COSEWIC wildlife species assessment: process, categories and guidelines

Approved by COSEWIC in November 2018

Printable version (PDF - 385 kB)

Overview of the COSEWIC Process 1

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) exists to provide Canadians and their governments with advice regarding the status of wildlife species that are nationally at risk of extinction or extirpation.

The COSEWIC process is divided into three sequential steps, each of which has a tangible outcome.

  • selection of wildlife species requiring assessment - the COSEWIC Candidate List
  • compilation of available data, knowledge and information - the COSEWIC status report
  • assessment of a wildlife species' risk of extinction or extirpation and subsequent designation - the record of COSEWIC assessment results.

Contents

List of Tables

  • Table 1. Determining eligibility of wildlife species for status assessment.
  • Table 2. Quantitative criteria and guidelines for the status assessment of wildlife species.
  • Table 3. Guidelines for modifying status assessment based on rescue effect.
  • Table 4. Policy for modifying status assessment based on quantitative criteria.
  • Table 5. Status categories.
  • Table 6. Definitions associated with quantitative criteria.

References

Gardenfors, U., J.P .Rodriquez, C. Hilton Taylor, C. Hyslop, G. Mace, S. Molur and S. Poss. 1999. Draft guidelines for the application of Red List criteria at national and regional levels. Species 31 32:58 70

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (2001). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. Available at the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website.

IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. 2016. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 12. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Downloadable from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website: Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (PDF - 1.14 MB)


(1)This process is used for new assessments or reassessments based on an updated status reports. The status appraisal assessment process for use with existing status reports appended with appraisal summaries is detailed in Procedures for Reviews of Classification.

About us

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is an independent advisory panel to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada that meets twice a year to assess the status of wildlife species at risk of extinction. Members are wildlife biology experts from academia, government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector responsible for designating wildlife species in danger of disappearing from Canada.


COSEWIC secretariat
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd, 16th floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3

Telephone: 819-938-4125
Fax: 819-938-3984
Email: ec.cosepac-cosewic.ec@canada.ca

Latest News

COSEWIC press release: May 2019

ST. JOHN'S, May 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Canada's marine protected areas are more important than ever. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has just assessed three whales, including two of the world's largest, as under threat in Canadian waters.


Assessment results (May 2019 COSEWIC wildlife species assessment meeting)

Twice per year, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) meets to discuss and evaluate the status of Canadian wildlife species. Here you will find the List of Wildlife Species scheduled for the next COSEWIC Wildlife Species Assessment Meeting, the results of wildlife species assessment meeting, and the updated COSEWIC Canadian Wildlife Species at Risk Publication.