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RC-02: Is Manitoba Protecting Species At Risk?
Date Posted: February 21, 2011
In summer 1999 Manitoba's Endangered Species Act (MESA) listed 11 species as endangered and or threatened. Since fall 1999 15 threatened and 1 endangered species have been added to the Act. Manitoba's Act now lists: 15 threatened, and 12 endangered species. Environment Canada lists 13 Manitoba species as endangered and 25 as threatened under Canada's Species At Risk Act (SARA). COSEWIC, a national scientific advisory panel, lists 19 species as endangered and 28 as threatened in Manitoba.
19 Environment Canada SARA listed Manitoba species are not listed under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act (MESA). This includes all but one provincial lake sturgeon population. 7 MESA listed Manitoba species are not yet listed under the SARA.
Manitoba agreed to cooperate with the federal government to put recovery strategies in place for species threatened or endangered. There is only 1 joint recovery strategy for a Manitoba species.
Polar bears, lake sturgeon, and woodland caribou are examples of Manitoba species that are not benefiting from being listed under these Acts. They and other listed species need sufficient habitat protected in range areas large enough to keep the species from becoming extinct.
Research identified only one fine under MESA since the Act was proclaimed.
Comment: Progress in since 1999 has been less than impressive. Nationally listed Manitoba species need provincial protection. Habitat conservation plays a key role in species conservation. New protected areas must be established in key habitats for species at risk in our province, especially in boreal forest regions. Species not yet at risk need habitat inside protected areas that will sustain their populations.