The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) was created in 1977 as a result of a decision made at the Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Wildlife Directors held in 1976 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It arose from the need for a single, official, scientifically sound, national classification of wildlife species at risk.
COSEWIC made its first status designations in April 1978 and has met annually since then. With time and experience, COSEWIC developed and periodically modified its operating procedures, the categories of risk and their definitions, and it's assessment procedures. Even after over twenty-five years of existence, COSEWIC continues to evolve and to fine-tune its operations in an effort to do its job in the best possible manner.
In June 2003, the Species at Risk Act (SARA) (www.sararegistry.gc.ca) established COSEWIC as an advisory body, thus ensuring that wildlife species will continue to be assessed using the best available scientific and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge. Under SARA, the government of Canada will take COSEWIC's designations into consideration when establishing the legal list of wildlife species at risk.
COSEWIC Secretariat c/o Canadian Wildlife Service Environment Canada