Over 2,000 wildlife species at high risk of extinction in Canada, report warns |  Radio-Canada News

Over 2,000 wildlife species at high risk of extinction in Canada, report warns | Radio-Canada News

A recently released report on the status of wildlife in Canada listed more species than any previous report – more than 50,000 – and warns that more than 2,000 of them are at high risk of being wiped out in the nature.

The Wild Species 2020 report, compiled by researchers working for federal, provincial and territorial governments, says it has provided “the most comprehensive understanding we have ever had of the status and distribution of wildlife species in Canada.”

“A crucial step in preventing species loss is identifying what species exist, where they are found and their status. This is why this national assessment, conducted every five years, is so essential,” said Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in a press release.

“You can’t do this without a strong knowledge base. Knowledge is power.”

The report – the fifth in a series published every five years since 2000 – includes data on the status of 50,534 of Canada’s 80,000 known species, up from the 29,848 species covered in the 2015 report. first report in 2000 only covered 1,670 species.

The report identified the elephant seal as one of the mammal species in Canada most at risk of being wiped out in the wild. (Current Biology)

The report’s authors say they were able to record information on 63% of Canada’s wild species through the collaboration of hundreds of scientists working across the country over five years.

Of the species included in the report, 47,314 are native to Canada, while 3,220 are “alien” species introduced by human activity.

“Of the 3,220 alien species identified, the taxonomic groups with the highest number of alien species were vascular plants, beetles, true insects, moths, and butterflies,” the report said.

The report’s authors said more work can be done to determine the impact of these alien species on ecosystems across the country.

Species at Risk

The report covers about 63% of wildlife species in Canada — about 75% of plants, 77% of fungi, and 29% of microscopic wildlife.

The three provinces with the most wildlife species are Ontario with 25,776, British Columbia with 24,540 and Quebec with 21,933.

The report identified 2,253 species facing the highest risk of extinction in Canada. They include beetles, moths, butterflies, and species such as macrofungi and lichens.

The report says that of these 2,253 species, 105 are found only in Canada, meaning their survival as a species is at risk.

“The number of potentially endangered species identified in wildlife reports has been steadily increasing largely due to the increase in the number of species included,” the report says.

The report indicates that approximately one in five wildlife species in Canada is at risk of extinction — of extirpation in the wild in this country.

The report says 873 species are critically imperiled – at high risk of being extirpated in the wild – another 1,245 fall into the slightly less severe category of endangered, while 2,765 species are considered vulnerable, at risk moderate to be wiped out in nature.

The North Pacific right whale, like this one pictured in the Bering Sea in 2017, is one of the 24 most endangered mammals in Canadian waters. (The Associated Press)

The report’s authors said 9,562 species can be considered apparently secure or at relatively low risk of extinction, while 10,038 species are considered secure or at very low risk of extinction.

The report says that of the species categorized to determine their status, 80% were considered secure and 20% were at risk of extinction in the wild.

The report said another 26,000 species were unclassifiable due to insufficient data.

About to be destroyed

The report says that of the 223 known wild mammal species in Canada, 24 are considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild. These include the Vancouver Island marmot and the Mount Ogilvie ring-necked lemming, both of which are endemic to Canada.

Other mammals at risk include the common gray fox, elephant seal, North Pacific and North Atlantic right whale, sei whale and blue whale.

Of the 696 known species of birds in Canada, 50 are at risk of being wiped out in the wild. They include the Whooping Crane, Spotted Owl, Snowy Egret, and Sage Thrasher.

Of 5,324 species of vascular plants, about 598 are at risk of being wiped out, including false daisy, compass plant, juniper sedge and California sword fern.

Canada is hosting the UN biodiversity conference — called COP15 — next week in Montreal. NDP environment critic Laurel Collins said Guilbeault should use the conference to address the “biodiversity crisis.”

“New Democrats are calling for a real climate plan that prioritizes ending biodiversity loss and stopping all fossil fuel subsidies – while protecting workers and Indigenous communities,” Collins said in a press release. .

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