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Environment and Conservation
March 18, 2009

Extensions Granted for Plans for Two Species in the Province

In accordance with the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation, has granted extensions for the preparation of a management plan for the gray-cheeked thrush and a recovery plan for the red knot, two species of birds in the province.

“We make every effort to ensure that any species we feel is compromised in the province is subject to the appropriate planning and development of plans which will help set the course for their future,” said Minister Johnson. “Whenever we determine that a species is vulnerable, threatened or endangered, we must ensure we exercise due diligence in determining the best approach for its survival. Both plans are well underway, and neither species will be put at further risk because of the delay.”

Under the province’s Endangered Species Act, the gray-cheeked thrush is listed as vulnerable, while the red knot is listed as endangered. The one-year extension, given for the preparation of a management plan for the gray-cheeked thrush, will extend the deadline date to February 20, 2010. A six-month extension has been granted for the preparation of a recovery plan for the red knot until August 22, 2009. Additional time is required to properly complete the plans, as well as carry out appropriate consultation and review. The act states that the minister is required to notify the public of the reason for the delays.

The gray-cheeked thrush is a small songbird which breeds across North America, including Newfoundland and Labrador. Recently, its numbers have experienced a decline that warrants it being considered a vulnerable species, rather than threatened or endangered. Although the reasons for the decline are not well understood, habitat loss, particularly on its wintering grounds, is thought to be a contributing factor.

The red knot is a shorebird which nests in the far north and is found only in Newfoundland and Labrador during mainly the fall and, occasionally, the spring migration periods. The rufa subspecies, which occurs in Newfoundland and Labrador, migrates from South America to the Canadian Arctic, and it has faced a 70 per cent decline over the past 15 years. A major known factor in the decline of this species is the depletion of horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay, on the northeast seaboard of the United States, a critical food source during its northern migration.

For more information on the Endangered Species Act, or the protection and recovery of endangered species, please visit  www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/wildlife/default.htm or call 709-637-2423.

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Media contact:
Melony O’Neill
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928
moneill@gov.nl.ca

2009 03 18                                10:05 a.m.
 


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