The Status Of Endangered Species In Canada

Canada covers the major part of North America and is home to the plenty of flora and fauna species. Canada is habitat of around 70,000 of species. Jeff Wells, the Boreal Songbird Initiative's science policy director, says Canada hosts biological phenomena rarely seen elsewhere on the planet. It was estimated that there are about one to three billion nesting birds in the boreal forest. But due to the industrialization and in order to fulfill the requirements of our everyday life people exploit the Mother Nature extensively. As a result of our actions some species are on the brink of extinction. However, the Canadian government has taken substantial steps, made committees and passed some bills to identify the endangered species, prevent habitat loss and to prohibit the overharvesting so that the integrity and stability of our ecosystem can be protected.

Identifying Endangered Species

To spot the endangered species Canadian government formed a commission named as Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 1977. The members of the committee were scholars, government officials and representatives from various NGO’s. Scientists use a variety of modern, non-lethal methods to confirm the existence of an organism, including high-resolution imaging and sound or mating calls capturing video.

In Canada, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) uses Design a table Units (DUs) to identify subspecies, varieties or populations of a taxonomic species that are discrete, and important to the evolutionary legacy of the species.

In April 1999, total 338 species were identified under the class of extinct, endangered, extirpated or helpless. Traditionally, field biologists gather samples in order to distinguish the species-or to prove that they still exist in the wild. In addition to this, a plan called RENEW (Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife) was launched in April 1988 by the Council of Canadian Wildlife Ministers to save the species. RENEW created 31 teams for the preservation of 13 species. However, RENEW did not have any official crew and financial support system, so the working members are mostly volunteers who were worried about the natural ecosystem.

Habitat Sustainability

The forest laws of Canada are among the most rigorous in the world. The authorities protect the forests and ensure a country-wide implementation of sustainable forest management practices. In Alberta, just over half of the pastures are on Crown land, and in Saskatchewan, at least 30% of the native grasslands are under some form of federal or non-governmental (NGO) control. This means consumers can really be convinced that the forest and wood products they purchase from Canada have been legally obtained and collected under a renewable forest management system. To ensure the sustainability of habitats teams have been set in place that operate internationally and research the factors affecting the ecology both on national and international level. “We have entered a period of biodiversity loss rapidly accelerating and are facing the irrecoverable loss of plant and animal species, habitats and vital crops, while facing the tragic impacts of global climate change”.

In year 2007 Government of Canada provided total funds of around 22 million dollars for recruiting and training of the enforcement administrators and additional 21 million dollars in 2008 to help recruited officers in their research and investigations. Apart from all these, Bill named C-16 was introduced by the Government of Canada to reinforce the present Environmental Enforcement Act. Federal should work along with the private landowners to preserve the Canadian enriched wildlife heritage. Moreover, as reported by Nature Canada(2015), a program was launched to protect the Kirtland’s Warblers(a bird species), for which areas near the Simcoe and Lake Huron having soil suitable for the growth of Jack or Red Pine plants was identified so that the Kirtland can breed there.

Regulating Overharvesting

Despite, habitat loss and climate change another reason for the exploitation of endangered species is overharvesting. As the threatened species’ populations are already low, overharvesting doesn’t only include practice of hunting extensively but also collecting animal specimens for research.

Laws prohibit the sale and purchase of products made from the skin or body parts of the animals across the world Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species works with other countries and associates. The laws & regulations related to the conservation of wildlife in Canada are getting stronger year by year.

Canada’s fishing industry contributes around 6 Billion dollars to its economy every year, but Canada ranked 99 out of 136 nations in the protection of marine species in research conducted by Yale and Columbia University. The main reason for Canada’s poor fisheries status is unsustainable levels of exploitation. To overcome this problem Fisheries and Oceans Canada's (DFO) kept the fisheries and ocean ecosystem among his top priorities. The battle strategy of DFO is to stop, frighten and get rid of the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU Fishing) practice in the marine ecosystems. In the same way, Greater prairie chicken recognized for his bright orange featherless area on its neck vanished from the country due to overharvesting and habitat loss in 1900’s. Also, the sea otter on the Pacific coast was extensively hunted during the late 1700s and 1800s. Hunters sold up to 1,200 pelts a year. In 1900, coastal otters were on the brink of extinction. Thus, it is essential to make regulations regarding overharvesting because it is the primary cause of extinction of diverse species.

Conclusion “Little drops of water, Make the mighty ocean” - Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney. Canadian government has been taking substantial steps for the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife and has passed several jurisdictions for the same. Strict laws ensure that the biodiversity remains rich and sustainable by implementing initiatives that promote green policies. However, there is still a need for improvement as the fishing industry continues to be exploited and a third (1/3) of endangered species don’t have a defined action plan. Still, the authorities alone cannot make this possible, so it necessary for the citizens to help the officials to protect the wildlife and environment because extinction of even one of the species from the ecosystem and can impact the whole food chain.

10 October 2020
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