Federal Government Must Prevent Extinction of Sage-Grouse in Canada
The stunning Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus) is facing extinction in Canada. It could disappear from Alberta within a year if action for its protection is not taken immediately.
The Canadian population of Sage-grouse declined by almost 90 per cent between 1988 and 2006. By 2010, there were only 42 males at 2 active breeding grounds or “leks” in Saskatchewan. In Alberta, there are thought to be only 13 males remaining with the total provincial population estimated at approximately 30 birds in 2011.
Under section 80 of Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the federal Cabinet has the power to make an emergency order to protect important habitat of an endangered species anywhere in Canada. The emergency order can prohibit any activities that may harm the species or the habitat necessary for its survival or recovery. Under SARA, the federal environment Minister has a mandatory duty to recommend that Cabinet make an emergency order if he or she is of the opinion that the species faces “imminent threats to its survival or recovery”.