Faculty and Staff

John Reynolds named chair of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

September 12, 2018

SFU professor John Reynolds has been appointed chair of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for a two-year term, beginning Sept. 1, 2018.

Reynolds teaches and researches in the area of aquatic ecology and conservation and holds the Tom Buell BC Leadership Chair in Aquatic Conservation at SFU.

Reynold’s chair appointment, announced by Environment and Climate Change Canada, recognizes his exceptional work in fish and bird conservation. He is a frequent advisor to the federal and provincial government on threats facing B.C.’s ecosystems.

Since 2002, COSEWIC has been responsible for advising the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on the listings under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Reynolds appreciates COSEWIC’s goal to draw attention to the plight of Canada’s threatened species; from butterflies to orchids and whales.

"Over the 40 years of its existence, the panel of experts who volunteer their time to COSEWIC have been using the best available scientific evidence to decide which species of plants, animals, and lichens are under the greatest threat,” he says.

For example, he was pleased to note that last year COSEWIC reviewed the results of decades of recovery efforts aimed at the iconic Peregrine Falcon.

“The data told us that we could inform the federal government that this species was no longer at risk of extinction in Canada," he says.

Outgoing COSEWIC Chair Eric Taylor says, "Even though we often deal with difficult news and limited data, the work is very meaningful, and we all have the same goal—an evidence-based assessment of the risk of extinction of Canadian wildlife species.”