With unprecedented losses in biodiversity, the need for stronger environmental policy has emerged as a conservation priority. Yet recovery planning for imperiled species remains a cumbersome, slow legislative process. In the present article, we examine features of recovery planning for species listed under Canada's Species at Risk Act to determine those influencing recovery planning duration. We found that the time to completion of recovery strategies increases with the number of jurisdictions concurrently listing the species, greater land tenure diversity, species population size, and road density. Species at risk in Canada with no listing status in the United States also suffered longer delays. To achieve a more efficient, timely, and defensible implementation of recovery planning, we recommend that governments prioritize recovery planning on the basis of risk level, promote transjurisdictional collaboration among listing agencies, anticipate and mitigate conservation challenges associated with multitenured and developed landscapes, and adopt procedures that enhance compliance with legislated timelines for recovery planning.

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