The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) determines the national status of wild Canadian species, subspecies, varieties or other designatable units that are suspected of being at risk of extinction or extirpation. COSEWIC uses a process based on science and Aboriginal or community knowledge to assess wildlife species at risk. All native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arthropods, molluscs, vascular plants, mosses and lichens are included in COSEWIC's current mandate.
In doing its work, COSEWIC develops the prioritized COSEWIC Candidate List of wildlife species needing assessment, manages the production of wildlife species status reports, and holds meetings at which wildlife species are assessed and assigned to risk categories. In all of its actions, COSEWIC uses the best available information relevant to assessing a wildlife species' risk of extinction or extirpation, which it may obtain from any credible source of knowledge of the wildlife species and its habitat. The evaluation process is independent and transparent, and the results are reported to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) and the public.