By Tyler Sutherland
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is adding five animal, plant species and two ecosystems to its threatened or endangered list.
“Manitoba is known for its diverse wildlife and ecosystems, and our government is taking bold, pioneering action to protect them,” said Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff. “By protecting precious species and ecosystems, we ensure a healthier environment for future generations of Manitobans.”
The following species will be declared threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.
- Olive sided flycatcher — threatened
- Little brown bat — endangered
- Northern long-eared bat — endangered
- Gastony’s cliffbrake — endangered
- Canada warbler — downgraded from endangered to threatened
Manitoba will also become the first province in Canada to designate ecosystems as endangered under the act, a change that will protect at-risk species that rely on the habitat found within such ecosystems:
- Tall grass prairie — a complex ecosystem that is host to a vast array of grasses, flowers and wildlife. Tall grass prairie has declined from historical ranges by more than 90 percent.
- Alvar — a plant community of thin soil over limestone in the Interlake region. Alvar is globally rare and found only in a few provinces and states in North America, making it an important habitat for a variety of birds, reptiles, mammals and insects.
The province is also proposing the creation of a roughly 2,600 hectare ecosystem protection zone for alvar in the Interlake.