This decision came in response to activities observed in the area covered by the order, which had the potential to further disturb the Western Chorus Frog habitat.
June 22, 2016 (Ottawa)
Canadian Wildlife Federation Pleased By Emergency Protection For Western Chorus Frog But Calls For Swift Action To Prevent Other Dire Situations
The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is thankful the federal government is stepping in to help protect the Western Chorus Frog but hopes all levels of government work together in future to prevent the necessity of another emergency protection order.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has just released the second Emergency Protection Order ever to be put in place in Canada. Such an order is issued under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) when the provincial or municipal policies and laws are not effectively protecting the species. This is exactly the conclusion reached for the Western Chorus Frog, a tiny amphibian (about the size of a quarter) that, in Canada, is found only in south-central and eastern Ontario as well as south-western Quebec. The order pertains to an area in La Prairie, just south of the island of Montreal where a housing development was threatening to destroy a sizable amount of habitat for the frog.
The Order was prompted as a result of the loss of 90 percent of Western Chorus Frog sites in Montérégie region. It is the first order ever that relates to private development on private lands and covers an area of about two square kilometers.
“It is uplifting to see ECCC be active on species at risk and step in to protect this area,” says James Pagé, CWF Species At Risk and Biodiversity Specialist. “We are happy to see that the federal government has shown the courage to step into a situation on private lands. However, it is unfortunate when it gets to the point where such drastic measures are needed. More conservation work needs to be done at all levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) to keep us from getting to such a dire situation again, for any species at risk.”
Although this one area is now protected, there are other nearby areas on the South Shore of Montreal and elsewhere that are equally concerning, Pagé, says. CWF is now studying the Outaouais (north of Ottawa) as it is one of the fastest growing areas in Quebec and has a healthy population of Chorus Frogs. However, many of the sites in this region are being lost to urban expansion. CWF has been on site to inventory several occurrences where chorus frog sites are now drained, or are now a residential backyard or foundation.
“It is sad to have these spots be dead silent when we should be hearing the trill of the Western Chorus Frog,” says Pagé.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
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To obtain the order summary click here.