Species at Risk in Saskatchewan

The Species at Risk Act (SARA) was passed in 2002 through federal legislation. SARA was designed to protect wildlife species in Canada from extinction by protecting endangered or threatened organisms and their habitats.

swift fox kits

Vulpes velox

Once extirpated from Canada, the Swift fox has slowly been recovering its population following reintroduction programs starting from 1983 in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Today, they are listed as Threatened and are said to have a self-sustaining population.

Learn more about the Swift Fox here.

Mountain Plover

Charadrius montanus 

Contrary to what their name suggests, mountain plovers live in Great Plains of North America and do not inhabit mountain environments. They are rare in Canada, which attracts birders from all over the country in hopes of spotting the mystic bird. 

Learn more about the Mountain Plover here. 

Burrowing owl

Athene cunicularia 

Burrowing owls are long-legged, round, little owls that hunt during the day and night, and hide-out in underground burrows when they’re not searching for prey. Their ability to live in underground burrows sets them apart from all other species of owls. 

Learn more about the Burrowing Owl here. 

yellow racer

Coluber constrictor flaviventris

As their name suggests, Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers are the fastest snake in Canada. These snakes can camouflage in the dirt and are non-venomous and harmless to humans.

Learn more about the Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer here.

Sage grouse

Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus 

Occupying only 7% of their former range and experiencing major reductions in population, the Greater Sage-Grouse represents one of the most endangered species in Canada. 

 Learn more about the Greater Sage-Grouse here.


Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides 

Loggerhead shrikes aren’t your typical songbird. They are fierce predators, and since they don’t have sharp talons to hold prey, they use sharp objects instead, like barbed wire fences. 

Learn more about the Loggerhead Shrike here.

black-footed ferret

Mustela nigripes 

The Black-footed ferret was announced extirpated from Canada in 1978, then re-examined and confirmed in 2000.  Not including re-introductions, the last wild ferret was seen in 1937 in Saskatchewan. 

Learn more about the Black-footed Ferret here.

Prairie Dog

Cynomys ludovicianus  

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs are a keystone species of the prairies, providing habitat and food for many other grassland animals. 

Learn more about the Black-tailed Praire Dog here.

spragues pipt

Anthus spragueii

Sprague’s Pipit is a medium-sized, ground-nesting bird that is rarely seen. It is usually only detected by its unique song, which is often described as a series of descending tinkling, ethereal notes. 

Learn more about the Sprague's Pipit here.

short horned lizard

Phrynosoma hernandesi 

The Greater Short-horned lizard is the most northerly occurring iguanid lizard species in the world, with its northern limits reaching southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. It is the only species of lizard found in both these provinces.

Learn more about the Greater Short-Horned Lizard here.

mormon metalmark

Apodemia mormo

The Mormon Metalmark is a small butterfly that is found in two distinct populations in Canada, one in B.C and the other in Saskatchewan. The prairie population is found in distinct regions in southern Saskatchewan. 

Learn more about the Mormon Metalmark here.

little brown bat

Myotis lucifugus

At one time, the little brown myotis, also known as the little brown bat, was the most common bat species in Canada. However, their populations are declining at an alarming rate due to a spreading disease called white-nose syndrome.  

Learn more about the Little Brown Myotis here.

plains bison

Bison bison bison 

Bison once roamed the Great Plains in vast herds that stretched miles long, and yet, years later, they were on the brink of extinction. Today, bison represent strength and resilience and are an important symbol of the prairies.  However, they are yet to be listed federally under Species at Risk Act as ‘threatened’, despite COSEWIC’s recommendation to do so.

Learn more about the Plains Bison here.

woodland caribou

Rangifer tarandus caribou 

Often mistaken for moose or elk, the Boreal Woodland Caribou is a large mammal species that is symbolized on the Canadian quarter. They are an iconic species that roam the old-growth boreal forest across the nation, acting as both an indicator and an umbrella species. They also play a critical role to many Indigenous communities across the land, acting as a cultural keystone species.

Learn more about the Boreal Woodland Caribou here.