The purpose of The Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act is to:
This legislation may be applied to any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, or plant, living or dead, and any ecosystem described in a regulation. The Act is binding on the Crown and Crown agencies and applies to all lands in Manitoba for species listed under the Act, and only on Crown lands for ecosystems listed under the Act. A species is not protected until such time as it has been declared by regulation under the Act to be threatened, endangered, extirpated, extinct, or of special concern; similarly an ecosystem is not protected until such time as it has been declared by regulation under the Act to be threatened or endangered. When an ecosystem has been designated as an endangered or threatened ecosystem, the Lieutenant Governor may designate an area of Crown land as an ecosystem preservation zone.
Provision is made in the Act for the appointment of an advisory committee to be known as the Endangered Species and Ecosystems Advisory Committee. The role of the committee is to advise the minister in respect to:
Once a species has been declared by regulation as species of concern, threatened, endangered or extirpated, it is unlawful to kill, injure, possess, disturb or interfere with the species; destroy, disturb or interfere with the habitat of the species; or damage, destroy, obstruct or remove a natural resource on which the species depends for its life and propagation.
Currently, there is one Order-in-Council (O/C) regulation under this Act, administered by Wildlife Branch. This regulation declares species as special concern, threatened, endangered or extirpated; and declares ecosystems as endangered or threatened. O/C regulations govern other matters such as ecosystem preservation zones, preservation and survival of habitat and entry into a designated area that is occupied by a declared species.