‘What Can I do to help Endangered Species?’ More than you think…
We need to protect all animals, no matter how endangered they are! BUT did you know that in B.C. only identified wildlife habitats are protected under management plans. So, unless an area is identified as a wildlife habitat, project mitigation measures will not even apply, even if there are bountiful habitat characteristics on-site. Here’s where you come in! As a respected Environmental Monitor on a project, you may be able to influence project management on areas that exhibit high-quality habitat characteristics, which may not be included in identified wildlife habitats.
Okay, so let’s talk about endangered species. What exactly are endangered species? What classifies a certain species as endangered?
Well, there are 3 main categories: red-listed, blue-listed and yellow listed species. The categories of red-listed species are species classified as extirpated, extinct or endangered. Extinct species no longer exist (such as dinosaurs!), extirpated species no longer exist in Canada or B.C. and endangered… well, could have the potential to no longer exist….
Blue-listed species are in this category because they are ‘threatened’ or are of ‘special concern’. ‘Threatened species’ are classified as most likely to become endangered if nothing is done to mitigate factors contributing to their decline. Species of ‘special concern’ refer to species that are likely to become threatened due to their own biological characteristics or identified threats. Yellow-listed are species that are not classified to be at risk.
Currently, there are only 4 endangered species listed under the British Columbia Wildlife Act:
- The Burrowing Owl (red-listed)
- The American White Pelican (red-listed)
- The Vancouver Island Marmot (red-listed)
- The Sea Otter (blue-listed)
152 more species are considered to be candidates for further protection. Fortunately, the majority of endangered vertebrate species are covered by the Species at Risk Act (SARA).