originally treated by COSEWIC as two separate populations: Eastern Arctic population (Not at Risk in April 1987 and May 2000) and Nova Scotia - Newfoundland - Gulf of St Lawrence population (Extirpated in April 1987 and May 2000). In April 2006, COSEWIC included both populations in a single designatable unit for Atlantic Walrus in Canada, and the species was designated Special Concern. Split into three populations in April 2017. The Nova Scotia - Newfoundland - Gulf of St Lawrence population was designated Extinct in April 2017.
Caribou (Eastern Migratory population)
Common Name:
Caribou (Eastern Migratory population)
Scientific Name:
Rangifer tarandus
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
A2acd+4acd
Reason for Designation:
This migratory caribou population exists as four subpopulations from coastal western Hudson Bay to Labrador. The present population estimate of 170,636 mature animals indicates there has been an 80% overall decline in number over three generations (18-21 years). The decline is predicted to continue because of overharvest, and a decrease in habitat quality associated with climate change and development. Two declining subpopulations contain about 99% of the Eastern Migratory population; the George River has declined by 99% over 3 generations, and the Leaf River by 68% over two generations. Although migratory caribou populations fluctuate in abundance, there is concern that recent and predicted threats will limit population growth in a population that presently is at its lowest recorded level. Threats appear to be less prevalent in the two western subpopulations which represent only about 4% of the existing total population. Most of the remaining caribou reside in the Leaf River subpopulation, which continues to decline.
Range:
MB ON QC NL
Status History:
Designated Endangered in April 2017.
Ord's Kangaroo Rat
Common Name:
Ord's Kangaroo Rat
Scientific Name:
Dipodomys ordii
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
A2abc+4abc; C2b
Reason for Designation:
This small, nocturnal rodent is restricted to 12 active sand hill complexes in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, and is separated from the nearest occurrence of the species in the US by about 270 km. Its small population (fewer than 1,000 mature individuals in most years) varies unpredictably over short periods of time. It is threatened by cumulative human impacts including installation and maintenance of roads and service corridors, energy production, changing land uses, and light and noise pollution. These threats may exacerbate the other limiting factors of vegetation encroachment and stabilization of open sand dune habitats. Standardized annual population monitoring of the species in Alberta has revealed a 72% decline in abundance between 2006 and 2015, likely due to habitat decline and a substantial reduction in distribution. This is assumed to be representative of the entire Canadian population. This species was listed under SARA since 2007, and most of its habitat is unprotected.
Range:
AB SK
Status History:
Designated Special Concern in April 1995. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 2006. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Atlantic Walrus (High Arctic population)
Common Name:
Atlantic Walrus (High Arctic population)
Scientific Name:
Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This population numbers in the low thousands. It is not clear whether the aggregated hunting pressure in Canada and Greenland is sustainable under current management regimes. The population may become threatened if commercial shipping related to industrial development in the Arctic increases because this species is sensitive to human disturbance.
Range:
NU Arctic Ocean
Status History:
The Atlantic Walrus in Canada was originally treated by COSEWIC as two separate populations: Eastern Arctic population (Not at Risk in April 1987 and May 2000) and Northwest Atlantic population (Extirpated in April 1987 and May 2000). In April 2006, COSEWIC included both populations in a single designatable unit for Atlantic Walrus in Canada, and the species was designated Special Concern. Split into three populations in April 2017. The High Arctic population was designated Special Concern in April 2017.
Atlantic Walrus (Central / Low Arctic population)
Common Name:
Atlantic Walrus (Central / Low Arctic population)
Scientific Name:
Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This population appears fairly stable in its core areas of northern Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin, following historical declines. There is evidence for substantial population declines in southern and eastern Hudson Bay. These changes are likely a result of unsustainable hunting. While reported catches in Canada have been declining, there is concern that harvest may be underestimated. The population may become threatened if commercial shipping related to industrial development in the Arctic increases, particularly because the species is sensitive to human disturbance, and proposed routes run through core habitat (e.g. Foxe Basin).
Range:
NU MB QC NL Arctic Ocean Atlantic Ocean
Status History:
The Atlantic Walrus in Canada was originally treated by COSEWIC as two separate populations: Eastern Arctic population (Not at Risk in April 1987 and May 2000) and Northwest Atlantic population (Extirpated in April 1987 and May 2000). In April 2006, COSEWIC included both populations in a single designatable unit for Atlantic Walrus in Canada, and the species was designated Special Concern. Split into three populations in April 2017. The Central / Low Arctic population was designated Special Concern in April 2017.

Birds

Burrowing Owl
Common Name:
Burrowing Owl
Scientific Name:
Athene cunicularia
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
A2bc+4bc
Reason for Designation:
This grassland owl has suffered ongoing large declines across much of its North American range. The Canadian population was reduced by 90% from 1990 to 2000, and by a further 60% between 2005 and 2015. Most of the remaining individuals are in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. In recent years small numbers have been counted in British Columbia and Manitoba due largely to captive breeding and release programs. The loss of grassland habitat and suitable burrows has been compounded by a reduction in prey populations, and concurrent increases in predation, vehicle collisions, expansion of renewable energy, and severe weather events.
Range:
BC AB SK MB
Status History:
Designated Threatened in April 1979. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1991. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 1995. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000, April 2006, and April 2017.
Lark Bunting
Common Name:
Lark Bunting
Scientific Name:
Calamospiza melanocorys
Status:
Threatened
Assessment Criteria:
Meets Endangered, A2b, but designated Threatened, A2b, because the species is not at imminent risk of extirpation.
Reason for Designation:
This grassland songbird is at the northern edge of its range in the Canadian Prairies. It is nomadic, with breeding populations shifting considerably from year to year to track favourable conditions across the regional landscape, seeking peak abundance of grasshoppers. Population estimates therefore fluctuate substantially and complicate the estimation of short-term trends, but long-term data show a decline of 98% since 1970. Over most of the past decade, the trend has remained strongly negative. Conversion of grassland habitat and insecticide use are believed to be the primary threats to this species.
Range:
AB SK MB
Status History:
Designated Threatened in April 2017.
Harris's Sparrow
Common Name:
Harris's Sparrow
Scientific Name:
Zonotrichia querula
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This northern ground-nesting bird is the only songbird that breeds exclusively in Canada. Data from Christmas Bird Counts in the US Midwest wintering grounds show a significant long-term decline of 59% over the past 35 years, including 16% over the past decade. The species may be affected by climate change on the breeding grounds, while threats on the wintering grounds include habitat loss, pesticide use, road mortality, and predation by feral cats.
Range:
NT NU AB SK MB ON
Status History:
Designated Special Concern in April 2017.
Rusty Blackbird
Common Name:
Rusty Blackbird
Scientific Name:
Euphagus carolinus
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
Factors that threaten the persistence of this species in Canada have not been reversed or effectively managed since it was assessed as Special Concern in 2006. This species experienced steep population declines through the twentieth century, which may have stabilized recently. This may only be a temporary reprieve, as many important threats contributing to these declines have not been corrected, particularly on the U.S. wintering range. These problems include loss and degradation of wintering habitat due to wetland conversion and dam construction, blackbird control programs in agricultural areas, and impacts from the use of agricultural pesticides. Continuing threats on Canadian breeding grounds include mercury contamination and degradation of wetland habitat due to warming, acidification, and drying climates.
Range:
YT NT NU BC AB SK MB ON QC NB PE NS NL
Status History:
Designated Special Concern in April 2006. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.

Reptiles

Bullsnake
Common Name:
Bullsnake
Scientific Name:
Pituophis catenifer sayi
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
Like other large snakes, this species is affected by habitat loss and roadkill and may become Threatened if threats are not mitigated. The species relies on communal wintering dens, which may be scarce on the landscape. Although the severity of threats across the species’ range is not fully understood, the impact of those threats is potentially significant. The species is especially vulnerable to increased mortality because of its low abundance, late maturity, and low rate of productivity.
Range:
AB SK
Status History:
Species considered in May 2002 and placed in the Data Deficient category. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in April 2017.

Fishes

Chinook Salmon (Okanagan population)
Common Name:
Chinook Salmon (Okanagan population)
Scientific Name:
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
D1
Reason for Designation:
This is the only Columbia River Basin Chinook population in Canada. It is geographically discrete and genetically distinct from other Canadian Chinook populations. This population was once large enough to support an important food and trade fishery prior to settlement by non-native people. Construction of multiple dams along the Columbia River migration route combined with historical overfishing in the Columbia River and the ocean reduced population size. Poor marine survival, deterioration in the quality of Canadian spawning habitat, and non-native predators and competitors have also contributed to the current depleted state of the population. Rescue is theoretically possible from straying of Chinook from the US, but the status of the source population is uncertain as is the viability of these strays. Rescue is therefore considered unlikely. Although there has been a slight increase in the population, the number of mature individuals in the population remains very low, varying between 19 – 112 individuals in the last 4 years.
Range:
BC Pacific Ocean
Status History:
Designated Endangered in an emergency assessment on 4 May 2005. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in April 2006. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 2017.
Lake Sturgeon (Western Hudson Bay populations)
Common Name:
Lake Sturgeon (Western Hudson Bay populations)
Scientific Name:
Acipenser fulvescens
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
A2bcd; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(ii)
Reason for Designation:
This is one of the largest, longest-lived, freshwater fish species in Canada and has special significance to Indigenous Peoples. Over three generations, the distribution and abundance of mature individuals has declined dramatically, largely as the result of harvesting and dams, which have not ceased.
Range:
SK MB
Status History:
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Western populations" unit was designated Endangered. In November 2006, when the Western populations unit was split into five separate populations, the "Western Hudson Bay populations" unit was designated Endangered. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Lake Sturgeon (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations)
Common Name:
Lake Sturgeon (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations)
Scientific Name:
Acipenser fulvescens
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
A2bc
Reason for Designation:
This is one of the largest, longest-lived, freshwater fish species in Canada and has special significance to Indigenous Peoples. Formerly assessed as five separate designatable units, but recent genetic evidence indicates that those populations should be treated as a single unit. Harvesting and dams were the main reasons for historical declines. Although some populations appear to be recovering, this species is not yet clearly secure.
Range:
AB SK MB ON
Status History:
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Western populations" unit was designated Endangered. In November 2006, the Western populations unit was split into five separate populations. In April 2017, the Winnipeg - English River, Red-Assiniboine Rivers - Lake Winnipeg, Saskatchewan River, Nelson River, and Lake of the Woods - Rainy River populations were considered a single unit and this 'Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations' unit was designated Endangered.
Shortnose Cisco
Common Name:
Shortnose Cisco
Scientific Name:
Coregonus reighardi
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
D1
Reason for Designation:
This species is endemic to three of the Great Lakes. Despite recent surveys at suitable sites and depths using appropriate sampling gear, it was last recorded in Lake Michigan in 1982, in Lake Huron in 1985, and in Lake Ontario in 1964. The species’ apparent demise is suspected to be the result of commercial overfishing and possibly competition with, or predation from, introduced species. If remnant populations still exist, they may be further threatened by hybridization with other ciscoes and predation by native species such as Lake Trout.
Range:
ON
Status History:
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2005. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Lake Sturgeon (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations)
Common Name:
Lake Sturgeon (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations)
Scientific Name:
Acipenser fulvescens
Status:
Threatened
Assessment Criteria:
Meets Endangered, A2b, but designated Threatened, A2b, because a portion of the unit is showing signs of improvement.
Reason for Designation:
This is one of the largest, longest-lived, freshwater fish species in Canada and has special significance to Indigenous Peoples. The main reasons for historical declines in most populations, harvesting and dams, are clearly reversible and understood, but have not ceased in all populations. Some populations appear not to have been severely impacted and some populations appear to be recovering but are not yet secure.
Range:
ON QC
Status History:
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations" unit was designated Special Concern. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2006. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations)
Common Name:
Deepwater Sculpin (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations)
Scientific Name:
Myoxocephalus thompsonii
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This small-bodied fish occurs in the deeper parts of at least 11 coldwater lakes in Ontario and Québec, including lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario. Previously, it was thought to be extirpated in Lake Ontario, but now appears to have re-established in that lake, with catches currently comparable to those in lakes Huron and Michigan. The population in one lake in Québec may be extirpated due to eutrophication; the threat of invasive species is ongoing in the other lakes.
Range:
ON QC
Status History:
The "Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations" unit (which includes the former "Great Lakes populations" unit, designated Threatened in April 1987) was designated Special Concern in April 2006. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Deepwater Sculpin (Waterton Lake population)
Common Name:
Deepwater Sculpin (Waterton Lake population)
Scientific Name:
Myoxocephalus thompsonii
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This small-bodied glacial-relict fish is known from a single lake in southwestern Alberta. The population size is relatively small and a change in water quality or invasive species could put the population at risk. All populations outside of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Freshwater Biogeographic Zone were previously assessed as a single unit. This population was assessed separately due to its genetic uniqueness and disjunction from other populations in the Saskatchewan-Nelson River biogeographic zone.
Range:
AB
Status History:
“Western populations” was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 2006. When the species was split into five separate units in April 2017, the 'Waterton Lake population' unit was designated Special Concern.
Lake Sturgeon (Southern Hudson Bay - James Bay populations)
Common Name:
Lake Sturgeon (Southern Hudson Bay - James Bay populations)
Scientific Name:
Acipenser fulvescens
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This is one of the largest, longest-lived, freshwater fish species in Canada and has special significance to Indigenous Peoples. Some populations are impacted by harvesting and dams, some populations exist in pristine environments, and there are likely many populations yet to be discovered in this remote area. If not mitigated, future development may negatively impact the species.
Range:
MB ON QC
Status History:
The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 1986. When the species was split into separate units in May 2005, the "Southern Hudson Bay - James Bay populations" unit was designated Special Concern. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2006. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Shortfin Mako (Atlantic population)
Common Name:
Shortfin Mako (Atlantic population)
Scientific Name:
Isurus oxyrinchus
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This species is more vulnerable than many other Atlantic shark species because of its long life span and low productivity. The species has a single highly migratory population in the North Atlantic, of which a portion is present in Canadian waters seasonally. The total North Atlantic catch and abundance are stable. Most analyses in a recent stock assessment showed a stable or increasing trend since 1971, resulting in improved status compared with the previous COSEWIC status report. However, the status is not secure, given the uncertainties in the stock assessment, the short period of improving catch rates relative to the 25-year generation time, and the low productivity of the species.
Range:
QC NB PE NS NL Atlantic Ocean
Status History:
Designated Threatened in April 2006. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in April 2017.
Deepwater Sculpin (Western Hudson Bay populations)
Common Name:
Deepwater Sculpin (Western Hudson Bay populations)
Scientific Name:
Myoxocephalus thompsonii
Status:
Not at Risk
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This small-bodied, glacial-relict fish is known from the deepest part of six lakes in Saskatchewan with no known threats. It may also exist in other lakes. All populations outside of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Freshwater Biogeographic Zone were previously assessed as a single unit, but are currently assessed separately by freshwater biogeographic zone.
Range:
SK
Status History:
“Western populations” was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 2006. When the species was split into five separate units in April 2017, the 'Western Hudson Bay populations' unit was designated Not at Risk.
Deepwater Sculpin (Western Arctic populations)
Common Name:
Deepwater Sculpin (Western Arctic populations)
Scientific Name:
Myoxocephalus thompsonii
Status:
Not at Risk
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This small-bodied, glacial-relict fish is known from the deepest parts of 23 lakes in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Northwest Territories with no known threats. It may also exist in other lakes. All populations outside of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Freshwater Biogeographic Zone were previously assessed as a single unit, but are currently assessed separately by freshwater biogeographic zone.
Range:
NT AB SK
Status History:
“Western populations” was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 2006. When the species was split into five separate units in April 2017, the 'Western Arctic populations' unit was designated Not at Risk.
Deepwater Sculpin (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations)
Common Name:
Deepwater Sculpin (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations)
Scientific Name:
Myoxocephalus thompsonii
Status:
Not at Risk
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This small-bodied, glacial-relict fish occurs in the deepest parts of at least 40 lakes in Ontario and Manitoba with no known threats. All populations outside of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Freshwater Biogeographic Zone were previously assessed as a single unit, but are currently assessed separately by freshwater biogeographic zone. In this biogeographic zone, the Waterton Lake population was assessed separately as a result of its disjunction and genetic uniqueness.
Range:
MB ON
Status History:
“Western populations” was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 2006. When the species was split into five separate units in April 2017, the 'Saskatchewan – Nelson River populations' unit was designated Not at Risk.
Deepwater Sculpin (Southern Hudson Bay - James Bay populations)
Common Name:
Deepwater Sculpin (Southern Hudson Bay - James Bay populations)
Scientific Name:
Myoxocephalus thompsonii
Status:
Data Deficient
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This small-bodied, glacial-relict fish is known from the deepest parts of three lakes in Ontario with no known threats. It may also exist in other lakes in Ontario and Manitoba. Quantitative data on population sizes, geographic range, and known threats are too limited to determine status. All populations outside of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Freshwater Biogeographic Zone were previously assessed as a single unit, but are currently assessed by freshwater biogeographic zone.
Range:
ON
Status History:
“Western populations” was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in April 2006. When the species was split into five separate units in April 2017, the 'Southern Hudson Bay – James Bay populations' unit was designated Data Deficient.

Arthropods

Columbia Dune Moth
Common Name:
Columbia Dune Moth
Scientific Name:
Copablepharon absidum
Status:
Data Deficient
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This moth is known from open and sparsely vegetated sand dune habitats at three localities (Kaslo, Lillooet, and Osoyoos) within the southern interior of British Columbia. While open sand habitats are rare in the province, and declining in quality, suitable habitat still remains. However, surveys to verify occurrences since the last record in 1953 have been too infrequent and are insufficient to draw any conclusions about extent of occurrence, population size, threats, or trends.
Range:
BC
Status History:
Species considered in April 2017 and placed in the Data Deficient category.

Molluscs

Eastern Banded Tigersnail
Common Name:
Eastern Banded Tigersnail
Scientific Name:
Anguispira kochi kochi
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Reason for Designation:
This large terrestrial snail remains in small isolated habitat patches on Middle and Pelee islands, in Lake Erie. The loss of subpopulations on some smaller islands was probably due to habitat destruction from overabundant Double-crested Cormorants, which colonized the islands in the early 1980s, as well as human activities. Habitat loss and alteration on Pelee Island likely led to subpopulation declines and fragmentation. Climate change is the most serious threat.
Range:
ON
Status History:
Designated Endangered in April 2017.
Eastern Pondmussel
Common Name:
Eastern Pondmussel
Scientific Name:
Ligumia nasuta
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This medium to large freshwater mussel is widely distributed across southern Ontario, where it occurs in isolated wetland patches and inland lakes at low abundance. Following past declines in abundance it appears to have been extirpated from the offshore waters of lakes Erie and St. Clair, although there is a large remnant sub-population in the St. Clair River delta. Threats from invasive species include those from Zebra and Quagga mussels as well as European Common Reed. Other threats include pollution from wastewater discharge, and agricultural and industrial effluents. Recent surveys have located new subpopulations at 17 sites not known at the time of the previous assessment, some of which are currently free of Zebra and Quagga mussels. The increase in sampling effort, the apparent reduction in the rate of decline, and the discovery of new subpopulations since the previous assessment have contributed to the change in status for this species from Endangered to Special Concern.
Range:
ON
Status History:
Designated Endangered in April 2007. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in April 2017.
Western Banded Tigersnail
Common Name:
Western Banded Tigersnail
Scientific Name:
Anguispira kochi occidentalis
Status:
Not at Risk
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This large terrestrial snail is known from numerous sites and appears to be abundant in southeastern British Columbia. Most records come from the West Kootenay region where it is mainly found in riparian and floodplain habitats. Continuing low-impact threats include habitat loss from residential development, roads, logging, fire, silvicultural activity, and droughts, and temperature extremes related to climate change. Given the current circumstances, this species is not at risk.
Range:
BC
Status History:
Designated Not at Risk in April 2017.

Vascular Plants

Butternut
Common Name:
Butternut
Scientific Name:
Juglans cinerea
Status:
Endangered
Assessment Criteria:
A2ae+3e+4ae
Reason for Designation:
This widespread early-successional tree of the Eastern Deciduous Forest occurs throughout southern Ontario and Québec, and locally in New Brunswick. The species was formerly a significant source of wood for cabinetry and instrument making and continues to hold cultural significance for some Indigenous communities in eastern Canada. The fungal disease Butternut Canker has infected almost all Canadian trees, is causing rapid mortality, and is projected to cause a near 100% decline from the pre-canker population of this species within one generation. There is evidence that some trees may be showing resistance. Ornamental introductions in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are not included in the assessment.
Range:
ON QC NB
Status History:
Designated Endangered in November 2003. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Spotted Wintergreen
Common Name:
Spotted Wintergreen
Scientific Name:
Chimaphila maculata
Status:
Threatened
Assessment Criteria:
B1ab(i,ii,iv)+2ab(i,ii,iv)
Reason for Designation:
This low-growing perennial plant is restricted to sandy soils in southern Ontario. Since the last assessment, this species has been found at two new sites and lost at two others. The overall population has remained fairly stable but the five subpopulations are under threat from recreational activities and the possibility of wildfire.
Range:
ON QC
Status History:
Designated Endangered in April 1987. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1998 and in May 2000. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in April 2017.
Anticosti Aster
Common Name:
Anticosti Aster
Scientific Name:
Symphyotrichum anticostense
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This clonal plant is restricted to calcareous shores of larger rivers (and occasionally lakes) in Eastern Québec and New Brunswick. At least 95% of its small global range occurs in Canada. Invasive species threaten habitat quality and there is some evidence that localized hybridization and deer browsing may minimally affect population persistence at local scales. Since the species’ last assessment of Threatened in 2000, extensive searching resulted in the documentation of several new subpopulations. The subpopulations appear to be stable.
Range:
QC NB
Status History:
Designated Threatened in April 1990. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in April 2017.
Long's Bulrush
Common Name:
Long's Bulrush
Scientific Name:
Scirpus longii
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This globally vulnerable, long-lived wetland plant is restricted in Canada to a small region of Nova Scotia that supports nearly half of the world’s population. The species is increasingly threatened by competition and shading from the invasive Glossy Buckthorn and native shrubs. Peat mining could be a future threat. Limited sexual reproduction and hybridization may also reduce survival of this sedge.
Range:
NS
Status History:
Designated Special Concern in April 1994. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2017.
Annual Saltmarsh Aster
Common Name:
Annual Saltmarsh Aster
Scientific Name:
Symphyotrichum subulatum
Status:
Not at Risk
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
This species typically occurs in brackish marsh and river shores. The species was previously assessed as Special Concern. Based on a revised taxonomy, it is now known to be more widely distributed in Canada, with subpopulations in Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. In addition, extensive targeted field work has discovered numerous new occurrences. There is no current evidence of population decline or unnatural fluctuations and no significant threats appear to affect the species.
Range:
QC NB PE
Status History:
Designated Special Concern in April 1992. Status re-examined and designated Not at Risk in April 2017.

Mosses

Rusty Cord-moss
Common Name:
Rusty Cord-moss
Scientific Name:
Entosthodon rubiginosus
Status:
Special Concern
Assessment Criteria:
not applicable
Reason for Designation:
The known distribution and abundance of this moss has increased significantly due to field and collection research since the species was first assessed by COSEWIC in 2004, resulting in decreased extinction risk. It is now known from both British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and considerable unexplored potential habitat exists. Small declines have been observed, and potential threats, including, livestock use, climate change, conversion of natural habitat for agricultural use, and alien invasive species, have been identified. The species remains at risk and could become Threatened unless threats are mitigated with demonstrable effectiveness.
Range:
BC SK
Status History:
Designated Endangered in November 2004. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in April 2017.

 

*The reports on Prairie Skink (Plestiodon septentrionalis), Acuteleaf Small Limestone Moss (Seligeria acutifolia), and Porsild’s Bryum (Haplodontium macrocarpum) were withdrawn to allow inclusion of recent information. These wildlife species will be re-considered by COSEWIC in November 2017.

28/04/2017