A status report is a comprehensive technical document that compiles and analyzes the best available information on a wildlife species' status in Canada. It contains information on the basic biology of a wildlife species, as well as information on a wildlife species' distribution in Canada, population sizes and trends, habitat availability and trends, and threats to the wildlife species. A status report is an essential part of the COSEWIC Assessment Process, as summarized below.
COSEWIC annually commissions status report preparation through an open bidding process for high priority candidate wildlife species on the COSEWIC Candidate List or for wildlife species that require re-assessment ("update status reports"). You can register to receive notification of upcoming calls for bids to prepare status reports. In addition, COSEWIC considers unsolicited status reports from any member of the public when accompanied by an Application for Wildlife Species Assessment.
All status reports (including updated status reports and unsolicited reports) are treated in the same way. Each report must meet COSEWIC's standards for quality and completeness, as outlined in the Instructions for Preparation of COSEWIC Status Reports. Status reports are subject to thorough reviews by the appropriate Species Specialist Subcommittee and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee, as well as by jurisdictions that have a responsibility for the wildlife species (including governments of the provinces and territories where the wildlife species occurs, federal departments responsible for the wildlife species, and Wildlife Management Boards). Additional outside experts may also be asked to review Status Reports. When the reviews are complete and revisions have been satisfactorily incorporated, the report is distributed to all COSEWIC members.
At a COSEWIC wildlife species assessment meeting, COSEWIC members use status reports as a basis for discussion and for status assignment. Every 10 years, or earlier, if warranted, COSEWIC reassesses wildlife species previously designated in a category of risk with an update status report. As necessary, COSEWIC may also reassess other wildlife species previously found Not at Risk or Data deficient with an update status report.
In some situations where it is suspected that the status of a wildlife species’ has not changed since last assessment, COSEWIC may decide to prepare a short status appraisal summary, which outlines relevant best available information pertaining to status. This summary, along with the existing status report, is sent for review, and the assessment is conducted in a specific way to expedite the process. In these cases, a fully updated status report is not required. The status appraisal process is described in more detail under the Wildlife Species Assessment section.