Tools for Industry

Development projects in the Northwest Territories (NWT) must consider potential impacts to species at risk and their habitat as part of the environmental assessment process and when applying for permits and licences.

Which species at risk are in my project area

Developers can use the NWT Species and Habitat Viewer to explore spatial data on species, ecosystems and habitats in the NWT and identify the species at risk that occur within their area of interest. Reports generated through the viewer can provide:

  • species lists
  • range maps
  • federal and territorial species status
  • lead agency for the species
  • identified critical habitat (federal) or designated habitat (territorial)
  • information about caribou habitat and range plans

For a current list of all species at risk in the NWT, see Species at Risk at a Glance. Click on the species name to get information about the species, including a map of where the species is known to occur in the NWT.

Some species that are assessed but not currently listed may become listed within the timeframe of the project. It is best practice to consider these species as though they were listed and identify ways to avoid or minimize potential impacts.

How to avoid or minimize potential impacts

Mitigating and monitoring measures will depend on the species and its sensitivity to different kinds of activities. It will also depend on the size and expected impact of the development.

The Government of the Northwest Territories considers it a best practice for all developers to develop a Wildlife Management and Monitoring Plan (WMMP) for their project. A WMMP allows developers to demonstrate how they will mitigate the impacts of their project, remain in compliance with regulatory requirements and address public concern.

Where critical habitat has been identified for Endangered or Threatened species under the federal Species at Risk Act, it must be protected from destruction. For guidance on activities likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat, see the national recovery strategy for the species on the on the federal Species at Risk Public Registry.

Caribou range planning

Range planning is underway for several populations of caribou in the NWT, including boreal caribou and barren-ground caribou (Bathurst herd).

Range plans can help stabilize and recover caribou populations through careful management of human activity across the caribou range. They also provide clarity on land use and access for developers, regulators and residents of the NWT.

Developers can use the NWT Species and Habitat Viewer to explore spatial data on caribou habitat and range plans, and help determine how a proposed development may contribute to new habitat disturbance.

Report observations

Developers are encouraged to submit data on wildlife sightings and other wildlife monitoring to ECC’s Wildlife Management Information System (WMIS). Contact to discuss the best way to submit your data.

For sightings of NWT species at risk, you can also contact Report migratory bird observations to or the Canadian Wildlife Service’s NWT-NU Checklist.

More information

Species at risk in the NWT:

Species at risk in Canada:

Wildlife management and monitoring plans in the NWT:

Environmental impact assessments in the NWT:


Best management practices

Developing a Wildlife Management and Monitoring Plan

Permitting and assessment