How species at risk are listed
How a plant or animal is classified as endangered, threatened, special concern or extirpated. The Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) oversees this work.
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Endangered Species Act
More than 200 species of plants and animals are at risk of disappearing from Ontario.
The Endangered Species Act provides:
- science-based assessment — species are assessed by an independent body based on the best-available science and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge
- automatic protection — species classified as endangered or threatened automatically receive legal protection
- habitat protection — when a species is classified endangered or threatened, its habitat is also protected
Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario
An independent committee of experts considers which plants and animals should be listed as at risk. The Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) consists of up to 12 members with expertise in scientific disciplines or Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge.
For more information on COSSARO’s membership, meetings, species assessment reports and how to get involved please visit the agency’s website.
Reports to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
The Committee communicates its species listing decisions through a report to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Once a report has been received by the Minister, it is posted on this page.
Reports include the outcomes of assessment meetings, including the classification of each species assessed and a summary of listing decision rationales.
View past reports to the minister for:
- January 2023
- January 2022
- January 2021
- May 2018 (PDF)
- March 2017
- March 2016
- December 2014
- March 2014
- October 2012
- October 2011
- March 2011
- June 2010
- December 2009
- June 2009
- November 2008
View annual reports published by the committee that summarizes its activities for:
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