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Conserving wildlife

Goal 5: Wildlife conservation – Maintain or restore populations of wildlife to healthy levels.

Progress towards Goal 5: Proportion of assessed species whose status is considered to be secure

Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of species ranked "secure" has varied between 70% and 77%, mostly due to the addition of new assessments of other taxonomic groups. Among Canada's wild species assessed in 2010, 77% were ranked "secure," and 12% were ranked "at risk" or "may be at risk."

Canada supports a remarkable diversity of life. There are over 70,000 known species in Canada; there are still many species left to assess, with the vast majority of those species being insects and other invertebrates. Every five years, a Wild Species report by the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council compiles information on wild species, assessing the general status of species and species groups. This information can provide an early warning system of both potential signs of trouble or areas where progress is being made. This report also identifies gaps in Canada's knowledge of wild species.

Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of species ranked "secure" has varied between 70% and 77%, mostly due to the addition of new assessments of other taxonomic groups. Among Canada's wild species in 2010, 77% were ranked "secure," and 12% were ranked "at risk" or "may be at risk." These results are based on the assessment of 8,613 native Canadian species. The Wild Species 2010 report assessed the general status ranks of 11,950 species (including, for example, exotic species). Provincial breakdowns are provided in Figure 4.1.

For the most up-to-date information on this indicator or more information on the general status by species group, please visit CESI.

Figure 4.1: General status ranks of wild species in Canada, 2010

General status ranks of wild species in Canada, 2010

Long description

The bar chart shows the proportion of species ranked "secure", "sensitive", "may be at risk" and "at risk" in Canada and in provinces and territories. Among Canada's wild species assessed in 2010, 77% were ranked "secure" and 12% were ranked as either "at risk" or "may be at risk". Saskatchewan has the highest proportion of species ranked "at risk" or "may be at risk" at 24%. New Brunswick and Newfound-and-Labrador have the highest proportion of species ranked "secure", at 78% and 74% respectively.

Status varies by species group. Groups with the largest proportion of species ranked "secure" included anthropods (86%), birds (78%) and mosses (75%). The largest proportion of species ranked as either "at risk" or "may be at risk" included reptiles (43%), freshwater mussels (35%) and amphibians (20%).2

[2] These percentages compare the rankings to the total number of species in the four rankings of "at risk," "may be at risk," "sensitive" and "secure" and do not include those species that were rated extinct/extirpated, undermined or exotic.


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