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Top 10 Most Endangered Species in Canada

In this article, I will be talking about the top 10 endangered species in Canada, currently, there are so many endangered animals in Canada, some of them are at the brink of extinction.

Some of the endangered animals in Canada have continued to die in their numbers while others are recovering, it is important to know that the government and the people are doing their best to save these animals.

In recent decades, there has been a rise in so many factors threading wildlife, including global warming, climate change, industrial pollution, and habitat degradation. While there seems not to be enough endangered species in Canada articles, the fact that many animal species in Canada are endangered and the beautiful work being done by the country to help these animals cannot be swept under the carpet.

How many endangered species are there in Canada?

There are over 500 endangered species in Canada with about 4% of this number heading to extinction.

Top 10 Most Endangered Species in Canada

Reading below, you will find a list and details of the top 10 endangered animals in Canada and also learn exactly why they are endangered.

  1. Reindeer
  2. Polar bear
  3. Peregrine falcon
  4. Orca
  5. Beluga whale
  6. Whooping crane
  7. Greater sage-grouse
  8. Burrowing owl
  9. Grizzly bear
  10. Killer whale.

Reindeer

Reindeer are also known as the caribou is one of the endangered species in Canada, it is a species of deer that is native to the arctic subarctic, boreal, boreal, and tundra in Eureka, Siberia, and North America.

There are 17 subspecies of reindeer in the wild, 15 of them are still in existence while 2 of the subspecies are extinct. The population of reindeer has dropped by half in the past two decades.

The subspecies of reindeer vary in size and color, the largest of them all is the boreal wood caribou while the smallest is the Svalbard reindeer.

Male and female reindeers grow antlers annually, but not all the females grow antlers, the percentage of females that grow antlers vary among the different population of reindeers. The antlers of the males are all larger than that of the females.

People who live in the artic rely on the reindeer for shelter, clothing, and food. They hunt and rear reindeer for their meat, hide, milk and antlers, they are also used in transportation.

Reindeers have a gestation period of seven and half months, they have a lifespan of 15 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.

During the winter, reindeers feed on lichens which they reach by digging in the snow. They live in groups of 6 to 13 individuals. The species have been on the list of endangered species in Canada for decades


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Location: Reindeer can e found in the boreal and arctic tundra forests across, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and Scandinavia.

Diet: They have a wide range of diets, but they feed mostly on fungi, leaves, shoots, grasses, mosses, ferns, and herbs.

Length: They grow between 5.3 and 6.9 feet.

The number of surviving individuals: There are about 2 million reindeers in the world and about 8,500 reindeers in Canada.

Weight: They weigh an average of 80 to 180 kilograms, but are known to sometimes exceed 250 kilograms.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. The main reason they are one of the endangered species in Canada is climate change.
  2. Starvation due to extra layers of ice covering lichens because of climate change.
  3. Low-reproduction rate.
  4. Malnutrition.
  5. Ineffective land use planning.
  6. Shifting vegetation.

Polar Bear

The polar bear is one of the endangered species in Canada, it is also the largest known living predator on land, it is also the largest of all species of bears, polar bears mostly give birth but they spend most of their lives on the sea ice.

Polar bears are maritime animals and perfect swimmers, they also depend on sea ice for survival. They can stay up to 3 minutes underwater, polar bears also hunt while underwater.

Adult polar bears have no natural predators except fellow polar bears, young polar bears are sometimes killed by wolves and other carnivores.

The polar bear has great adaption to live in the hostile environment of ice and open sea, yet they find themselves on the list of endangered species in Canada.

Polar bears store fat when there is prey available and live off on the stored fat whenever there is no available prey. Despite these adaptations, polar bears are one of the endangered species in Canada.

Polar bears actually have a jet-black coloration but because of the translucent nature of their fur, they appear to be white as the fur reflects the light around it.

Polar bears are very poor hunters, with only about 2 percent hunting success. They possess a very powerful and effective sense of smell, which helps them to detect prey at distances up to a mile away.


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Location: Polar bears can be found in Canada and other parts of the arctic circle.

Diet: Polar bears are omnivores and scavengers.

Length: Male adult polar bears measure between 7 to 9 feet while females measure between 5 to 7 feet.

The number of surviving individuals: There are about 27,000 polar bears in the wild.

Weight: Male polar bears weigh between 350 to 700 kilograms on average, while

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Habitat destruction.
  2. Global warming.
  3. Prey unavailability.
  4. Oil and gas mining.

Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcon is currently one of the endangered species in Canada, it is known as the duck hawk in North America, the peregrine falcon is a large species of falcons and also a bird of prey.

The feathers on the back of peregrine falcons are usually bluish-gray, they also possess black-colored heads and white underbellies. The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird in the world, with a speed reaching 320 kilometers per hour while diving to catch prey, it is also the fastest animal in the world. The highest measured speed of a falcon is 389 kilometers per hour.

Female peregrine falcons are larger than the male, the peregrine falcons take one year to grow to sexual maturity and they mate till the end of their lifetime, as one of the endangered species in Canada, the peregrine falcon is protected and conserved in the wild and captivity.

Peregrine falcons live between 7 to 15 years on average, they are migratory and are the most powerful species of falcons. They have a powerful vision, eight times more efficient than that of humans, thus they can see prey from as far as 3 kilometers.

The nostrils of peregrine falcons are shaped in such a way that the high-pressure wind they come against while diving doesn’t damage their lungs, they also possess a third transparent eyelid that keeps dirt away while they dive without obstructed vision.


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Location: They can be found in nearly all countries of the world.

Diet: They are carnivores.

Length: It has an average body length of 14 to 19 inches and an average wingspan of 3.3 to 3.6 feet.

The number of surviving individuals: There are about 7,000 peregrine falcons in Canada.

Weight: They have an average weight of 0.55 to 1.25 kilograms.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Habitat encroachment and destruction.
  2. Excessive hunting.
  3. Prey unavailability.
  4. Widespread use of organochloride pesticides.

Beluga Whale

The Beluga whale is one of the endangered species in Canada, it is found in the artic and sub-artic, it is also called the white whale and Sea canary, because of its color and high-pitched sounds it makes.

The beluga whales are larger than dolphins and smaller than whales, they possess no dorsal fins; this feature allows them to win under ice sheets with ease. They are usually white, it uses echolocation like whale,s and possesses a highly developed sense of hearing, these capabilities allow them to find breathing holes under ice sheets.

Beluga whales live in groups of about 10 individuals except during the summer when they can be found gathering in groups of hundreds and thousands in the coastal areas, they are deep divers but slow swimmers, with the ability to dive 2,300 feet (700 meters) below the water surface.

They are migratory, but some of the populations are sedentary. The beluga whale was first included in the list of endangered species in the year 2008, though protected by the law, they have remained one of the endangered species in Canada.

The Beluga whales are born dark gray and they lose their pigmentation as they mature, the organ of echolocation; called the melon, is located at the center of its head, the melon is flexible and changes shape as it emits sound.


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Location: The are arctic and sub-arctic waters.

Diet: The diet of Beluga whales vary which changes seasons and food availability.

Length: They grow between 8.5 and 22 feet on average.

The number of surviving individuals: There are less than  200,000 beluga whales in the world.

Weight: They weigh between 680 and 1,100 kilograms on average, but can weigh over 1,500 kilograms.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. They are hunted by polar bears and killer whales.
  2. Uncontrolled hunting by humans.
  3. Contamination of water bodies with synthetic chemicals.
  4. Climate change.
  5. Spread of infectious diseases.

Whooping Crane

The whooping crane is a species of bird, its name is derived from its whooping and long crane-like neck, it is one of the endangered species in Canada despite its long lifespan of 22 to 24 years, the species were pushed to the brink of extinction in 1941.

The whooping crane is one of two crane species native to North America, adult whooping cranes have white colorations, black wingtips(visible during flight), and red crowns, coupled with long, black, and pointed bills. During flight, they keep their necks and legs straight with the legs trailing behind their bodies.

They are one of the largest species of crane in the world, the species is the tallest of all native American birds, and also one of the heaviest species on the continent.
They can give loud calls which can be heard several kilometers away, they make these calls for various purposes including warning of potential danger, “unison call”, courtship call, and call for the defense of territory.

The only known self-sustaining population of whooping cranes breeds in Canada and spend their winters in Texas, despite conservation efforts put in place, the species still have a place among the top 10 endangered species in Florida.


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Location: They migrate around Canada, Mexico, and America.

Diet: They feed on some aquatic invertebrates, small vertebrates, and plant products.

Length: They have a wingspan between 6.58 and 7.58 feet on average.

The number of surviving individuals: There are less than 1,000 whooping cranes in the wild.

Weight: Males weigh an average of 7.3 kilograms, while females weigh an average of 6.2 kilograms.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Hunting by natural predators, prominent among them is the black bear.
  2. Excessive hunting by humans.
  3. Habitat destruction.

Greater Sage-grouse

The greater sage-grouse is one of the endangered species in Canada, it is also called a “sage hen”, it is the largest species of grouse in North America

The greater sage-grouse is a non-migratory bird, although it may move short distances from its breeding space to lower elevations during winter, the greater sage-grouse makes its nest under sage brushes or grass patches.

Adult male sage-grouse usually has a grayish color, dark-brown throat, white breast, black belly, a yellow patch over each eye, and two yellowish sacs on the neck, while the adult female has a gray-brown coloration, dark belly, and light-brown throat.

They do not eat hard seeds because they are unable to digest them because of the non-muscular nature of their crop. The females lay eggs in clutches of 6 to 8 eggs, with an incubation time of 25 to 27 days, the species suffer a high rate of nest desertion, these are some of the reasons they are one of the endangered species in Canada today.


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Location: They can be found in some parts of Canada and America.

Diet: The juveniles eat mostly insects, while adults are more herbivores with their diet comprising mainly of forb and sagebrush plants.

Length: Adult males have an average length range between 66 and 76 centimeters, while females grow between 48 and 58 centimeters on average.

The number of surviving individuals: It is estimated that there are about 200,000 to 500,000 individuals.

Weight: Adult males weigh between 1.8 and 3.1 kilograms on average, while females weigh between 0.9 and 1.8 kilograms.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Habitat loss.
  2. Hunting by natural predators.
  3. Habitat fragmentation.
  4. Encroachment by invasive species.
  5. The intimidating position provided by power lines to its arboreal predators.

Burrowing Owl

The burrowing owl is one of the endangered species in Canada, they are one of the few species of owls that are active during the day though they hunt mostly at night, they are found living in open grasslands and making nests and roosts in burrows often made by some other animals(most prairie dogs).

The adults are small in size, possess long legs, bright eyes, white eyebrows, white chin patch, blackish yellow or grey beaks, flattened facial discs, grey legs, brown heads, wings with white spots, and no ear tufts.

The species show little sexual dimorphism, with the males having longer body parts and the females weighing more. The juvenile burrowing owls appear to be similar to the adults but possess buff bars across their upper wing, lack white spots, and may possess buff-colored breasts.

The nesting season for burrowing owls usually starts in late March or April, they have one mating pair except for males who occasionally have two, they can tolerate human presence in their habitat to some extent. Human activities remain the number one factor keeping them on the list of endangered species in Canada.


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Location: They can be found in North America, South America, Colorado, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada.

Diet: They are omnivores feeding mostly on beetles, grasshoppers, forbs, and sagebrushes.

Length: They have an average length of 19 to 28 centimeters and an average wingspan between 50.8 and 61 centimeters.

The number of surviving individuals: It’s estimated that there are less than 10,000 breeding pairs.

Weight: They weigh between 0.14 and 0.24 kilograms on average.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Misuse of pesticides.
  2. Poisoning of prairie dog colonies.
  3. Road accidents.
  4. Habitat loss and fragmentation.

Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly bear is one of tyhe endangered species in Canada, it is  subspecies of the brown bear, it is also called the ‘North American brown bear’. The grizzly bears living in coastal areas have been found to be larger than their mates who live inland.

The color of grizzly bears range from very light brown (blonde) to dark brown, their leags are usually darker than their body and they have light-colored hair tips, they appear to be more muscular than black bears.

They also posses short round ears, unlike the black bears who possess taller ears, they also have claws which grow between 2 and 4 inches on average, which is twice longer than that of black bears who grow claws that are just 1 to 2 inches on average.

Grizzly bears who live in cold places hibernate on an annual cycle for a period of 5 to 7 months, during this period the very rarely move about and do not defecate nor urinate, each year they cosume large amounts of food and gain enormous weight in preparation for the hibernation term.

It takes an average of 5 years from birth for female grizzly bears to reach sexual maturity, and they spend five years on average to mate again after giving birth, this is one of the main factors which make them be on the list of endangered species in Canada.


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Location: They can be found in some parts of Canada, North America, and Colorado.

Diet: They are carnivores and eat a variety of plants, insects, animal, and fish.

Length: They have an average length of 6.5 feet.

The number of surviving individuals: There are about 2,000 grizzly bears in the wild.

Weight: The females weigh 130 to 180 kilograms on average, while the males weigh an average 180 to 360 kilograms.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Habitat destruction due to industrial activitie.
  2. Excessive hunting.
  3. environmental pollution.

 

Killer Whale

The killer whale, also known as orca, it isone of the endangered species in Canada, it’s a toothed whale. One fun fack to learn about killer whales is that they are not whales actually, but the largest species of dolphins out there.

This species possess sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviour, despite the name “killer whale”, there is no documentation of a fatal attack by the species against humans to date.

The pectoral fins of killer whale are large and have rounded tips which gives the a padle-like look, with those of the females way too smaller than those of the males, they also possess snouts with rounded tips unlike the other species.

Thee killer whale shows a high level of sexual dimorphism which is vheery much observed just by looking at the fin sizes, they also possess a complicated set of teeth which aids them in hunting, the position of the species among the endangered species in Canada is still unclear.


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Location: They can be found in nearly all categories of water bodies and in all oceans of the world.

Diet: Killer whales are carnivores and prey non nearly all aquatic organisms, even the great white shark.

Length: On average, males grow 20 to 26 feet, while females grow 16bto 20 feet.

The number of surviving individuals: It is estimated to be above 50,000, athough there is the problem of data deficiency.

Weight: Males weigh about 6 tons while females weigh 3 to 4 tons.

Reasons Why They Are Endangered

  1. Pollution of water bodies with PCBs.
  2. Hunting.
  3. Excessive fishing leading to prey unavailability.

Summary

This is a concise list of some of the prominent endangered species in Canada at the time of writing this article, it’s is good to note the are not arranged in any order, but randomly mentioned and discussed.

Recommendations.

  1. Top 7 Most Endangered Species in Florida.
  2. Top 15 Endangered Species in the Philippines.
  3. Top 10 Most Endangered Animals in Africa.
  4. Top 10 Endangered Marine Animals.
  5. Top 5 Endangered Species in India.

 

 

 

 

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