Species at risk are species that have had a significant decline in population in a certain area. This includes plants, insects, reptiles, birds, mammals – any living wildlife. Species can be designated provincially at risk (numbers have declined substantially in a province/territory), or federally at risk (numbers have declined across all of Canada).
Species at risk are in danger of becoming extinct (gone from the world) like the dinosaurs or extirpated (gone from a certain part of the world) like the wolf in Nova Scotia. Species at risk are usually at risk because of environmental or human-induced changes to them or their habitat on a local, regional or global scale.
Rare species occur in low numbers or inhabit extremely restricted areas. Not all rare species are at risk.
There are billions of species in the world, many not yet discovered. The rate at which species go extinct has been estimated to be one species every twenty minutes!
This is a cause for concern and emphasizes the importance of assessing and protecting species at risk.