Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: TINP-2014-20055

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. TINP-2014-20055 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

One hibernacula on Hill Island (lower) will be penned in using plastic and stakes with two exit points, both with a 4 foot mesh trap. Once the snakes emerge from the hibernacula and decide they are not returning, they scan the perimeter of the fence in the area until they find the hole provided at the trap. Once they crawl into the trap they cannot return to the hibernacula. Traps are checked once daily regardless of conditions, ensuring snakes never stay in a trap for more than 24 hours. When snakes are removed from the traps weight and total length is measured. Total handling time for each snake is about 5 minutes and they are released at the same location just outside of the fenced in area. A total of about 15-20 snakes are expected to be captured. Equipment and hands are sanitised after checking each trap to reduce the chances of spreading snake fungal disease.

Start Date: 2014-05-01   End Date: 2017-12-31

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act
  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

Have alternatives been considered? Capturing the snakes as they emerge from their hibernaculum is the only known effective method of monitoring the population size of Gray Ratsnakes. Running concurrently with this monitoring program is also another study to determine if motion-sensitive cameras can be used to effectively monitoring the snakes in place of capture in order to minimize stress to the snakes. Using the two methods of monitoring at the same time will give a good measure of the accuracy of the non-invasive camera method. Will all feasible measures be taken to minimize the impact of the activity? Yes. Contact with all snakes will be minimised and traps will be checked daily to prevent harm or death to snakes. To avoid spreading snake fungal disease, hands will be sanitised in between handling each individual snake from the same hibernacula. Furthermore, all equipment and possible contact points from surveyors will be thoroughly disinfected when moving between hibernacula. Additionally, care will be taken to avoid disturbing hibernacula or surrounding environments. This includes minimising the number of surveyors and providing training to all surveyors. Will the activity jeopardize the survival of recovery of the species? The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Less than 10% of the population will be affected so as to not jeopardize the SAR’s existence in the park. If the seedlings survive, then the project will have positive effects by increasing the number of seedlings in the dwarf hackberry population within LESSS (a globally rare habitat undergoing restoration in the PPNP), and maintaining the park's biodiversity and ecological integrity. As well, this will assist in the assessment of whether population augmentation is feasible (i.e. adding individuals to the existing population to increase its size) as per the recovery strategy. No negative population impacts are anticipated and only a low number of seeds will be collected.

Contact Person(s)
Mr. Josh Van Wieren
Conservation Biologist
Parks Canada Agency
Thousand Islands National Park
2 County Road 5
Mallorytown, ON
K0E 1R0
Tel: 613-923-5261
Fax: 613-923-1021

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