Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c. 29)

Act current to 2016-06-06 and last amended on 2015-05-15. Previous Versions

Species at Risk Act

S.C. 2002, c. 29

Assented to 2002-12-12

An Act respecting the protection of wildlife species at risk in Canada

Preamble

Recognizing that

Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of our national identity and history,

wildlife, in all its forms, has value in and of itself and is valued by Canadians for aesthetic, cultural, spiritual, recreational, educational, historical, economic, medical, ecological and scientific reasons,

Canadian wildlife species and ecosystems are also part of the world’s heritage and the Government of Canada has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Biological Diversity,

providing legal protection for species at risk will complement existing legislation and will, in part, meet Canada’s commitments under that Convention,

the Government of Canada is committed to conserving biological diversity and to the principle that, if there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to a wildlife species, cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for a lack of full scientific certainty,

responsibility for the conservation of wildlife in Canada is shared among the governments in this country and that it is important for them to work cooperatively to pursue the establishment of complementary legislation and programs for the protection and recovery of species at risk in Canada,

it is important that there be cooperation between the governments in this country to maintain and strengthen national standards of environmental conservation and that the Government of Canada is committed to the principles set out in intergovernmental agreements respecting environmental conservation,

the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council is to provide national leadership for the protection of species at risk, including the provision of general direction to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in respect of that Committee’s activities and general directions in respect of the development, coordination and implementation of recovery efforts,

the roles of the aboriginal peoples of Canada and of wildlife management boards established under land claims agreements in the conservation of wildlife in this country are essential,

all Canadians have a role to play in the conservation of wildlife in this country, including the prevention of wildlife species from becoming extirpated or extinct,

there will be circumstances under which the cost of conserving species at risk should be shared,

the conservation efforts of individual Canadians and communities should be encouraged and supported,

stewardship activities contributing to the conservation of wildlife species and their habitat should be supported to prevent species from becoming at risk,

community knowledge and interests, including socio-economic interests, should be considered in developing and implementing recovery measures,

the traditional knowledge of the aboriginal peoples of Canada should be considered in the assessment of which species may be at risk and in developing and implementing recovery measures,

knowledge of wildlife species and ecosystems is critical to their conservation,

the habitat of species at risk is key to their conservation, and

Canada’s protected areas, especially national parks, are vital to the protection and recovery of species at risk,

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Species at Risk Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act.

    action plan

    plan d’action

    action plan means an action plan included in the public registry under subsection 50(3) and includes any amendment to it included in the public registry under section 52. (plan d’action)

    alternative measures

    mesures de rechange

    alternative measures means measures, other than judicial proceedings, that are used to deal with a person who is alleged to have committed an offence. (mesures de rechange)

    aquatic species

    espèce aquatique

    aquatic species means a wildlife species that is a fish, as defined in section 2 of the Fisheries Act, or a marine plant, as defined in section 47 of that Act. (espèce aquatique)

    Attorney General

    procureur général

    Attorney General means the Attorney General of Canada or, for the purposes of sections 108 to 113, an agent of the Attorney General of Canada. (procureur général)

    Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council

    Conseil canadien pour la conservation des espèces en péril

    Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council means the Council referred to in subsection 7(1). (Conseil canadien pour la conservation des espèces en péril)

    competent minister

    ministre compétent

    competent minister means

    • (a) the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency with respect to individuals in or on federal lands administered by that Agency;

    • (b) the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to aquatic species, other than individuals mentioned in paragraph (a); and

    • (c) the Minister of the Environment with respect to all other individuals. (ministre compétent)

    conveyance

    moyen de transport

    conveyance means a vehicle, aircraft or water-borne craft or any other contrivance that is used to move persons or goods. (moyen de transport)

    COSEWIC

    COSEPAC

    COSEWIC means the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada established by section 14. (COSEPAC)

    critical habitat

    habitat essentiel

    critical habitat means the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species. (habitat essentiel)

    emergency order

    décret d’urgence

    emergency order means an order made under section 80. (décret d’urgence)

    endangered species

    espèce en voie de disparition

    endangered species means a wildlife species that is facing imminent extirpation or extinction. (espèce en voie de disparition)

    extirpated species

    espèce disparue du pays

    extirpated species means a wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the wild. (espèce disparue du pays)

    federal land

    territoire domanial

    federal land means

    • (a) land that belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada, or that Her Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above that land;

    • (b) the internal waters of Canada and the territorial sea of Canada; and

    • (c) reserves and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves and lands. (territoire domanial)

    habitat

    habitat

    habitat means

    • (a) in respect of aquatic species, spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply, migration and any other areas on which aquatic species depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes, or areas where aquatic species formerly occurred and have the potential to be reintroduced; and

    • (b) in respect of other wildlife species, the area or type of site where an individual or wildlife species naturally occurs or depends on directly or indirectly in order to carry out its life processes or formerly occurred and has the potential to be reintroduced. (habitat)

    individual

    individu

    individual means an individual of a wildlife species, whether living or dead, at any developmental stage and includes larvae, embryos, eggs, sperm, seeds, pollen, spores and asexual propagules. (individu)

    land claims agreement

    accord sur des revendications territoriales

    land claims agreement means a land claims agreement within the meaning of section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. (accord sur des revendications territoriales)

    List

    liste

    List means the List of Wildlife Species at Risk set out in Schedule 1. (liste)

    listed

    inscrite

    listed means listed on the List. (inscrite)

    Minister

    ministre

    Minister means the Minister of the Environment. (ministre)

    offence

    infraction

    offence means an offence under this Act. (infraction)

    provincial minister

    ministre provincial

    provincial minister means any minister of the government of a province who is responsible for the conservation and management of a wildlife species in that province. (ministre provincial)

    public registry

    registre

    public registry means the registry established under section 120. (registre)

    recovery strategy

    programme de rétablissement

    recovery strategy means a recovery strategy included in the public registry under subsection 43(2), and includes any amendment to it included in the public registry under section 45. (programme de rétablissement)

    residence

    résidence

    residence means a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or hibernating. (résidence)

    sell

    vente

    sell includes to offer for sale or lease, have in possession for sale or lease or deliver for sale or lease. (vente)

    species at risk

    espèce en péril

    species at risk means an extirpated, endangered or threatened species or a species of special concern. (espèce en péril)

    species of special concern

    espèce préoccupante

    species of special concern means a wildlife species that may become a threatened or an endangered species because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats. (espèce préoccupante)

    status report

    rapport de situation

    status report means a report, prepared in accordance with the requirements of regulations made under subsection 21(2), that contains a summary of the best available information on the status of a wildlife species, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge and aboriginal traditional knowledge. (rapport de situation)

    territorial minister

    ministre territorial

    territorial minister means any minister of the government of a territory who is responsible for the conservation and management of a wildlife species in that territory. (ministre territorial)

    threatened species

    espèce menacée

    threatened species means a wildlife species that is likely to become an endangered species if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction. (espèce menacée)

    treaty

    traité

    treaty means a treaty within the meaning of section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. (traité)

    wildlife management board

    conseil de gestion des ressources fauniques

    wildlife management board means any board or other body established under a land claims agreement that is authorized by the agreement to perform functions in respect of wildlife species. (conseil de gestion des ressources fauniques)

    wildlife species

    espèce sauvage

    wildlife species means a species, subspecies, variety or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and

    • (a) is native to Canada; or

    • (b) has extended its range into Canada without human intervention and has been present in Canada for at least 50 years. (espèce sauvage)

  • Marginal note:Deeming

    (2) For the purposes of the definition wildlife species in subsection (1), a species, subspecies, variety or geographically or genetically distinct population is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, presumed to have been present in Canada for at least 50 years.

  • Marginal note:Competent minister

    (3) A reference to a competent minister in any provision of this Act is to be read as a reference to the competent minister in respect of the wildlife species, or the individuals of the wildlife species, to which the provision relates.

  • 2002, c. 29, ss. 2, 141.1;
  • 2005, c. 2, s. 14.
 
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