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Wild Animal Law of Canada


Endangered Species Act (Newfoundland)

(current to 01 May 2016)
Note Re Application of the Endangered Species Act ('EDA')

This Act applies within the area of the province of Newfoundland. Lists of species which are presently listed as species at risk under this Act are linked in s.1. Any animal native to the province, and freshwater fish and fish which run up from the sea into inland water (but no other fish), may be so-listed [EDA s.3(1),4(a)].

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • SALE
The full current text of this legislation (including regulations) may be viewed at the Newfoundland statute website.


Table of Contents
1. Overview and 'the Lists'
2. Special Status Advisory Committee, Wildlife Assessments and 'Listing' of Species at Risk
3. General EDA Protective Laws
4. Recovery, Management and Habitat Protection Plans


1. Overview and 'the Lists'

Newfoundland's Endangered Species Act (EDA) is the province's conservation legislation respecting designated indigenous species at risk [EDA 3(1)].

The species within the three categories of species at risk are listed here:The province's main webpage on the EDA, which itself links to some EDA documentation, such as species management plans, is linked here: Newfoundland - Species at Risk.

2. Special Status Advisory Committee, Wildlife Assessments and 'Listing' of Species at Risk

The EDA establishes a Species Status Advisory Committee (SSAC) [the provincial counterpart of COSEWIC], which is charged with, among other things, reviewing status reports respecting species and then making recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Conservation [EDA s.6,11] as to whether, and if so how, to classify species. The Minister may then, with the approval of the provincial Cabinet, designate the species as either extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened or vulnerable [EDA 7]. The Minister may also so-designate species based on status reports issued by their federal counterpart, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

The Minister may also make emergency designations of a species as endangered where in their opinion it is required "to prevent further harm to a species that faces imminent extirpation or extinction, or to its habitat" [EDA 9(1)].

3. General EDA Protective Laws

In addition, the EDA establishes protective laws that apply generally to most categories of species at risk and their habitat. These are enforced primarily by prosecution [EDA s.16,38]:
  • "(a) person shall not disturb, harass, injure, or kill an individual of a species designated as threatened, endangered or extirpated";

  • "person shall not capture, possess, buy, sell or trade a specimen of a species designated as threatened, endangered or extirpated or part of it or anything derived from it".

  • "A person shall not disturb or destroy the residence of an individual of a species designated as threatened, endangered or extirpated".

    For these purposes, 'residence' "means a specific dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing young or hibernating" [EDA s.2(l)].
Exemptions from these protective provisions exist for some statute-authorized conservation, public safety, health and (with a Cabinet-approved permit) economic activities [EDA 19,21]. Permit exemptions also exist for capturing, killing and possessing of listed species, the most significant of which are for specimens possessed before the species was listed, religious or ceremonial purposes, and for "scientific research, education or species recovery" [EDA 18].

Like most regulatory statutes, the EDA has provisions for the appointment of peace offices (here 'conservation officers') who have typical entry, inspection, seizure and warrant (for dwelling places) and warrantless search authority [EDA s.31], and for prosecution of offences [EDA s.38]. Persons appointed to enforce the Wildlife Act or the Forestry Act are also conservation officers for EDA purposes [EDA 2(a)].

4. Recovery, Management and Habitat Protection Plans

Ministerial 'management plans' are required for all vulnerable species [EDA s.13(1)]. Management plans must "identify measures for the conservation of a species" [EDA s.24].

'Recovery teams' must be established for all endangered, threatened or extirpated species [EDA 14(1), 15(1)]. Recovery teams must establish 'recovery plans' for the Minister which shall [EDA s.23]:
  • identify measures for the recovery the species;

  • identify critical habitat;

  • identify recovery habitat; and

  • schedule implementation of the plan.
Management and recovery plans may be issued jointly with other Canadian jurisdictions (ie. the federal government and other provinces), and where another jurisdiction has a recovery team with a Newfoundland representative on it no Newfoundland recovery team need be created [EDA s.26(2,3)].

In addition to the above measures, the Minister of Environment and Conservation may issue Orders respecting species at risk establishing areas of land as either 'recovery habitat' ["habitat that is necessary for the recovery of a species": EDA s.2(j)] or as 'critical habitat' ["habitat that is critical to the survival of a species": EDA s.2(c)] [EDA s.28(1,2)]. Such Orders may set out prohibited activities in those areas, and activities that are prohibited without a permit [EDA 28(3)]. For these purposes the Minister may enter into conservation management agreements with private landowners, and - with Cabinet authorization - expropriate lands [EDA 29,30].

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