The federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is marking four decades of wildlife protection with some good news: the peregrine falcon, one of the first species COSEWIC assessed, is no longer at Risk of Extinction throughout most of Canada.
Committee Chair Dr. Eric Taylor noted COSEWIC was created in March 1977 and the peregrine falcon was assessed in 1978. The DDT pesticide ban and a captive-breeding program are credited with the birds’ recovery and current re-assessment. The birds’ resilient nature and use of urban areas for nesting and prey were also important factors.
Marcel Gahbauer, co-chair of COSEWIC’s Birds Specialist Subcommittee said, “The ongoing recovery of the peregrine represents a rare but important example of how focused stewardship can lead to success. This is definitely a good news story.”
COSEWIC will meet in April, and in the fall of 2018, will deliver its annual report to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, which will list species for consideration under the Species at Risk Act.
Committee members on this independent advisory panel are from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. They are responsible for designating wildlife species in danger of disappearing from Canada.
COSEWIC’s Ontario counterpart, the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk, has operated for 10 years.