Auditor General’s Report: make species at risk a higher priority

Common Nighthawk, photo by Gary L. Clark on Wikipedia

Common Nighthawk, a Threatened species that breeds in the Backlands. Photo by Gary L. Clark (Wikipedia)

In his spring report, Auditor General Michael Pickup says the Department of Natural Resources needs to make the 60 species at risk a bigger priority. It is often late in developing and updating plans to recover species. Monitoring of species at risk also needs improvement to know whether progress has been made. The full report and related videos are available at

Amongst the 60 Species at Risk for Nova Scotia, five are found in the Backlands or were recorded as breeding there relatively recently: Rusty Blackbird & Canada Warbler which are classified as Endangered are known from historical breeding bird surveys, also Whip‐poor‐wil, a Threatened species; The Common Nighthawk (a Threatened species) has been confirmed as breeding in the backlands recently; finally the mainland moose (Endangered) was last sighted this past winter. View Fulton Lavender’s reports for more about birds and bird habitat in the Backlands, and Moose & Corridors for more about the Chebucto Moose. In addition, the Backlands currently host significant populations of three plant species that are potentially at risk, but are not Legally Listed Species under the NS Endangered Species Act: Mountain Sandwort (S2). Golden Heather(S2) and Lesser Brown Sedge (S3). Further, the Jack Pine/Broom Crowberry Barrens are a globally rare community type. See Ecological Assessment of the Plant Communities of the Williams Lake Backlands for more about the flora, and Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre for more about the s-ranks.

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