Ministry of Environment

Wildlife Act Review

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The Wildlife Act: Managing For Sustainability In The 21st Century - Discussion Paper
Appendix 4: Definition of Wildlife

In the current Wildlife Act, the term "wildlife" is defined as follows:

"wildlife" means raptors, threatened species, endangered species, game or other species of vertebrates prescribed as wildlife and, for the purposes of sections 3 to 5, 7, 8, 84 (6.1) to (6.4), 97.1 to 98.1 and 108 (2) (v), includes fish;

Further clarification of the terms used above is as follows:

  • a "raptor" is a bird of the order Falconiformes or its egg (vultures, eagles, falcons and hawks) or a bird of the order Strigiformes (owls) and its egg;
  • a "raptor" is a bird of the order Falconiformes or its egg (vultures, eagles, falcons and hawks) or a bird of the order Strigiformes (owls) and its egg;
  • a "threatened species" is one that has been designated in regulation;
  • an "endangered species" is one that has been designated in regulation;
  • "game" includes big game, small game, game birds, fur bearing animals, and other species prescribed in regulation;
    • "big game" is defined in the Wildlife Act as:
      • any member of the family Cervidae;
      • mountain sheep, mountain goat, bison or pronghorn antelope;
      • bear, cougar or wolf; or
      • a mammal prescribed as big game in regulation;
    • "small game" means animals prescribed as small game in regulation;
    • "game bird" means a bird prescribed as a game bird in regulation and includes the eggs of that bird; and
    • "fur bearing animal" means a mammal designated as a furbearing animal in regulation;
  • "fish" means any vertebrate of the order Petromyzontiformes (lampreys) or class Osteichthyes (bony fishes), or invertebrate of the class Crustacea (crustaceans) or class Mollusca (mollusks) from or in non-tidal waters of British Columbia, and includes their eggs and juvenile stages.

The following species are prescribed as wildlife in Schedule A of the Wildlife Act Designation and Exemption Regulation:

Mammals of the following species:
  • all species of the family Leporidae – hares and rabbits;
  • all species of the family Soricidae – shrews;
  • all species of the family Talpidae – moles;
  • all species of the family Vespertilionidae – Vespertilionid bats;
  • all species of the family Ochotonidae – pikas;
  • all species of the subfamily Arvicolinae – voles and lemmings;
  • all species of the subfamily Sigmodontinae – new world rats and mice;
  • all species of the family Dipodidae – jumping mice and jerboas;
  • all species of the genus Glaucomys – flying squirrels;
  • all species of the genus Marmota – marmots and woodchucks;
  • all species of the genus Spermophilus – ground squirrels;
  • all species of the genus Sciurus – gray and fox squirrels;
  • all species of the genus Tamias – chipmunks;
  • all species of the genus Erinaceus – hedgehogs;
  • all species of the genus Cynomys – prairie dogs;
  • Nyctinomops macrotis – big free–tailed bat;
  • Aplodontia rufa – mountain beaver;
  • Perognathus parvus – great basin pocket mouse;
  • Taxidea taxus – badger;
  • Nyctereutes procyonoides – raccoon dog;
  • Erethizon dorsatum – porcupine;
  • Thomomys talpoides – northern pocket gopher;
  • Didelphis virginiana – North American opossum; and
  • Myocastor coypus – nutria.
Birds of the following species:
  • all species of birds described in the American Ornithologists Union Checklist of North America Birds, 7th edition (American Ornithologists Union 1999) or its supplements, which are native to Canada or the United States of America and were not introduced by man;
  • Alauda arvensis – skylark;
  • Acridotheres cristatellus – crested myna;
  • Passer domesticus – house sparrow;
  • Sturnus vulgaris – European starling; and
  • Columba livia – rock dove (except domestic–bred racing pigeon).
Amphibians of the following species:
  • all species of the family Ambystomatidae – mole salamanders;
  • all species of the family Dicamptodontidae – giant salamanders;
  • all species of the family Plethodontidae – lungless salamanders;
  • all species of the family Pelobatidae – spadefoots;
  • all species of the family Hylidae – treefrogs;
  • all species of the family Ranidae – true frogs;
  • all species of the genus Taricha – newts;
  • all species of the genus Ascaphus – tailed frogs; and
  • all species of the genus Bufo – toads.
Reptiles of the following species:
  • all species of the family Emydidae – pond and river turtles;
  • all species of the family Trionychidae – soft–shelled turtles;
  • all species of the family Chelydridae – snapping turtles;
  • all species of the family Viperidae – vipers;
  • all species of the genus Podarcis – wall lizards;
  • all species of the genus Phrynosoma – horned lizards;
  • all species of the genus Eumeces – skinks;
  • all species of the genus Elgaria – alligator lizards;
  • all species of the genus Thamnophis – garter snakes;
  • Charina bottae – rubber boa;
  • oluber constrictor – racer;
  • Contia tenuis – sharptail snake;
  • Hypsiglena torquata – night snake;
  • Pituophis catenifer – gopher snake; and
  • nora semiannulata – ground snake.
 
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