Species at risk are plants and animals that may not exist in the future and need our help. Most species are at risk because of human activities and can recover if we reduce the threats to their survival. Species are assessed by experts and are listed under federal and/or provincial laws if they are determined to be at risk of becoming extinct. There are over 650 legally listed species at risk in Canada, over 65 in Nova Scotia, and over 25 in our coastal and offshore waters.
Once a species is determined to be at risk it is placed in one of six status categories depending on how close it is to extinction within Nova Scotia or Canada. The six categories are as follows:




No longer living anywhere on the planet


No longer living in a particular region (country, province) but still exists elsewhere


Facing imminent extinction


Likely to become endangered if the threats to its survival are not reversed


Sensitive to activities that may make it endangered or threatened


Not at risk of extinction

All living things, big and small, have intrinsic value. Each species in an ecosystem is connected to one another and contributes to the biodiversity of the area. If an animal or plant is in decline the reasons that are causing its decline will likely affect other species, including us. The environment looks after us all - trees provide fresh air to breathe and wetlands purify and clean our water. Species at risk act as indicators of the health of our environment and if they are impacted we will ultimately be as well. We need to take care of our environment so it can take care of us, and all that depend on it.