The plight of Canada’s endangered species is a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Many species are at risk of becoming extinct, and it is up to us to do what we can to protect them.
The wildlife in Canada is incredibly diverse, with species ranging from the common such as deer and moose to the more exotic, like eagles and bears. However, there are also many endangered species in Canada, many of which are at risk of becoming extinct.
This blog post will look at some of the most endangered species in Canada and what is being done to save them.
Most Endangered Animals in Canada
Here is our list of the most endangered Canadian animals:
1. Vancouver Island Marmot
The Vancouver Island marmot is a ground squirrel found only on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. These animals are shy and elusive, so they are not often seen by humans. Unfortunately, they are also the most endangered mammal in Canada.
They are threatened by habitat loss, predators, and disease. The Vancouver Island marmot is a keystone animal species, which means that their health is indicative of the overall health of their ecosystem.
For this reason, it is essential to protect these animals. There are several ways to help the Vancouver Island Marmot population recover.
Helped lead a conservation effort that saved the marmot from extinction. The effort included fundraising, awareness-raising, captive breeding, working with local communities to create habitat zones, and supporting organizations like The Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation.
The Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation is a charity dedicated to conserving the Vancouver Island marmot, a species of squirrel native to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
See Related: Endangered Species in Florida You Need to Know
2. North Atlantic Right Whale
The North Atlantic right whale is a large marine mammal that can grow up to 60 feet long. These whales get their name from being the “right” whale to hunt because of their size and the fact that they float when killed. Sadly, this led to their near extinction in the early 1900s.
Although the whale hunting of right whales is now outlawed, they are still struggling to recover. Today, there are only around 350 Atlantic right whales remaining. They are endangered by ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat destruction.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) helps conserve these species. The WWF has made significant progress in protecting the North Atlantic right whale. A shift of the shipping routes in Canada’s Bay of Fundy in 2003 reduced the chance of whale ship strikes by up to 80% in Canadian waters.
3. Beluga Whale
The beluga whale is one of the most endangered wildlife species in Canada. They are very social creatures and can often be seen swimming in groups.
Belugas are also known to be very friendly and curious, making them a popular choice for marine parks and zoos.
However, the beluga whale populations have been declining due to several factors, including pollution, hunting, and climate change. As a result, the beluga whale is now listed as an endangered species.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses recovery plans to protect habitats, minimize noise disturbance, rescue stranded whales, and has a ready oil spill response plan.
See Related: West African Manatee
4. Harlequin Duck
The Harlequin Duck is one of the most endangered bird species in Canada, especially of those in the Eastern part of Canada from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. These ducks prefer cold, fast-flowing rivers and streams, but their habitat is being destroyed by development and pollution.
Climate change is also making it harder for the ducks to find food. Additionally, a management plan has been developed for the eastern region of Canada (Environment Canada 2007). The Harlequin Duck is protected under the Species at Risk Act, and the Canadian government is working to preserve its habitat.
5. American Badger
The American Badger is a wildlife species native to North America and is listed as being threatened species in Canada. There are several reasons why this species is at risk, including loss of habitat, roadkill, and hunting.
The American Badger is a small animal with a black and white coat, and it spends most of its time underground in burrows. These animals are nocturnal, so they are primarily active at night.
Many organizations are working to help the American badger, including the Nature Conservancy Canada, which raises funds through donations, and the Province of Ontario’s recovery strategy that aims to protect habitats. The organization works to protect badger habitats and raise awareness about these animals’ importance.
See Related: Five-Letter Animals in the World
6. Northern Leopard Frog
The Northern leopard frog is a native species of frog and one of the endangered frogs in Canada. The frog is currently listed as endangered by the Canadian government.
Although the eastern population species is not endangered, the Rocky Mountain variety is. The Northern leopard frog is believed to have declined due to several factors, including habitat fragmentation and degradation, disease, and climate change.
Many organizations and individuals are working to help the Northern leopard frog. One of these organizations is the Wilder Institute, which creates a conservation program from captive breeding to reintroducing the species to suitable locations.
7. Blue Whale
The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth and can weigh up to 200 tons. It is also one of the most endangered animal species in Canada.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada designated the Northwest Atlantic blue whale population as endangered. The blue whale is threatened by climate change, ship strikes, and fishing nets.
It is important to garner support for conservation efforts. Additionally, many organizations are working to protect blue whales and their habitats. One of the organizations that work on conserving these marine animals is the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation.
A group that aims to be the proactive representative of the threatened Blue Whales in Atlantic Canada. They strongly advocate for research, awareness, and responsible management of this crucial marine ecosystem.
See Related: Sperm Whale
8. Rusty-patched Bumblebee
The Rusty-patched Bumblebee is a bee species native to North America. The Rusty-patched Bumblebee is threatened by many factors, including loss of habitat, disease, and pesticide use.
Several things are being done to help these bees, including creating a reserve for them, tracking their populations, and educating people on how to help protect these bees.
According to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and the Species at Risk Act of the federal government, the natural habitat of this species can be found in both Ontario and Quebec.
The goal of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) is to aid in the recovery of endangered species and stop endangered species from going extinct in the first place.
It leads to the homeowner, gardener, farmer, and pesticide applicator being able to take preventative measures such as protecting pollinators like the rusty patched bumble bee through action.
9. Peary Caribou
The Peary caribou is one of the most endangered species in Canada. It is a medium-sized subspecies of reindeer found only in the High Arctic.
The population of Peary caribou has declined sharply in recent years, and there are now only about 1,000 individuals remaining. The main threats to the species are habitat fragmentation and hunting.
The International Union endangers the Peary caribou for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The species is under the protection of the Canadian Species at Risk Act.
The government of Canada has established a Recovery Strategy for the Peary Caribou, which includes measures to protect its habitat and reduce threats from hunting.
Several organizations are working to help protect these animals and their habitat. The Canadian Wildlife Service has a recovery strategy for the Peary Caribou. This plan includes actions such as monitoring populations and conducting research.
The government of Canada wants to promote the conservation of a national park, the restoration of healthy, resilient ecosystems, and the recovery of species at risk.
See Related: Do Bullet Proof Animals Exist? Here’s What You Need to Know
10. Grizzly Bear
Believe it or not, the Grizzly bear is one of the most endangered species in Canada. Their population has decreased significantly in the last century. They are now considered a threatened species, unlike the polar bear on the list of Québec, Newfoundland, and Labrador, which is a vulnerable species.
The main threats to grizzly bears are habitat destruction, human-bear conflicts, and trophy hunting.
Many things are being done to help these bears, including creating protected areas for them to live in, working with landowners to encourage bear-safe practices, and studying their populations to better understand how to protect them.
A Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan has been created in Canada’s Alberta province, which aims to safeguard and preserve the species through a study of species distribution and population changes and ensure safe and accessible habitat for grizzly bears.
See Related: Fun Bear Facts that You Didn’t Need
11. Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee
The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is one of the most endangered species in Canada. The main reason for the decline in their population is the loss of their natural habitat. They need a specific type of meadow to survive, and with the increasing development of land in Canada, these meadows are disappearing.
The use of pesticides and herbicides also threatens the bee. These chemicals can kill the bees or make it difficult for them to find food.
These species are one of the most important pollinators of wildflowers in Canada. If their population continues to decline, it could seriously impact their ecosystems.
The Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is the most endangered species in Canada. It is being threatened by habitat loss, parasites, and climate change. Currently, efforts are underway to help protect this species, including research and habitat protection.
The Province of Ontario’s bee recovery plan identifies the requirements for its habitat, the species’ threats, and how to eliminate them.
12. Bowhead Whale
The Bowhead Whale is an endangered species of whale. There are only a few hundred of these whales left in the world, and they are found in the waters around Canada.
The Bowhead Whale is a very large animal and can grow up to 60 feet long. Humans hunt these whales, and their population has declined for many years.
The primary threat to the Bowhead Whale is hunting. These animals were once hunted extensively by humans, and their population has never recovered. Today, there are only a few hundred of these whales left in the world, and they continue to be at risk from hunting.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada and other conservation organizations are working to protect endangered animals, including the bowhead whales. It includes reducing threats from shipping and oil and gas development in the Arctic.
The community of Clyde River, located in Northeast Baffin Island, Canada, has collaborated with the WWF to assist in documenting and protecting an important feeding habitat for bowhead whales.
See Related: Killer Whale
13. Sea Otter
Sea otters are a species of otter native to the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean coasts. They are members of the weasel family and are the smallest marine mammal globally, with an average body length of only about four feet.
Despite their small size, sea otters are very powerful predators and play a vital role in the marine ecosystem.
Unfortunately, sea otters are also one of the most endangered animals in Canada. Although hunting sea otters is now illegal, they face many threats, including oil spills, disease, and habitat destruction.
The sea otter is a species that is currently on the endangered species list. Many things are being done to help preserve this species and keep them from going extinct. One of the things being done is creating protected areas for them to live in. It gives Lakes-St. Lawrence region of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
Sea otters are protected by the Wildlife Act and Regulations of Ontario. The provincial government created the Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve in 1981, which encompasses over 30,000 hectares of marine habitat and about 3% of the Area of Occurrence for the species in Canada.
14. Greater Sage-Grouse
The Greater Sage-Grouse is a bird found in the sagebrush grasslands of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It is one of the endangered birds in Canada. These animals are declining in numbers due to habitat fragmentation and fragmentation. Fewer than 2,000 Greater Sage-Grouse are remaining in the wild.
Efforts are underway to help the Greater Sage-Grouse, including habitat conservation and restoration, predator control, and research.
The Greater Sage-Grouse is protected by both the Species at Risk Act and the Canada National Parks Act. Additional provincial protection for this species is provided under the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act and the Alberta Wildlife Act, respectively.
It is against the law to injure, kill, or gather the eggs of adult birds, and it is also illegal to damage nesting areas that birds are already occupying.
See Related: Forest Owlet
15. Atlantic Whitefish
The Atlantic Whitefish is a type of fish found in the freshwater lakes and rivers of Nova Scotia. They are threatened by habitat fragmentation, pollution, and predation. There are thought to be fewer than 1,000 Atlantic Whitefish remaining in the wild.
The Atlantic Whitefish is being threatened by overfishing and loss of habitat, so the Canadian government has listed it as a species at risk. Several conservation measures are in place to help protect the fish, including fishing restrictions and habitat restoration projects.
Nova Scotia’s Atlantic whitefish population has been stabilized and expanded as part of a new recovery strategy and action plan announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
16. Piping Plover
The Piping Plover is a type of bird found on beaches along the coast of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. They are threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, and predation.
The recovery plan for the bird is based on monitoring, protecting, and stewarding by volunteers and partners who collaborate to assist this species at risk with the Province of Ontario recovery strategy.
See Related: Black Crowned Crane
17. Whooping Crane
Whooping Cranes are one of the largest birds in North America, standing at over five feet tall with a wingspan of up to eight feet. They are mostly white with black wingtips, and they have a reddish-brown patch on their heads.
Whooping Cranes are found in the wetlands of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where they nest and breed. Whooping Cranes mate for life, and they typically lay two eggs per year.
Although Whooping Cranes were once abundant, their population has declined sharply due to habitat loss and hunting. Today, fewer than 500 Whooping Cranes remain in the wild.
The Canadian Wildlife Service established the Whooping Crane Recovery Team to conserve and protect this species. The team’s efforts have included captive breeding and reintroduction programs and habitat protection and management.
There were only 21 Whooping Cranes left in 1941, but there are now 79 today due to the conservation effort.
18. Baird’s Sparrow
The Baird’s Sparrow is a small songbird found in parts of North America. The sparrow is named after Spencer Fullerton Baird, an American naturalist. The bird is brown, streaked white, and has a long, narrow bill. It is found in open grasslands and prairies and is a common bird in the western United States and Canada.
However, the Baird’s Sparrow is classified as an endangered species in Canada. The bird population has declined sharply in recent years. The main threat to the Baird’s Sparrow is habitat destruction.
This bird’s protection is provided in part by ABC, a non-profit conservation group. ABC’s goal is to protect and restore native grasslands in the breeding and wintering areas of the species.
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19. Leatherback Sea Turtle
The leatherback sea turtle is one of the most endangered species in Canada. These turtles can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and grow up to seven feet long.
They are the largest sea turtles globally and can live up to 50 years. Leatherback sea turtles can be found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide. In Canada, they are found off the coast of British Columbia and Newfoundland.
These turtles are endangered because of hunting and egg collection. They are also threatened by pollution and climate change.
Conservation has put into place several measures to protect the leatherback sea turtle. These include creating nesting beaches, regulating fisheries, and protecting critical habitats.
Canadian Sea Turtle Network (CSTN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving endangered sea turtles in Canadian seas and around the world.
20. Blanding’s Turtle
The Blanding’s Turtle is a species of turtle found in Canada. It is considered a critically endangered species, and there are concerns that it may soon become extinct.
There are several reasons for the decline of the Blanding Turtle population. One major factor is habitat destruction, as wetlands are destroyed or degraded for development purposes.
Another issue is the illegal trade in turtles, as some collectors prize them. Additionally, Blanding’s Turtles are often killed on roads as they cross them, searching for suitable habitat.
The Canadian government has taken steps to protect the Blanding’s Turtle, but more needs to be done to ensure its survival. For example, more needs to be done to stop turtles’ illegal trade and protect their habitat.
Many organizations and individuals are working to help the Blanding’s Turtle. The Canadian Wildlife Federation is just one example. It is a non-profit organization that aims to protect animals, working to protect the habitat of the Blanding’s Turtle and raise awareness about this endangered species.
Federally mandated conservation efforts in Nova Scotia, including the protection of critical nesting habitats and evaluation of incubation and head-starting effectiveness, and the relocation of adults and hatchlings, is part of the Wildlife Preservation Society of California’s recovery plan for Blanding’s turtle populations.
See Related: Loggerhead Sea Turtle
21. Northern Bobwhite
The Northern Bobwhite is a quail species native to North America. The species is classified as endangered in Canada and is at risk of becoming extinct. The primary threats to the species are habitat degradation, hunting, and predation. The Northern Bobwhite is protected under the Canadian Species at Risk Act.
The Northern Bobwhite is being threatened by loss of habitat and hunting. There are efforts underway to help this species, including establishing wildlife refuges and promoting hunting regulations that protect this bird.
Partners in Flight, a land bird conservation organization focusing on many species, has included the species in its strategy. To protect the species, the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) has brought together 25 state departments of fish and wildlife and other conservation groups.
The Bobolink is a small songbird found in open fields and meadows across North America. The Bobolink is considered a wildlife species at risk in Canada, with fewer than 5000 individuals estimated to remain.
There are some threats to the Bobolink’s survival, including loss of habitat, pesticides, and climate change. Despite being a small bird, the Bobolink plays an important role in the ecosystem, and its loss would be felt throughout the food chain.
If you’re lucky enough to spot a Bobolink in the wild, take a moment to appreciate this beautiful creature – it may not be around for much longer.
Many organizations and individuals are working to help Bobolink, including the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. These groups are working to protect and restore the Bobolink’s natural habitat.
For grassland birds like the Bobolink, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) works hard to preserve grassland habitats such as prairies, savannahs, and other grasslands.
23. Buff-breasted Sandpiper
The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a small, brown bird breed in the prairies and northern Great Plains of North America. It winters in Central America and South America. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is considered one of the most endangered species in Canada.
There are estimated to be only 1,000 individuals left in the wild. The main threat to the Buff-breasted Sandpiper is habitat destruction due to development and agriculture.
There are many things that you can do to help the Buff-breasted Sandpiper. You can support organizations working to protect their habitat, and you can spread the word about this endangered species.
Two pieces of legislation safeguard the Buff-breasted Sandpiper: the Migratory Birds Convention Act in Canada and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States.
24. Burrowing Owl
The Burrowing owl is a small, long-legged owl found in North and South America. This owl gets its name from its habit of nesting and roosting in underground caves, such as those abandoned by other animals. Burrowing owls are called “hill owls” or “ground owls.”
Several things are being done to help this owl, including establishing new Burrowing owl colonies, providing artificial nest boxes, and improving habitat quality.
A recovery team working under the auspices of RENEW formulated a recovery strategy for the Burrowing Owl in 1995, and that strategy was subsequently amended in 2002. (Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife).
The long-term objective of the plan is to increase the population of Burrowing Owls in Canada to such a level that they can provide for themselves.
25. Canada Warbler
The Canada Warbler is a small songbird that is found in North America. This warbler is sexually dimorphic, meaning that the males and females have different plumage.
The male Canada Warbler has a bright yellow head and breast, with a rusty brown back. The female is duller in coloration, with a grayish-brown head and breast.
The Canada Warbler breeds in coniferous forests in Canada and the northern United States. It is a migratory bird wintering in South America. This warbler is insectivorous, eating insects such as beetles, ants, and spiders.
The Canada Warbler is a small songbird threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. Many conservation initiatives are in place to help this species, including creating new habitat areas, fundraising, and public education.
The Canada Warbler International Conservation Initiative was established in 2013 during Ottawa’s BirdLife International Global Congress. The congress brought together Nature Canada, Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada, and BirdLife International (CWICI) representatives.
26. Collared Pika
The Collared Pika is a small, furry creature that is found in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. It is considered a threatened species because its population is in decline. This decline has several reasons, including climate change, invasive species, and habitat loss.
The Collared Pika is an adaptable animal and can live in various habitats. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to find suitable habitats as the climate changes and more land is developed for human use.
It means that their population is likely to continue declining unless action is taken to protect their habitat.
Several things can be done to help the Collared Pika, including protecting their habitats, monitoring populations, and educating the public about this species. With the help of humans, we can ensure that the Collared Pika does not become extinct.
In Canada, there are around 78,000 square kilometers worth of protected areas that have been set aside for the Collared Pika.
In the Canadian provinces of Yukon and British Columbia, non-Indigenous people are not permitted to kill or capture the Collared Pika. It is unknown whether the Collared Pika even lives in the Northwest Territories.
See Related: Giant Armadillo
27. Eastern Cougar
The Eastern Cougar is a subspecies of the cougar found in eastern North America. The Appalachian Mountain lion is also known as puma, panther, or catamount.
There are many conservation efforts for Eastern Cougar in Canada. One organization, The Eastern Cougar Foundation, is dedicated to preserving this species.
They work to educate the public about the importance of these animals and raise funds for research and recovery efforts. In addition, the Canadian government has put into place protections for cougars under the Species.
28. Gray Fox
Gray Foxes are one of the most endangered species in Canada. They are currently listed as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
Only 1,000-2,000 individuals remain in the wild, making them a critically endangered species.
The Gray Fox is one of the most endangered species in Canada. Many things are being done to help these animals, including creating sanctuaries for them and working on ways to help their population grow.
Protection for the Gray Fox can be found in the Species at Risk Act (SARA) of the United States and Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.
See Related: Red Wolf
29. Horned Grebe
The Horned Grebe is a species of waterbird that is native species to North America. The bird is named for the two long, curved feathers that protrude from its head, which resemble horns. The bird is mostly black or dark brown, with a white belly and chest.
The Horned Grebe is a medium-sized bird, measuring about 30 cm in length and weighing approximately 150 grams. The bird is found in freshwater lakes and rivers, where it feeds on fish, insects, and other small aquatic creatures.
The Horned Grebe is categorized as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with a declining population trend.
Many organizations and individuals are working to help the Horned Grebe, including the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Horned Grebe Recovery Team. These groups are working to protect and restore the habitat of the Horned Grebe.
30. Louisiana Waterthrush
The Louisiana Waterthrush is a small, brown songbird found in eastern North America. Despite being common in some areas, the Louisiana Waterthrush is considered endangered in Canada.
Several factors have led to this bird’s decline, including habitat loss, climate change, and predation. In addition, the Louisiana Waterthrush is also at risk from introduced species, such as the Common Tern.
As its name suggests, the Louisiana Waterthrush prefers to live near water sources, such as streams or rivers. However, many of these habitats have been lost or degraded due to development and pollution.
In addition, climate change is causing the Louisiana Waterthrush’s breeding grounds to shift northward, outside of its current range. As a result, the bird struggles to find a suitable habitat to nest and raise its young.
In addition to habitat destruction, the Louisiana Waterthrush is also threatened by predation. Birds such as the Cooper’s Hawk and the Northern Shrike are known to prey on the Louisiana Waterthrush, and as these predators become more common in the bird’s range, the waterthrush population is likely to decline.
Several things are being done to help the Louisiana Waterthrush. One is to protect and restore its habitat. This involves working with private landowners to create or enhance existing wetlands and reduce pollution and prevent habitat loss from development.
Environment Canada published a Management Plan for the species in 2012, which listed several of the most significant steps that could be taken to protect the species’ existing population size and range. This was done to prevent the extinction of the species.
See Related: Crowned Eagle
The wolverine is a fierce and hardy animal, but it is also one of the most endangered species in Canada. The eastern population of this species is particularly at risk, with only a few hundred animals remaining in the wild. Wolverines are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as by hunting and trapping.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species, but more needs to be done to ensure its long-term survival. Wolverine populations have declined sharply in recent years, and if more is not done to protect this species, it could disappear entirely from the eastern forests.
The wolverine is currently being considered for protection under the Species at Risk Act. Several organizations are working to help protect the wolverine, including the Wolverine Foundation and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
Bonus: Endangered Plants in Canada
Western Blue Flag
The Western Blue Flag is a threatened species in Canada. It is found in only a few locations in the country, and its numbers are declining. The main threat to the Western Blue Flag is habitat loss, as it requires specific types of wetlands to thrive.
There are various conservation programs to help protect this species and its habitat. For example, landowners are encouraged to plant milkweed and other nectar plants to create suitable habitat conditions.
Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus is a threatened species found in Canada. It is listed as threatened due to its limited range and declining population. The cactus is found in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.
The main threat to the cactus is habitat loss and degradation. The cactus requires open, sunny areas for growth and reproduction. As development occurs in its range, the suitable habitat for the cactus decreases. It can lead to a decline in the population of the cactus.
These plants are also protected under the Species at Risk Act.
Does Canada have an endangered species list?
Yes, Canada has an endangered species list.
How many animals are endangered in Canada?
In Canada, it’s estimated around 554 animal species are at risk of extinction.
How many species are extinct in Canada?
While they may be found in other parts of the world, at least 18 animal species once found in Canada are now extinct.