Species At Risk
Species at risk is a designation given to plant and animal species that are threatened with extinction, extirpation, or endangerment in a given geographic region. Species can become at risk from a number of human-induced influences, including changes in land use, loss of habitat, pollution, and the spread of invasive species. Once a species is classified as at risk, it is added to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ Species at Risk in Ontario List.
There are four categories, or classes, of at risk:
- Extirpated: A native species that no longer exists in the wild in Ontario, but still exists elsewhere (e.g., Greater Prairie-Chicken)
- Endangered: A native species facing extinction or extirpation (e.g., American Chestnut tree)
- Threatened: A native species at risk of becoming endangered in Ontario (e.g., Blanding’s Turtle)
- Special Concern: A native species that is sensitive to human activities or natural events that may soon cause the species to become endangered or threatened (e.g., Monarch Butterfly).
Species at Risk in the Conservation Halton Watershed
The unique landform features in Conservation Halton’s watershed and its geographic location on the northern edge of the rich Carolinian Zone means that the watershed has a rich variety of species and habitats. For many species, the Carolinian forests or the Niagara Escarpment is the only place that they can be found in Canada. Many species in the watershed are becoming more challenged with survival. Species at risk in Halton Region include a number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, ﬁsh, insects, and plants.
- Take a look at the list of some species at risk that have been recorded in Conservation Halton’s watershed.
Redside Dace: Featured species at risk
Redside Dace is a small species of fish. In Canada, it is found only in southern Ontario. Redside Dace was originally listed as threatened; it is now considered an endangered species.
- Read more about where these fish live and what their needs are, how the species became endangered, and what is being done to help the species recover.
Species at risk educational posters
Conservation Halton aims to increase awareness and knowledge about species at risk and encourage stewardship actions to protect these species. The following posters highlight species at risk that are found in Halton Region, specifically in Conservation Halton conservation areas.
- Eastern Milksnake
- Hooded Warbler
- Jefferson Salamander and Vernal Pools
- Least Bittern
- Redside Dace
- Snapping Turtle
How Can You Help?
Conservation Halton is involved with monitoring and protecting rare species within the watershed, and can use your help.
If you happen to see any of the listed rare species in your travels and activities throughout the watershed, please report your sighting by sending an e-mail with the rare species, the approximate location and your contact information so we can follow-up with any questions.
More Information on species at risk can be found on the following websites:
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ontario’s Species at Risk Program
- Listing of species at risk in Ontario
- Natural Heritage Information Centre
- Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program, helping landowners protect Ontario’s natural heritage
- Land Stewardship and Habitat Restoration Program