COSEWIC wildlife species assessment: options for review of classification
The status appraisal summary or rapid review of classification are used as a means to efficiently review the classification of a wildlife species for which status is unlikely to change, in order to assist Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in meeting its requirement under Species at Risk Act (SARA) to review the classification of each species at least every 10 years. 1
The procedure first involves preparation of a status appraisal summary or a rapid review of classification, which are brief documents outlining relevant best available information pertaining to status. Status appraisal summaries or rapid review of classification will be generally prepared by a member (or members) of the relevant Species Specialist Subcommittees (SSC).
If the relevant Species Specialist Subcommittee is reasonably certain that the status of a particular wildlife species will not change upon review of classification, the SSC will commence the status appraisal summary or rapid review of classification process for that wildlife species. In making its decision as to whether a status appraisal summary or rapid review of classification is appropriate, the SSC will informally consult with COSEWIC members from relevant jurisdictions, Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee (ATK SC), Wildlife Management Boards (WMB) and recovery team(s) to obtain any information they may have with regards to the possibility that the wildlife species’ status category may or may not have changed. Additional experts with information on the wildlife species also may be contacted.
The prepared status appraisal summary or the rapid review of classification is appended to the existing status report and is subject to thorough reviews by the appropriate Species Specialist Subcommittee and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee, as well as by jurisdictions that have a responsibility for the wildlife species (including governments of the provinces and territories where the wildlife species occurs, federal departments responsible for the wildlife species, and Wildlife Management Boards). Additional outside experts may also be asked to review Status Reports. When the reviews are complete and revisions have been satisfactorily incorporated, the report is distributed to all COSEWIC members.
At a COSEWIC wildlife species assessment meeting, COSEWIC members use status appraisal summaries or the rapid review of classifications as a basis for discussion and for status retention, concluding the review of classification process.
The status appraisal summary or rapid review of classification becomes an addendum to the existing status report and is posted on the SARA Public Registry along with the existing status report. In certain select cases, an addendum to an existing status report can also be used to change the status of a species.
(1) For information on the regular assessment process, used for new assessments and for reviews of classification when status may have changed since the last assessment, please refer to the Assessment Process and Criteria web page [COSEWIC Assessment Process, Categories and Guidelines].