The groups said the recovery strategy for each of these species is at least three years overdue. The Canadian government has delayed completion of recovery strategies for 188 at-risk species; in many cases, these delays stretch years past the mandatory deadlines set out in SARA. Currently, 87 recovery strategies are more than five years overdue. Sean Nixon, staff lawyer with Ecojustice said, "Delay threatens the survival of our endangered wildlife. That's why the deadlines in SARA for producing recovery strategies are mandatory. SARA is a good law that could help endangered species recover. The real problem is that the federal government won't implement it."
Ecojustice filed the litigation in Canadian Federal Court, acting on behalf of five environmental groups: the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club B.C., Wilderness Committee and Wildsight. The groups said the loss of habitat is the key cause of decline for more than 80 per cent of Canada's species at risk. In order to survive and recover, at-risk animals and plants need protection of their critical habitat. After a species has been listed under SARA, the federal government is required by law to produce a recovery strategy that identifies the species' critical habitat based on the best available scientific information and Aboriginal traditional knowledge.
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