Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Endangered Species in BC

Did you know that British Columbia does not have an endangered species law? British Columbia is one of the only provinces in Canada (and one of the few jurisdictions in North America) that does not have a stand-alone law that protects species at risk.

Until recently, I thought that the federal government's Species at Risk Act (SARA) provided enough protection for endangered species in British Columbia, but according to the folks at Ecojustice Canada:
"Canada’s federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) offers little help. It generally applies only on federal lands, which cover a mere 1 percent of BC’s land base. SARA gives the federal government the power to apply “safety net” provisions to protect species outside of federal lands; but these discretionary powers have never been used, even for severely endangered species like BC’s spotted owl."1

There are at least 1600 species that need protection in our province, and many of these species are found in the marine ecosystem. The lack of a formal endangered species law in British Columbia leaves these species at risk without adequate legal protection. For more information about this issue and how you can take action, visit

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