10/25/2013 01:41 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Eight-legged critters to get countrywide inventory: Environment Canada

OTTAWA - Here's a story with legs.

Environment Canada has ordered a scientific study of Canada's estimated 1,400 species of spiders.

The inventory is being carried out to help fulfil Canada's responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act, legislation that seeks to identify and preserve threatened animals across the country.

The contract, with a $35,000 limit, must be carried out by next September.

The inventory is to indicate whether any of the spider species is under threat, or is an exotic species not normally resident in Canada.

"Provide a list of species of spiders in Canada indicating in which provinces or territories each species is present," says a public notice.

"Input available data about rarity and-or threats and-or trends. ... Information must be for example about distribution, abundance, specializiation to a specific limited habitat, a specific behaviour of the species."

The Environment Canada tender posted Friday does not indicate whether the spidey census results will be posted on the web.