Response Statement - Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies

January 13, 2019

Common Name: Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies
Scientific Name: Aegolius acadicus brooksi

Status assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Threatened

How the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment: The above assessment confirms the classification of the Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1) as Threatened. Activities will continue to be undertaken in a manner consistent with the purposes of, and according to the timelines identified in, the Species at Risk Act.

Reason(s) for status designation provided by COSEWIC: This distinct subspecies endemic to Canada has a small population of fewer than 2000 breeding individuals, restricted to the islands of Haida Gwaii off the Pacific coast of British Columbia. It is a forest specialist, preferring older coniferous forests with abundant nesting snags and an open understory. Numbers of breeding birds are anticipated to further decline over the next 15 years as a consequence of ongoing forest harvesting. Other continuing low-level threats to this subspecies include problematic invasive, introduced and native species, accidental mortality from road collisions and effects of forest fires. As just over 70% of Haida Gwaii is now within protected areas reserved from forestry operations, including National Park Reserve, provincial park, and reserves under the Haida Gwaii Strategic Land Use Agreement, this subspecies is not at risk of imminent extinction.

Occurrence: British Columbia

Competent Minister(s):
Minister of Environment
Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency

Other applicable legislation:  When the species is found within national parks of Canada or other lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, it is protected or managed under the Canada National Parks Act or through measures or management tools available to the Parks Canada Agency under other legislation.

Conservation activities underway: The Recovery Strategy for the Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies (Aegolius acadicus brooksi) in Canada is published as final on the Species at Risk Registry. The Northern Saw-whet Owl brooksi subspecies is also included in the Multi-species Action Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site that is published as final on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

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