What is a species at risk?

A species at risk is a plant or animal that is in danger of disappearing if something is not done to help it.

Why protect species at risk?

Protecting the full range of life on earth sustains the health of our planet. There are billions of species in the world, many not yet discovered. It is estimated that a species goes extinct every 20 minutes. By protecting our local species at risk we help to protect global diversity.

How are we helping species at risk?

All animals and plants are protected inside Banff National Park but species at risk need extra help.

We are helping to recover species at risk by:

  • Locating and protecting critical habitat (for example bat hibernacula).
  • Monitoring populations of at risk species.
  • Restoring grasslands and open forests critical to many species at risk.
  • Taking steps to protect native species from introduced species and diseases.


Species at Risk Act (SARA) 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 threatened if actions are not taken to reduce biological threats or human impact
Special Concern: sensitive to human activities or natural events but not endangered or threatened

Species at risk in Banff National Park

 The following species are listed as endangered or threatened, as of March 1, 2020:


Little brown Myotis
Whitebark Pine
Banff Springs Snail
Black Swift


Olive-sided Flycatcher
Common Nighthawk
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Westslope Cutthroat Trout (AB population)
Bull Trout (Saskatchewan – Nelson Rivers population)

Special Concern

American Badger (taxus subspecies)
Evening Grosbeak
Grizzly Bear (Western population)
Harris’ Sparrow
Horned Grebe (Western population)
Long-billed Curlew
Peregrine Falcon anatum/tundrius
Rusty Blackbird
Vivid Dancer
Western Grebe
Western Toad (calling population)