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Changes To Ontario's Species At Risk List

Archived Backgrounder

Changes To Ontario's Species At Risk List

Backgrounder

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

The Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario is responsible for classifying species at risk based on established criteria.  The independent committee of scientific experts may at any time submit a report to the Minister of Natural Resources regarding species that have been assessed and classified.

Acting on a report from the committee received in June 2009, the Ministry of Natural Resources is proceeding with the following amendments.

Species to be added to the Species at Risk in Ontario list

  • Bent spike-rush - Endangered
  • Fawnsfoot mussel - Endangered
  • Rapids clubtail dragonfly - Endangered
  • Chimney swift - Threatened
  • Whip-poor-will - Threatened
  • Snapping turtle - Special Concern
  • Common nighthawk - Special Concern
  • Olive-sided flycatcher - Special Concern
  • Canada warbler - Special Concern
  • Horned grebe - Special Concern

Species to be re-classified on the list

  • Polar bear - from Special Concern to Threatened
  • Frosted elfin butterfly - from Endangered to Extirpated
  • Bald eagle - from Endangered to Special Concern (in southern Ontario)
  • Hooded warbler - from Threatened to Special Concern

Species to be re-classified that are assessed as more than one distinct population

  • Gray Eastern ratsnake
    • Frontenac axis - remains Threatened
    • Carolinian - from Threatened to Endangered
  • Eastern foxsnake
    • Georgian Bay - remains Threatened
    • Carolinian - from Threatened to Endangered
  • Common five-lined skink
    • Southern Shield - remains Special Concern
    • Carolinian - from Special Concern to Endangered
  • Lake sturgeon
    • Upper Great Lakes/St. Lawrence - from Special Concern to Threatened
    • Northwestern Ontario - from Special Concern to Threatened
    • Southern Hudson Bay/James Bay - remains Special Concern

Species to be removed from the list

  • Bigmouth buffalo - from Special Concern to not at risk

Under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, 2007, the habitat of species newly listed as, or changed, to endangered or threatened is automatically protected once the amended regulation is filed.

In addition, the act requires that recovery strategies be prepared within one or two years depending on whether a species is listed as endangered or threatened.

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