Consensus to add Wood Bison to NWT List of Species at Risk as Threatened

Date: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Conference of Management Authorities (CMA), established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to manage and recover species at risk in the NWT, has reached consensus to add wood bison to the NWT List of Species at Risk as a 'threatened' species.

Wood bison face a number of serious threats in the NWT; in particular, infectious disease (anthrax, tuberculosis, brucellosis), predation, human-caused mortality, and habitat loss. In addition, their overall population size in the NWT is quite small (~2,500 animals total) and there is clear evidence of population decline.

The signed consensus agreement articulating this decision was provided to the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) on April 13, 2017. The Minister is required to add wood bison to the NWT List of Species at Risk within three months of receiving the consensus agreement.

There are no automatic prohibitions or protections associated with listing species under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act. The listing of wood bison as 'threatened' means a recovery strategy must be developed for the species within two years of listing.

Additional species information and supporting documentation (including the completed species status reports and assessment reports) are available at www.nwtspeciesatrisk.ca

Background:

  • The CMA was established under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act to make decisions on listing, conservation, management, and recovery of species that may be at risk of disappearing from the NWT.
  • Wildlife management authority in the NWT is shared between the Government of the Northwest Territories (through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources), wildlife co-management boards established under settled land claim agreements, and the Tlicho Government.
  • The CMA brings together all of these organizations (called 'Management Authorities') to make decisions on listing, conserving, managing, and recovering species that may be at risk of disappearing from the NWT.
  • All CMA decisions are made by consensus of the Management Authorities.