Canadian Critical Habitat Interdepartmental Program

Canadian Critical Habitat Interdepartmental Program

Deadline: 20-Dec-22

The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) administers the Critical Habitat Interdepartmental Program (CHIP), a directed funding program that provides funding to federal organizations specifically for projects aimed at the recovery of Canada’s species at risk through the restoration and conservation of their critical habitat on federally owned and/or administered lands.

Critical habitat is defined as the environment required for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and designated as such in the species’ recovery strategy or action plan. The Species at Risk Act (SARA) and collaborations between government agencies, stakeholders, and/or Indigenous peoples were the driving forces for the development of the CHIP, which was designed to promote action toward the recovery of threatened species.


The objectives of the program are to:

  • conserve and recover species at risk through maintaining or improving their habitat, mainly on federally owned and/or administered lands
  • gather valuable data on species at risk and their critical habitat to support and help meet the recovery goals, as stated in recovery documents for the species
  • support federal organizations in meeting the SARA legal requirements to protect species at risk critical habitat on federal lands, by mainly focusing on projects involving species at risk that require a protection order
  • support conservation work by focusing on targeted species-specific activities for internally prioritized species, and
  • promote partnerships between federal organizations, provincial and territorial governments, universities, various stakeholders and Indigenous peoples
Funding Information
  • The minimum funding request suggested for new and multi-year projects is $5,000 and project annual funding usually ranges from $20,000 to $80,000 per project. Projects may extend over more than 1 year to a maximum of 5 years.
Expected Results

The expected benefits of CHIP are:

  • Canada’s wildlife is conserved through the active management of species at risk and their critical habitat
  • Canada’s species at risk are recovered and the amount and quality of critical habitat is improved
  • initiatives to conserve, recover and contribute towards protection of species at risk critical habitat are proactive and based on recovery documents for the species
  • awareness of federal organization’s role to conserve and recover species at risk and their critical habitat and compliance to SARA on federal lands are increased
  • species at risk critical habitat knowledge is improved, and
  • partnerships between federal organizations, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples are increased
Geographic Location

Project activities must take place on:

  • federal lands across Canada
  • lands that are administered by federal organizations
  • other adjacent/neighboring lands on which the species and/or its habitat are found, as long as the project occurs on at least one federal or federally-administered property
Eligibility Criteria
  • The project must:
    • take place on one or many federal lands on which species at risk and/or their habitat is found
    • for OIPS CHIP projects: target at least one OIPS for which species-specific targeted actions are planned based on the established top priority work required for the species
    • demonstrate a clear benefit to species at risk and their critical habitat, and
    • include all required SARA permits (when applicable) – Applicants are responsible for reaching out to their regional office in order to assess needs for a SARA permit. It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure all required SARA permits are obtained prior to the start of their project.
  • The project can:
    • include non-federal adjacent lands as long as it mainly takes place on at least one federal or federally-administered property
    • for regular CHIP projects: target multiple species at risk and demonstrate a particular focus on ecosystem-based recovery initiatives
    • implement high priority activities described in established recovery documents and/or wildlife and/or habitat conservation plans
    • mitigate one or more key threats as indicated in the species at risk recovery documents
    • include a cost-share or in-kind support approach with other programs and/or stakeholders. The responsible organization and its partners must contribute at least 20% of the total costs of the proposed project, be it financially and/or in-kind
    • demonstrate collaboration among multiple partners with priority being given to projects that involve a greater number of confirmed partners, especially Indigenous peoples

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