Three Northern Leopard Frogs pictured on an open palm. The Northern Leopard Frog population across much of Western Canada declined sharply in the 1970s. The DFO recently announced annual funding to the province’s Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP). (Black Press file photo)

DFO announces project funding to at-risk species conservation programs

The two programs have approved funding for nearly 90 new projects over the next year.

Among flailing sockeye numbers and general uncertainty regarding 2019 salmon returns, the province has announced annual project funding for two species at risk conservation programs.

On Tuesday Minister Jonathan Wilkinson of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced project funding to the province’s Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk (HSP).

The two programs have approved approximately $4.5 million in funding for nearly 90 new projects combined in 2019-2020.

“Over the past 50 years, the world’s wildlife populations have declined by 60 per cent. Here in Canada, approximately 544 species have been identified as being at risk under the Species at Risk Act and the list is growing,” said Wilkinson at a press release Tuesday.

An agreement between the Carrier Sekani First Nations Tribal Council to improve monitoring of spawning White Sturgeon on the Nechako River and an agreement with the Langley Environmental Partners Society to improve the habitats of the at-risk Salish sucker and Nooksack dace in the Bertrand Creek Watershed are two examples of projects that have been proposed for funding through the DFO’s investment.

“The decline in biodiversity impacts both our natural environment, and the economy. That’s why, protecting, enhancing and conserving Canada’s species at risk and their habitats is a priority for our government. This funding will enable our partners, including Indigenous organizations across the country to improve our country’s biodiversity and the natural resources that Canadians rely on.”

READ MORE: DFO announces openings for fresh water Chinook

The DFO said that these investments will help to alleviate human threats to the habitats of aquatic species at risk, as well as support their long-term recovery over future generations.

Environment and Climate Change Canada leads on land-based aspects of AFSAR and HSP, while the DFO takes the lead on aquatic aspects of the programs.

AFSAR supports the involvement of Indigenous communities in Species at Risk Act (SARA) implementation by investing in community capacity and encouraging activities that contribute to conservation and recovery of species at risk, while HSP contributes to the recovery of endangered, theatened and other species deemed at risk by engaging Canadians in conversations surrounding conserving wildlife.

READ MORE: Telkwa angler praises DFO salmon closure

SARA was passed in 2002.

It’s goal is to protect organisms deemed endangered or threatened, while also managing species that are not yet threatened but “whose existence or habitat is in jeopardy.”

SARA has six categories for labelling species: Not at Risk, Special Concern, Threatened, Endangered, Extirpated and Extinct.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon protesters take BLM movement to Polson Park

A handful of demonstrators raised fists, signs in solidarity Friday

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Tagging Suicide Hill ‘Plan F’ for Vernon grad class

Portion of 30th Avenue hill may be closed for nearly three months if approved

Bear strolls into Vernon house

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

More research required ahead of public drinking in Vernon

City staff recommend consultation with RCMP, Interior Health Authority before taking next steps

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Most Read