The majority of species in Canada are secure

Photo: Moose, Alces americanus © Colin Pacitti

Photo: Moose, Alces americanus © Colin Pacitti

The overall results of the Wild Species reports show that the majority of species in Canada are secure. In fact, when excluding species ranked as extinct, extirpated, undetermined, not assessed, exotic, and accidental, 77% of the species assessed in the Wild Species 2010 report have a national conservation rank of secure in Canada. This number varies considerably among taxonomic groups. The species groups that have the lowest percentage of species ranked as secure are the reptiles (33%) and freshwater mussels (39%). At the opposite, ground beetles (88%), bumblebees (94%), mosquitoes (95%) and predaceous diving beetles (98%) are the taxonomic groups that have the highest percentage of species ranked as secure. However, the taxonomic groups with a high percentage of secure also reflect our lack of knowledge, since the majority of species in these groups are undetermined or not assessed, and these ranks are not included in the calculation of the percentages.

The proportion of species that are secure in the Wild Species 2010 report is comparable to the previous reports of the series. In the first report, Wild Species 2000, 74% of species were secure, and in the second report, Wild Species 2005, 70% of species were secure. The differences are mainly explained by the increase in the number of taxonomic groups assessed in each report. The Wild Species 2000 report assessed a total of 1670 species, the Wild Species 2005 report assessed a total of 7732 species, and the Wild Species 2010 report assessed a total of 11 950 species.

The Wild Species 2010 report represents a huge achievement, by publishing the results for all species in 20 taxonomic groups, including macro lichens, mosses, vascular plants, freshwater mussels, spiders, odonates, predaceous diving beetles, ground beetles, lady beetles, bumblebees, black flies, horse flies, mosquitoes, some selected macro moths, butterflies, crayfishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The most species-rich regions are Ontario (6995 species), British Columbia (6841 species) and Quebec (6150 species), due to the variation in climate and geology that provide diverse habitats in which different species can survive. The total number of species found in each province and territory varies, but overall the percentage of species that are secure is similar across Canada.

Bar graph showing the number of species in each status category in Canada and in each province and territory.

Results of the general status assessments for all species in the Wild Species 2010 report. The code "CA" represents the national ranks in Canada, and the other codes represent the regional ranks for each province, territory, and ocean region.

Based on the results of the Wild Species 2010 report, Environment Canada has released an indicator on the general status of species in Canada. This indicator represents a measure of the state of biodiversity in Canada. Other information on the biodiversity of Canada can also be found on the biodivcanada.ca website.