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Identification of Important Habitat for Northern Bottlenose Whale (Scotian Shelf Population)

National Peer Review - National Captial Region

Febrary 20-24, 2023
Montreal, Quebec

Chairperson: Véronique Lesage


There are two populations of Northern Bottlenose Whales (NBW) in Canada. The Scotian Shelf population, estimated at approximately 140 individuals, is listed as Endangered on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The Baffin Bay-Davis Strait-Labrador Sea population was assessed by COSEWIC as Special Concern in May 2011, and is being considered for listing on Schedule 1 SARA.

Critical habitat for the NBW, Scotian Shelf population, was identified in the Recovery Strategy using the best available information at the time of publication (2009-10). Critical habitat currently includes three canyons on the Eastern Scotian Shelf (Gully, Shortland, and Haldimand Canyons). Acoustic monitoring in and between these canyons using bottom-mounted data recorders since 2012 has provided new information upon which important habitat may be delineated, and which was evaluated in 2019.

A broader assessment of important habitat is sought, covering the full range of the Scotian Shelf population, outside of the areas already identified as important habitat. This information will be used to determine whether additional critical habitat should be identified for this population under SARA.


DFO Science is requested to present any data available to support identification of additional important habitat areas, and to:

  1. provide their locations, spatial extents, and temporal uses;
  2. assess their biophysical functions, features, and attributes;
  3. identify the activities likely to destroy their functions, features, and attributes.

Expected Publications

Expected Participation


Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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