COSEWIC wildlife species assessment: process, categories and guidelines

Approved by COSEWIC in November 2019

Printable version (PDF - 397 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) 1This process is used for new assessments or reassessments based on fully updated status reports. The processes for other forms of Reviews of Classification i.e., Addendum Status Appraisal Summary, Rapid Review of Classification are detailed in Rules of Procedure and 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