COSEWIC Assessment Process, Categories and Guidelines
Approved by COSEWIC in November 2021
Printable version (PDF - 363 kB)
Overview of the COSEWIC Process 1
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) exists to provide Canadians and their governments with advice regarding the status of Wildlife Species that are nationally at risk of extinction or extirpation.
The COSEWIC process is divided into three sequential steps, each of which has a tangible outcome.
- selection of Wildlife Species requiring assessment - the COSEWIC Candidate List
- compilation of available data, knowledge and information - the COSEWIC status report
- assessment of a Wildlife Species' risk of extinction or extirpation and subsequent designation - the record of COSEWIC assessment results.
- Candidate Wildlife Species
- Identifying Candidate Wildlife Species
- Eligibility of Candidate Wildlife Species
- Assessing the Relative Priority of Candidate Wildlife Species
- Status report
- Commissioning new status reports and updates
- Status report review and approval process
- Status assessment and designation
List of Tables
- Table 1. Determining eligibility of Wildlife Species for status assessment.
- Table 2. Quantitative criteria and guidelines for the status assessment of Wildlife Species.
- Table 3. Guidelines for modifying status assessment based on rescue effect.
- Table 4. Policy for modifying status assessment based on quantitative criteria.
- Table 5. Status categories.
- Table 6. Guidelines on transferring between status categories during a reassessment (based on IUCN 2019).
- Table 7. Guidelines on two non-consecutive plausible threat categories (based on IUCN 2019).
- Table 8. Definitions associated with quantitative criteria.
Gardenfors, U., J.P .Rodriquez, C. Hilton Taylor, C. Hyslop, G. Mace, S. Molur and S. Poss. 1999. Draft guidelines for the application of Red List criteria at national and regional levels. Species 31 32:58 70.
IUCN (2001, 2012). IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. Available at http://www.iucnredlist.org/
IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. 2010. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version . Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee in March 2010. Downloadable from http://intranet.iucn.org/webfiles/doc/SSC/RedList/RedListGuidelines.pdf
IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. 2011. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 9.0. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee in September 2011. Downloadable from http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf
IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. 2019. Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 14. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Downloadable from http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf
IUCN. 2019. Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria. Version 14 (August 2019). Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Committee. Website: http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf.
Master, L.L., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Bittman, G.A. Hammerson, B. Heidel, L. Ramsay, K. Snow, A. Teucher and A. Tomaino. 2012. NatureServe conservation status assessments: factors for evaluating species and ecosystems risk. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Website : http://www.natureserve.org/sites/default/files/publications/files/natureserveconservations tatusfactors_apr12_1.pdf.
Salafsky, N., D. Salzer, A.J. Stattersfield, C. Hilton-Taylor, R. Neugarten, S.H.M. Butchart, B. Collen, N. Cox, L.L. Master, S. O’Connor, and D. Wilkie. 2008. A standard lexicon for biodiversity conservation: unified classifications of threats and actions.
Conservation Biology 22:897-911.
(1)This process is used for new assessments or reassessments based on an updated status reports. The status appraisal assessment process for use with existing status reports appended with appraisal summaries is detailed in Procedures for Reviews of Classification.