COSEWIC is made up of 34 voting members and directed by a chairperson who is elected for a 2-year term. There is one member for each of the 13 provincial and territorial government wildlife agencies, one member from each of four federal agencies (Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Museum of Nature) 4 non-government science members, 2 early career members, 10 co-chairs for the species specialist subcommittees and a co-chair for the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge subcommittee. Members bring considerable experience in wildlife and biological science from the academic, Aboriginal, government, museum and private sectors.
Subcommittee co-chairs provide expertise on particular taxonomic groups. Each subcommittee consists of two co-chairs and at least 5 additional members who are experts in the relevant field, offering a broad knowledge, experience and a demonstrated commitment to wildlife conservation. Members are drawn from universities, provincial wildlife agencies, museums, conservation data centres and other sources of expertise on Canadian species. They help to develop candidate lists of species to be considered for assessment, propose a status for each species and review status reports. The Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge subcommittee provides expertise to ensure Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge is gathered and incorporated into COSEWIC’s assessment process.
Wildlife management boards
Established under land claims agreements, there are wildlife management boards in almost all of Nunavut, Northern Northwest Territories, the Yukon and parts of Quebec and British Columbia to provide direction on the sustainable use of wildlife resources within their jurisdictions. They have access to information on wildlife in their settlement regions and by facilitating communications with hunters and trappers, provide valuable information that is included in the COSEWIC assessment process.