Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Order: SOR/2022-97
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 156, Number 11
SOR/2022-97 May 6, 2022
SPECIES AT RISK ACT
Whereas the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a wildlife species that is listed as an endangered species in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Actfootnote a;
Whereas the recovery strategy that identified the critical habitat of that species has been included in the Species at Risk Public Registry;
And whereas a portion of the critical habitat of that species is in a place referred to in subsection 58(2)footnote b of that Act and, under subsection 58(5) of that Act, that portion must be excluded from the annexed Order;
Therefore, the Minister of the Environment makes the annexed Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Order under subsections 58(4) and (5) of the Species at Risk Act footnote a.
Gatineau, May 5, 2022
Minister of the Environment
Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Order
1 Subsection 58(1) of the Species at Risk Act applies to the critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) — which is identified in the recovery strategy for that species that is included in the Species at Risk Public Registry — that is located on federal lands within Gatineau Park.
Coming into force
2 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
Loss of habitat is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and species’ persistence in the world today.footnote 1 Protecting the habitat of species at risk is therefore key to their conservation, and to the preservation of biodiversity.
The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a small wood warbler bird that breeds in the deciduous forests of eastern North America but has a patchy distribution.footnote 2 The main threats to this species of bird are habitat loss and degradation of its wintering grounds. In addition, major threats to the species’ breeding grounds are related to habitat loss and degradation caused by some forms of intensive logging and the conversion of mature forest to agricultural lands. In 2005, the Cerulean Warbler was listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as special concern. The species was subsequently reassessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2010 as endangered. In 2017, the status of the species was reclassified from special concern to endangered on Schedule 1 of SARA.
As required by SARA, a final recovery strategy for the Cerulean Warbler was posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry (the Public Registry) on October 28, 2021. The recovery strategy identified habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of the species (also known as critical habitat). Portions of the critical habitat are found in the Philipsburg Migratory Bird Sanctuary, on federal properties administered by the Parks Canada Agency located on two sites along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, and on three contiguous federal properties located on one federal landfootnote 3 approximately 800 hectares in the Gatineau Park, administered by the National Capital Commission (NCC). One or more action plans for the Cerulean Warbler, in addition to the posted Parks Canada Agency (PCA) multi-species action plans that include the Cerulean Warbler, will be posted on the Public Registry by 2025.
Once a recovery strategy or action plan that identifies critical habitat, or portions of critical habitat, on federal lands is posted on the Public Registry, SARA requires that it be protected within 180 days from that time forth. The Department of the Environment has determined that portions of the critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler located on federal land are not protected under SARA or another Act of Parliament, and that a ministerial order pursuant to section 58 of SARA is required.
Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of its identity and history. In 1992, Canada signed and ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (the Convention). The Convention is an international legal agreement between governments that was established to help ensure that biological diversity is conserved and used sustainably. The text of the Convention notes that the conservation of ecosystems and habitats is a “fundamental requirement for the conservation of biological diversity.”
As a party to this Convention, Canada has developed its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, and federal legislation to protect species at risk, Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). The purposes of SARA are to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated from Canada or becoming extinct; to provide for recovery of wildlife species that are listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity; and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.footnote 4 Consistent with the Convention, SARA recognizes that the habitat of species at risk is key to their conservation, and includes provisions that enable the protection of this habitat.
Critical habitat protection under SARA
Once a species has been listed under SARA as threatened, endangered or extirpated, the competent federal minister(s)footnote 5 must prepare a recovery strategy. Recovery strategies must contain information such as a description of the species, threats to species’ survival and, to the extent possible, the identification of the species’ critical habitat (i.e. the habitat necessary for a listed wildlife species’ recovery or survival). Recovery strategies are posted on the Public Registry.
Following the development of a recovery strategy, SARA requires the development of one or more action plans for the species. Action plans summarize the projects and activities required to meet recovery strategy objectives and goals. They include information on habitat, details of protection measures, and evaluation of socio-economic costs and benefits.
In a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, when critical habitat or portions of critical habitat have been identified on federal lands, in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or on the continental shelf of Canada, or the listed species is an aquatic species or a migratory bird protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (MBCA), SARA requires that it be protected within 180 days of the date of posting on the Public Registry.
If critical habitat is located in a migratory bird sanctuary under the MBCA or in a national park described in Schedule 1 of the Canada National Parks Act, in the Rouge National Urban Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, in a marine protected area under the Oceans Act, or in a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act, the competent minister must publish a description of that critical habitat in the Canada Gazette within 90 days of the date that critical habitat was identified in a final recovery strategy or action plan. Ninety days after this description of critical habitat is published in the Canada Gazette, the critical habitat protection under subsection 58(1) of SARA (i.e. prohibiting the destruction of critical habitat) comes into effect automatically, and critical habitat located in the federal protected area is legally protected under SARA.
If critical habitat or any portion of that habitat is found on federal lands other than a federal protected area listed in the previous paragraph, the competent minister must, under subsection 58(5) of SARA, either make a ministerial order to apply subsection 58(1) of SARA, prohibiting the destruction of this critical habitat, within 180 days following the identification of this habitat in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, or publish on the Public Registry a statement explaining how the critical habitat or portions of it are legally protected under SARA or another Act of Parliament.
Permits issued under SARA
Under section 73 of SARA, a permit may be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the activity meets one of three purposes:
- (a) the activity is scientific research relating to the conservation of the species and conducted by qualified persons;
- (b) the activity benefits the species or is required to enhance its chance of survival in the wild; or
- (c) affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity.
The permit may only be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the following three pre-conditions are met:
- (a) all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted;
- (b) all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals; and
- (c) the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.
Section 74 of SARA allows for a competent minister to issue permits under another Act of Parliament (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act) that has the same effect as those issued under subsection 73(1) of SARA, if certain conditions are met. This is meant to reduce the need for multiple authorizations where the competent minister is the same under both Acts.
The Cerulean Warbler was initially assessed by COSEWIC as a species of special concern in 1993. In 2005, its status was re-examined and confirmed under SARA. The species was subsequently reassessed in 2010 as endangered. In 2017, the status of the species was reclassified from special concern to endangered on Schedule 1 of SARA. The Minister of the Environment is the competent minister under SARA for the Cerulean Warbler.
The Cerulean Warbler benefits from protection under federal and provincial legislation, including SARA, the MBCA, the Ontario provincial Endangered Species Act, 2007 and Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, as well as Quebec’s Loi sur les espèces menacées ou vulnérables. Under sections 9 and 10 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007, the species and its habitat receive general protection; this piece of legislation prohibits killing, harming, harassing, capturing, possessing, transporting, buying, selling, etc., any part of a living or dead member of the species. In Quebec, the species is listed as threatened under Quebec’s Loi sur les espèces menacées ou vulnérables.
As a species at risk which is also a migratory bird, the Cerulean Warbler benefits from protection under both SARA and the MBCA. Further, the MBCA regulations prohibit the disturbance, destruction or taking of a migratory bird, its nest, eggs or nest shelter; and prohibit the possession, trade, or exchange of a migratory bird (alive or dead), its nest or eggs. The prohibitions under the MBCA apply to all activities by individuals, industries and organizations, and are applicable in all of Canada and its exclusive economic zone. Although species included under the MBCA are protected on all federal and non-federal lands wherever the species occurs, this Order is only applicable to critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler located on federal lands.
In addition, the general prohibitions in SARA apply automatically on federal land in the provinces for terrestrial species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. As a result, it is prohibited to kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual Cerulean Warbler, and to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual Cerulean Warbler or any part or derivative of such. Further, it is prohibited to damage or destroy the residence of the Cerulean Warbler, a species listed as endangered in Schedule 1 of SARA.
The Recovery Strategy for the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) in Canada (the recovery strategy) was posted on the Public Registry on October 28, 2021. The recovery strategy includes a partial identification of critical habitat for the species in Canada, and sets out a schedule of studies required to complete the identification of critical habitat. A recovery strategy may be amended, as described in section 45 of SARA, if additional scientific information becomes available.
The Cerulean Warbler is identified in four Parks Canada Agency multi-species action plans that identify recovery measures specific to national parks and national heritage places where this species occurs (for a list of current multi-species action plans including the Cerulean Warbler, please refer to the documents section of the Public Registry). One or more action plans are expected to be completed specifically for the Cerulean Warbler by December 2025.
Through the development and posting of the recovery documents, the competent minister consulted and cooperated with numerous groups, including other federal departments, provincial governments, Indigenous organizations and stakeholders.
Cerulean Warbler’s critical habitat on federal land
The Cerulean Warbler breeds in the deciduous forests of eastern North America but has a patchy distribution. The species winters in a relatively narrow elevational range in the eastern Andes of South America, from Venezuela to northwestern Bolivia. In Canada, the breeding range of the Cerulean Warbler consists of two main geographic clusters in southwestern and southeastern Ontario, plus a small number of breeding individuals in southwestern Quebec. The critical habitat of the species is found on three contiguous federal properties that all meet SARA’s definition of “federal lands,” located in the Gatineau Park in Quebec, to the amount of 800 hectares (ha). The park is administered by the NCC and covers approximately 36 130 ha in area. This NCC park is used for a variety of recreational purposes.
A portion of the critical habitat for this species is also identified in the Philipsburg Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Quebec, which is described in Part V of the schedule to the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations. Since this portion of the critical habitat is in a protected area referred to in subsection 58(2) of SARA (a migratory bird sanctuary), critical habitat protection under this Order is not necessary. Critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler is also found on federal properties along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, notably on two sites at Morton Dam and Jones Falls. The properties, administered by Parks Canada Agency, are excluded from this Order, as Indigenous consultations are still in progress. Once consultations are complete, critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler on these federal properties will be addressed.
The Department of the Environment has determined that the critical habitat identified in the Gatineau Park is not protected under SARA or another Act of Parliament. Therefore, a ministerial order pursuant to section 58 of SARA is required.
The objective of the Critical Habitat of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Order (the Order) is to support the survival and recovery of the Cerulean Warbler through the legal protection of its critical habitat on federal land.
The Order will apply the prohibition against the destruction of critical habitat set out in subsection 58(1) of SARA to the critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler on federal land. The Order will apply to three federal properties that are all located in the Gatineau Park, Quebec. The Order would also apply to any subsequent critical habitat located on federal lands, identified in any subsequent amended final recovery strategy posted in the Public Registry, as a result of incorporation by reference.
Activities likely to destroy critical habitat
The recovery strategy for the Cerulean Warbler describes the types of activities that would be likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat. Examples of these activities include, but are not limited to, single or multiple activities at one point in time or from the cumulative effects of one or more activities over time that involve the following:
- The removal of forested areas for development, road construction, clearing, or agriculture. It should be noted that thinning of mixed/coniferous forests to re-establish native deciduous forests is not considered destruction of critical habitat.
- Forest harvesting resulting in unsuitable forest/forest stand conditions. If this activity occurs within critical habitat, the effects will be direct at any time of year, and in most instances result in the destruction of critical habitat.
- The removal of large-diameter deciduous trees (i.e. trees with Diameter at Breast Height [DBH] equal to or greater than 38 cm) in deciduous forest stands. It is important to note that if this activity occurs within critical habitat, the effects will be direct at any time of year, and in most instances result in the destruction of critical habitat.
- The creation or maintenance of edge habitats (where one habitat meets another) that result in unsuitable forest/forest stand conditions in deciduous forest stands. Specific examples of these activities include creating or maintaining trails, skid roads, utility line construction, or reducing tree density along pre-existing roads.
In 2017, the status of the Cerulean Warbler was reclassified from special concern to endangered on Schedule 1 of SARA. Prior to its status being reclassified on SARA, the species underwent pre-regulatory consultations from December 2011 to February 2012. No comments were received with regard to the Cerulean Warbler. Following the publication of the proposed listing order in the Canada Gazette, Part I, two comments supported the addition of Cerulean Warbler to Schedule 1 of SARA.
On September 9, 2020, the proposed recovery strategy was posted on the Public Registry for a public comment period of 90 days. Five comments were received that were supportive of the recovery strategy and supported minor edits that do not impact the identified critical habitat. The final recovery strategy was posted on October 28, 2021.
As there is no identified critical habitat on reserve lands, or any other lands set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act pursuant to subsection 58(9) of SARA, there are no expected impacts to Indigenous organizations. Nonetheless, the Department of the Environment consulted 10 Indigenous organizations to determine whether the proposed Order could potentially impact communities’ interests or activities, as the critical habitat of the species could be part of their traditional lands. Of the 10 Indigenous organizations that were consulted, only the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (KZA) First Nation responded, indicating its support for the ministerial order. In addition, the Department of the Environment consulted the NCC with regards to the ministerial order to protect critical habitat for the Cerulean Warbler. The NCC, administrator of the Gatineau Park, is supportive of this Order and has further advised it does not anticipate that it will affect the current or future management or use of their properties.
As part of the Government of Canada’s duty to consult, Indigenous consultations to protect critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler on federal properties along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site are in progress. Once Indigenous consultations are complete, critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler located on these federal properties will be addressed.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms aboriginal and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada, including rights related to activities, practices, and traditions of Indigenous peoples that are integral to their distinctive culture. As required by the Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation, an assessment of modern treaty implications was conducted on the proposal. The assessment found no modern treaty implications given the location of the species and no Indigenous groups with modern treaties in the area.
Benefits and costs
The Cerulean Warbler and its critical habitat provide various benefits to society, including recreational and aesthetic values as well as co-benefits for other species. The benefits associated with the continued existence of the species cannot be attributed to the Order alone, but are associated with the successful recovery of the species. This Order will support the overall recovery objective identified in the recovery strategy for the Cerulean Warbler by protecting the species’ critical habitat from destruction on federal land. The recovery of the species could result from a combination of this Order and additional protection and recovery measures undertaken by various levels of government, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders. Overall, this analysis did not reveal any incremental cost impacts on stakeholders and Indigenous peoples associated with the Order. The Government of Canada will incur minor costs related to compliance promotion and enforcement.
This cost-benefit analysis considers incremental impacts of the Order. Incremental impacts are defined as the difference between the baseline scenario and the scenario in which the Order is implemented over the same period. The baseline scenario for the cost analysis includes activities ongoing on federally administered lands where Cerulean Warbler’s critical habitat may be found, and incorporates any likely changes over the next 10 years (2022–2031) without the Order in place.
An analytical period of 10 years was selected, as section 24 of SARA states that COSEWIC must reassess the status of the species every 10 years. Costs provided in present value terms are discounted at 3% over the period of 2022–2031. Unless otherwise noted, all monetary values are in 2022 constant Canadian dollars. As noted, benefits described are not incremental to the Order but are provided for context.
Benefits of the Order
The total economic value framework is often used to assess how environmental assets such as species at risk contribute to the well-being of society. Using this framework, the analysis found that the protection of the Cerulean Warbler and its critical habitat is associated with maintaining and enhancing a variety of benefits for Canadians, including recreational and aesthetic value as well as co-benefits for other species of conservation interest. These benefits are presented below.
Birding and ecotourism: The Cerulean Warbler is highly sought after by birdwatchers as an aesthetically pleasing bird with light blue feathers. Birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts may derive recreational and aesthetic benefits from seeing the Cerulean Warbler in its natural habitat or from hearing its song within the forest canopy.footnote 6
Cultural value: The Cerulean Warbler has generated considerable public, scientific and conservation interest. It is considered a flagship species used to promote conservation issues throughout its range and especially in mature deciduous forests.footnote 7 This species is of interest to scientists due to its habitat specificity and international conservation concerns.
Existence value: Many people derive well-being from simply knowing that a species exists now and will continue to exist in the future. Studies indicate that society places substantial value on vulnerable species, and especially charismatic, symbolic, or emblematic species.footnote 8,footnote 9 A study in 2016 in the greater Austin area in Texas, USA, estimated the existence value of the Golden-Cheeked Warbler, an endangered songbird similar to the Cerulean Warbler.footnote 10 The study found that residents were willing to pay on average about $30 annually per person over five years to contribute towards the recovery of the species. This existence value could be indicative of the value some Canadians place on the Cerulean Warbler and the protection of its habitat.
Co-benefits: The Order may benefit the greater ecological community and other species-at-risk. The Cerulean Warbler is considered an umbrella species that reflects the maintenance of populations of other bird species that require mature deciduous forest habitats.footnote 11 This means protection of this species indirectly benefits the many other species found within the ecological community of its habitat. Critical habitat for the Cerulean Warbler is found within Gatineau Park in Quebec, and consists of areas of significant biodiversity value and species diversity. These areas also overlap with the critical habitat of a number of species including Golden-Winged Warbler, Redheaded Woodpecker, Eastern Meadowlark and Bobolink. Of all species identified in Gatineau Park, 133 are designated as species at risk.footnote 12
Costs of the Order
The Cerulean Warbler is a migratory bird and therefore already benefits from the protections afforded by the MBCA and its regulations, which prohibit the disturbance, destruction or taking of a nest, egg or nest shelter of a migratory bird and prohibits the possession of a migratory bird (alive or dead), a nest or an egg. As such, many protections are already in place for this species and the incremental change associated with the Order is limited to prohibiting activities that would destroy any part of critical habitat on federal lands identified in the Order.
There are three contiguous federal properties that intersect critical habitat for the Cerulean Warbler identified on the Treasury Board’s Directory of Federal Real Property (DFRP) as being owned by the NCC:
- DFRP 1632: 1810 chemin de la Montagne;
- DFRP 2139: Rangs 6 to 13, Canton d’Eardley; and
- DFRP 4333: Rangs 8 to 12, Canton de Hull.
All three properties are located in the southern portion of Gatineau Park, which is the National Capital Region’s largest conservation area and administered by the NCC. The Gatineau Park is the second-most visited park in Canada and offers recreational activities throughout all seasons including hiking; rock climbing; road, mountain and winter biking; swimming; picnics and camping; as well as cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoeing. Over 600 000 people visit the park every year, for a total of 2.6 million visits.footnote 13 Park visitors and recreationalists are not expected to be affected by the Order, as the usage and maintenance of existing roads and trails are not expected to result in destruction of habitat.
The NCC guides the use, physical development and management of Gatineau Park through the Gatineau Park Master Plan, the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan and the Plan for Canada’s Capital. These plans provide significant protection to the Cerulean Warbler and its critical habitat, as they limit pressure from human activities likely to destroy critical habitat for the species and set out measures to protect the area of interest. There are no new infrastructure projects, parking lots, trails or roads planned in this area, and the NCC is in the process of closing unofficial trails as a part of the Responsible Trail Management project to limit fragmentation and protect natural resources. There are no additional requirements like barriers or signage, as these are already in place for other species at risk occurring in the same area. NCC is therefore expected to have minimal to no impacts due to this Order.
The area surrounding critical habitat is used by the KZA community for subsistence hunting and medicinal plant gathering. These activities would not be affected by the Order, as members of the KZA community would be able to continue using this land for traditional purposes without a permit. Since the Cerulean Warbler has no known traditional significance to Indigenous communities, there are no incremental impacts to Indigenous communities in the area.
This analysis also considers the potential for issuance of permits under subsection 73(1) of SARA. Such permits could allow for habitat destruction under certain conditions. Permits are assessed on a case-by-case basis at the time of application and would be granted only where all reasonable alternatives were considered and the best solution is adopted; all feasible measures are taken to minimize the negative impact of the activity; and the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Although no conclusions can be made on whether a permit could be issued prior to the submission of an application, implications from potential permit applications were taken into account when the Cerulean Warbler was uplisted from special concern to endangered in 2017. The analysis at the time estimated a total of four potential permit applications, renewed yearly over the period of 2017–2026. This included any potential permits for critical habitat destruction. At this time there are no incremental permit applications expected from the implementation of this Order due to existing protections already in place as well as the presence of other species at risk that already require permits.
Compliance promotion and enforcement
The federal government will assume incremental costs related to compliance and promotion activities as well as inspections, investigations, and measures to deal with any alleged offences under the Order. Pre-operational enforcement efforts (i.e. intelligence analysis and engagement with partner agencies) are estimated to cost about $2,000.
The enforcement costs during the first year of operation are estimated at about $16,500. These include $1,000 for analysis and engagement with partners, $6,000 for inspections (including operations and transportation costs), $500 for measures to deal with alleged violations (including warnings), $1,000 for investigations, and $8,000 for proceeding with prosecutions. The estimated total for each subsequent year of operation is about $13,000.
The Order is not expected to result in significant benefits or costs. The Order is expected to contribute to the recovery of the Cerulean Warbler, and is likely to provide some co-benefits for other species that share the currently unprotected portions of the critical habitat.
The present value of all costs described above is estimated at about $119,000 over the analytical time frame of 10 years (discounted at 3%). All incremental costs associated with this Order are associated with compliance promotion and enforcement costs. No incremental costs to non-government stakeholders and Indigenous peoples have been identified.
Small business lens
Analysis under the small business lens concluded that the Order will not impact Canadian small businesses.
Section 5 of the Red Tape Reduction Act (the one-for-one rule) does not apply because the Order will not impose any new administrative burden on businesses.
Strategic environmental assessment
A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was conducted for the Order. Protecting the critical habitat of the Cerulean Warbler directly supports the 2019–2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy’s (FSDS) goal, “Healthy Wildlife Populations — All species have healthy and viable populations.” The Order will support the goal’s medium-term target, “By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.” The Order contributes to this FSDS goal by supporting the survival and recovery of the Cerulean Warbler by protecting its critical habitat from destruction on federal lands. The objective of this Order also supports the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which recognizes the importance of protecting the habitats of species at risk as a key component of conserving biological diversity. Finally, the protection of habitat on federal land provided by this Order will also contribute to the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development goal (SDG) “Life on Land” (SDG 15).
In summary, the Order will contribute to the recovery of the Cerulean Warbler, although its contribution is likely to be limited given that the portion of critical habitat found on federal land is a small proportion of the critical habitat of the species. The incremental costs of the Order include those that pertain to Government of Canada actions related to compliance promotion and enforcement, and no incremental costs to stakeholders or Indigenous peoples were identified.
Gender-based analysis plus
A gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) was performed for this proposal, looking at whether characteristics such as sex, gender, age, race, sexual orientation, income, education, employment status, language, visible minority status, disability or religion could influence how a person is impacted by the Order. The analysis found that, in general, Canadians benefit positively from the protection of species at risk and from maintaining biodiversity. No GBA+ impacts have been identified.
The Cerulean Warbler is listed as an endangered species under SARA. The continental decline of the Cerulean Warbler may be greater than that of any other wood warbler. In 2010, the Canadian population was estimated to be between 866 and 1 086 mature individuals (COSEWIC 2010),footnote 14 though a recent estimate suggests that the population may now be much smaller. Portions of the species’ critical habitat on one federal land is currently unprotected. Section 58 of SARA obliges the competent minister to put in place protection for critical habitat of endangered and threatened species on federal lands where protection is not in place. The Order will support the survival and recovery of the Cerulean Warbler through the protection of the critical habitat on federal land, consistent with the overall objectives of SARA and Canada’s biodiversity commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
The implementation of the Order will provide protection and recourse against the destruction of the Cerulean Warbler critical habitat on federal land to which the Order applies.
The Department of the Environment will be responsible for issuing permits, compliance promotion, and enforcement of the Order. The Department has developed a compliance promotion strategy outlining activities focused towards federal land managers. The Department will continue to work with all stakeholders and provincial partners to conserve and protect Cerulean Warbler and its critical habitat. The Department will also continue to work with local habitat stewardship groups to help protect and bring awareness to species at risk.
SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including fines or imprisonment and seizure and forfeiture of things seized or of the proceeds of their disposition. Alternative measures agreements may also be used to deal with an alleged offender under certain conditions. SARA also provides for inspections and search and seizure operations by enforcement officers designated under the Act. Under the penalty provisions of the Act, a corporation other than a non-profit corporation found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $300,000, a non-profit corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 and any other person is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. A corporation other than a non-profit corporation found guilty of an indictable offence is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation, to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person, to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.
The Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, which came into effect on June 19, 2013, impose a 90-day timeline on the Government of Canada to either issue or refuse permits under section 73 of SARA to authorize activities that may affect listed wildlife species. The 90-day timeline may be suspended in certain situations and may not apply in certain circumstances, such as a permit issued under another Act of Parliament (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act) as per section 74 of SARA. These regulations contribute to consistency, predictability and transparency in the SARA permitting process by providing applicants with clear and measurable service standards. The Department measures its service performance annually and performance information is posted on the Department’s website no later than June 1 for the preceding fiscal year.
Species at Risk Act Policy
Wildlife Management Directorate
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Annex 1 — Description of the Cerulean Warbler
The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a small wood warbler. The adult male is sky blue above and white below, while the female is blue-green above and whitish below. Both sexes have two prominent white wing bars and white tail spots. The species has generated considerable public, scientific and conservation interest recently due to its beauty, habitat specificity, and international conservation concerns. It is considered an umbrella species that reflects the maintenance of populations of other bird species that require mature deciduous forest habitats.
The Cerulean Warbler breeds in the deciduous forests of eastern North America but has a patchy distribution. The Canadian breeding range consists of two main geographic clusters in southwestern and southeastern Ontario, plus a small number of breeding individuals in southwestern Quebec. It winters in a relatively narrow zone of elevation in the eastern Andes of South America, from Venezuela to northwestern Bolivia.