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Species At Risk

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Species At Risk

Definition of Species at risk

Species at risk (SAR) are plants and animals in trouble because their numbers have declined noticeably in recent years. They are species at risk of extinction. If they disappear, they will be gone forever, and lost for all future generations. There are over 500 SAR in Canada and more than 190 in Ontario. Depending on the time of year, 40 of these SAR can be found within the Alderville Black Oak Savanna.

Canadian Flag Status Categories for Species at risk in Canada

At the federal government level, experts identify species that are at risk and in need of protection and recovery efforts. Based on the best available information, each species is placed in one of the following six categories: EXTINCT: No longer exists on the planet. EXTIRPATED: No longer lives in the habitat it was once found in.

  • ENDANGERED: Is facing likely extinction or extirpation.
  • THREATENED: Is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to reduce the factors that are threatening it.
  • SPECIAL CONCERN: Not endangered or threatened, but may become so due to a combination of threats if steps are not taken to reduce these.
  • NOT AT RISK: Not at risk of going extinct.

Ontario Trillium Status Categories for Species at risk in Ontario

The Ontario provincial government has also identified species that are at risk in Ontario and has given them designations that reflect their provincial status.

  • EXTIRPATED: A native species that does not exist in Ontario, but exists elsewhere.
  • ENDANGERED: A native species at risk of becoming extirpated or extinct.
  • THREATENED: A native species at risk of becoming endangered in Ontario.
  • SPECIAL CONCERN: A native species that may become endangered or threatened in the future due to its sensitivity to human activities or natural processes.

Protection of SAR

Species at Risk Act (SARA)

This federal legislation applies to all species listed as species at risk found on lands and waters owned or administered by the federal government in Canada. Under this Act, all species at risk and their habitats are protected by federal law. For more information visit www.sararegistry.gc.ca