Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 22, 2010 10:58 ET

Government of Canada Investing in Community Action to Preserve Local Habitat and Species at Risk in Ontario

BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2010) - Gordon Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds—Grenville, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. $10,000 in federal funding will support environmental action focusing on conservation and protection of species at risk and their habitats, helping to preserve Canada's biodiversity.

"As part of the International Year of Biodiversity and as Canadians, we have a shared responsibility to protect species at risk and ensure healthy ecosystems for future generations," said MP Brown. "Through the Habitat Stewardship Program, we are supporting project work and partnerships that will help to protect species at risk and their habitats."

"This project will help to protect Canada's rich biodiversity for generations to come," said Minister Prentice. "The Government of Canada is proud to support Ontario Nature through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. Your actions, large or small, will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that is part of our natural heritage."

Through the At-Risk Reptile Inventory and Habitat Assessment at Lost Bay project, Ontario Nature will conduct a study that will involve capturing individual reptiles, marking each one with distinctive notches and collecting information on the size, gender and condition (for turtle species), and conducting visual searches (for snake and lizard species). The project's end result will produce a work plan for species recovery, habitat restoration, reserve stewardship and potential reserve expansion.

"In Ontario, about 75% of reptiles are at risk of extinction and there is little understanding of where they are, their population size and the habitats they use," said John Urquhart, staff ecologist with Ontario Nature. "The Habitat Stewardship Program funding will help to further continue our work in identifying necessary data on at-risk reptiles and allow us to conduct substantial and critical field work."

The goal of the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is to contribute to the recovery and protection of species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern under the Species at Risk Act

Projects that will receive funding this year include stewardship actions to conserve habitat for plant species at risk, negotiations with landowners to develop voluntary Land Care Agreements, targeted educational outreach efforts to reduce the entanglement of species at risk in fishing gear, and the enhancement of water quality and aquatic habitat on private lands to benefit aquatic species at risk. They will be undertaken with many partners such as agricultural producers, private landowners, and commercial fishers. These projects will benefit many species at risk, including the north Atlantic right whale, steller sea lion, swift fox, and small white leek.

The Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk is administered by Environment Canada and managed cooperatively with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency. More information on the Species at Risk Act and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk can be found on the Internet at: www.sararegistry.gc.ca or http://www.ec.gc.ca/hsp-pih/default.asp?lang=En&n=59BF488F-1.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada, at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

(Également offert en français)

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