Nova Scotia Adds to Endangered Species List

Department of Natural Resources (to July 2018)

July 9, 2001 2:41 PM

Five more plants and another animal in Nova Scotia will now be
protected by the province's Endangered Species Act.

Three of the new species at risk are classified as endangered,
which means they could become extinct, at least in Nova Scotia,
at any time. They include plymouth gentian, water pennywort and
the Cape Breton population of the American marten.

The American marten is a small mammal that is not at risk
elsewhere in Canada, except in Newfoundland, where it is also
endangered. In Cape Breton, the population of this species is
very small and suitable habitat is limited. There was not enough
information to assess the status of American marten on mainland
Nova Scotia.

Of the three remaining plant species, golden crest is threatened
and New Jersey rush and Long's bulrush are vulnerable. Species
identified as threatened could become endangered. Vulnerable
species are particularly sensitive to human activities or natural
events.

The five plant species are Atlantic coastal plain plants, which
have attracted the attention of scientists and the conservation
community. Efforts to recover these species are already underway.

"It is important that we all work together to ensure that these
species will be here in the future," said Natural Resources
Minister Ernest Fage. "We know that species at risk can be
important indicators of environmental health. When we take steps
to improve the situation for species at risk we also benefit many
others, including ourselves."

The Endangered Species Act, the first of its kind in Canada, was
proclaimed in May 1999 and reflects Nova Scotia's commitment to
the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk. The
minister appointed six scientists to the Nova Scotia Species at
Risk working group, which continues to assess the status of Nova
Scotia plants and animals that may require special protection.

The legislation helps protect wildlife by banning activities that
could disturb or destroy protected species or their habitat.
Since it was passed in 1999, 16 species in Nova Scotia have been
placed under its protection. The minister can also appoint
special recovery teams to help maintain or increase plant or
animal populations.

Members of the working group include: chair Sherman Boates, Ruth
Newell, Fred Scott, Tom Herman, Liette Vasseur and Marty Leonard.
All members have extensive experience in wildlife and
conservation biology.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Five more plants and another animal in Nova Scotia will now

be protected by the province's Endangered Species Act.

     The American marten, a small mammal, and five plants now

face extinction, at least in this province, or are especially

sensitive to human activity.

     Nova Scotia was the first province to bring in this kind of

legislation, after a national agreement to protect species at

risk.

     Sixteen species in the province are now protected by the

act, which includes fines for people caught harming species or

their habitat.

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Contact: Angela Campbell
         Communications Nova Scotia
         902-424-2876
         E-mail: campbeam@gov.ns.ca

         Dr. Sherman Boates
         Natural Resources
         902-679-6146
         E-mail: boatesjs@gov.ns.ca

         Mark Elderkin        
         Natural Resources
         902-679-6219
         E-mail: elderkmf@gov.ns.ca

kjd         July 9, 2001        2:39 P.M.