Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 22, 2010 11:25 ET

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

HALIBURTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2010) - Barry Devolin, Member of Parliament for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. In total, $30,300 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, we are committed to protecting wildlife species and their habitats," said MP Devolin. "Today, I encourage us all to continue to play a vital role in conserving our environment and to get involved in moving forward the work that remains to be done."

"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 the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust 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."

Haliburton Highlands Land Trust's Recovery of Reptiles at Risk project will focus on the recovery of reptiles at risk in the County of Haliburton. Wetlands will be studied to determine if there are species at risk present, which may lead to them being designated as provincially significant wetlands. A media campaign and educational workshops will increase awareness, stewardship and reported sightings of reptiles at risk within the community.

"Knowledge of wetlands and reptiles at risk in the community has increased significantly with the support of Habitat Stewardship Program funding," said Sheila Ziman, chair of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. "As a result of a media campaign, wetland exploration and workshops, more than 230 new species at risk observation reports will be documented and verified which then provides crucial information for the Land Trust to develop a natural heritage planning strategy and prioritize properties for acquisition and conservation."

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: http://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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