Category:Species at Risk

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This loss of Ontario's biodiversity is part of a global environmental crisis. The most significant causes for the loss of biodiversity are habitat alteration and loss, climate change, invasive alien species, overexploitation, and pollution. In Ontario, scores of species are in jeopardy and face imminent extinction or extirpation.

The state of Ontario’s species at risk has worsened in recent decades. Increases in the number of species at risk are based on observable declines in population levels, and a more thorough understanding of the actual state of species. There are now more than 200 species designated as extirpated, endangered, threatened, or of special concern. At least six species native to Ontario are known to have become in modern times. Further, there are more than 1,500 species being tracked by MNR’s Natural Heritage Information Centre that have not yet been formally assessed for their at-risk status in Ontario.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has the lead role in protecting and recovering Ontario’s species at risk. The ministry also manages the province’s protected areas, forests, fisheries, wildlife, and the 87 per cent of the province that consists of Crown lands. MNR’s strategic mission is “to manage our natural resources in an ecologically sustainable way to ensure that they are available for the enjoyment and use of future generations. The ministry is committed to conserving biodiversity and using natural resources in a sustainable manner.”

The Ontario government enacted its original Endangered Species Act in 1971. This law was ground-breaking in its day, but failed to keep pace with advancements in public policy and science. This statute was barely over a page long and contained only six sections. The old law initially regulated only four species, and by 2008 just 42 species were covered.

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) has long called for stronger legal protection and better conservation measures for Ontario’s species at risk. The need for reforming the Endangered Species Act has been covered in six separate Annual Reports tabled before the Ontario Legislature. It has been the subject of three separate applications under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, each of which was denied by the government of the day. Based on these concerns, the ECO recommended in our 2002/2003 Annual Report that “the Ministry of Natural Resources create a new legislative, regulatory and policy framework to better protect Ontario’s species at risk and to conform with federal legislation.”

In June 2008, Ontario’s new Endangered Species Act, 2007 came into force. The Ontario government introduced this new law with the goal of becoming a world leader in the protection and recovery of species at risk. The ECO assessed this new law, concluding that the province’s new framework for protecting at-risk species is a vast improvement over the previous law and related policies. However, the new framework contains provisions that, if inappropriately exercised, could lead to the continued imperilment of many of Ontario’s most vulnerable species.

In March 2009, the ECO tabled a Special Report to the Ontario legislature assessing the government’s actions related to species at risk: The Last Line of Defence: A Review of Ontario’s New Protections for Species at Risk.

Overview of the Endangered Species Act

2003 - Species at Risk and the Endangered Species Act

2005 - Species at Risk

2007 - Reforming the Endangered Species Act

2009 - Last Line of Defence Executive Summary

2009 - Purposes and Principles of the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2009 - Keys to Successful Implementation of the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2009 - Last Line of Defence Recommendations

2010 - Species at Risk: Progress and the Path Ahead

2012 - Biodiversity: A Nation's Commitment, an Obligation for Ontario

Listing and Classifying Species at Risk

2008 - Wildlife Management: Ontario’s Mammalian Predators: Eastern Wolves

2009 - Listing and Classifying Species at Risk under the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2011 - Wolf Conservation in Ontario: The Disconnect Between Science and Policy

Recovery Planning and Government Response Statements

2007 - Conserving woodland caribou: the benchmark for Northern sustainability

2008 - Wildlife Management: Ontario’s Mammalian Predators: Cougars

2009 - Recovery Planning under the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2010 - Caribou Conservation Plan

2010 - Space for the Redside Dace

2011 - Recovery of Species at Risk: Government Responses Inadequate

2011 - Woodland Caribou Conservation: Going Nowhere Fast

Protections, Prohibitions, and Habitat Regulation

2002 - Woodland Caribou and the Forest Management Guide

2002 - The Wolves of Algonquin Provincial Park

2004 - Conserving Ontario’s Wolves: Steps Forward

2005 - Provincial Strategy for Wolves

2009 - Protections and Prohibitions under the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2009 - Enforcement and Penalties under the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2010 - A Place to Call Home: Nine Species Receive Regulated Habitat Protection

2010 - Forest Management: Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scale

2010 - Much Ado About Wood Turtles

2011 - Snapping Turtles: To Hunt or Protect?

2011 - Ontario Cougars: On the Prowl for Protection

2011 - Ontario's Commercial Fisheries Policies: Bycatch and Species at Risk

2011 - Inappropriate Use of Information Notices on the Environmental Registry: Caribou Habitat Regulation

2012 - Categorizing and Protecting Habitat under the Endangered Species Act

2012 - Linking Conservation and Agriculture: Finding a Solution for Bobolink

Permits, Agreements, and Instruments

2009 - Permits, agreements and instruments under the Endangered Species Act, 2007

2010 - Dam the American Eels

2011 - Don't Leave Them Hanging: ESA Instrument Proposals on the Environmental Registry

Pages in category "Species at Risk"

The following 57 pages are in this category, out of 57 total.