Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessment Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act: SI/2023-66
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 157, Number 23
SI/2023-66 November 8, 2023
SPECIES AT RISK ACT
P.C. 2023-1054 October 20, 2023
Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessment Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessment done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act footnote a by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the status of the species set out in the annexed schedule.
Wolf, Eastern (Canis sp. cf. lycaon)
Loup de l’Est
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council (GIC) of the assessment regarding the status of the Eastern Wolf done by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) under paragraph 15(1)(a) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and in accordance with subsection 23(1) of that Act.
The objective of this Order is to establish the nine-month timeline set out in subsection 27(1.1) of SARA for the GIC to either add the species identified in the report to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), decide not to add the species to the List or refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.
COSEWIC was formed as an independent scientific body in 1977 with a mandate to provide a single, official, scientifically sound, national classification of wildlife species at risk in Canada. COSEWIC provides the Minister of the Environment with assessments of the status of Canadian wildlife species.
COSEWIC has completed the assessment for the Eastern Wolf, undertaken pursuant to subsection 23(1) of SARA. The Eastern Wolf is an intermediate-sized canid known to occur in the mixed coniferous-deciduous forests of central Ontario and southwestern Quebec. In 1999, the Eastern Grey Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon) was first considered by COSEWIC as a subspecies of the Grey Wolf and was placed in the data deficient category. Its conservation status was re-examined (as Eastern Wolf, Canis lupus lycaon) and designated as special concern in May 2001. It was listed with the same status when SARA received royal assent in 2003.
Recent progress in genetic research has led to a better understanding of the origins of several species and hybrids of the genus Canis in North America. These new genetic analyses indicate that the Eastern Wolf is not a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. In May 2015, the species was reassessed by COSEWIC as a new wildlife species, the Eastern Wolf (Canis sp. cf. lycaon), and was designated as threatened. The COSEWIC assessment recommends reclassification of the Eastern Wolf from special concern to threatened.
In response to the assessment, the Minister of the Environment will propose a second order (the Listing Order), which will include a recommendation to the GIC to amend the List in accordance with COSEWIC’s recommended designation for the species. The proposed Listing Order will be published, along with the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period.
Before making a final listing recommendation for the species to the GIC, the Minister of the Environment will take into consideration comments and any additional information received following this publication. Under subsection 27(1.1), the GIC may, on the recommendation of the Minister, (a) accept the assessment and amend the List accordingly (by reclassifying the species from its status of special concern to a status of threatened); (b) decide not to amend the List; or (c) refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada