By CWF Staff
Let’s put the Ontario Endangered Species Act into Action!
From the Barn Swallow to the Eastern Musk Turtle, there are a whopping 223 at-risk species in Ontario. If we want to help these animals and keep them in Ontario’s forests, rivers, fields and lakes, we must act accordingly. Consequently, on June 30, 2008, the conservation community rallied behind the Ontario Government as the Ontario Endangered Species Act came into effect.
The Ontario Endangered Species Act was meant to serve three purposes:
- Identify species at risk based on the best available scientific information
- Protect species that are at risk and their habitats, and promote the recovery of species that are at risk
- Promote stewardship activities to assist in the protection and recovery of species that are at risk
I should mention that all of Canada’s provinces signed an accordance in 1996 to put laws in place that would protect species at risk. Ontario’s law is the most comprehensive of the lot and sets a precedent for other provinces. As such, how things play out in Ontario, will be followed closely by the other provinces.
What Does this Look Like for At-risk Species?
The Ontario government had a very clear plan of action in place for dealing with current and future at-risk species. All at-risk species were meant to have a recovery strategy created for them.
It’s Time for Action on the Act
The Ontario government is behind on several of these at-risk species. The American Eel recovery strategy was published on November 22, 2013 and no action has been made since. The government hasn’t published its response statement, which is now 20 months overdue. And we are five months past the deadline of taking real action to conserve this important species. The government is not delivering on the Ontario Endangered Species Act by delaying in publishing these documents. And that’s just one species of many.
We’re thrilled that the Act is in place but these species need action now.