Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 28, 2010 11:21 ET

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

SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2010) - Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. $22,440 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.

"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 Laurentian University 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."

Habitat Stewardship Program funding will support Laurentian University's efforts to find ways to reduce the mortality of turtles from high rates of nest failure, road mortality, and loss of wetland habitat. The success of artificial nesting sites, eco-passages, and culverts in areas of active forestry and roads will be assessed. In addition, the project will examine causes of mortality and critical habitat selection by hatchling turtles. This data will be essential for informing decisions about recovery actions and natural resource management.

"Turtles are in trouble," said Dr. Jacqueline Litzgus of Laurentian University. "Of the eight species in Ontario, seven are considered to be at risk. Recommended recovery actions for turtles include creation of residences, such as nesting sites, and reducing adult mortality by keeping turtles off of roads. With the generous support of Environment Canada's Habitat Stewardship Program and in partnership with Algonquin Park, we are conducting a multi-species project targeting the recovery of four turtle species by mitigating human threats using eco-passages that allow turtles to safely access artificial and natural nest sites. We are also using radio telemetry to follow newly-hatched turtles to identify critical habitat and sources of mortality for this relatively unstudied life stage. These are novel data that will help to inform management plans designed to increase recruitment, which will in turn aid population recovery." 

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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