Protecting species

Banff National Park

Whitebark pine

Whitebark pine grows in sub-alpine areas of Banff National Park. Learn more about this tree and why it is important to protect it.

Barn swallows

Learn more about the Barn Swallows and why it is important to protect them. This bird is designated as Threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Black swifts

Johnston Canyon provides critical nesting habitat for these birds. Learn more about the Black Swift and why it is important to protect them.

Trout species at risk

Learn why it is important to protect Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout. Learn what you can do to help when you fish in Banff.


Bats play an important role in healthy ecosystems. Learn all about bats in Banff National Park.

Essential information for residents and businesses

Essential information for residents and businesses in Banff. Learn what you need to do to help protect species at risk in the park.

What is a species at risk?

A species at risk is a plant or animal that is in danger of disappearing if something is not done to help it.

Why protect species at risk?

Protecting the full range of life on earth sustains the health of our planet. There are billions of species in the world, many not yet discovered. It is estimated that a species goes extinct every 20 minutes. By protecting our local species at risk we help to protect global diversity.

How are we helping species at risk?

All animals and plants are protected inside Banff National Park but species at risk need extra help.

We are helping to recover species at risk by:

  • Locating and protecting critical habitat (for example bat hibernacula).
  • Monitoring populations of at risk species.
  • Restoring grasslands and open forests critical to many species at risk.
  • Taking steps to protect native species from introduced species and diseases.


Species at Risk Act (SARA) Rankings

Extinct: gone forever
Extirpated: locally, regionally or nationally extinct but exists elsewhere in the wild
Endangered: facing imminent extirpation or extinction if nothing is done to reverse the threats
Threatened: likely to become threatened if actions are not taken to reduce biological threats or human impact
Special Concern: sensitive to human activities or natural events but not endangered or threatened

Species at risk in Banff National Park

 The following species are listed as endangered or threatened, as of March 1, 2023:


Little brown Myotis
Whitebark Pine
Banff Springs Snail
Black Swift


Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Westslope Cutthroat Trout (AB population)
Bull Trout (Saskatchewan – Nelson Rivers population)

Special Concern

American Badger (taxus subspecies)
Common Nighthawk
Evening Grosbeak
Grizzly Bear (Western population)
Harris’ Sparrow
Horned Grebe (Western population)
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Red-necked Phalarope
Rusty Blackbird
Vivid Dancer
Western Grebe
Western Toad (calling population)


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