In 2019, hobby naturalists and citizen scientists within the Nature Nova Scotia network, including Halifax Field Naturalists and Blomidon Naturalists Society, sought out the services of Juniper Law and together launched a judicial review of the province’s management of Species At Risk. In 2020, the Supreme Court found the Nova Scotia government failed to adequately protect several SAR by not completing recovery reports on time, not identifying core habitat for listed species, or not reviewing existing reports by the legislated deadline. We are now following the Department’s progress as they catch up on these requirements under the NS Endangered Species Act and updating our members and supporters accordingly.
Read our updates on the actions taken for the Species At Risk listed in the judicial review to date:
- Spring 2020 (4 years late): NS Adopts Federal Recovery Plan for the Wood Turtle
- Fall 2020 (11 years late): NS Releases Rams Head Lady Slipper Recovery Plan
- Fall 2021 (18 years late): NS Releases Moose Recovery Plan with Required Population Goal and Core Habitat Identification
- Winter 2021 (6 years late): NS Adopts Federal Recovery Plan for the Canada Warbler
That average citizens had to take our own government to court in order to get action on already-existing legislation quickly made news across the country in early 2020 and made Nova Scotia a national embarassment. Though we are happy that our provincial government is finally moving on these outstanding listed species and we are impressed with many of the recommendations in the Mainland Moose Recovery Plan, in particular, we are still skeptical of government commitment to Species At Risk. Many species are still waiting for their required Recovery Plans, identification of Core Habitat, or other planning components required under the Endangered Species Act. We are also concerned that Species At Risk conservation measures may too often end at the conclusion of the planning process, as our government continues to delay implementation of the Lahey Report, has developed a reputation for secret land sales, and continues to allow development in sensitive habitats like wetlands.
You Can Help
Write to your representative and share your concerns for our rarest wildlife. Ask them what they are doing to improve government transparency, ensure deadlines are met, and protect our Species At Risk.
Nature depends on it.