(Pixabay.com)

(Pixabay.com)

Polar bear, monarch butterfly among 517 species on Canada’s latest at-risk list

The list is part of a new report released Thursday at an international biodiversity conference.

Polar bears and the Canadian monarch butterfly have been added to an international list of species and subspecies that are at risk of disappearing entirely from the planet.

The list is part of a new report released today at an international biodiversity conference in Ottawa.

The NatureServe Canada report, “On Guard For Them,” finds 517 species and subspecies found in Canada to be in jeopardy – some on the verge of extinction, others just recently classified as vulnerable.

Of those, 213 are found only in Canada, leaving this country solely responsible for keeping them from being wiped off the face of the earth.

The latest report includes subspecies for the first time – including one particular variant of the monarch butterfly, which finds its way to Canada every summer, which is now ranked as vulnerable.

So is the polar bear, which was not on the 2005 list. The polar bear was also added to Canada’s national species-at-risk list in 2008.

Those in jeopardy in Canada represent about seven per cent of some 7,200 species in the country about which enough is known to include them among seven categories ranging from secure to presumed extinct.

However, it’s a small fraction of the more than 140,000 species believed to exist in Canada, about half of which don’t even yet have a name.

“If we don’t protect them here, there is a high risk they could go extinct,” said Dan Kraus, national conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which contributed to the report.

Kraus said there just aren’t enough scientists available to identify and determine the status of every species in the country.

Since 2005, the last time NatureServe compiled a list, the overall number of global species at risk has gone down slightly, from 354 to 333.

Kraus said the 2005 report led scientists to pay more attention to some of the less well-known species on the list, and in some cases they found more of them existed than previously thought.

In other cases, conservation efforts have allowed animals to come off the list, such as the humpback whale, which was listed as vulnerable in 2005.

Within Canada, almost 17 per cent of all tiger beetles, 15 per cent of freshwater fish and 12.5 per cent of all mammals are at risk.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 1 eastbound has one lane closed as crews worked to clear up an accident earlier this afternoon.
Accident shuts down one lane eastbound on Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Major congestion between Riverside Road and Sumas exit

Alan Pryor in 2015, during the Agassiz Fire Department’s 70th year. (Greg Laychak/The Observer)
Agassiz fireman celebrates 51 years at the hall

Al Pryor has been a key member in the Agassiz Fire Department since he was 16

Scales of Justice
Court awards woman $167K after vehicle was struck by White Rock taxi in 2016

Plaintiff’s knee injuries and resulting chronic pain disability are genuine, judge rules

Mike Bismeyer of Abbotsford is the recipient of the national Savita Shah Award for his work promoting kindness and anti-bullying initiatives.
Abbotsford man who was bullied as a teen receives national kindness award

Mike Bismeyer is one of two Canadians to earn Savita Shah Award

RCMP were on scene under the Menzies Street bridge in Chilliwack on Thursday, March 4, 2021 where a body was found. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
UPDATE: Body found under Menzies bridge in Chilliwack that of man in 20s

Death not considered suspicious, said Chilliwack RCMP

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read