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Kootenay National Park

Species At Risk

From plants to birds to reptiles to mammals, national parks play a role in protecting species at risk for the benefit of future generations.
Protecting species at risk is a priority in Canada's national parks.
© Parks Canada

What is a species at risk?
A Species At Risk is one that requires special considerations for its conservation. Some species have suffered significant declines in their numbers or distribution and are on the path toward local and, perhaps, global extinction. These species require immediate help while others need attention to ensure they don't start down this path.

Why worry about species at risk?
Protecting the full range of life on earth sustains the health and beauty of our planet. A rich diversity of species is reflective of a healthy and functioning ecosystem.

How are species at risk protected in national parks?
Through the Canada National Parks Act, all plants, animals and natural objects in national parks are protected. Parks Canada gives special attention to species listed in the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and to those that have been assessed as being of conservation concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Species At Risk Act rankings:
Extinct: Gone forever
Extirpated: Locally, regionally or nationally extinct, but exists elsewhere in the wild
Endangered: Facing imminent extirpation or extinction if nothing is done to reverse the threats
Threatened: Likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the threats
Special Concern: Sensitive to human activities or natural events, but not an endangered or threatened species

SARA species at risk that regularly occur in Banff (BNP), Kootenay (KNP), or Yoho (YNP) national parks
*COSEWIC listed, not yet SARA listed


Banff longnose dace (BNP)


American badger, subspecies jeffersonii (KNP)
Banff Springs snail (BNP)
*Black swift
Little brown myotis (BNP, YNP, KNP)
*Limber pine (BNP, KNP, YNP)
Whitebark pine (BNP, KNP, YNP)
*Woodland caribou - central mountain population (BNP)


Common nighthawk (BNP, KNP)
Olive-sided flycatcher (BNP, YNP, KNP)
*Bank swallow (BNP, KNP, YNP)
*Barn swallow (BNP, KNP, YNP)
*Bull trout (BNP)
*Plains bison (BNP)
Westslope cutthroat trout - Alberta population (BNP)

Special Concern

*American badger - taxus (BNP)
*Grizzly bear - western population (BNP, YNP, KNP)
Rubber boa (KNP)
Rusty blackbird (BNP)
*Vivid dancer
Westslope cutthroat trout - BC population (YNP, KNP)
Western grebe (BNP)
Western toad (BNP, YNP, KNP)
*Wolverine (BNP, YNP, KNP)

Find out more

Parks Canada
Environment Canada
British Columbia