Environment Canada

Environment Canada
Saskatchewan Environment

February 29, 2008 17:37 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Work Together to Protect Species at Risk

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 29, 2008) - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird, and Saskatchewan's Minister of the Environment, Nancy Heppner, today announced the signing of an agreement between the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to ensure the province-wide protection and recovery of species at risk.

"Our government is committed to the protecting and preserving of our environment and that means protecting species at risk. We have taken real action by investing $110 million over two years to make this happen," said Minister Baird. "With agreements in place with Quebec, British Columbia and now Saskatchewan, Canada is on its way to a stronger, more collaborative approach to protecting species at risk."

In Canada, species at risk are protected under the federal Species at Risk Act, and through a number of provincial and territorial laws. The Canada-Saskatchewan Agreement on Species at Risk ensures that governments have a coordinated approach to protecting and recovering species at risk, and to preventing other wildlife from becoming endangered or threatened.

"Through this agreement, Canada and Saskatchewan will work together to develop species at risk protection in this province that complements our priorities on habitat protection and ecosystem management," Minister Heppner said. "The enhanced coordination and cooperation that will come from this agreement will lead to better protection of species at risk in Saskatchewan."

A new Canada-Saskatchewan Steering Committee oversees efforts to protect and recover species at risk in Saskatchewan. The group is composed of federal authorities from Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Parks Canada, and by representatives from the provincial ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food, and the Watershed Authority. Aboriginal groups in Saskatchewan will be closely involved.

"Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also committed to protecting Canada's aquatic biodiversity for our future generations, and working with our many partners and stakeholders will make this happen," said Fisheries and Oceans Canada Minister Loyola Hearn.

Saskatchewan is home to 43 species at risk listed under the Species at Risk Act including the burrowing owl, the piping plover, the swift fox and the woodland caribou. Aquatic species currently under consideration for listing are three populations of lake sturgeon.

To find out more about species at risk visit:
www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca. For more information on the Species at Risk Act visit the Species at Risk Act Public Registry website at: www.sararegistry.gc.ca

BACKGROUNDER

GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA AND SASKATCHEWAN: PROTECTING SPECIES AT RISK

Working Together to Protect Species at Risk in Saskatchewan

The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan officially recognized, through the development of the Canada-Saskatchewan Agreement on Species at Risk, the importance of working together to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive approach to delivering species at risk protection and recovery in Saskatchewan.

Species at Risk Found in Saskatchewan

There are over 400 species listed on Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act, and 43 of these in Saskatchewan. The Wild Species at Risk Regulations of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act includes 15 species, all of which are also listed under the Species at Risk Act. Some of the species at risk found in Saskatchewan include the woodland caribou, swift fox, piping plover, burrowing owl, northern leopard frog and many plants uniquely adapted to living in the prairies.

Recovery Efforts and Action

Canada and Saskatchewan are committed to developing recovery strategies that set goals for the recovery of each species at risk found in Saskatchewan. Many programs and tools are used to achieve these recovery goals. One important tool is the Habitat Stewardship Program. This program, funded by the federal government, directs funds where they are needed most - into the hands of people who can make a difference on the ground.

Examples of Habitat Stewardship Program Recovery Efforts

Operation Burrowing Owl and Shrubs for Shrikes: Engaging Rural Landowners in Habitat Conservation - Nature Saskatchewan

Operation Burrowing Owl and Shrubs for Shrikes are voluntary stewardship programs that engage landowners in conserving habitat for burrowing owls, prairie loggerhead shrikes (a bird) and other prairie species. About 500 landowners participate in these programs, conserving over 24,000 hectares of habitat on private land.

Species at Risk Habitat Securement - Missouri Coteau, Frenchman River Watershed, Qu'Appelle River Watershed - Nature Conservancy Canada

The project concentrates conservation efforts on ecologically significant areas of the Prairie Ecozone of Saskatchewan, an area that supports a significant portion of Saskatchewan's species at risk. Conservation easements, land purchases and land donations will be used to secure important and sensitive habitat in perpetuity.

(Egalement offert en francais)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richer
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    613-990-7537
    or
    Saskatchewan Environment
    Art Jones
    Media Relations
    306-787-5796