Species Profile

Great Basin Spadefoot

Scientific Name: Spea intermontana
Other/Previous Names: Great Basin Spadefoot Toad
Taxonomy Group: Amphibians
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2019
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B2b(iii,v)c(iv)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This toad-like amphibian is one of a suite of grassland and open woodland species restricted to the arid southern interior of British Columbia. It prefers to breed in temporary waterbodies, and requires terrestrial habitats with loose, friable soils for refuge from freezing and drought. Frequent widespread droughts in this area result in highly variable breeding success and recruitment among years, causing populations to fluctuate greatly. Current population size likely exceeds 10,000 mature individuals, although robust estimates are lacking. Recent population trends are unknown, but a continuing decline in number of mature individuals is inferred and projected, based on threats from road mortality, pollution of breeding sites, reduction in water tables associated with increasingly severe and frequent droughts, and agriculture. The species is designated Threatened based on its restricted area of occupancy, extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals, an inferred and projected decline in number of mature individuals, and an observed, inferred, and projected continuing decline in extent and quality of habitat.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Special Concern in April 1998. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2001, April 2007, and November 2019.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

Go to advanced search

Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Great Basin Spadefoot

Great Basin Spadefoot Photo 1

Top

Description

The Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) is one of two species of spadefoots (family Scaphiopodidae, formerly Pelobatidae) that occur in Canada. Adults are about 40 – 65 mm long, and have a squat body form and relatively short legs for an anuran. The back is light grey, olive, or brown with lighter streaks and small raised dark blotches. Characteristic features include a black, keratinous ridge (“spade”) on the sole of each hind foot, used for burrowing, and a vertical, lens-shaped pupil. (Updated 2017/05/25)

Top

Distribution and Population

The Great Basin Spadefoot occupies the inter-montane region between the Rocky Mountains and Coastal Ranges from south-central British Columbia south to Arizona and Colorado. In Canada, the species is restricted to the arid and semi-arid zones of south-central British Columbia and occurs in the Okanagan Valley and in the Similkameen and Kettle-Granby river valleys in the south and in the Thompson and Nicola river valleys and the South Cariboo region in the north. Based on an estimation of about 235 discrete sites basedon records from 1985 to 2006, the extent of occurrence is about30,770 km². The area of occupancy is about 619 km², if calculated assuming a 1 km radius buffer around each discrete site, or 864 km², if calculated using a 2 km×2 km grid. From 1996 to 2006, the species continued to be found within all portions of its range. Most records are from the South Okanagan. Recent surveys in the North Okanagan, Nicola, and Kettle-Granby river valleys have established that the species is relatively widespread in these areas from where few previous records existed. In 2005 – 2006 it was found at 12 new sites in the South Cariboo, where it was previously known from two old records. Systematic surveys of historic sites have not been conducted, and local extinctions or range contractions cannot be determined. (Updated 2017/05/25)

Top

Habitat

The Great Basin Spadefoot occupies grassland and open woodland habitats. It requires aquatic habitats for breeding and terrestrial habitats for foraging, hibernation, and aestivation. These habitats must be suitably connected to allow for seasonal movements. The species breeds in a variety of water bodies ranging from small pools to the margins of permanent water bodies and shallow areas of lakes but prefers temporary ponds that hold water for only part of each year. Spadefoots shelter underground from unfavourable conditions and require terrestrial habitat all year. Loose, deep, and friable (crumbly) soils that allow for burrowing and rodent burrows are thought to be important. Anecdotal observations and movements of other species of spadefoots suggest that individuals use terrestrial habitat within about 500 m of breeding sites. (Updated 2017/05/25)

Top

Biology

Spadefoots respond rapidly to changing environmental conditions and breed explosively when temperatures are suitable and breeding sites are full of water. In British Columbia, adults begin to emerge from hibernation in early to mid-April and move quickly to breeding ponds where males begin to call. Females lay 300 – 800 black eggs in clusters of 20 – 40 in shallow water. Spadefoot tadpoles have among the shortest development times of all anurans, an adaptation that allows them to effectively exploit temporary pools. The entire development, from egg to toadlet, can be completed in as little as 5 weeks, but 6 – 8 weeks is more typical. In British Columbia, most metamorphosed toadlets appear in July and disperse from the breeding sites en masse. They attain reproductive maturity at 2 – 3 years and may live up to 10 years. Spadefoots have a variety of physiological adaptations for living in a dry environment, including the ability to survive relatively high water loss and absorb water directly from the soil while burrowed. (Updated 2017/05/25)

Top

Threats

The main threat to the Great Basin Spadefoot in British Columbia is from loss and degradation of habitat due to human activities. Dry grasslands, especially those in the South Okanagan, are under tremendous development pressures, from both intensive agriculture and urbanization, and habitat continues to be lost as the human population grows. Wetlands and temporary pools are naturally rare and continue to be lost and degraded. Other threats include habitat fragmentation, road mortality, pesticides, sport fish and bullfrog introductions, and degradation of breeding sites and their margins by livestock. (Updated 2017/05/25)

Top

Protection

Federal Protection

The Great Basin Spadefoot is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

Top

Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in British Columbia
Status Broader consultation initiated

Name Recovery Strategy for the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

Top

Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date Recovery of the Great Basin Spadefoot is addressed under a Provincial Recovery Plan, a National Recovery Strategy, and by the South Okanagan - Similkameen Conservation Program (SOSCP). Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities During 2003-2006, 108 sites in the south Okanagan valley were surveyed for Great Basin Spadefoots to determine preferred breeding and foraging habitat types. In 2005-2006, pesticide concentrations and egg mortality of Spadefoots were measured in agricultural and non-agricultural habitats in the south Okanagan Valley. A strong correlation between pesticide exposure and poor hatching success was found. Summary of Recovery Activities The Government of British Columbia has set up the BC Frogwatch Program, which encourages the public to report sightings, help with surveys, and learn more about the distribution of the Great Basin Spadefoot and other toad species at risk. Landowners with Spadefoot habitat on their property are advised to fence their ponds and minimize the impact of their livestock on this habitat. In 2006, five ponds were created on protected conservation lands in the south Okanagan in order to increase the number of high quality breeding habitats available for this species in the lowland valley, where many ponds are currently threatened with destruction, drainage, and/or pesticide contamination. URLs Government of British Columbia: Great Basin Spadefoot Toad:http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/sir/fwh/wld/atlas/species/spadefoot.html Government of British Columbia: BC Frogwatch Program:http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/frogwatch/whoswho/factshts/spadeft.htm Government of British Columbia: Wildlife at Risk - Great Basin Spadefoot Toadhttp://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/spadefoottoad.pdf Canadian Biodiversity: Species at Risk: Great Basin Spadefoot Toad:http://www.canadianbiodiversity.mcgill.ca/english/species/endangered/endangeredpages/spe_int.htm

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

32 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in Canada (2020-10-26)

    Great Basin Spadefoot, Spea intermontana, is one of two species of spadefoots (family Scaphiopodidae) that occur in Canada. Adults are small to medium-sized toad-like amphibians, about 40–65 mm long, and have a squat body and relatively short legs. Diagnostic features include a black, keratinous ridge (“spade”) on the sole of each hind foot used for burrowing and eyes with a vertical, lens-shaped pupil, indicative of good night vision. The species is part of a suite of grassland and open woodland species unique to the arid southern interior of British Columbia. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the Minister on September 2, 2020.
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in Canada (2007-08-29)

    The Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) is one of two species of spadefoots (family Scaphiopodidae, formerly Pelobatidae) that occur in Canada. Adults are about 40 – 65 mm long, and have a squat body form and relatively short legs for an anuran. The back is light grey, olive, or brown with lighter streaks and small raised dark blotches. Characteristic features include a black, keratinous ridge (“spade”) on the sole of each hind foot, used for burrowing, and a vertical, lens-shaped pupil.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Great Basin Spadefoot (2007-12-04)

    This small, rotund, toad-like amphibian has under each hind foot a prominent tubercle, or “spade”, which it uses for burrowing. The species has a restricted distribution in Canada in the semi-arid and arid areas of southern interior British Columbia. Parts of this region are experiencing rapid loss and alteration of critical habitats for the spadefoot, including loss of breeding sites, because of urban and suburban expansion, increased agriculture and viticulture, and the introduction of alien fish species and disease. The protected areas it inhabits are losing surrounding natural buffer habitats due to encroaching agricultural and housing developments. In consequence, available habitat in some parts of the range is becoming fragmented, resulting in increased local extinction probabilities for the sites that remain. Although spadefoots may use artificial habitats for breeding, there is evidence that such habitats may be ecological traps from which there may be little or no recruitment.
  • Response Statement - Great Basin Spadefoot (2020-12-02)

    This toad-like amphibian is one of a suite of grassland and open woodland species restricted to the arid southern interior of British Columbia. It prefers to breed in temporary waterbodies, and requires terrestrial habitats with loose, friable soils for refuge from freezing and drought. Frequent widespread droughts in this area result in highly variable breeding success and recruitment among years, causing populations to fluctuate greatly. Current population size likely exceeds 10,000 mature individuals, although robust estimates are lacking. Recent population trends are unknown, but a continuing decline in number of mature individuals is inferred and projected, based on threats from road mortality, pollution of breeding sites, reduction in water tables associated with increasingly severe and frequent droughts, and agriculture. The species is designated Threatened based on its restricted area of occupancy, extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals, an inferred and projected decline in number of mature individuals, and an observed, inferred, and projected continuing decline in extent and quality of habitat.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in Canada (2017-12-22)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Great Basin Spadefoot and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia, as per section 39(1) of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Province of British Columbia provided the attached recovery plan for the Great Basin Spadefoot (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2007 (2007-08-30)

    2007 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2019 to 2020 (2020-09-02)

    Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 21 wildlife species, none of which were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 21, COSEWIC re-examined the status of nine wildlife species; of these, 44% were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 810 wildlife species in various risk categories including 363 Endangered, 190 Threatened, 235 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 19 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 59 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 198 have been assessed as Not at Risk.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#10), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-04-26)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#11), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-04-26)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#4), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-04-15)

    Larval dipnet surveys and adult salamander live-trapping trapping surveys will be conducted as part of a series of amphibian inventories at a restoration site near Okanagan Falls. Dipnetting involves wading along pond perimeter in the shallow water zone and stopping every few meters to take a water scoop for investigation. The number of larvae observed are counted and identified. Salamander surveys are conducted using non-lethal floating minnow traps three to five times throughout the season. After sunset at each pond, three to five traps are baited with sardines and are secured near the pond perimeter. Traps are checked for capture success and removed 8-10 hours later. Individuals are released at the site of capture as soon as possible.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#40), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-04-15)

    To determine the presence or non-detection of amphibian species at the Vaseux restoration sites species inventories are to be conducted. Survey methods include auditory surveys (calling species only, frogs/toads), time-constrained search surveys, and trapping surveys (see point 10). Each of these survey methods is conducted 12-15 times during the breeding season (April 15 - July 31) to detect breeding adults, egg masses, and larvae. Individuals that are incidentally encountered, dip-netted, or captured during trapping are to be assessed for: species identification, reproductive stage of development, body mass, snout-vent length, total length, and any indication of injury or deformity. All individuals are to be released at the site of capture as soon as possible. The time of capture, GPS coordinates, and the weather conditions are to be recorded. To reduce impact on the species and the critical habitat, surveys will be conducted using precautions to reduce damage to the young vegetation and sediments by limiting access to the pond and preventing disease transmission by disinfecting all equipment used.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-04-0384), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2004-07-06)

    The specific activity involves the capture and handling of Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) and Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) aquatic tadpoles and larvae, and possibly adults. Capture techniques are limited to Gee (minnow) traps, seine nets, and dipnets.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0308), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-03-21)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area. With respect to snake surveys, the proponents will visit known hibernacula locations and conduct search-unit surveys for snakes as they leave the hibernacula. In accordance with the Resources Inventory Standards Committee protocols, they will briefly handle snakes to sex and measure individuals.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0309), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-03-21)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area. With respect to snake surveys, the proponents will visit known hibernacula locations and conduct search-unit surveys for snakes as they leave the hibernacula. In accordance with the Resources Information Standards Committee protocols, they will briefly handle snakes to sex and measure individuals.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0373), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-04-25)

    Larval dipnet surveys and adult salamander live-trapping trapping surveys will be conducted as part of a series of amphibian inventories at a restoration site near Okanagan Falls. Dipnetting involves wading along pond perimeter in the shallow water zone and stopping every few meters to take a water scoop for investigation. The number of larvae observed are counted and identified. Salamander surveys are conducted using non-lethal floating minnow traps three to five times throughout the season. After sunset at each pond, three to five traps are baited with sardines and are secured near the pond perimeter. Traps are checked for capture success and removed 8-10 hours later. Individuals are released at the site of capture as soon as possible.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0407), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-05-15)

    The activity involves live-trapping and larval dip-net surveys for Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) and Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana), to determine potential impacts on Species at Risk of a proposed substation and transmission line.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#59-05-0419), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-05-30)

    Larval surveys and adult salamander live-trapping trapping surveys will be conducted as part of a series of amphibian inventories of ephemeral Great Basin Spadefoot breeding habitat. Dipnets and gee traps are used preferentially, and seine nets are only used on rare occasions. Dipnetting involves wading along pond perimeter in the shallow water zone and stopping every few meters to take a water scoop for investigation. The number of larvae observed are counted and identified. Salamander surveys are conducted using non-lethal floating minnow traps three to five times throughout the season. Traps are set at night and checked for capture success and removed 8-10 hours later. Individuals are released at the site of capture as soon as possible.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2007-0047), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-05-07)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2007-0048), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-05-15)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2008-0071), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-03-01)

    15 Adult Male Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) and 25 Great Basin Gophersnakes (Pituophis catenifer deserticola) will be surgically implanted with radio-transmitters following approved animal care protocol from the University of Guelph Animal Care Committee and the British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, and located 3-4 times per week (Between March-Oct 2008 and 2009). Approximately 100 of each of these 4 species, Western Rattlesnakes , Great Basin Gophersnakes, Nightsnakes (Hypsiglena torquata) and Western Skink (Eumeces skiltonianus )(male and female of all ages) will be part of a mark and recapture program. Individuals will have measurements taken following approved animal care protocol and immediately released back into the wild (Between March - Oct 2008 and 2009). This research will (a) identify densities and travel corridors of Western rattlesnakes (threatened) years 1-2 and Great Basin Gophersnakes (threatened) years 1-2. (b) Identify ovipositian sites of Great Basin Gophersnakes (year 2) (c) Determine a population estimate for Nightsnakes (endangered) and Western skink (special concern skinks are a primary diet item of the Nightsnakes and these species co-occur on talus slopes) year 2.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2008-0077), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-04-09)

    Genetic analysis will be conducted on two reptiles Western rattlesnake, (Crotalus oreganos); Great Basin gophersnake, (Pituophis catenifer deserticola) and two amphibian species namely Great Basin spadefoot, (Spea intermontana) and Tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinium). Blood samples of western rattlesnakes and Great Basin gophersnakes will be collected. Capturing of rattlesnakes and gophersnakes will be done with a snake hook and the snakes will be put into a snake bag. The snake is held in a restraining tube during blood collection. Blood will be collected from the caudal vein. Less than 2ml will be collected. The area is sterilized and then blood is drawn using a vacutainer syringe. The blood is stored in a blood preservative. Surveys will be conducted for egg masses of Great Basin spadefoot and only eggs will be collected. Spadefoot eggs will be collected by hand using disposable gloves. Spadefoot eggs will be euthanized with Ms 222 and preserved in a buffer solution for genetic suitable for genetic analysis. Collection of road kill - Great Basin Spadefoots killed on roads will be the preferred source of genetic material. In the case of Tiger Salamander it will be the only source.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2008-0083), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-05-12)

    The immediate goal of this project is to acquire a natural resource inventory within the DND ASU Chilliwack. The proponent has demonstrated that compared to lethal and more invasive capture and marking techniques, their methods are either non-invasive or identified as the least-invasive alternative.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2009-0104), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2009-04-01)

    Genetic analysis will be conducted on three reptiles: Western rattlesnake, (Crotalus oreganos); Great Basin Gophersnake, (Pituophis catenifer deserticola); Painted turtle, (Chrysemys picta belli)i; and two amphibian species: Great Basin spadefoot, (Spea intermontana) and Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinium). Capture and blood sampling techniques to be used to collect genetic material from rattlesnakes and gophersnakes snakes (20 samples each; 5 populations) are standard techniques that apparently pose little risk to the animals. From relatively robust populations, 15 Great Basin Spadefoot eggs (5 populations) from egg masses containing >15 eggs will be collected. 20 recently-hatched (15 eggs from robust populations will be collected. Collection of Painted Turtles killed on roads, egg fragments, and a depredated egg is the least invasive method to collect genetic material from this species.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2009-0109), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2009-05-29)

    Following intensive auditory surveys conducted during the spring, the proponents will conduct larval net surveys in all suitable ponds throughout the project area. Captured individuals will be temporarily placed into holding containers, and then returned to the pond once sampling is complete. The results of larval surveys will be compared among years and sites to characterize and monitor trends in populations of Great Basin Spadefoots in the project area. Pitfall traps with associated drift fences will be used to trap adult individuals moving over terrestrial habitat to identify movement to and from the breeding points. These traps are checked frequently and present a low mortality risk. Elastomer tagging is non-invasive method of tagging individuals to record movement, survival, and recapture data.
  • >> See more Permits and Related Agreements documents

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act - Terrestrial Species (2008-03-10)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by March 25, 2008 for species undergoing normal consultations and by March 27, 2009 for species undergoing extended consultations.
  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species December 2020 (2020-12-02)

    COVID-19 and the consultations on the listing of species at risk As a result of the ongoing COVID 19 situation, it is not possible to have in-person meetings. Taking this into consideration, please note that consultation closing dates have been set for both the Normal and Extended consultations for the terrestrial species considered in this document. We will work to ensure that all the known, potentially affected parties have the opportunity to contribute to the consultations and that the consultation process is flexible and sensitive to the current context. If you wish to contribute, please submit your comments by April 2, 2021 for species undergoing normal consultations and by September 2, 2021 for species undergoing extended consultations. You may provide comments by email, letters, or through the online survey. The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection afforded by the prohibitions and from recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 622 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments by April 2, 2021, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations and by September 2, 2021, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations. For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please visit the Species at Risk (SAR) Public Registry website at: The Minister of the Environment's Response to Species at Risk Assessments. To respond to survey questions, please go to the survey page. Consultation ends on April 2, 2021 for species undergoing a normal consultation process and on September 2, 2021 for species undergoing an extended consultation process.

Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette

  • Description of the Great Basin Spadefoot critical habitat in the Vaseux-Bighorn National Wildlife Area (2020-03-06)

    The Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana), a small mainly terrestrial amphibian that occurs in six geographic areas in southern interior British Columbia, is listed as threatened on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. The Great Basin Spadefoot uses temporary and permanent water bodies for breeding and associated terrestrial habitat to complete its life cycle, generally composed of soils that can be easily burrowed for sheltering and hibernating.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update December 2, 2021
Date modified: