Recovery Strategies are detailed plans that outline short-term objectives and long-term goals for protecting and recovering species at risk. These strategies reflect the requirements of SARA, although previously existing recovery strategies and action plans may not.
SARA recovery strategies:
- describe the particular species and its needs;
- identify threats to survival;
- classify the species' critical habitat, where possible;
- provide examples of activities that are likely to result in destruction of the critical habitat;
- set goals, objectives and approaches for species recovery;
- identify information gaps that should be addressed; and
- state when one or more action plans relating to the strategy will be completed.
Once a species is added to the list and protected officially under SARA, a recovery strategy must be developed. For endangered species, this strategy must be developed within a year of the listing; for threatened or extirpated (extinct in Canada) species, it must be developed within two years.
Action plans summarize the projects and activities required to meet recovery strategy objectives and goals. They include information on habitat, details of protection measures, and evaluation of socio-economic costs and benefits. Action plans are the second element of the Act’s two-part recovery planning process, and are used to implement projects and activities to improve species status.
Management plans differ from recovery strategies and action plans. Management plans set goals and objectives for maintaining sustainable population levels of one or more species that are particularly sensitive to environmental factors, but which are not yet considered in danger of becoming extinct. Whenever possible, management plans are prepared for multiple species on an ecosystem or landscape level.