OTTAWA — For the first time, Canadian biologists have come up with a list of plants, insects and animals that don’t exist in any other country and many of them are in danger of extinction if they haven’t died out already.
Nature Conservancy of Canada biologist Dan Kraus says he was surprised there wasn’t a comprehensive list of species endemic to Canada, so he decided to make one.
His initial findings show 308 species and subspecies that have only been found to exist in Canada including 21 butterflies, 40 moths, 21 mammals and 11 birds.
Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct, including the Dawson caribou and Labrador duck.
Kraus says he is hoping the list will spur additional research to identify and protect endemic species because there is “no plan B” for them.
He says the list is a work in progress, with more than 160 additional species listed as possibly endemic and other new ones being identified all the time.