Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) 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, “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 ESA or the area prescribed for the species in a habitat regulation (clause 2(1)(a). 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.
Under the ESA, the MNR is required to give notice to the public under of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 of a proposal to make a regulation (amending Ontario Regulation 242/08) that would prescribe an area as the habitat of a species which is listed on the SARO List as endangered or threatened.
On September 10, 2009, Bent Spike-rush and Rapids Clubtail were added to the SARO List as endangered, and Common Five-lined Skink (Carolinian population), Eastern Foxsnake (Carolinian population), and Gray Ratsnake (Carolinian population) were changed from special concern or threatened to endangered. At the same time, Eastern Foxsnake (Georgian Bay Population) and Gray Ratsnake (Frontenac Axis Population) were added to the SARO List as threatened.
This proposal is related to the proposed regulation to prescribe the habitat for the following seven species at risk:
Common Five-lined Skink
Eastern Foxsnake (Carolinian Population)
Eastern Foxsnake (Georgian Bay Population)
Gray Ratsnake (Carolinian Population)
Gray Ratsnake (Frontenac Axis Population)
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 a 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.