Canada has many diverse ecosystems which are home to different animal species. However, due to human activities such as overexploitation and conversion of grasslands into agricultural land, some of these species have been on a rapid decline with some nearing extinction. According to the IUCN, there are about 26 endangered species in Canada out of which five are critically endangered. The Canadian government and other local and international bodies have initiated several recoveries and conservation efforts such as introducing legislation and establishing protected areas.
Endangered Animals Of Canada
The Bocaccio rockfish is a critically endangered species in the rockfish family. The fish occupies shallow waters with rocky reefs, piers, floats, and kelp beds during the juvenile stages shifting to deeper and cooler waters with deep reefs as they grow. In Canada, the fish is found along the coasts of British Columbia. Recreational and commercial fishing have been responsible for the decreasing populations of the species. The Bocaccio rockfish has a longer shelf-life - making it a major target among fishers.
The Eskimo curlew is another critically endangered Canadian bird species. The shore bird, previously found in large populations in Canada’s western Arctic tundra, has become rare due to overhunting for food. In Canada, the bird is fully protected under the law, with its hunting outlawed. Other factors such as habitat loss due to encroachment by human activities such as agriculture have also contributed to the declining population.
The Roundnose grenadier is a ray-finned fish, and a critically endangered species of the Atlantic Ocean. The fish has been exploited since the 1960s as a source of food and is loved for its pleasantly textured white meat. The fish occupies Canadian waters at Labrador, Newfoundland, and the Davis Strait. Other populations are found in Iceland, Greenland, Baffin Island, and Norway. Though fishing has been regulated across the North Atlantic waters, deep fishing still captures populations of the grenadier. The recovery chances of the species remain low due to slow growth and maturity rates.
The Shortnose Cisco is another critically endangered freshwater fish previously found in large populations in the Great Lakes of Canada. Some wildlife conservation bodies consider the species extinct due to its rare occurrence. Currently, the species is restricted within Lake Huron. Environmental degradation, interbreeding, commercial overexploitation, and predation by other species (especially introduced species) are identified as the primary factors behind the drastic decline and near extinction of the Shortnose cisco fish.
Vancouver Island Marmot
The Vancouver Island marmot is a critically endangered rodent species and one of the world’s rarest species endemic to mountains of Vancouver Island. The Vancouver Island marmot is a rodent in the squirrel family. Factors such as predation and habitat loss and alterations due to human activities and climate have contributed more to their decrease than increase. Predators of the Marmot include the golden eagle, wolves, and cougars. Conservation efforts such as captive breeding have been made by several bodies such as the Toronto Zoo to keep the species from extinction.
Other Endangered Species Of Canada
Also on the list of endangered animals of Canada are the American eel, the Atlantic Bluefin tuna, the Atlantic halibut, the black-footed ferret, the Blanding’s turtle, the blue whale, and the copper redhorse.