|Threatened and Endangered Species
Species at Risk Act
The Banff Springs Snail is a tiny mollusc found only in hot springs protected within Banff National Park. It has the dubious distinction of being the only species in Canada for which the six-year-old Species at Risk Act (SARA) has been fully implemented.
SARA was enacted in 2002 to prevent Canadian wildlife and plants from becoming extinct or extirpated and to provide for their recovery (1). There are three federal authorities responsible for implementing the Act: Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Parks Canada Agency.
A mandatory five-year review of the Act's effectiveness has been initiated by Parliament. Four of Canada's leading not for-profit environmental organizations working to protect Canada's biodiversity -- the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, and Nature Canada -- have collaborated to highlight the major shortcomings of the Act and to grade its implementation.
Our analysis examines each major stage of species protection, according to the elements set out in the Act itself: