Organizational structure: COSEWIC


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.

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge: process and protocols guidelines

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.

Process to include Wildlife Management Boards in COSEWIC status assessments

List of WMBs that have expressed an interest in COSEWIC's activities

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, 14th floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3


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