Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast

Endangered Times – Spring/Summer18: 'SEARious' Science

Implementation Plans released for the Northern Goshawk, laingi ssp. (Accipiter gentilis laingi) and Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in BC.

The provinces generally produce the first iteration of recovery strategies, and management plans and are responsible for the implementation plans for recovering federally listed species at risk in Canada found within their jurisdiction. After being completed by the province, the federal government goes through the process of defining critical habitat (for threatened and endangered species only) and posting the recovery strategies and management plans on the SARA Registry as “proposed”, after which they are finalized.


The Northern Goshawk, laingi ssp. (Accipitergentilis laingi) and Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) are two species whose recovery strategies were finalized over the last few of years (2017 and 2014 respectively). However the means by which the province of BC was to accomplish recovery objectives (the implementation plan) for these two bird species was only finalized in February 2018. Implementation plans outline the “response of the provincial government to the need to manage species at risk for which management and/or recovery in British Columbia may have significant socio-economic implications.


Such government decisions are informed by science and technical information but are also made with consideration of socio-economic factors.” Directions set out in this implementation plan are intended to bring together stakeholders like local governments, landowners and land managers as well as community interests in conservation activities that contribute to the management and or recovery of a species at risk.

Each document identifies the management actions that are deemed necessary to ensure viable populations of a respective species continue to persist across their range in the conservation region they are known to occur in. Those management actions are to be based on the best available scientific and technical information but must also consider socio-economic values. The caveat is that implementing the management actions, goals and objectives identified in the implementation plan are “subject to the priorities and budgetary constraints of participatory agencies and organizations.” There is also a further caveat that states “it may also be necessary to modify these actions”. The idea is that any such changes will still uphold the original intent of the plan. Changes may also be required to “accommodate new science resulting from effectiveness monitoring of management actions and continuing research on habitat requirements, to address socio-economic objectives of the species’ management, and/or to meet direction provided by the government of British Columbia.”

Ultimately, as the provincial government notes, “Success in the management and recovery of this subspecies depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different parties that may be involved in implementing the directions set out in this plan.”

Read the implementation plan for the Northern Goshawk laingi ssp. here

Read the implementation plan for the Marbled Murrelet here

Media: B.C. to protect more habitat for coastal northern goshawk, marbled murrelet

Image Credits: NOGO Pat and tom Leeson, and MAMU Angus Wilson


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