Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA 2007) prohibits the damage or destruction of the habitat of species classified as endangered or threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) List in Ontario Regulation 230/08.
Under the ESA 2007, “habitat” is defined as either an area on which a species depends directly or indirectly to carry on its life processes (based on the general definition in clause 2(1)(b) of the Act) or the area prescribed for the species in a habitat regulation (clause 2(1)(a)).
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing an area as habitat of a species that is listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened on the SARO list. A habitat regulation can prescribe an area as the habitat of the species through the description of boundaries, features of an area, or by describing the area in any other manner. Given the central role of habitat protection in species conservation, Ontario intends to regulate habitat with the goal of protecting habitat that promotes the survival and recovery of endangered and threatened species.
The government of Ontario made a commitment to regulate the habitat for the following ten species at risk by June 30, 2009: American Badger, Barn Owl, Eastern Prairie Fringed-orchid, Engelmann’s Quillwort, Few-flowered Club-rush, Jefferson Salamander, Peregrine Falcon, Western Silvery Aster, Wood Turtle, and Woodland Caribou (forest-dwelling boreal population).
This proposal is related to the proposed regulation to prescribe the habitat for the following nine species:
- American Badger
- Barn Owl
- Eastern Prairie Fringed-orchid
- Engelmann’s Quillwort
- Few-flowered Club-rush
- Jefferson Salamander
- Peregrine Falcon
- Western Silvery Aster
- Wood Turtle
Details on these species habitat and the draft content of the proposed regulation for these species at risk were developed based on the best available scientific information. To provide a level of certainty to areas that are protected, in some cases the proposed regulation has been defined on specific features, geography and known and historic occurrences. To the extent possible the government would like to protect the habitat of species where it occurs and is interested in perspectives that would provide additional details on locations that could be protected outside those identified in the current proposal. For more specific details on the proposed content for the regulation and other related information on these species and the Act, see web links below.
Woodland Caribou (Forest-dwelling boreal population) will be addressed through a subsequent regulation proposal notice.