Species at Risk Act (SARA) permits and agreements

Information note

The Minister of the Environment has issued the Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations. The regulations have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. For additional information, please also consult the Questions and Answers.

As part of the Responsible Resource Development plan announced on April 17, 2012, some changes have been made to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) which will reduce regulatory burden while strengthening environmental protection. See Factsheet

Under Section 73 of SARA, the competent minister may enter into an agreement or issue a permit authorizing a person to engage in an activity affecting a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or its residences. If entered into or issued, the competent minister must include an explanation of why this was entered into or issued in the Public Registry.

Agreements or permits may be entered into or issued for the following purposes:

  • The activity is scientific research relating to the conservation of the species and conducted by qualified persons
  • The activity benefits the species or is required to enhance its chance of survival in the wild; or
  • Affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

Visit the general frequently asked questions relating to SARA permitting.

Permit applications

Permits are required by those persons conducting activities that may affect species listed on Schedule 1 of SARA, as extirpated, endangered, or threatened and which contravene the Act's general or critical habitat prohibitions. Depending on the species and its location, applications should be directed to the appropriate authorities.

To apply for a permit for an activity affecting a Schedule 1 species in any national park, national historic site or national marine conservation area administered by Parks Canada (protected heritage areas), please visit the following:

To apply for a permit affecting a Schedule 1 aquatic species, please visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans website

For all other SARA permit applications, please use the SARA E-permitting System and refer to the guidelines and service standards for more information. Any questions can be and directed to your appropriate Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Additional reference documents:

Permits and related agreements

Year 2021

Previous years

Note: Applicants are encouraged to contact the SARA permit coordinators if they have questions regarding the information requested in the application or with regards to any supporting documentation. Similarly, permit coordinators may contact the applicant if they require further information regarding the permit application. Information in the application may be disclosed to third parties and some of the information will be made publicly accessible in the explanation for why this was entered into or issued. For more information, refer to the Access to Information Act.

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