COSEWIC Updates Species at Risk

28 April 2008 – The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) held its spring Species Assessment Meeting April 20 to 25 in Yellowknife, NT. BSC employee Dick Cannings attended the meeting as the co-chair for the Birds subcommittee. The status of the Canada Warbler was assessed as Threatened; this species has experienced a significant long-term decline over most of its breeding range. The reasons for the decline are unclear, but loss of forest on the wintering grounds in South America is a likely primary cause. The Ferruginous Hawk, formerly listed as Special Concern, was uplisted to Threatened because of a 64% population decline in Alberta (the heart of its Canadian range) since 1992. Five other species were reassessed through update reports and kept their previous status: Greater Sage-Grouse, urophasianus subspecies (Alberta-Saskatchewan), Endangered; Greater Sage-Grouse, phaios subspecies (BC), Extirpated; Great Blue Heron, fannini subspecies (BC coast), Special Concern; Spotted Owl, Endangered; Short-eared Owl, Special Concern; Kirtland’s Warbler, Endangered. For more details on these and other species assessments, visit the COSEWIC website.