SPECIES

Which species are assessed

The committee assesses any Ontario species that may be experiencing declines, based on research by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry staff or reports from other sources. It can also reassess any species already listed as at risk.

The committee must also put on their list for assessment any plant or animal native to Ontario that has been assessed by its national counterpart, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

See what species will be considered next

How species are classified

The committee uses the best available scientific information, including community knowledge and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge, to determine whether a plant or animal should be listed as at risk. The committee usually meets twice a year.

When a species is listed at risk, the classification applies throughout Ontario, unless otherwise noted. In some cases, different geographic populations of the same species face different threats, and are classified separately.

See the document outlining the categories and criteria for status assessment used by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO).

Categories of at risk status

The committee classifies the species into categories based on the degree of risk they face.

Species at risk are classified in 1 of 4 categories:

Extirpated 

Lives somewhere in the world, and at one time lived in the wild in Ontario, but no longer lives in the wild in Ontario.

Endangered 

Lives in the wild in Ontario but is facing imminent extinction or extirpation.

Threatened

Lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening it.

Special concern

Lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered or threatened, but may become threatened or endangered due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

A species may also be classified by the committee as Not at Risk, if it does not meet the criteria for any of the above categories or, as Data Deficient if there is not enough information to make a decision as to its status.

See complete list of species at risk in Ontario

What happens after a species is assessed

COSSARO submits a report on its work (including the classification of each species assessed) to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry on an annual basis. In addition to annual reporting, the committee may submit a report classifying a species to the Minister at any time. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry must amend the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) list regulation (O. Reg 230/08) three months following the Minister’s receipt of a report from COSSARO. Once the regulation has been changed, the species is protected based on its classification. Please visit the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website for further information about how species at risk are protected.

Species assessment reports

Species assessments reports are detailed technical documents that contain information such as the population size, and threats. Please note that species assessed prior to December 2013 were classified according to COSSARO’s previous criteria. For further information please contact us at COSSAROSecretariat@ontario.ca.

This searchable table includes the species assessed by COSSARO from 2013 – 2016, including current status, a link to COSSARO’s assessment report, and a link to the Ontario government species page (if applicable).

Common NameScientific NameAssessment YearStatusAssessment Report
ColicrootAletris farinosa2016ENDRead the report
Unisexual Ambystoma (Blue-spotted Salamander dependent population)Ambystoma (2) laterale – jeffersonianum2016NARRead the report
Unisexual Ambystoma (Jefferson Salamander dependent population)Ambystoma laterale – (2) jeffersonianum2016ENDRead the report
Unisexual Ambystoma (Small-mouthed Salamander dependent population)Ambystoma laterale – texanum2016ENDRead the report
Spiny SoftshellApalone spinifera2016ENDRead the report
Nine spotted Lady BeetleCoccinella novemnotata2016ENDRead the report
Eastern Persius DuskywingErynnis persius persius2016EXPRead the report
Pygmy Pocket MossFissidens exilis2016DDRead the report
Spotted GarLepisosteus oculatus2016ENDRead the report
Northern Sunfish (Saskatchewan – Nelson River populations)Lepomis peltastes2016NARRead the report
Northern Sunfish (Great Lakes – upper St. Lawrence populations)Lepomis peltastes2016SCRead the report
River RedhorseMoxostoma carinatum2016SCRead the report
Lake Erie WatersnakeNerodia sipedon insularum2016SCRead the report
Louisiana WaterthrushParkesia motacilla2016THRRead the report
River Darter (Great Lakes – upper St. Lawrence populations)Percina schumardi2016ENDRead the report
River Darter (Southern Hudson Bay – James Bay populations)Percina schumardi2016NARRead the report
River Darter (Saskatchewan – Nelson River populations)Percina schumardi2016NARRead the report
Hoptree BorerPrays atomocella2016ENDRead the report
Common HoptreePtelea trifoliata2016SCRead the report
Porter's Twisted MossTortula porter2016NARRead the report
Lake Huron GrasshopperTrimerotropis huroniana2016THRRead the report
Gray FoxUrocyon cinereoargenteus2016THRRead the report
RainbowVillosa iris2016SCRead the report
Proud GlobeletPatera pennsylvanica2016ENDRead the report
Broad-banded ForestsnailAllogona profunda2015ENDRead the report
Black-foam LichenAnzia colpodes2015DDRead the report
Yellow-banded Bumble BeeBombus terricola2015SCRead the report
Algonquin WolfCanis sp.2015THRRead the report
Spotted TurtleClemmys guttata2015ENDRead the report
Small White Lady’s SlipperCypripedium candidum2015ENDRead the report
Grass PickerelEsox americanus vermiculatus2015SCRead the report
Blue AshFraxinus quadrangulata2015THRRead the report
Eastern MilksnakeLampropeltis triangulum2015NARRead the report
WarmouthLepomis gulosus2015ENDRead the report
Spotted SuckerMinytrema melanops2015SCRead the report
Red MulberryMorus rubra2015ENDRead the report
Black RedhorseMoxostoma duquesnei2015THRRead the report
Tri-coloured BatPerimyotis subflavus2015ENDRead the report
Red-necked PhalaropePhalaropus lobatus2015SCRead the report
Caribou (Boreal population) (add pdf link to each spices)Rangifer tarandus2015THRRead the report
Lowland ToothcupRotala ramosior2015ENDRead the report
Eastern Box TurtleTerrapene carolina2015EXPRead the report
Small-mouthed SalamanderAmbystoma texanum2014ENDRead the report
Grasshopper SparrowAmmodramus savannarum2014SCRead the report
Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble BeeBombus bohemicus2014ENDRead the report
Piping PloverCharadrius melodus2014ENDRead the report
Cutlip MinnowExoglossum maxillingua2014THRRead the report
WolverineGulo gulo2014THRRead the report
Loggerhead ShrikeLanius ludovicianus2014ENDRead the report
Flooded JellyskinLeptogium rivulare2014NARRead the report
Round PigtoePleurobema sintoxia2014ENDRead the report
American Badger (Southwestern population)Taxidea taxus jacksoni2014ENDRead the report
American Badger (Northwestern population)Taxidea taxus taxus2014ENDRead the report
Eastern Tiger SalamanderAmbystoma tigrinum2013EXTRead the report
American EelAnguilla rostrata2013ENDRead the report
Northern BobwhiteColinus virginianus2013ENDRead the report
Eastern Wood-peweeContopus virens2013SCRead the report
Mottled DuskywingErynnis martialis2013ENDRead the report
Northern Map TurtleGraptemys geographica2013SCRead the report
Wood ThrushHylocichla mustelina2013SCRead the report
Slender Bush-cloverLespedeza virginica2013ENDRead the report
Eastern Small-footed MyotisMyotis leibii2013ENDRead the report
Pugnose ShinerNotropis anogenus2013THRRead the report
Bridle ShinerNotropis bifrenatus2013SCRead the report
Threehorn WartybackObliquaria reflexa2013THRRead the report
Round HickorynutObovaria subrotunda2013ENDRead the report
KidneyshellPtychobranchus fasciolaris2013ENDRead the report
Bank SwallowRiparia riparia2013THRRead the report
Massasauga (Great Lakes St. Lawrence population)Sistrurus catenatus2013THRRead the report
Massasauga (Carolinian population)Sistrurus catenatus2013ENDRead the report
Eastern Musk TurtleSternotherus odoratus2013SCRead the report
Riverine ClubtailStylurus amnicola2013ENDRead the report
Crooked-stem AsterSymphyotrichum prenanthoides2013SCRead the report
Eastern RibbonsnakeThamnophis sauritus2013SCRead the report
LilliputToxolasma parvum2013THRRead the report
END
– Endangered  
THR
– Threatened
EXP
– Extirpated 
SC
– Special Concern 
NAR
– Not at Risk 
DD
– Data Deficient 

Report a species sighting

If you observed a species and would like to report it, please visit the how to report a rare species sighting page on Ontario.ca.