Nova Scotia Adds to Endangered Species List

Department of Natural Resources

October 24, 2003 10:26 AM

Four Nova Scotia species -- two plants, a mammal, and a reptile -
- 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
reverse the decline of these species are not taken.

The first is the mainland moose. For more than 200 years it has
seen a drop in numbers and distribution and now only about 1,000
creatures are left in small populations across the mainland part
of the province.

The second species, the boreal felt lichen, currently exists in
only one site in Nova Scotia. In the 1980s there were more than
40 known sites.

The tubercled spike rush, a species of Atlantic coastal plains
plant, is listed as threatened. It is found nowhere else in
Canada but on the shores of five lakes in Nova Scotia.

The fourth species, the Eastern ribbon snake, is a semi-aquatic
snake that is confined to the southwest part of the province. The
species is threatened by habitat loss due to shoreline
development.

"Assessing wildlife species that are considered to be at risk is
the first step. It is through the efforts of the Species at Risk
Working Group that we, as a government, are able to identify and
protect species at risk under the legislation," said Natural
Resources Minister Richard Hurlburt. "Individual landowners and
organizations outside government are important in the recovery of
these species. 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 the
species or their habitat. The act includes fines for people
caught harming species or their habitat.

Nova Scotia was the first province to bring in this kind of
legislation. A total of 24 species have now been placed under its
protection in Nova Scotia.

The complete list of species at risk is available at
www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/endngrd/specieslist.htm .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Two plants, a mammal and a reptile are being added to

species protected by the province's Endangered Species Act.

     The boreal felt lichen and mainland moose population are

classified as endangered. They could become extinct in Nova

Scotia if steps to stop the decline in these species are not

taken.

     The tubercled spike rush, a coastal plains plant found along

Nova Scotia lake shores, is listed as threatened.

     The fourth species is the Eastern ribbon snake. It is also

listed as threatened because is restricted to specialized

habitats and little is known about the species. Its habitat is

threatened by shoreline development.

     Twenty-four species in the province are now protected by

endangered species legislation. The act includes fines for people

caught harming protected species or their habitat.

-30-

Contact: Mary Anna Jollymore
         Natural Resources
         902-424-2354
         E-mail: jollymmt@gov.ns.ca


kjd         October 24, 2003         10:24 A.M.