COSEWIC candidate wildlife species

Last updated March 13, 2024

List of wildlife species grouped by the type of wildlife and by its risk of extinction. Each species is assigned to one of 3 groups, depending on how urgently it needs to be assessed. Species in the highest urgency group are reviewed and ranked to create the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) candidate list.

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Part 1: overview

Many species in Canada have not yet been assessed by COSEWIC, but are suspected of being at some risk of extinction or extirpation. These species, referred to as ‘candidate wildlife species’ are identified by the species specialist subcommittees (SSCs) or by the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) subcommittee as candidates for detailed status assessment. Candidates may also include wildlife species already assessed by COSEWIC as not at risk or data deficient, but where new information suggests they may be at risk.

SSC and ATK subcommittee members use their expert knowledge and judgment to identify candidate wildlife species. They draw on numerous sources of information including (where available) the General Status of Wild Species in Canada program, information drawn from other multi-jurisdictional monitoring, jurisdictional and international assessment processes (e.g. IUCN and NatureServe) and published ranking systems in the scientific literature. As time and resources allow, COSEWIC will commission status reports for high priority candidate wildlife species so that an assessment can be undertaken.

Status reports are commissioned by COSEWIC through an open competition. A call for bids is periodically posted on this website both for selected candidate species, and also for species already assessed by COSEWIC that require a reassessment. You can register to be notified when new calls for bids are posted on the website.

For more information on candidate wildlife species, visit COSEWIC wildlife species assessment: process, categories, and guidelines.


Part 2: COSEWIC candidate list

The highest priority wildlife species from the SSC candidate lists are reviewed and ranked by COSEWIC, and result in COSEWIC candidate list. COSEWIC bases its ranking on prioritization data submitted by each SSC. COSEWIC candidate list identifies the highest priority candidate wildlife species for status report production. Wildlife species included in this list include those not yet assessed by COSEWIC and those in the not at risk or data deficient categories, where new information suggests they may be at risk of extinction or extirpation from Canada.

Common name: White-winged Grasshopper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Dissosteira spurcata

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: British Columbia, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date:

Rationale: This grasshopper is associated with arid shrub-steppe in the intermountain west. It reaches its northern limit in the southern Okanagan Valley. Within its Canadian range, it is highly localized and has been recently recorded at only two sites. One is a Haynes Lease Wildlife Area at the north end of Osoyoos Lake and the other is a parcel of crown land on the west side of Osoyoos. While the wildlife area is secure, the crown land is under pressure for annexation and development by the town of Osoyoos. It is currently used for off-road driving and hiking. The species could also occur on the east side of Osoyoos Lake on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve. This would not greatly change the status of the species.

Common name: Arctic Orangebush Lichen

Taxonomic group: Lichens

Scientific name: Xanthaptychia aurantiaca

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Northwest Territories, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2021

Rationale: Xanthaptychia aurantiaca is narrowly restricted to western portions of the Canadian Arctic. It is a relatively large bright orange macrolichen that is conspicuous on the landscape. However, there are only 14 known collections. The region has been thoroughly surveyed for lichens (see map under Search Effort), with over 6600 lichens collections known. This suggests that X. aurantiaca is not only narrowly endemic, but also rare within its range. All collections are coastal. Most collections have been made on Banks Island and the Parry Peninsula in the Northwest Territories. This species is threatened by a loss of habitat from rapidly eroding coasts, saline wash resulting from storm surges, and permafrost melting. These threats are due to a reduction in sea ice cover on the Beaufort Sea and changes in weather patterns caused by on-going climate change.

Common name: Arctic Orangebush Lichen

Taxonomic group: Lichens

Scientific name: Xanthaptychia aurantiaca

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Northwest Territories, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Xanthaptychia aurantiaca is narrowly restricted to western portions of the Canadian Arctic. It is a relatively large bright orange macrolichen that is conspicuous on the landscape. However, there are only 14 known collections. The region has been thoroughly surveyed for lichens (see map under Search Effort), with over 6600 lichens collections known. This suggests that X. aurantiaca is not only narrowly endemic, but also rare within its range. All collections are coastal. Most collections have been made on Banks Island and the Parry Peninsula in the Northwest Territories. This species is threatened by a loss of habitat from rapidly eroding coasts, saline wash resulting from storm surges, and permafrost melting. These threats are due to a reduction in sea ice cover on the Beaufort Sea and changes in weather patterns caused by on-going climate change.

Common name: Horned Lark

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Eremophila alpestris

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, Alsek Renewable Resources Council, British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Carmacks Renewable Resources Council, Carcross/Tagish Renewable Resources Council, Canadian Wildlife Service, Dawson District Renewable Resources Council, Dän Keyi Renewable Resources Council, Eeyou Marine Region Wildlife Board, Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board, Laberge Renewable Resources Council, Manitoba, Mayo District Renewable Resources Council, New Brunswick, Nisga'a Joint Fisheries Management Committee, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut Territory, Nisga'a Wildlife Committee, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, North Yukon Renewable Resources Council, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency, Porcupine Caribou Management Board, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Sahtu Renewable Resources Board, Selkirk Renewable Resources Council, Teslin Renewable Resources Council, Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-management Board, Wildlife Management Advisory Council - North Slope, Wildlife Management Advisory Council - Northwest Territories, Wekeezhii Renewable Resources Board, Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Yukon Territory

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Horned Lark is a Holarctic landbird that occurs in Canada's tundra and prairie grasslands, and other open landscapes from seaside barrens to above the alpine tree-line. One of the eight subspecies that occur in Canada, Streaked Horned Lark, was assessed by COSEWIC as Endangered in 2003 and 2018; the other seven are considered here. Horned Lark subspecies differ in range, body size and colouration. Most subspecies have populations estimated at >1 million mature individuals in Canada, but Pallid Horned Lark and Dusky Horned Lark may have only 15,000 to 20,000 mature individuals each. Overall, the Canadian population of Horned Lark is estimated to be about 28 million mature individuals. After apparent increases in the late 1800s, most populations have declined continuously since the 1940s, with loss of marginal agricultural areas and intensification of agriculture in breeding areas, and loss of native grassland habitat negatively affecting populations on both breeding and wintering grounds. Population estimates and trends are difficult to determine for individual subspecies, and appear to vary substantially. However, at the national level, Breeding Bird Survey data for Horned Lark show a long-term (1970-2018) decline of 89% (95% credible interval: -91%, -86%), corresponding to a trend of -4.4% per year (-4.9%, -4.0%), with a short-term (2008-2018) decline of -58% (-64%, -52%), corresponding to an annual trend of -8.4% (-9.7%, -7.0%).

Common name: Lupine Leafroller Moth

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Anacampsis lupinella

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Lupine Leafroller Moth (Anacampsis lupinella) ranges in southern Ontario within the dry, open oak woodland, pitch pine-scrub oak barrens where the host plant, Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis) is present. Wild Lupine is also at-risk and ranked vulnerable (N2N3) in Canada and Ontario (S2S3). Records date from 1901 - 2017 and the species is known from High Park (Toronto), the St. Williams Conservation Reserve (and a nearby private property, both in Norfolk County), and in the Karner Blue Sanctuary( Lambton County). An additional subpopulation may be present in/around Pinery Provincial Park, where a moderate-sized wild lupine population persists. Threats include invasive species that are changing the ecosystem and impacting the host plans, pesticide spray to control non-native Gypsy Moth outbreaks, and habitat conversion and fragmentation.

Common name: Lupine Leafroller Moth

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Anacampsis lupinella

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Lupine Leafroller Moth (Anacampsis lupinella) ranges in southern Ontario within the dry, open oak woodland, pitch pine-scrub oak barrens where the host plant, Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis) is present. Wild Lupine is also at-risk and ranked vulnerable (N2N3) in Canada and Ontario (S2S3). Records date from 1901 - 2017 and the species is known from High Park (Toronto), the St. Williams Conservation Reserve (and a nearby private property, both in Norfolk County), and in the Karner Blue Sanctuary( Lambton County). An additional subpopulation may be present in/around Pinery Provincial Park, where a moderate-sized wild lupine population persists. Threats include invasive species that are changing the ecosystem and impacting the host plans, pesticide spray to control non-native Gypsy Moth outbreaks, and habitat conversion and fragmentation.

Common name: Oslar's Roadside Skipper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Amblyscirtes oslari

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2021

Rationale: Oslar's Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes oslari) is a dry, mixed grass prairies, open woodlands, ravines, and canyons prairie butterfly with a restricted range in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Adults fly from May to July, there is one generation per season and the larvae feed on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) or other grasses. The species is known from eight sites: Lethbridge (AB), Writing-on-stone Provincial Park (AB), Taber (AB), North Pinhorn Grazing Preserve (AB), Estuary (SK), Val Marie (SK), Deer Forks (SK) and Roche Percee (SK). Widespread habitat conversion during the early 1900s and the loss of Plains Bison contributed to the loss of prairie grassland habitat suitable for this species. Current threats include agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and lack of connectivity between natural grassland fragments, invasive plants that change soil chemistry and/or outcompete native larval and nectar host plants, and roadside/agricultural pesticide use. There are currently no Canadian records on iNaturalist, BugGuide or other citizen science/online forums.

Common name: Oslar's Roadside Skipper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Amblyscirtes oslari

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Oslar's Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes oslari) is a dry, mixed grass prairies, open woodlands, ravines, and canyons prairie butterfly with a restricted range in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Adults fly from May to July, there is one generation per season and the larvae feed on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) or other grasses. The species is known from eight sites: Lethbridge (AB), Writing-on-stone Provincial Park (AB), Taber (AB), North Pinhorn Grazing Preserve (AB), Estuary (SK), Val Marie (SK), Deer Forks (SK) and Roche Percee (SK). Widespread habitat conversion during the early 1900s and the loss of Plains Bison contributed to the loss of prairie grassland habitat suitable for this species. Current threats include agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and lack of connectivity between natural grassland fragments, invasive plants that change soil chemistry and/or outcompete native larval and nectar host plants, and roadside/agricultural pesticide use. There are currently no Canadian records on iNaturalist, BugGuide or other citizen science/online forums.

Common name: Pahaska Skipper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Hesperia pahaska

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2021

Rationale: Pahaska Skipper (Hesperia pahaska) is a dry, mixed grass prairie and open pine forest butterfly with a restricted range in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Adults fly from June to July, with one generation per season in Canada and larvae feed on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), with fluff grass (Erioneuron pulchellum) also reported as a host plant in other parts of its US range. Records are from 1928 to 2009 from five sites including Surprise Valley (SK), Rosefield (SK), Minton (1928, SK), Grasslands National Park (SK) and Miniota (MB). Widespread habitat conversion during the early 1900's and the loss of Plains Bison contributed to the loss of prairie grassland habitat suitable for this species. Current threats include agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and lack of connectivity between natural grassland fragments, invasive plants that change and/or outcompete native larval and nectar host plants, and roadside/agricultural pesticide use. There are currently no Canadian records on iNaturalist, BugGuide or other citizen science/online forums.

Common name: Pahaska Skipper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Hesperia pahaska

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Pahaska Skipper (Hesperia pahaska) is a dry, mixed grass prairie and open pine forest butterfly with a restricted range in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Adults fly from June to July, with one generation per season in Canada and larvae feed on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), with fluff grass (Erioneuron pulchellum) also reported as a host plant in other parts of its US range. Records are from 1928 to 2009 from five sites including Surprise Valley (SK), Rosefield (SK), Minton (1928, SK), Grasslands National Park (SK) and Miniota (MB). Widespread habitat conversion during the early 1900's and the loss of Plains Bison contributed to the loss of prairie grassland habitat suitable for this species. Current threats include agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and lack of connectivity between natural grassland fragments, invasive plants that change and/or outcompete native larval and nectar host plants, and roadside/agricultural pesticide use. There are currently no Canadian records on iNaturalist, BugGuide or other citizen science/online forums.

Common name: Paintedhand Mudbug

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Lacunicambarus polychromatus

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: The Paintedhand Mudbug (Lacunicambarus polychromatus) is a burrowing crayfish known in Canada from one subpopulation in Windsor, Ontario. This freshwater species excavates its own burrows in low-lying habitats close to the water table, including the banks and floodplains of lakes and rivers, roadside ditches, and wetlands. The life history is poorly known although the species consumes both plant material and animals such as insects and worms, seizing passing prey from the mouth of their burrows. Threats include a any form of development that impacts wetland longevity, quality and sustainability: wetland habitat infilling, conversion, water diversion (to wetlands), pesticide/wastewater/roadside salt run-off.

Common name: Simius Roadside Skipper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Notamblyscirtes simius

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2021

Rationale: Simius Roadside-Skipper (Notamblyscirtes simius) is a mixed grass prairie butterfly with a restricted range in southern Saskatchewan. Adults fly from May to July, there is one generation per season and the larvae feed on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis). The species is known from three sites in southern Saskatchewan including Rosefeld (1968), Val Marie (1983) and an unknown collection locality that needs further investigation. There are no known documented occurrences in Canada since at least 1998. Widespread habitat conversion during the early 1900's and the loss of Plains Bison contributed to the loss of prairie grassland habitat suitable for this species. Current threats include agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and lack of connectivity between natural grassland fragments, invasive plants that change and/or outcompete native larval and nectar host plants, and roadside/agricultural pesticide use. There are currently no Canadian records on iNaturalist, BugGuide or other citizen science/online forums.

Common name: Simius Roadside Skipper

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Notamblyscirtes simius

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Simius Roadside-Skipper (Notamblyscirtes simius) is a mixed grass prairie butterfly with a restricted range in southern Saskatchewan. Adults fly from May to July, there is one generation per season and the larvae feed on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis). The species is known from three sites in southern Saskatchewan including Rosefeld (1968), Val Marie (1983) and an unknown collection locality that needs further investigation. There are no known documented occurrences in Canada since at least 1998. Widespread habitat conversion during the early 1900's and the loss of Plains Bison contributed to the loss of prairie grassland habitat suitable for this species. Current threats include agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation and lack of connectivity between natural grassland fragments, invasive plants that change and/or outcompete native larval and nectar host plants, and roadside/agricultural pesticide use. There are currently no Canadian records on iNaturalist, BugGuide or other citizen science/online forums.

Common name: Bermuda Petrel

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Pterodroma cahow

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Atlantic Ocean, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Nova Scotia, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Bermuda Petrel or Cahow is a small gadfly petrel and one of the world's rarest seabirds. Once thought to be extinct, 8 pairs were found nesting on the Castle Harbour islands in Bermuda in 1951. Numbers have increased to 134 pairs in 2020, in response to intensive conservation and management efforts, with about 80% now nesting in artificial burrows. Recent telemetry tracking studies have shown that Bermuda Petrel regularly forages over deep waters within the Canadian 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone southeast of Nova Scotia, during incubation and chick-rearing periods in April and May. Significant threats at the Bermudan breeding colonies include competition with native White-tailed Tropicbird for nest sites, effects of pesticides, and predation by introduced rats. The primary threat is posed by increasing frequency and intensity of fall storms that periodically inundate colonies and destroy low-lying nest sites, exacerbated by ongoing sea level rise. Threats at sea are poorly known, but likely include lighting on ships and structures, offshore wind power development, and climate-related range shifts in prey species.

Common name: Bermuda Petrel

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Pterodroma cahow

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Atlantic Ocean, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Nova Scotia, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Bermuda Petrel or Cahow is a small gadfly petrel and one of the world's rarest seabirds. Once thought to be extinct, 8 pairs were found nesting on the Castle Harbour islands in Bermuda in 1951. Numbers have increased to 134 pairs in 2020, in response to intensive conservation and management efforts, with about 80% now nesting in artificial burrows. Recent telemetry tracking studies have shown that Bermuda Petrel regularly forages over deep waters within the Canadian 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone southeast of Nova Scotia, during incubation and chick-rearing periods in April and May. Significant threats at the Bermudan breeding colonies include competition with native White-tailed Tropicbird for nest sites, effects of pesticides, and predation by introduced rats. The primary threat is posed by increasing frequency and intensity of fall storms that periodically inundate colonies and destroy low-lying nest sites, exacerbated by ongoing sea level rise. Threats at sea are poorly known, but likely include lighting on ships and structures, offshore wind power development, and climate-related range shifts in prey species.

Common name: Canadian Philaronia

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Philaronia canadensis

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: The Canadian Philaronia is a spittle bug historically known from a small area of distribution in the Great Lakes region where it occurs in southern Ontario and northern Michigan. There are only 5 confirmed records in the Great Lakes region since 1989. The species was once widespread in Southern Ontario and Michigan, and the number of known subpopulations in Ontario has declined from 15 to 5. The species is found along the shores of lakes and rivers in meadow habitat and its host plants are the goldenrods, Solidago canadensis and Solidago ohioensis, as well as Lindley's Aster, Symphyotrichum ciliolatum and White Snakeroot, Ageratina altissima. Fieldwork is required to confirm sites within the Great Lakes region.

Common name: Marbled Godwit

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Limosa fedoa

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency, Quebec, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: The Marbled Godwit is a large shorebird that nests in three disjunct areas; by far the largest population in the grasslands and parklands of the northern Great Plains (~170,000 mature individuals, 60% of which are in Canada), with two small, disjunct nesting populations in Alaska and James Bay (~2,000 mature individuals each). Data from the Breeding Bird Survey for the well-monitored midcontinent population indicate a decline of 42% over the past three generations, with the annual rate of decline accelerating to -4.5% over the past decade. Threats underlying this decline are not well known, although the rapid pace of grassland loss, as well as wetland drainage, are likely key factors. Threats on migration and in overwintering areas include the loss of wetland habitat, collisions with power lines and other infrastructure, human disturbance, contamination (including oil spills), climate-change and sea-level rise.

Common name: Marbled Godwit

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Limosa fedoa

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba, Ontario, Parks Canada Agency, Quebec, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: The Marbled Godwit is a large shorebird that nests in three disjunct areas; by far the largest population in the grasslands and parklands of the northern Great Plains (~170,000 mature individuals, 60% of which are in Canada), with two small, disjunct nesting populations in Alaska and James Bay (~2,000 mature individuals each). Data from the Breeding Bird Survey for the well-monitored midcontinent population indicate a decline of 42% over the past three generations, with the annual rate of decline accelerating to -4.5% over the past decade. Threats underlying this decline are not well known, although the rapid pace of grassland loss, as well as wetland drainage, are likely key factors. Threats on migration and in overwintering areas include the loss of wetland habitat, collisions with power lines and other infrastructure, human disturbance, contamination (including oil spills), climate-change and sea-level rise.

Common name: Plains Spadefoot

Taxonomic group: Amphibians

Scientific name: Spea bombifrons

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Plains Spadefoot has patchy distribution throughout the dry interior of North America, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Historically, the species was presumably widespread in native grasslands throughout the Canadian prairies. These habitats have experienced up to 77% loss throughout the 20th century, mostly due to conversion to agriculture. Loss of grasslands continues, primarily due to fire suppression and grazing regimes that allow vegetation succession to proceed. The species is vulnerable to prolonged summer droughts because it breeds in shallow pools that are subject to drying, leading to periodic failures to produce surviving young. While the species is adapted to predictably variable arid environments, disruption of climatic patterns, combined with intensive agriculture and road networks that constrain dispersal, is likely to result in population declines.

Common name: Plains Spadefoot

Taxonomic group: Amphibians

Scientific name: Spea bombifrons

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, Canadian Wildlife Service, Manitoba, Parks Canada Agency, Saskatchewan

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Plains Spadefoot has patchy distribution throughout the dry interior of North America, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Historically, the species was presumably widespread in native grasslands throughout the Canadian prairies. These habitats have experienced up to 77% loss throughout the 20th century, mostly due to conversion to agriculture. Loss of grasslands continues, primarily due to fire suppression and grazing regimes that allow vegetation succession to proceed. The species is vulnerable to prolonged summer droughts because it breeds in shallow pools that are subject to drying, leading to periodic failures to produce surviving young. While the species is adapted to predictably variable arid environments, disruption of climatic patterns, combined with intensive agriculture and road networks that constrain dispersal, is likely to result in population declines.

Common name: Rufous Hummingbird

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Yukon Territory

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Rufous Hummingbird remains common throughout its range, with a Canadian population estimate of 12 million mature individuals, comprising 54% of the global total. However, it has experienced a long-term population decline, which has been accelerating recently, with an estimated loss of 31% of the Canadian population between 2009 and 2019. Although causes of the decline remain only partly understood, recent research indicates that pesticides and habitat degradation associated with climate change are increasing threats. As a long-distance migrant, Rufous Hummingbird requires high-quality habitat across multiple areas for breeding, migratory stopovers, and wintering. Consequently, threats are repeatedly encountered over their annual life cycle, increasing their cumulative impact on populations.

Common name: Rufous Hummingbird

Taxonomic group: Birds

Scientific name: Selasphorus rufus

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Alberta, British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Yukon Territory

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Rufous Hummingbird remains common throughout its range, with a Canadian population estimate of 12 million mature individuals, comprising 54% of the global total. However, it has experienced a long-term population decline, which has been accelerating recently, with an estimated loss of 31% of the Canadian population between 2009 and 2019. Although causes of the decline remain only partly understood, recent research indicates that pesticides and habitat degradation associated with climate change are increasing threats. As a long-distance migrant, Rufous Hummingbird requires high-quality habitat across multiple areas for breeding, migratory stopovers, and wintering. Consequently, threats are repeatedly encountered over their annual life cycle, increasing their cumulative impact on populations.

Common name: Atlantic Mackerel

Taxonomic group: Marine fishes

Scientific name: Scomber scombrus

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Atlantic Ocean, Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Atlantic Mackerel is found in the waters of the Northwest Atlantic from North Carolina to Newfoundland. During spring and summer, Atlantic Mackerel is found in inshore waters. From late fall and in winter, it is found deeper in warmer waters at the edge of the continental shelf. In Canadian waters, spawning occurs mainly in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence during June and July. Atlantic Mackerel have declined about 80% since the late 1990s. Overfishing is considered the main threat.

Common name: Atlantic Mackerel

Taxonomic group: Marine fishes

Scientific name: Scomber scombrus

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Atlantic Ocean, Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2023

Rationale: Atlantic Mackerel is found in the waters of the Northwest Atlantic from North Carolina to Newfoundland. During spring and summer, Atlantic Mackerel is found in inshore waters. From late fall and in winter, it is found deeper in warmer waters at the edge of the continental shelf. In Canadian waters, spawning occurs mainly in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence during June and July. Atlantic Mackerel have declined about 80% since the late 1990s. Overfishing is considered the main threat.

Common name: Chinook Salmon

Taxonomic group: Marine fishes

Scientific name: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Arctic Ocean, British Columbia, Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Northwest Territories, Parks Canada Agency, Pacific Ocean, Yukon Territory

Proposed call for bids date: 2018

Rationale: These DUs are in the Skeena and Nass River drainage areas. They are an anadromous species that migrate to sea and return to spawn in natal rivers. Preliminary Predictions based on current data are as follows: Four of the DUs with complete data are ENDANGERED and the fifth is THREATENED. DUs with incomplete data are all ENDANGERED. Two DUs are data deficient. Major threats may exist and vary according to the diversity of habitat used over the Chinook salmon life cycle: (1) Estuary and (2) Coastal areas are subject to possible threats, for example, from pollution, fisheries, and pinniped predation; (3) High Seas area are subject to possible threats, for example, from competition with other salmon species and changes in Ocean productivity and (4) Freshwater habitats are exposed to threats within watershed areas, for example, from habitat degradation, dams, and landslides. Skeena Chinook are a high priority species because DUs has been defined, estimated declines are large, and data are readily available, though likely requires some review. It is also in the same geographic region as Skeena Sockeye which are also subject to similar declines, data availability, and threats.

Common name: Hibernian Jellyskin

Taxonomic group: Lichens

Scientific name: Leptogium hibernicum

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Nova Scotia, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date:

Rationale: Leptogium hibernicum is a leafy epiphytic cyanolichen of temperate humid to hyperhumid Oceanic/montane occurrence usually inhabiting stands of mature to old deciduous trees with neutral to basic and frequently moss-covered bark. In Nova Scotia, Canada, it also occurs on cedar (Thuja occidentalis). This species requires continual high humidity and moderate temperatures. The known locations are either within 25 kms of the coast and are usually somewhat sheltered by topography or existing forest stands.

Common name: Indra Swallowtail subspecies

Taxonomic group: Arthropods

Scientific name: Papilio indra indra

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date:

Rationale: The Indra Swallowtail is a large, striking butterfly that is restricted in Canada to the Cascade Mountains of southern British Columbia; they are known at present from only three sites. The larvae feed on the foliage of biscuitroots and perhaps other members of the carrot family that grow on sunny, south facing subalpine slopes. The species' extremely small range makes it vulnerable to catastrophic events such as wildfires, which are predicted to increase in size and intensity with climate change. The warming climate may also cause some loss of open subalpine meadows through an increase in tree and shrub cover.

Common name: Mouse Ears

Taxonomic group: Lichens

Scientific name: Erioderma sorediatum

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: British Columbia, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date:

Rationale: Mouse Ears is a rare cyanolichens restricted to coastal forests. In British Columbia, it is found in four subpopulations in 5-10 locations. However some of the occurrences have not been visited for several decades. The small number of locations and the very low density of thalli found at these locations despite substantial search efforts over the last few decades suggest that this species is very rare in coastal British Columbia and could be getting rarer due to threats. In addition, this species lives on ephemeral habitats and are subject to significant threats such as logging, climate warming (heat dome of 2021), and cabin development and other anthropogenic activities along the coast-line. As a result of this information it is recommended that Erioderma sorediatum be seriously considered for an official priority status assessment.

Common name: Sockeye Salmon

Taxonomic group: Marine fishes

Scientific name: Oncorhynchus nerka

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: Arctic Ocean, British Columbia, Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Northwest Territories, Parks Canada Agency, Pacific Ocean, Yukon Territory

Proposed call for bids date:

Rationale: These DUs are in the Skeena and Nass River drainage areas. They are an anadromous species that migrate to sea and return to spawn in natal rivers. Nass-Skeena Sockeye are a high priority species because populations have been defined, and observed declines coupled with small population numbers indicate considerable extinction risk. They are also in the same geographic region as Skeena Chinook which are also subject to similar declines, data availability, and threats. Major threats may exist and vary according to the diversity of habitat used over the Sockeye salmon life cycle: (1) Estuary and (2) Coastal areas are subject to possible threats, for example, from pollution, fisheries, and pinniped predation. (3) High Seas area are subject to possible threats, for example, from competition with other salmon species and changes in Ocean productivity. (4) Freshwater habitats are exposed to threats within watershed areas, for example, from habitat degradation, dams, and landslides.

Common name: Western Spotted Skunk

Taxonomic group: Terrestrial mammals

Scientific name: Spilogale gracilis

Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions: British Columbia, Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency

Proposed call for bids date: 2022

Rationale: Western Spotted Skunk in Canada is only found in the southwestern corner of British Columbia. The species is thought to be a habitat generalist, but in BC is found predominantly across deciduous and coniferous forest, riparian areas, and agricultural lands. Although the species is historically rare in Canada, anecdotal fur-trapping records suggest that the species was more common in southwestern BC during the 1950s and 1960s. A number of recent camera-trap studies from across the historical distribution in Canada suggest that the species is now very rare, being found only infrequently. The major threat is habitat loss associated with residential development. Trapping and road mortality could be continuing threats.

For a full copy of the COSEWIC candidate species rationale, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Part 3: species specialist subcommittees’ candidate list

Each SSC annually prepares and maintains a SSC candidate list of wildlife species that it considers at risk of extinction or extirpation nationally. Species on the SSC candidate lists are ranked into three priority groups by the SSCs to reflect the relative urgency with which each wildlife species should receive a COSEWIC assessment.

  • Group 1 contains wildlife species of highest priority for assessment by COSEWIC, and includes wildlife species suspected to be extirpated from Canada.
  • Groups 2 and 3 contain wildlife species that are of intermediate and lower priority for COSEWIC assessment, respectively.

Rationales for inclusion of wildlife species on the SSC candidate lists differ among the taxonomic groups considered by COSEWIC, reflecting the vast differences in their life history, and differences in our knowledge about the species.

Wildlife species in bold have been selected by COSEWIC for assessment and are currently planned for inclusion in a future call for bids.

Common name Scientific name Canadian range / known or potential jurisdictions 1
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Canadian Toad Anaxyrus hemiophrys AB, CWS, MB, NT, Parks, SK
Plains Spadefoot Spea bombifrons AB, CWS, MB, Parks, SK
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Northwestern Salamander Ambystoma gracile BC, CWS, Parks
Cope's Grey Treefrog Dryophytes chrysoscelis CWS, MB, Parks
Ensatina Ensatina eschscholtzii BC, CWS, Parks
Four-toed Salamander Hemidactylium scutatum CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, QC
Eastern Red-backed Salamander Plethodon cinereus CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Columbia Spotted Frog Rana luteiventris AB, BC, CWS, Parks, WMAC-NS, YFWMB, YT
Pickerel Frog Rana palustris CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Rough-skinned Newt Taricha granulosa BC, CWS, Parks
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Blue-spotted Salamander Ambystoma laterale CWS, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Long-toed Salamander Ambystoma macrodactylum AB, BC, CWS, Parks
Spotted Salamander Ambystoma maculatum CWS, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
American Toad Anaxyrus americanus CWS, MB, NB, NL, NS, NU, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Northern Two-lined Salamander Eurycea bislineata CWS, NL, ON, Parks, QC
Gray Treefrog Hyla versicolor CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
American Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Green Frog Lithobates clamitans CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Mink Frog Lithobates septentrionalis CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Wood Frog Lithobates sylvaticus AB, BC, CWS, GRRB, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK, YT
Eastern Newt Notophthalmus viridescens CWS, NB, NL, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Western Red-backed Salamander Plethodon vehiculum BC, CWS, Parks
Spring Peeper Pseudacris crucifer CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Boreal Chorus Frog Pseudacris maculata AB, BC, CWS, MB, NT, ON, Parks, QC, SK, YT
Northern Pacific Treefrog Pseudacris regilla BC, CWS, Parks
Group 1 - High priority candidates
(common name not available) Andrena caerulea BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Bombus vandykei BC, CWS, Parks
Moss's Elfin Callophrys mossii BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Copablepharon viridisparsa AB, CWS, MB, Parks, SK
Nevada Buckmoth Hemileuca nevadensis AB, CWS, MB, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Hystrichopsylla schefferi BC, CWS, Parks
Strecker's Giant Skipper Megathymus streckeri AB, CWS, Parks
Simius Roadside Skipper Notamblyscirtes simius CMN, CWS, Parks, SK
Indra Swallowtail subspecies Papilio indra indra BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Canadian Philaronia Philaronia canadensis CWS, ON, Parks
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Barren's Dagger Moth Acronicta albarufa CWS, MB, ON, Parks
Beller's Ground Beetle Agonum belleri BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Andrena edwardsi BC, CWS, Parks
Parasitic Wasp Apantes samarshalli CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Argyresthia flexilis AB, BC, CWS, Parks
Protean Shieldback Atlanticus testaceus CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Austrotyla borealis AB, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Bombus morrisoni BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Bombus variabilis CWS, Parks, QC
(common name not available) Calliopsis scitula BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Cambarus bartonii CWS, NB, ON, Parks, QC
Whitney's Underwing Catocala whitneyi CWS, MB, Parks
Hoffmann's Checkerspot Chlosyne hoffmanni BC, CWS, Parks
Pacific Coast Tiger Beetle Cicindela bellisimi BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Coleotechnites lewisi AB, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Copablepharon hopfingerii BC, CWS, Parks
Eastern Tailed Blue (British Columbia population) Cupido comyntas BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Dendrotettix quercus CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Dicromantispa sayi CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Dufourea monardae CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Ellipes gurneyi CWS, ON, Parks
Ghost Tiger Beetle Ellipsoptera lepida AB, CWS, MB, ON, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Eristalis brousii CWS, Parks
Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Eumenes bollii CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Euxoa unica CWS, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Hesperotettix viridis BC, CWS, Parks
Carr's Diving Beetle Hydroporus carri AB, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Hyperaspis brunnescens CWS, NS, Parks
(common name not available) Lasioglossum yukonae BC, CWS, Parks, YT
(common name not available) Lasionycta macleani BC, CWS, Parks
Minor Ground Mantid Litaneutria minor AB, BC, CWS, Parks, SK
Edith's Copper Lycaena editha AB, BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Lypoglossa manitobae CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Megaphorus willistoni BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Melanoplus digitifer BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Melanoplus rugglesi BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Melanoplus scudderi CWS, ON, Parks
Rocky Mountain Grasshopper Melanoplus spretus AB, CWS, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Melanoplus walshii CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Metator nevadensis BC, CWS, Parks
Contracted Bombing Beetle Metrius contractus contractus BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Naemia seriata CWS, NB, NS, Parks
(common name not available) Nebria charlottae BC, CWS, Parks
Gwaii Haanas Ground Beetle Nebria louisae BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Nephus intrusus CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Nicocles rufus BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Oecanthus laricis CWS, ON, Parks
Gaspé Arctic Oeneis bore gaspeensis CWS, Parks, QC
(common name not available) Omus dejeanii BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Pachybrachis calcaratus CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Philonthus turbo CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Polites rhesus CWS, Parks
Sandhill Skipper Polites sabuleti BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Prosimulium doveri BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Scaphinotus merkeli BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Scymnus cervicalis CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Scymnus fraternus CWS, ON, Parks, QC
(common name not available) Scymnus securus CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Sogda enigma CWS, Parks
Bremner's Zerene Fritillary Speyeria zerene bremnerii BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Stereus arenarius AB, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Stichopogon fragilis BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Stygobromus quatsinensis BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Trichiusa robustula CWS, ON, Parks
Olympic Peninsula Millipede Tubaphe levii BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Xanthorhoe clarkeata BC, CWS, Parks
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris AB, ARRC, BC, CMN, CRRC, CTRRC, CWS, DDRRC, DKRRC, EMRWB, GRRB, LRRC, MB, MDRRC, NB, NJFMC, NL, NMRWB, NS, NT, NU, NWC, NWMB, NYRRC, ON, Parks, PCMB, PE, QC, SK, SRRB, SRRC, TRRC, TWPCB, WMAC-NS, WMAC-NWT, WRRB, YFWMB, YT
Yellow-billed Loon Gavia adamsii AB, BC, CWS, GRRB, MB, NT, NU, NWMB, Parks, QC, SRRB, WMAC-NS, WMAC-NWT, WRRB, YFWMB, YT
Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa AB, BC, CMN, CWS, MB, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus CMN, CWS, Parks
Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow Atlantic Ocean, CMN, CWS, NS, Parks
Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus AB, BC, CMN, CWS, Parks, YT
American Tree Sparrow Spizella arborea AB, BC, CMN, CWS, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK, YT
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea AB, ARRC, BC, CRRC, CTRRC, CWS, DDRRC, DKRRC, EMRWB, GRRB, LRRC, MB, MDRRC, NB, NJFMC, NL, NMRWB, NS, NT, NU, NWC, NWMB, NYRRC, ON, Parks, PCMB, PE, QC, SK, SRRB, SRRC, TWPCB, WMAC-NS, WMAC-NWT, WRRB, YT
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca CMN, CWS, Parks
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria CMN, CWS, Parks
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow Ammodramus nelsoni AB, BC, CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK
Surfbird Aphriza virgata CMN, CWS, Parks
Black Turnstone Arenaria melanocephala CMN, CWS, Parks
Rock Sandpiper Calidris ptilocnemis CMN, CWS, Parks
Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata CMN, CWS, Parks
Dusky Grouse Dendragapus obscurus CMN, CWS, Parks
Connecticut Warbler Oporornis agilis AB, BC, CWS, MB, NT, NU, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Buller's Shearwater Puffinus bulleri BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Brewer's Sparrow Spizella breweri CMN, CWS, Parks
Wandering Tattler Tringa incana BC, CWS, NT, Parks, YT
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda AB, ARRC, BC, CMN, CRRC, CTRRC, CWS, DDRRC, DKRRC, LRRC, MB, MDRRC, NB, NT, NYRRC, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK, SRRC, TRRC, YFWMB, YT
Barrow's Goldeneye (Western population) Bucephala islandica AB, BC, CMN, CWS, Parks, YT
Black Tern Chlidonias niger AB, BC, CWS, MB, NB, NS, NT, ON, Parks, QC, SK, WRRB
Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia CMN, CWS, Parks
Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus AB, BC, CMN, CWS, MB, NT, ON, Parks, SK
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica CMN, CWS, Parks
Tufted Puffin Fratercula cirrhata CMN, CWS, Parks
Short-billed (Mew) Gull Larus brachyrhynchus CMN, CWS, Parks
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus CMN, CWS, Parks
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus CMN, CWS, Parks
Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens AB, BC, CMN, CWS, Parks, YT
Purple Martin Progne subis AB, BC, CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, QC, SK
American Woodcock Scolopax minor CMN, CWS, Parks
Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata AB, ARRC, BC, CMN, CRRC, CTRRC, CWS, DDRRC, DKRRC, EMRWB, GRRB, LRRC, MB, MDRRC, NB, NL, NMRWB, NS, NT, NU, NWC, NWMB, NYRRC, ON, Parks, PCMB, PE, QC, SK, SRRB, SRRC, TRRC, TWPCB, WMAC-NS, WMAC-NWT, WRRB, YFWMB, YT
Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides CMN, CWS, Parks
Common Tern Sterna hirundo AB, CWS, HFTCC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK, WMAC-NWT, WRRB
Pacific Wren Troglodytes pacificus AB, BC, CMN, CWS, Parks, YT
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis CMN, CWS, Parks
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis AB, BC, CWS, DFO, FJMC, GRRB, HFTCC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, NWMB, ON, Parks, QC, SK, SRRB, YFWMB, YT
European Whitefish Coregonus lavaretus CWS, DFO, NT, Parks, YT
Blackfin Cisco Coregonus nigripinnis CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Pacific Lamprey Entosphenus tridentatus BC, CWS, DFO, Parks
Banded Killifish (Mainland populations) Fundulus diaphanus CWS, DFO, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC
Chestnut Lamprey (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence populations) Ichthyomyzon castaneus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Blackchin Shiner Notropis heterodon CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Stonecat Noturus flavus AB, CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Coastal Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii BC, CWS, DFO, NJFMC, Parks, YT
Landlocked Arctic Char Salvelinus alpinus CWS, DFO, FJMC, GRRB, HFTCC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NU, NWMB, Parks, QC, SRRB, YFWMB, YT
Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Arctic Grayling (Western Arctic populations) Thymallus arcticus AB, BC, CWS, DFO, GRRB, MB, NT, NU, Parks, SK, YT
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Cisco (Lake Herring) Coregonus artedi AB, BC, CWS, DFO, MB, NT, NU, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Arctic Cisco Coregonus autumnalis BC, CWS, DFO, GRRB, NT, NU, Parks, YT
Least Cisco Coregonus sardinella BC, CWS, DFO, GRRB, NT, NU, Parks, YT
Redbreast Sunfish Lepomis auritus CWS, DFO, NB, Parks
Northern Sunfish (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations) Lepomis peltastes CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Silver Redhorse Moxostoma anisurum AB, CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Golden Redhorse Moxostoma erythrurum CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks
Greater Redhorse Moxostoma valenciennesi CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Fourhorn Sculpin (Freshwater form) Myoxocephalus quadricornis CWS, DFO, FJMC, GRRB, NL, NT, NU, NWMB, Parks, WRRB
Hornyhead Chub Nocomis biguttatus CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks
Brindled Madtom Noturus miurus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Inconnu Stenodus leucichthys BC, CWS, DFO, GRRB, NT, Parks, YT
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Chiselmouth Acrocheilus alutaceus BC, CWS, DFO, Parks
Yellow Bullhead Ameiurus natalis CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Central Stoneroller Campostoma anomalum CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Quillback Carpiodes cyprinus AB, CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Lake Whitefish (Mira River populations) Coregonus clupeaformis CWS, DFO, NS, Parks
Lake Whitefish (Simcoe Lake populations) Coregonus clupeaformis CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Bloater Coregonus hoyi CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Broad Whitefish Coregonus nasus BC, CWS, DFO, GRRB, NT, NU, Parks, YT
Slimy Sculpin Cottus cognatus AB, BC, CWS, DFO, GRRB, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK, YT
Spoonhead Sculpin Cottus ricei AB, BC, CWS, DFO, FJMC, GRRB, HFTCC, MB, NT, ON, Parks, QC, SK, SRRB, WRRB, YFWMB, YT
Redfin Pickerel Esox americanus americanus CWS, DFO, Parks, QC
Muskellunge Esox masquinongy CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Chain Pickerel Esox niger CWS, DFO, Parks, QC
Greenside Darter Etheostoma blennioides CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Rainbow Darter Etheostoma caeruleum CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Least Darter Etheostoma microperca CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Tessellated Darter Etheostoma olmstedi CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Eastern Silvery Minnow Hybognathus regius CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Chestnut Lamprey (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations) Ichthyomyzon castaneus CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, SK
Bigmouth Buffalo (Great Lakes - Upper St. Lawrence Populations) Ictiobus cyprinellus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Black Buffalo Ictiobus niger CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Brook Silverside Labidesthes sicculus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Green Sunfish Lepomis cyanellus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Alaskan Brook Lamprey Lethenteron alaskense CWS, DFO, NT, Parks
Striped Shiner Luxilus chrysocephalus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Redfin Shiner Lythrurus umbratilis CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Silver Chub (Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations) Macrhybopsis storeriana CWS, DFO, MB, Parks
Northern Pearl Dace Margariscus nachtiebi AB, BC, CWS, DFO, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, Parks, QC, SK
River Chub Nocomis micropogon CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
River Shiner Notropis blennius AB, CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, SK
Ghost Shiner Notropis buchanani CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Bigmouth Shiner Notropis dorsalis CWS, DFO, MB, Parks
Rosyface Shiner Notropis rubellus CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Weed Shiner Notropis texanus CWS, DFO, MB, Parks
Margined Madtom Noturus insignis CWS, DFO, ON, Parks, QC
Blackside Darter Percina maculata CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, SK
Bluntnose Minnow Pimephales notatus CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Round Whitefish Prosopium cylindraceum AB, BC, CWS, DFO, FJMC, GRRB, HFTCC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NU, NWMB, ON, Parks, QC, SK, SRRB, YFWMB, YT
Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris CWS, DFO, ON, Parks
Eastern Blacknose Dace Rhinichthys atratulus CWS, DFO, NB, ON, Parks, QC
Leopard Dace Rhinichthys falcatus BC, CWS, DFO, Parks
Western Blacknose Dace Rhinichthys obtusus CWS, DFO, MB, ON, Parks, SK
Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush AB, CWS, DFO, GRRB, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, Parks, QC, SK, YT
Longfin Smelt Spirinchus thaleichthys BC, CWS, DFO, Parks
Group 1 - High priority candidates
(common name not available) Aspicilia aspera BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Desert Tumbleweed Lichen Aspicilia hispida CMN, CWS, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Aspicilia reptans BC, CMN, CWS, Parks, SK
Half Moon Lichen Dendriscosticta oroborealis BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Mouse Ears Erioderma sorediatum BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Gypsoplaca macrophylla AB, BC, CMN, CWS, NT, Parks, YT
White Fringe Lichen Moelleropsis nebulosa frullaniae CMN, CWS, NB, NL, NS, Parks
Giant Candlewax Ricasolia amplissima sheiyi BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Rockefellera crossophylla CMN, CWS, NB, Parks
Powdered Moon Lichen (Eastern population) Sticta limbata CMN, CWS, NB, NS, Parks, QC
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Whiskered Millipede Lichen Anaptychia elbursiana AB, BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Flexuous Golden Stubble Chaenotheca servitii CMN, CWS, NS, Parks
Hemlock Stubble Chaenothecopsis tsugae BC, CMN, CWS, NB, NS, Parks, QC
(common name not available) Fuscopannaria ahlneri BC, CMN, CWS, NL, NS, Parks
(common name not available) Fuscopannaria coralloidea BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Pannaria tavaresii CMN, CWS, NS, ON, Parks
Red Oak Stubble Phaeocalicium minutissimum CMN, CWS, NB, Parks, QC
(common name not available) Sticta canariensis CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Sticta torrii BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
(common name not available) Bryoria carlottae BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Mottled Horsehair Lichen Bryoria cervinula BC, CMN, CWS, NT, Parks
Rosin Whiskers Chaenothecopsis oregana AB, CMN, CWS, Parks, QC
Wright's Spotted Felt Lichen Dendriscosticta wrightii BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Dermatocarpon dolomiticum CMN, CWS, ON, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Gabura insignis BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Desert Rock-scab Glypholecia scabra AB, BC, CMN, CWS, NT, NU, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Heppia adglutianata CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Leptogium corticola CMN, CWS, NS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Lichenoidium sirosiphoidium BC, CMN, CWS, NL, Parks
(common name not available) Niebla cephalota BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Parmeliella parvula BC, CMN, CWS, NL, NS, Parks
(common name not available) Peltula euploca BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Ghost Antler Lichen Pseudevernia cladonia CMN, CWS, NB, NS, Parks, QC
Antler Lichen Pseudevernia consocians AB, CMN, CWS, MB, NS, ON, Parks, SK
(common name not available) Punctelia borreri CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Sclerophora amabilis BC, CMN, CWS, NB, Parks, PE
Crannied Orangebush Lichen Seirophora contortuplicata AB, BC, CMN, CWS, NT, Parks, YT
(common name not available) Thyrea confusa BC, CMN, CWS, ON, Parks, QC
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Pink Salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean, YT
Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean, YT
Chum Salmon (Skeena River populations) Oncorhynchus keta BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Chinook Salmon (Skeena River populations) Oncorhynchus tshawytscha BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Chinook Salmon (Yukon River and transboundary populations) Oncorhynchus tshawytscha BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean, YT
Atlantic Mackerel Scomber scombrus Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, Parks
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, Parks
American Shad Alosa sapidissima Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, NB, NS, Parks, PE, QC
Pacific Herring Clupea pallissii BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Yellowtail Flounder Limanda ferruginea Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, NB, NL, NS, Parks, PE
Pollock Pollachius virens Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, NB, NL, NS, Parks
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Shortspine Thornyhead Sebastolobus alascanus BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Guadalupe Fur Seal Arctocephalus townsendi CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Hooded Seal Cystophora cristata Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, NU, NWMB, Parks
Bearded Seal Erignathus barbatus Arctic Ocean, CWS, DFO, FJMC, HFTCC, MB, NL, NT, NU, NWMB, ON, Parks, QC, YT
Harp Seal Phoca groenlandica Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, NL, Parks
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Baird's Beaked Whale Berardius bairdii CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus CWS, DFO, NWMB, Parks
Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris Atlantic Ocean, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Pacific White-sided Dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Northern Elephant Seal Mirounga angustirostris BC, CWS, DFO, Parks, Pacific Ocean
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Black Sandshell Ligumia recta CWS, MB, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Globe Siltsnail Birgella subglobosa CWS, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Bugle Sprite Micromenetus dilatatus CWS, NS, Parks
Boundary Mountainsnail Oreohelix subrudis limitaris AB, CWS, Parks
Blunt Albino Physa Physella gyrina athearni AB, CWS, Parks
Ornamented Peaclam Pisidium cruciatum CWS, ON, Parks
Corpulent Rams-horn Planorbella corpulenta CWS, MB, ON, Parks
Whiteaves's Capacious Rams-horn Planorbella corpulenta whiteavesi CWS, ON, Parks
Western Arctic Stagnicola Stagnicola kennicotti CWS, NT, NU, Parks
Loosely-coiled Valve Snail Valvata lewisi ontariensis CWS, ON, Parks
Flat Dome Ventridens suppressus CWS, ON, Parks
Velvet Wedge Xolotrema denotatum CWS, ON, Parks
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Spindle Lymnaea Acella haldemani CWS, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Slippershell Alasmidonta viridis CWS, ON, Parks
Slippershell Alasmidonta viridis CWS, ON, Parks
Pimpleback Cyclonaias pustulosa CWS, ON, Parks
Bark Snaggletooth Gastrocopta corticaria CWS, NB, ON, Parks, QC
Lake Superior Rams-horn Helisoma anceps royalense CWS, MB, ON, Parks
Flutedshell Lasmigona costata CWS, MB, ON, Parks, QC
Tidewater Mucket Leptodea ochracea CWS, NB, NS, Parks
Eastern Pearl Mussel Margaritifera margaritifera CWS, NB, NL, NS, Parks, PE, QC
Yellow Globelet Mesodon clausus CWS, ON, Parks
Rotund Physa Physella columbiana BC, CWS, Parks
Haldeman's Physa Physella concolor BC, CWS, Parks
Grain physa Physella hordacea BC, CWS, DFO, Parks
Twisted Physa Physella lordi AB, BC, CWS, Parks
Nuttall's Physa Physella nuttalli BC, CWS, Parks
Tiny Peaclam Pisidium insigne AB, BC, CWS, ON, Parks, PE
Slender Walker Pomatiopsis lapidaria CWS, ON, Parks
Mountain Marshsnail Stagnicola montanensis AB, CWS, Parks
Calabash Pondsnail Stagnicola walkeriana CWS, ON, Parks
Coldwater Pondsnail Stagnicola woodruffi CWS, ON, Parks
Deertoe Truncilla truncata CWS, ON, Parks
Purplecap Valvata Valvata perdepressa CWS, ON, Parks
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Velenovsky's Moss Hilpertia velenovskyi BC, CWS, NT, NU, Parks
(common name not available) Paraphymatoceros pearsonii BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Phaeoceros oreganus BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Phymatoceros bulbiculosus BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Triquetrella californica BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Orkney Notchwort Anastrepta orcadensis BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Anastrophyllum donnianum BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Great Bear Lake Sieve-tooth Moss Coscinodon arctolimnius CWS, NT, Parks
(common name not available) Dendrobazzania griffithiana BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
River Scalewort Frullania riparia CWS, Parks, QC
liverwort Frullania selwyniana CMN, CWS, NB, NS, ON, Parks, QC
(common name not available) Gollania turgens BC, CWS, Parks, YT
liverwort Harpalejeunea molleri CMN, CWS, NS, Parks
Woods Whipwort Mastigophora woodsii BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Scapania ornithopoides BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Pacific Volcano Moss Brachydontium olympicum BC, CWS, Parks, YT
(common name not available) Buxbaumia minakatae CWS, NL, NS, ON, Parks
Blunted Earwort Diplophyllum obtusatum CWS, NL, ON, Parks, QC
Schleicher's Silk Moss Entodon schleicheri AB, BC, CWS, NT, Parks
(common name not available) Fabronia ciliaris CWS, MB, Parks
Pygmy Pocket Moss Fissidens exilis BC, CWS, NS, ON, Parks, QC
Funaria Moss Funaria flavicans CWS, ON, Parks
Mountain Brook Moss Hygrohypnum montanum CWS, NB, NL, NS, Parks, PE, QC
Delicate Luster Moss Isopterygium tenerum CWS, NS, Parks
Porter's Twisted Moss Tortula porteri CWS, ON, Parks
(common name not available) Trematodon asanoi BC, CWS, Parks
(common name not available) Trematodon longicollis CWS, NL, ON, Parks
Group 1 - High priority candidates
No candidates currently listed
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
Ring-necked Snake Diadophis punctatus CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, QC
Smooth Greensnake Opheodrys vernalis CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, PE, QC, SK
Plains Gartersnake Thamnophis radix AB, CWS, MB, Parks, SK
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas CWS, Parks
Northern Alligator Lizard Elgaria coerulea BC, CWS, Parks
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys kempii Atlantic Ocean, CWS, NS, Parks
Northern watersnake Nerodia sipedon sipedon CWS, ON, Parks, QC
DeKay's Brownsnake Storeria dekayi CWS, ON, Parks, QC
Red-bellied Snake Storeria occipitomaculata CWS, MB, NB, NS, ON, Parks, QC
Terrestrial Gartersnake Thamnophis elegans AB, BC, CWS, Parks
Northwestern Gartersnake Thamnophis ordinoides BC, CWS, Parks
Common Gartersnake Thamnophis sirtalis AB, BC, CWS, MB, NB, NS, NT, ON, Parks, QC, SK
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Western Spotted Skunk Spilogale gracilis BC, CWS, Parks
Group 2 - Mid priority candidates
(common name not available) Myotis californicus AB, BC, CWS, Parks, YT
(common name not available) Myotis thysanodes AB, BC, CWS, Parks, SK, YT
(common name not available) Myotis volans AB, BC, CWS, NT, Parks, SK, YT
(common name not available) Myotis yumanensis AB, BC, CWS, Parks, YT
Columbia Plateau Pocket Mouse Perognathus parvus BC, CWS, Parks
Group 3 - Low priority candidates
No candidates currently listed
Group 1 - High priority candidates
Tall Green Milkweed Asclepias hirtella CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Smooth Clustered Sedge Carex aggregata CWS, ON, Parks
Ravenfoot Sedge Carex crus-corvi CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Black-edged Sedge Carex nigromarginata CWS, ON, Parks
Klaza Draba Draba bruce-bennettii CMN, CWS, Parks, YT
Square-stemmed Spikerush Eleocharis quadrangulata CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Tinted Woodland Spurge Euphorbia commutata CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Plains Rough Fescue Festuca hallii AB, CMN, CWS, MB, ON, Parks, SK
Limestone Hedge-hyssop Gratiola quartermaniae CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Short-stemmed Iris Iris brevicaulis CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Pale Evening-primrose Oenothera pallida pallida BC, CMN, CWS, Parks
Cranefly Orchid Tipularia discolor CMN, CWS, ON, Parks
Dwarf Western Trillium Trilium ovatum hibbersonii BC, CWS, Parks
Group 2 - mid priority candidates and group 3 - low priority candidates
An expanded Vascular Plants candidate list of over 500 vascular plants, grouped into two priority classes, is now available to the public in an Excel worksheet file. This list is provided with the understanding that it is a working copy undergoing modification. In preparing the list, information from the General Status of Species in Canada Review process, undertaken by all federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, is taken into account when species are ranked for inclusion on the list.
Please contact the COSEWIC secretariat for a copy of the list at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(1) Initialisms for Wildlife Management Boards (WMBs)

  • ARRC : Alsek Renewable Resources Council
  • CTRRC : Carcross / Tagish Renewable Resources Council
  • CRRC : Carmacks Renewable Resources Council
  • DKRRC : Dän Keyi Renewable Resources Council
  • DDRRC : Dawson District Renewable Resources Council
  • EMRWB : Eeyou Marine Region Wildlife Board
  • FJMC : Fisheries Joint Management Committee
  • GRRB : Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board
  • HFTCC : Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Coordinating Committee
  • IGC : Inuvialuit Game Council
  • LRRC : Laberge Renewable Resources Council
  • MNJFC : Maa-Nulth Joint Fisheries Committee
  • MDRRC : Mayo District Renewable Resources Council
  • NJFMC: Nisga'a Joint Fisheries Management Committee
  • NWC: Nisga'a Wildlife Committee
  • NYRRC : North Yukon Renewable Resources Council
  • NMRWB : Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board
  • NWMB : Nunavut Wildlife Management Board
  • PCMB : Porcupine Caribou Management Board
  • SRRB : Sahtu Renewable Resources Board
  • SRRC : Selkirk Renewable Resources Council
  • TRRC : Teslin Renewable Resources Council
  • TAJFC : Tla'amin Joint Fisheries Committee
  • TJFB : Torngat Joint Fisheries Board
  • TWPCB : Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board
  • TWJFC : Tsawwassen Joint Fisheries Committee
  • WRRB : Wek'eezhii Renewable Resources Board
  • WMAC-NS : Wildlife Management Advisory Council: North Slope
  • WMAC-NWT : Wildlife Management Advisory Council: Northwest Territories
  • YFWMB : Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board
  • YSSC : Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee

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

Email: cosewic-cosepac@ec.gc.ca