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.
- For guidance on developing your WMMP, consult the WMMP Process and Content Guidelines
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.
- Find out more about your responsibilities under the federal Species at Risk Act
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.
- The Bathurst Caribou Range Plan was developed in 2019. For more information, visit the webpage for the GNWT Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC).
- Work is underway to develop five regional range plans for boreal caribou across the NWT. The Interim Range Plan for Boreal Caribou in the Wek’èezhìı Region was released in 2022. For more information on boreal caribou range planning, visit the webpage for the GNWT Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC).
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.
Developers are encouraged to submit data on wildlife sightings and other wildlife monitoring to ECC’s Wildlife Management Information System (WMIS). Contact WMISTeam@gov.nt.ca to discuss the best way to submit your data.
For sightings of NWT species at risk, you can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Report migratory bird observations to www.ebird.org or the Canadian Wildlife Service’s NWT-NU Checklist.
Species at risk in the NWT:
Species at risk in Canada:
- Canadian Wildlife Service - email@example.com
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada - www.aquaticspeciesatrisk.ca
- Parks Canada Agency - www.pc.gc.ca
Wildlife management and monitoring plans in the NWT:
Environmental impact assessments in the NWT:
- Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board - www.reviewboard.ca
- Environmental Impact Review Board, Inuvialuit Settlement Region - www.eirb.ca
- Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board – www.mvlwb.com
Best management practices
- Got Bats? NWT Guide for Managing Bats in Buildings
- Best Management Practices for Bats in British Columbia (practices apply to the NWT)
- Northwest Territories Beekeeping Best Management Practices
- Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) in sandpits and quarries
- Northern Land Use Guidelines (various)
- A guide to your responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act
- DRAFT Guidelines for Exploration and Development Projects in Boreal Caribou Habitat in the Northwest Territories (2022)
Developing a Wildlife Management and Monitoring Plan
- WMMP Process and Content Guidelines
- Designated habitat under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act (there is currently no designated habitat in the NWT)
- Critical habitat under the Species at Risk Act (see recovery strategy for individual species on the federal Species at Risk Public Registry)
Permitting and assessment
- Regulations and Permits under the Species at Risk (NWT) Act
- MVLWB Guide to the Water Licensing Process (2021)
- MVLWB Guide to the Land Use Permitting Process (2021)
- EISC Environmental Impact Screening Guidelines (2021)
- DRAFT EIRB Environmental Impact Review Guidelines (2022)
- Addressing Species at Risk Act Considerations Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act for Species Under the Responsibility of the Minister responsible for Environment Canada and Parks Canada (2010)
- NWT Species and Habitat Viewer
- Species at Risk at a Glance
- Species at Risk Act public registry (Canada)
- Schedule 1 (List of Wildlife Species at Risk) (Canada)
- Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (federal)
- Species at Risk Committee (NWT)
- NWT List of Species at Risk (NWT)
- General Status Ranks of Wild Species in the NWT
- NWT Species Monitoring Infobase
- NWT Virtual Herbarium (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Species at Risk Act and Species at Risk (NWT) Act