Terms of Reference
Information for identification of candidate critical habitat of Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus)
Regional Peer Review - Pacific Region
May 30, 2023
Chairperson: Paul Grant
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is responsible for identifying the critical habitat for aquatic species at risk listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as Threatened, Endangered or Extirpated. Under SARA, Critical Habitat is defined as “the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species' critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species” and under section 41.1 of the Act must be identified to the extent possible, based on the best available information.
Little Quarry Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and Little Quarry Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback (G. aculeatus) were assessed as Threatened by Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2015. Information on Little Quarry stickleback was previously published within the COSEWIC Status Report (COSEWIC 2015) and the Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA; DFO 2018). In addition, there is guidance for the use of a bounding box approach for critical habitat determinationFootnote 1 and in the updated recovery strategy for similar populations (i.e. DFO 2019).
Given a pending SARA listing decision, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Species at Risk Program has requested that Science Branch provide information for identification of candidate critical habitat of these species including spatial attributes and the function, features, and attributes of this habitat across life stages. The assessment and advice arising from this Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Science Response (SR) process will be used by the Species at Risk Program.
The specific objectives of this review are to:
Review information available on the habitat necessary for survival and recovery of Little Quarry Lake Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks and identify the function, features, and attributes of this habitat across life stages.
Present candidate critical habitat spatial attributes.
- Science Response
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) (Science, Species at Risk)
- University of British Columbia
- COSEWIC. 2015. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Little Quarry Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback and the Little Quarry Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. xiii + 37 pp.
- DFO. 2018. Recovery potential assessment for the Little Quarry Lake Stickleback species pair (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Resp. 2018/006.
- DFO. 2019. Recovery strategy for the Paxton Lake, Enos Lake, and Venanda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. ix + 45pp.
Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.
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