Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species

To protect biodiversity in Quebec, a law similar to the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) exists. This law was adopted in 1989. It is called the Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species. More specifically, the objectives of this law are:

  • To prevent the extinction or extirpation of species living in Quebec;
  • To avoid a reduction in numbers of wildlife or plant species designated “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”;
  • To ensure the conservation of habitats of species designated “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”;
  • To re-establish populations and habitats of species designated “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”;
  • To prevent any species from becoming “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”.

Under this law, the government establishes a list of species likely to be designated “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”, which are the species whose situations are of special concern. In 2011, this list contained 115 species, including four species of St. Lawrence cetaceans: North Atlantic right whale, blue whale, fin whale and harbour porpoise.


  • Belugas
  • Photo credit : © GREMM

For each of these species, a status report is prepared; this report contains the most current knowledge of the species, notably with respect to its biology and its distribution in Quebec and throughout North America.

In light of this information, the provincial government decides whether or not to grant the the evaluated species the legal status of “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”. For such species, action plans for their recovery are prepared; committees of specialists are responsible for the follow-up and implementation of these plans.

Once officially designated “Threatened” or “Vulnerable”, management and protection of the species fall under Quebec’s Act Respecting the Conservation and Development of Wildlife.

To learn more: List of threatened or vulnerable species in Quebec (in French)