|Threatened and Endangered Species
Species at Risk Act
Canada's Species at Risk Act: Implementation at a Snail's Pace
The primary cause of decline for 84% of species at risk in Canada is habitat loss (4). In order to maintain, protect and restore the habitat that is needed by a species, that habitat must first be identified. The Act requires that critical habitat — the habitat needed by a species to survive or recover — must be identified, to the extent possible based on the best available information, in a recovery strategy under SARA.
However, not only have recovery strategies often failed to identify critical habitat when it was possible to do so, the majority of recovery strategies have been delayed, ignoring legal timelines. Recovery strategies are due for 282 species, but have only been completed for 99 species. And out of those recovery strategies that have been released, only 21% identify at least some part of the species' critical habitat (5).