Environment Canada

Environment Canada

September 29, 2010 10:31 ET

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

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2010) - Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener—Conestoga, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, today announced funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. $7,989 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 proud to support Canadians protecting species at risk," said MP Albrecht. "The City of Kitchener's project will empower Canadians with the skills to become better stewards of our environment."

"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 City of Kitchener 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."

The Habitat Stewardship Project funding will assist the City of Kitchener in a project that will help to protect the Blanding's turtle, a threatened species in Ontario found in isolated and poorly understood populations in the Waterloo region. This project will incorporate biological field research and citizen scientist participation to inventory the Blanding's turtle population at several locations in Waterloo region. Through visual assessment, trapping and radio-telemetry techniques, the status of the population will be evaluated and will contribute valuable information about the population's behaviours in an urban environment. These activities will facilitate a proactive management and stewardship strategy.

"The support from the Habitat Stewardship Program has allowed us to undertake an important project – to understand more about species at risk in an urban environment," said Josh Shea, natural area coordinator with the City of Kitchener. "We are also able to engage and educate urban people about species at risk research and involve them in protecting these species."

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)

Contact Information