What are Species at Risk?
A species at risk is any plant or animal that is native to B.C. and is likely to become extinct or is at risk of disappearing from the province. Species assessed as extirpated, endangered, threatened or special concern are all considered species at risk.
The importance of British Columbia’s species at risk
British Columbia is world-renowned for its spectacular natural heritage. The variety of plants and animals that live here provide important environmental, social, cultural, and economic benefits to the province and its residents. B.C. also has a diversity of ecosystems and landscapes that provide homes for many regionally, nationally, and globally significant species.
British Columbia has an internationally important role in conservation because many of our species and ecosystems are found nowhere else in Canada, and in some cases, nowhere else in the world. However, the number of species that are endangered, threatened, or of special concern continues to grow.
We have more species at risk than any other province in Canada. As of January 2018, the federal Species at Risk Act lists 231 species as endangered, threatened or special concern that occur in B.C.
Preventing species from becoming “at risk” is our greatest opportunity for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, if a species is already at risk, we need to take conservation actions as soon as possible.