Red-necked Phalarope (assessed as Special Concern) is a small shorebird that breeds or migrates through every Canadian province and territory. It is fairly common in Yukon, although breeds most abundantly in the north. It has declined over the last 40 years in an important staging area and declines have also been noted on the breeding grounds (including in Yukon), however overall population trends are unknown. Although threats to the species are still not fully understood, habitat degradation on its breeding grounds associated with climate change is likely a factor, and it is also susceptible to pollutants and oil exposure during migration and wintering. If COSEWIC’s recommendation is accepted, a Management Plan will be required for this species.
Spiked Saxifrage (assessed as Special Concern) is a perennial wildflower growing only in Yukon and Alaska. In Yukon it is restricted to 12 cool, moist sites near Beaver Creek and along the Yukon River, where it grows near small creeks or in rocky alpine habitats. Placer mining presents the primary threat to creek habitats, and climate change and advanced mineral development may threaten alpine populations. If COSEWIC’s recommendation is accepted, a Management Plan will be required for this species. Note that Spiked Saxifrage was originally assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened in May 2013. However, in light of new information that was not available at the time of the original assessment, COSEWIC reassessed this species in May 2015 as Special Concern.
Yellow-banded Bumble Bee (assessed as Special Concern) is a medium-sized bumble bee with an extensive distribution in Canada. In Yukon it is restricted to the extreme southwestern part of the territory. While this species remains relatively abundant in the northern part of its range, it has recently declined by at least 34% in areas of southern Canada. Causes for declines remain unclear, yet pesticide use, habitat conversion, and pathogen spill-over from managed bumble bee colonies are suspected to be contributing factors. If COSEWIC’s recommendation is accepted, a Management Plan will be required for this species.
Yukon Podistera (assessed as Special Concern) is a perennial plant belonging to the carrot family, with approximately 90% of its global range within unglaciated areas of west-central Yukon. In Yukon, it is restricted to dry, well-drained, rock-dominated habitat with sparse vegetation and limited soil development, and is found growing on rocky tors, talus slopes and river bluffs with exposed bedrock. A loss of habitat as a result of climate change is expected to be the greatest threat to Yukon Podistera. If COSEWIC’s recommendation is accepted, a Management Plan will be required for this species.
The full consultation document is available on the SARA Public Registry at http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=2749. COSEWIC status reports, assessments, and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change’s statement on how she intends to respond to the assessments are available on the SARA Public Registry at http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca.
You are invited to submit comments regarding these proposed amendments to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Your comments will be considered and will inform the Minister’s recommendation to Cabinet. Please provide comments by May 4, 2016 for Spiked Saxifrage, Yellow-banded Bumble Bee, and Yukon Podistera, and by October 4, 2016 for Red-necked Phalarope. There will also be an opportunity to provide comments during the 30-day public consultation period associated with pre-publication in Canada Gazette Part I.
Please contact Saleem Dar directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to provide any comments, or if you have questions about the SARA process or the species under review.