Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC, French: Comité sur la situation des espèces en péril au Canada, COSEPAC) is an independent committee of wildlife experts and scientists whose "raison d’être is to identify species at risk" in Canada. It designates the conservation status of wild species.
It was established in 1977 to provide a single, scientifically sound classification of wildlife species at risk of extinction. In the 2002 Species at Risk Act, COSEWIC was established as the body to identify and assess a species status. Although the status assigned by COSEWIC is not legally binding, it does report its results to the government and the public. The report is influential toward the addition of species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk by the Minister of the Environment.
By December 2013 there were "686 wildlife species in various COSEWIC risk categories, including 196 Special Concern (SC), 166 Threatened (T), 302 Endangered (E), 22 Extirpated (XT) (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada) and 15 wildlife species that are Extinct (X). The other category is not at risk (NAR).
COSEWIC bases its quantitative criteria for species' status assessment on the revised IUCN Red List, the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. COSEWIC provides International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's main authority on the conservation status of species, with a Regional Red List.
IUCN. (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. ii + 30 pp.
- "Frequently Asked Questions About the Species at Risk Act". Government of Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Archived from the original on 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
- "COSEWIC and the Species at Risk Act". Government of Canada, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
- COSEWIC 2013.
- COSEWIC 2011.
- "Wildlife Species Search", Environment Canada, 11 July 2011 , retrieved 18 December 2013
- "Learning from the past to protect the future", COSEWIC, Press release, 1 December 2013, retrieved 19 December 2013
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