News release

Nova Scotia Adds to Endangered Species List

Four species, a bird, plant, fish and mammal, in Nova Scotia will now be protected by the province's Endangered Species Act.

Two of the new species at risk are classified as endangered, which means they could become extinct in Nova Scotia if steps to remove the threats to these species are not taken. The Atlantic whitefish, a species that breeds nowhere in the world but Nova Scotia, is found in the Petite Riviere watershed and possibly the Tusket watershed. The second species, the Canada lynx, which occurred across Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island at one time, is now restricted to two areas on the island.

Redroot, a plant species found only in Canada along a few of Nova Scotia's lakeshores, is listed as threatened and could become endangered in the future if steps to improve the situation are not taken.

The fourth species is the Bicknells thrush, a species of song bird that has been identified as vulnerable because little is known about this secretive species and because of its very restricted distribution. In Nova Scotia it is currently known to be primarily located on Cape Breton Island.

"It is important that we all work together to ensure a future for these species," said Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive. "Partnerships with organizations outside government are key to the recovery of species at risk. We must also keep in mind that species at risk can be important indicators of our environmental health."

The Endangered Species Act was proclaimed in May 1999 and reflects Nova Scotia's commitment to the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk.

The legislation helps protect threatened and endangered species by prohibiting activities that could disturb or destroy these species or their habitat. With the four new additions, 20 species in Nova Scotia have been placed under the act's protection.

Photographs of two of the listed species are available on the Web sites listed below.

Atlantic whitefish:

www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/genstatus/photofishwhtfish.htm. www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/genstatus/photofishwhtfish3.htm.

Canada lynx: www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/genstatus/photoLynx.htm.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Four species -- a bird, plant, fish and mammal -- will now be protected by Nova Scotia's Endangered Species Act.

The Atlantic whitefish and Canada lynx are classified as endangered, meaning they could become extinct in Nova Scotia if steps to remove the threats are not taken.

The redroot, a plant found along Nova Scotia lakeshores, is listed as threatened. The fourth species is a song bird. The Bicknells thrush has been identified as vulnerable because little is known about it.

Nova Scotia was the first province to bring in legislation to protect species at risk.

Twenty 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:

Anne Perigo
Natural Resources 902-424-2354 E-mail:
sac            September 26, 2002       1:05 P.M.