Prince Edward Island has a highly fragmented natural landscape borne out of a history of colonization that saw extensive land conversion to agriculture. Habitat loss, human disturbance and competition from invasive species continue to present challenges for wildlife.
Island Nature Trust has a constitutional mandate to protect wildlife and that includes those that are residents, migratory and all species at risk. As our capacity allows, we work in partnership with federal and provincial government departments to monitor and protect species-at-risk in PEI. We also conduct research and outreach programming focused on wildlife and their habitats.
In Canada, species at risk are identified by the independent Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and classed as Endangered, Threatened, Special Concern, Extinct or Extirpated. The Committee’s recommendation for listing a species in one of these categories is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the best available scientific data. Legal protection for these species may then be afforded under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and sometimes also using provincial legislation. PEI does not have an Act that pertains specifically to species at risk. The Prince Edward Island Wildlife Conservation Act includes provisions for the protection of some species at risk and their habitats. Of the 789 species listed on the SARA registry as “at risk”, 33 are native to PEI. Provincially uncommon species are also ranked by the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre (ACCDC) for Prince Edward Island. ACCDC provides a rank of S1 (critically imperilled, known from 5 or fewer PEI locations), S2 (imperilled, 20 or fewer) or S3 (vulnerable, 80 or fewer) for provincially uncommon native plants and animals.