14 Wednesday December 9 2015 ENVIRONMENT WILDLIFE 6.8103 in x 6.3125 in Western toad named threatened species in NWT By CRAIG GILBERT Western toads across the Northwest Ter- ritories can let out a croak of relief now that they are on the verge of being added to the GNWTs list of Species at Risk as a threat- ened species meaning it is likely to become endangered if nothing is done and could be gone from the NWT in our childrens lifetimes. They are far from out of the woods as their natural habitat extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast and from southern Alaska to Baja up to 3600 me- tres above sea level in the west plus western Alberta and several states and five distinct populations in Yukons Liard River Basin. Listed in the federal Species at Risk Pub- lic Directory the Western toad is the only World Conservation Union IUCN desig- nated endangered or red-listed amphib- ian that occurs in Canada. The NWT Spe- cies at Risk Act is complementary to fed- eral legislation of the same name but de- fers to local land claim agreements in the case of a conflict. The Western toad will breed in an im- pressive range of habitats according to the federal government from lakeshores to roadside ditches but has suffered declines in the United States and Mexico. The decision made by consensus was that of the Conference of Management Authori- ties CMA which was created in 2010 and includes wildlife co-management boards established under land claim agreements WMACNWT GRRB SRRB WRRB the GNWT the Tlicho government and the government of Canada. A signed copy was delivered to the Envi- ronment and Natural Resources ministry on Nov. 27. The next environment minister is required to add the Western toad to the species at risk list within three months. No automatic prohi- bitions for species or habitat come into effect upon listing which remains in effect for 10 years but a recovery strategy must be com- pleted within two years because the toad is further classied as threatened. Jody Pellissey CMA chair said the GNWT wouldbeaddingtheWesterntoadtoitsbroader NWT Amphibian Management Plan which will include plans for three species of frog - boreal chorus wood and northern leopard - and one other toad the Canadian only the Western toad and northern leopard frog are classied as threatened. The management requirements are similar for these species and the northern leopard frog was listed as threatened earlier this year. Hands off that hairy braya The CMA also approved a recovery strategy for the hairy pilose braya a long-lived peren- nial plant in the mustard family found only in the NWT. It was already listed as threatened at the territorial level and is being considered for the federal SARA. The plants are between 4.5 and 12 centime- tres tall arising from a tuft of basal leaves with white owers arranged in dense clusters. Thehairybrayaswastherstrecoverystrat- egy created under the Species at Risk Act since it came into effect in 2010. The Western toads would be the second. Everyspeciesplaysanimportantroleinthe environment Pellissey said. Losing a species canhaveimpactsthatwemaynotevenbeableto predict.TheNWTisluckytostillhavesomuch unspoiledwildernessandhabitatforspeciesthat are in trouble in the rest of Canada like boreal woodland caribou and wood bison. Because of that we also have a big responsibility to take careofthesespecies.Weallhavearesponsibil- ity to help conserve biodiversity. A wide variety of information is available at www.nwtspeciesatrisk.ca. PhotoWikipedia Losing a species can have impacts that we may not even be able to predict. Jody Pellissey Conference of Management Authorities The western toad has been declared a threatened species in the Northwest Territories.