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NatureServe Canada's Annual Report 2016-17
NatureServe Canada
Canada is home to an estimated 140,000 species, only about half of which have been scientifically identified. These plants, animals, lichens, and fungi belong to
a vast organic tapestry—the diversity of life at genetic, species, and ecosystem levels. This biodiversity is vital for environmental, economic, and social health.
Extinction is part of nature. However, in the past 200 years the rate of extinction worldwide has greatly accelerated. Species are now being lost at 1000 to 10,000
times the natural background rate. Ninety-nine percent of species at risk are in trouble because of human activity and by the middle of the 21st century some 30% to 50%
of all species could disappear. At least 381 species and 188 subspecies or varieties which occur in Canada are at notable risk of extinction, including 128 species and 85
subspecies and varieties found only in Canada.
For biodiversity to endure it is imperative that sound knowledge about it be maintained and made widely available. At NatureServe Canada, our vision is a future where the
natural heritage of Canada is documented, where that information is readily available, and where the conservation of biodiversity and resource decision-making in Canada
are guided by high quality scientific data and information. Our mission: to be the authoritative, primary source of accessible, current, and reliable information on the
distribution and abundance of Canada’s natural diversity—especially species and ecosystems of conservation concern.
NatureServe Canada's Annual Report 2016-17