Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Canada reclassifies the ACAP-listed Pink-footed Shearwater from nationally Threatened to Endangered

The ACAP-listed globally Vulnerable Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus migrates northwards from its breeding sites on islands off southern Chile as far north as Canadian waters.  Noting that the shearwater has suffered significant declines due to nest predation by introduced predators, exploitation by humans and habitat degradation at its breeding sites, Canada had given the bird a nationally Threatened* status in terms of its Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The purpose of SARA is to protect wildlife species at risk in Canada.  The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) was established as an independent body of experts within SARA responsible for identifying and assessing wildlife species considered to be at risk.  Species that have been designated by COSEWIC may then qualify for legal protection and recovery under SARA.

In November 2016 the shearwater’s national status was re-assessed by COSEWIC as Endangered (defined as facing imminent extirpation or extinction) from its previous 2004 category of Threatened (click here).  The bird was first listed as Threatened in 2005 following a 2004 assessment by COSEWIC.

The order amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act upgrading the Pink-footed Shearwater from Threatened to Endangered has now been published in the Canada Gazette, Part II Vol. 153 No. 11 on 29 May 2019.  Click here for Canada’s species profile for the Pink-footed Shearwater.

Pink-footed Shearwaters, photographs by Oikonos & Peter Hodum

Canada is not a Party to ACAP but regularly sends an observer to attend and contribute to its meetings.

With thanks to Ken Morgan.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 24 June 2019

*Note that Canadian national categories of threat do not match those used internationally by BirdLife International and IUCN.  BLI/IUCN ‘Vulnerable’ is approximately the equivalent of COSEWIC ‘Threatened’;  BLI/IUCN ‘Critically Endangered’ and ‘Endangered’ are roughly the same as COSEWIC ‘Endangered’.

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