Species Profile

Blanding's Turtle Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population

Scientific Name: Emydoidea blandingii
Other/Previous Names: Blanding's Turtle (Great Lakes population)
Taxonomy Group: Reptiles
COSEWIC Range: Ontario, Quebec
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2016
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A2bcde+3cde+4bcde
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This population, although widespread, is declining because of several observed, inferred, and projected threats. The most serious threats include: road and rail mortality; illegal collection for the pet, food and traditional medicine trades; habitat loss due to invasive European Common Reed; development and wetland alterations; and, increasing numbers of predators. Quantitative analyses estimate that the total number of mature individuals in this population has declined > 60% over the last three generations (due to large-scale wetland drainage after European arrival) and will decline 50% over the next three generations because of road mortality alone.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in May 2005. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2016.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2006-08-15

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Description

The Blanding’s Turtle, Emydoidea blandingii, is the only representative of the genus Emydoidea. It is a medium-sized freshwater turtle with a characteristic bright yellow throat and a highly domed black shell with yellowish spots and flecks. It has one of the smallest global ranges compared to most other North American turtles and only ~20% of its global range occurs in Canada. (Updated: 2018/01/19)

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Distribution and Population

In its Canadian range, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population of the Blanding’s Turtle occurs primarily in southern Ontario (with isolated reports as far north as Timmins) and southern Québec (with isolated reports occurring as far north as the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and as far east as the Capitale-Nationale region in Québec). The much smaller Nova Scotia population occurs in the southern portion of the province and represents the most isolated population within the species’ range. In the United States, the Blanding’s Turtle occurs in the northeastern states, and is mainly concentrated around the Great Lakes; however, it occurs as far west as Nebraska and South Dakota and there are small isolated populations along the Atlantic seaboard in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Across the North American range, Blanding’s Turtles mainly occur in small, isolated subpopulations that maintain a few dozen to approximately 100 turtles. In Canada, most monitored subpopulations appear to maintain fewer than 150 adults, with none exceeding 1000. The size of the Blanding’s Turtle Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population is impossible to estimate accurately, given that very few mark-recapture studies have been conducted throughout the region, but is believed to harbour 60% of the population was lost due to large-scale wetland drainage after European arrival, and a further decline of > 50% is projected over the next three generations based on observed trends for monitored subpopulations and road mortality models. The long-term mark-recapture program in Québec has found fewer than 200 adults to date; although no trends have been confirmed for this subpopulation, it has likely also declined due to historical wetland loss and ongoing anthropogenic threats. The total number of mature individuals in the Blanding’s Turtle, Nova Scotia population is believed to be 70 years). Without management intervention, models predict that the Nova Scotia population faces a high extinction risk despite occurring in a protected area. (Updated: 2018/01/19)

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Habitat

In Nova Scotia, Blanding’s Turtles tend to prefer darkly-coloured water, indicative of relatively higher secondary productivity. In the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population, however, Blanding’s Turtles are often observed using clear water eutrophic wetlands. Blanding’s Turtles have strong site fidelity but may use several connected water bodies throughout the active season. Turtles of all ages occur primarily in shallow water habitats. Females nest in a variety of substrates including sand, organic soil, gravel, cobblestone, and soil-filled crevices of rock outcrops. Adults and juveniles overwinter in a variety of water bodies that maintain pools averaging about 1 m in depth; however, hatchling turtles have been observed hibernating terrestrially during their first winter. Reported mean home ranges generally fall between 10-60 ha (maximum 382 ha) or 1000-2500 m (maximum 7000 m); however, most studies likely underestimate Blanding’s Turtle home range size because few have utilized GPS loggers to track daily movements throughout one or more entire active seasons. (Updated: 2018/01/19)

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Biology

The Blanding’s Turtle is an exceptionally long-lived and late-maturing species, even for a turtle. Blanding’s Turtles mature between 14-25 years of age and can continue to reproduce successfully until at least 75 years old. Mature females produce one clutch of eggs every 1-3 years and female fecundity and reproductive frequency are positively correlated with age. Females carry out long-distance nesting migrations and can make overland movements of >10 km. The Blanding’s Turtle’s ability to make long-distance movements facilitates gene flow among wetlands and may substantially increase reproductive success. The mean generation time for Canadian Blanding’s Turtles is ~40 years. (Updated: 2018/01/19)

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Threats

This species faces numerous threats, the most serious of which include: (i) road/rail mortality and associated road effects; (ii) habitat loss due to the invasive European Reed, various types of development and wetland modifications; (iii) illegal collection for the pet, food and traditional medicine trades; and (iv) increased mortality of individuals and nests from subsidized predators. Additional potential threats include: mortality from aggregate, forestry, energy production and recreational activities; wetland pollution; climate change and the introduction of other invasive species. The most serious threats to Blanding’s Turtle subpopulations are those that result in the mortality or loss of adults. The main limiting factors for this species are its slow life-history (extreme longevity, very late age of maturity, low annual reproductive output, low juvenile recruitment, and a dependency on high annual adult survival) and short, cool summers at the northern periphery of the range, which reduce turtle reproductive frequency and nest success. These limiting factors make the Blanding’s Turtle highly vulnerable to even small increases (

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Blanding's Turtle, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population, is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population, in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Contact Person for Recovery Planning

  • Québec: Unité de planification de la conservation - Service canadien de la faune - Chair/Contact -
     Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date A recovery strategy has been created for the Blanding’s Turtle. The goal of the strategy is to ensure the long-term persistence of the Blanding’s Turtle population throughout its historical range in Ontario. More specifically, the strategy will maintain the current distribution, ensure viability of populations, and increase connectivity among populations. There are still gaps in the knowledge of this species, thus more research is necessary to continue the conservation and recovery of the Blanding’s Turtle. Summary of Research/Monitoring The Ontario Multi-species Turtle at Risk Recovery Team is assessing the threats to numerous turtle species in Ontario. The most significant threats are habitat loss, habitat degradation and fragmentation, predation, and traffic mortality. The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is conducting surveys identifying turtle populations and their habitats within the Nottawasaga watershed. Moreover, potential threats to the turtles are being monitored during these surveys. The South Nation River Conservation Authority is working with land owners to locate, map, and examine Blanding’s Turtle habitat within the watershed. The Toronto Zoo is conducting surveys to estimate populations, identify potential habitat, and map movement of turtles using radio-tracking technology. Known areas of significant turtle traffic mortality in Ontario have been identified. Researchers are assessing the effectiveness of road signs in these areas by videotaping public reactions to signage. The videotapes are studied to determine which signs are most effective at mitigating human impacts. The Natural Heritage Information Centre maintains a database of all known observations of turtles at risk in Ontario. This database is updated as new information is obtained. In southern Ontario, Blanding’s Turtle populations and their habitat use are being examined. As well, nesting ecology is being studied at Long Point and St Lawrence Islands National Park. Summary of Recovery Activities The City of Windsor is securing Blanding’s Turtle habitat for long-term protection through land purchase. The Essex Region Conservation Authority is planting native trees and shrubs to act as riparian buffer strips to reduce sedimentation, nutrient loading, and siltation of turtle habitat. ATV and off-road vehicle restrictions are being posted and barriers are being erected near sensitive Blanding’s Turtle habitat to decrease human disturbances. Nest protection for Blanding’s Turtles was provided at Rondeau Provincial Park during 2000 and 2001 and in Point Pelee National Park from 2001 to 2007. The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre rehabilitates injured turtles and releases them back into the wild. There are many education and public outreach programs for the Blanding’s Turtle. The Georgian Bay Reptile Awareness Program provides extensive outreach on all reptile species at risk to the entire Georgian Bay area. The program reached 2000 students and 2300 members of the general public in 2003 alone. An outreach program delivered along the Trent Severn Waterway in 2005 educated boaters about turtles at risk. Turtle SHELL (Safety, Habitat, Education and Long Life) produced an educational booklet on turtle biology and conservation as well as erected turtle crossing signs at roadkill hotspots throughout Ontario. Ontario Parks, the Toronto Zoo, and private landowners, have met to discuss habitat protection, stewardship options, and conservation measures that will benefit Blanding’s Turtles. At these meetings educational materials have been delivered. The Toronto Zoo has created stewardship materials including posters to educate the public on turtles at risk in the region. URLs University of Guelph: Blanding’s Turtle Fact Sheethttp://www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/reptiles/fresh/reptile/accounts/emydidae/blanding/account.htm Parks Canada: Species at Riskwww.pc.gc.ca/nature/eep-sar/itm3-/eep-sar3b_E.asp

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

53 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Blanding's Turtle Emydoidea blandingii in Canada (2017-10-24)

    The Blanding's Turtle, Emydoidea blandingii, is a medium-sized freshwater turtle largely confined to the Great Lakes Basin. In addition to lakes, it inhabits both permanent and temporary ponds, streams, and wetlands. Blanding's Turtle is the only representative of the genus Emydoidea in the family Emydidae. The upper shell (carapace) is domed and smooth and may be up to 27.4 cm in length. The carapace is characterized by a grayish-black colour with tan to yellow spots or flecks scattered at random. The markings tend to get smaller and may fade altogether as the turtle ages. The lower shell (plastron) is a rich yellow and each scute (section) has a black blotch in the outer posterior corner. The plastron is hinged so that some individuals can completely close their shell. Males have a concave plastron, to facilitate copulation, whereas the female's plastron is flat. Adults of both sexes have a bright yellow lower jaw and throat, and this is the species' most characteristic feature.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Blanding's Turtle, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population (2018-01-18)

    This population, although widespread, is declining because of several observed, inferred, and projected threats. The most serious threats include: road and rail mortality; illegal collection for the pet, food and traditional medicine trades; habitat loss due to invasive European Common Reed; development and wetland alterations; and, increasing numbers of predators. Quantitative analyses estimate that the total number of mature individuals in this population has declined > 60% over the last three generations (due to large-scale wetland drainage after European arrival) and will decline 50% over the next three generations because of road mortality alone.
  • Response Statements - Blanding's Turtle (2005-11-15)

    The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence population of this species although widespread and fairly numerous is declining. Subpopulations are increasingly fragmented by the extensive road network that crisscrosses all of this turtle’s habitat. Having delayed age at maturity, low reproductive output and extreme longevity makes this turtle highly vulnerable to increased rates of mortality of adults. Nesting females are especially susceptible to roadkill because they often attempt to nest on gravel roads or on shoulders of paved roads. Loss of mature females in such  a long-lived species greatly reduces recruitment and long-term viability of subpopulations. Another threat is degradation of habitat from development and alteration of wetlands. The pet trade is another serious ongoing threat because nesting females are most vulnerable to collection.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population, in Canada (2018-12-21)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency is the competent minister under SARA for the Blanding’s Turtle, Great Lakes / St. Lawrence population, and has prepared this strategy, as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of Ontario (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) and the Province of Quebec (Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs), as per section 39(1) of SARA.

Action Plans

  • Multi-species Action Plan for Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park of Canada (2016-11-22)

    Bruce Peninsula National Park (BPNP) and Fathom Five National Marine Park (FFNMP) lie at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula which separates Georgian Bay from Lake Huron. The peninsula is 90 km in length and its most prominent feature is the Niagara Escarpment which runs along the entire eastern edge. Within BPNP, the escarpment forms the Georgian Bay shoreline and is recognized as part of the core area of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.  BPNP was established by the federal government in 1987 to protect a representative example of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands natural region. Because of the fragmented nature of the park properties, many of the stresses on the park’s ecosystem originate from outside its boundaries. For this reason, First Nations, local residents, non-governmental organizations, and other groups and land users play an important role in managing, restoring, and protecting the northern Bruce ecosystem. 
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada (2016-11-22)

    Georgian Bay Islands National Park (GBINP) is located in southeastern Georgian Bay in the heart of Ontario’s cottage country. Georgian Bay is home to the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, the 30,000 Islands, and the park acts as a southern gateway into this area. Comprising 63 dispersed islands and shoals the total area of the park is 14 km2 from the Centennial Group in the south to McQuade Island 50 kilometres northward. Situated just 150 km from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), GBINP is within a half-day’s drive for millions of Canadians. Created in 1929 it is Canada’s smallest national park straddling two natural regions and forms a core protected area of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. The park lies on the edge of the Canadian Shield and is home to both northern and southern plants and animals. The islands are renowned for the variety of reptiles and amphibians they support. The park also has significant cultural value, having been occupied continuously for over 5,500 years. Maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity is the first priority of national parks (Canada National Parks Act s.8(2)). Species at risk, their residences, and their habitat are therefore protected by existing national park regulations and management regimes. In addition, the Species at Risk Act (SARA) prohibitions protecting individuals and residences apply automatically when a species is listed, and all critical habitat in national parks and national historic sites must be legally protected within 180 days of being identified.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Point Pelee National Park of Canada and Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (2016-07-05)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Point Pelee National Park of Canada and the Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada applies to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of the two sites: Point Pelee National Park of Canada (PPNP) and the Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (NNHS). The NNHS is being used as a term to collectively refer to two locations in the Niagara region that consist of three National Historic Sites: Fort George National Historic Site, Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site, and Butler’s Barracks National Historic Sites of Canada. The plan meets the requirements for action plans set out in the Species At Risk Act (SARA s.47) for species requiring an action plan and that regularly occur in these sites. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur at PPNP and at NNHS.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Rouge National Urban Park of Canada (2021-10-07)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Rouge National Urban Park of Canada applies to all federally owned lands and waters managed by Parks Canada in Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP), including Bead Hill National Historic Site. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the province of Ontario, the Rouge National Urban Park First Nations Advisory Circle, and environmental non-government organizations as per section 48(1) of SARA. The plan meets the requirements for action plans set out in the Species at Risk Act (SARA s.47) for species requiring an action plan and that regularly occur at this site. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur at RNUP. In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the 60-day public comment period on the proposed Multi-species Action Plan for Rouge National Urban Park of Canada has been extended to 90 days to provide sufficient time for feedback.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada (2016-03-29)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Thousand Islands National Park of Canada is a Species At Risk Act action plan (SARA s.47) for four species: American Water-willow (Justicia americana), Butternut (Juglans cinerea), Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), and Pugnose Shiner (Notropis anogenus). The plan also outlines measures to monitor and manage 30 other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in the park. This plan applies only to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of Thousand Islands National Park of Canada.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessment Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act - Vol. 139, No. 24 (2005-11-15)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt of the assessments done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (see footnote a) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) with respect to the species set out in the annexed Schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2021-09-01)

    The objectives of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (the Order) are to help maintain Canada's biodiversity and support the well-being of Canadian ecosystems by preventing wildlife species from becoming extirpated from Canada or extinct and to contribute to their recovery, as well as to respond to COSEWIC's recommendations.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 140, number 18, 2006) (2006-09-06)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005 (2005-08-12)

    2005 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2016 to 2017 (2017-10-24)

    Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 40 wildlife species; of these, the majority (78 %) were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 73 species assessed 11 were assigned the status of Not at Risk (8 re-assessments and 3 new assessments). To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 735 wildlife species in various risk categories including 321 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 219 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated (i.e. - no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition 16 species have been assessed as Extinct, 58 have been designated as Data Deficient and 186 were assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#24), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-06-06)

    The overall objective of conducting species at risk research within this area is to assist this federal government client in determining the presence or absence of the species in question. The objective is to conduct scientific surveys (including the use of hoop net traps) to detect the Spiny Softshell, Blanding's turtle, and Stinkpot turtle, and collect and record data including their location, the number of individuals and their features. If the species is found, PIT tagging and/or attachment of a transmitter may possibly be done as well. The transmitter will be monitored by the applicant and replaced as needed in consultation with MNR. If time permits and the turtles are co-operative, a DNA sample will be collected for genetic analysis.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#46582), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2021-02-01)

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods are being developed to aid in the assessment and monitoring of species that are rare or difficult to observe directly. Effective eDNA programs require the development of reference primers (based on sample tissues/DNA obtained directly from target species) to accurately detect when target species are present in the environment. This project will collect DNA from water and genetic material from dead specimens of species at risk for development of an environmental DNA (eDNA) primer or to test the efficacy of an existing primer. The collection of the eDNA samples will take place in the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site, the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Point Pelee National Park, Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Elk Island National Park and the Rouge National Urban Park.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#GBI-2011-7692), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2011-04-01)

    We aim to understand the ecological factors underpinning habitat use and migration of the Blanding's turtle by comparing micro- and macro-habitat uses of populations in two ecoregions of Ontario that have different human threats and climatic and geologic characteristics. We wish to track the movements of turtles in Rondeau Bay Provincial Park and Georgian Bay Island National Park using state-of-the-art GPS tracking devices and radiotelemetry.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PP-2009-3592), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2009-05-25)

    The five objectives of this study are: 1. to actively locate turtle nests within Point Pelee National Park 2. to effectively protect all turtle nests located, with priority given to Species at Risk 3. to opportunistically mark and recapture all turtle species 4. to ensure all protected turtle nests in PPNP are checked daily once hatching may be expected to occur and release all turtle hatchlings in suitable locations 5. to record the number of hatchlings and report the results of the PPNP turtle nest protection program
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PP-2013-13974), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2013-05-25)

    The five objectives of this study are: 1. to actively locate turtle nests within Point Pelee National Park 2. to effectively protect all turtle nests located, with priority given to Species at Risk 3. to opportunistically mark and recapture all turtle species 4. to ensure all protected turtle nests in PPNP are checked daily once hatching may be expected to occur and release all turtle hatchlings in suitable locations 5. to record the number of hatchlings and report the results of the PPNP turtle nest protection program
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2015-03), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-10-28)

    Point Pelee National Park is re-paving and expanding the main road in the park and burying the power and communication utility conduits under the road. This will allow for the decommissioning and removal of the 6km aboveground power line corridor. Due to its close proximity to the road (~9m), one mature red mulberry tree may be impacted/harmed by this project and approximately 383m2 of critical habitat along the existing road will be destroyed as part of the initial phase of the project. Approximately 0.011km2 of critical habitat of eastern foxsnake and Blanding's turtle, and 0.005km2 of critical habitat of five-lined skink will also be destroyed along the existing road. Up to 200 individual common hoptrees may be damaged during the road recapitalization project, which may harm/kill any hoptree borers using them and damage/destroy their residences.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2019-10), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-07-15)

    The objective of the Open Marsh, Healthy Marsh Partnership conservation restoration project in Point Pelee National Park (PPNP) is to restore the heterogeneity of open water and edge habitats in sections of the interior of the marsh within the park. This will include the creation of channels and ponds with machinery (aquatic vegetation cutter and aquatic weed harvester) through invasive floating cattail mats (Typha angustifolia and Typha x glauca) as well as targeted removal of Phragmites australis australis (hereafter known as Phragmites) on both the shoreline (use of hand tools and herbicide) and floating cattail mats (use of amphibious cutter). Blanding's Turtle individuals are at risk of interacting with machinery (aquatic vegetation cutter, amphibious cutter, and aquatic weed harvester) or being captured for safe relocation during initial creation of channels and ponds (entry points to management area channels/ ponds, approximating 11 m2 maximum in width). Similar projects in other marshes using similar equipment indicate that the number of Blanding's Turtles likely to be caught or harmed during this project will be minimal. Some breaking of American Water-willow stems is expected when removing Phragmites stems from American water-willow patches but with mitigations, the number of individuals impacted is expected to be minimal. This project will restore degraded marsh habitat by increasing open water interspersion and managing invasive plant species thereby creating more suitable habitat for native fauna, including Blanding's Turtles and American Water-willow.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2019-32658), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-06-10)

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be conducting surveys of fish species at risk within Point Pelee National Park (PPNP) to determine the distribution, abundance and habitat use of Lake Chubsucker, Spotted Gar, Warmouth and Grass Pickerel. One hundred fyke-nets will be set over a three-week period in 2019. These nets will be distributed proportionally within Lake Pond (50 net sets), West Cranberry (38 net sets) and East Cranberry (12 net sets). In the second phase of this project in 2021, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will include additional sampling in Girardin Pond and Redhead Pond with fyke and seine nets. During the initial sampling period (100 net sets over 3 weeks) fish species at risk will be tagged with PIT tags to provide individual markers for each fish. After the initial 3 week tagging period an additional two week sampling period will be used to resample survey sites to help determine population size and movement of fish species at risk. The tagging in 2019 will include between 75 and 150 individuals of each species including Warmouth, Grass Pickerel, Spotted Gar and Lake Chubsucker. The increased sampling effort with fyke-nets as compared to Surette (2006) should contribute to greater opportunities for tagging fishes and recapture of fishes during the two week post-tagging sampling period. What is learned from the surveying in 2019 will serve to develop the sampling protocol for 2021. The results from this survey will be compared to surveys conducted by Surette (2006) in 2002/2003 to aid in determining trends as well as to help the park create a long-term, sustainable, and systematic protocol for wetland fish monitoring. The proposed study for SAR fish populations includes the use of precautions to minimize harm to turtles that may be captured inadvertently in the fyke nets. Turtles captured will be photographed and identified before release to be included in this project survey dataset.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2019-33079), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-07-05)

    The proposed study conducted by Jan Ciborowski at the University of Windsor will involve capturing fish using fyke nets on 2-3 days between early-June and the end of August. Capturing fishes using overnight sets of fyke nets in each of the dominant aquatic plant zones to determine composition and abundance. Fishes collected will be identified, measured, and released. Two of the fishes that could be caught are the Spotted Gar and Lake Chubsucker. It is possible that Blanding's Turtles could get caught in the fyke nets.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PPNP-2019-39921), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-06-10)

    Description of the Activity: The proposed study conducted by Jan Ciborowski at the University of Windsor will involve capturing fish using fyke nets on approximately 6 seiche/calm weather pairs of dates to determine how composition and abundance of fish captured in fyke nets is influenced by seiche-associated water level and water quality changes. Fyke net sampling will take place from mid-June through September. Up to three replicate turtle-safe fyke nets will be placed in the dominant vegetation zone of cach wetland for two nights (up to 50 h) on up to 12 occasions during the season (6 seiche events and 6 calm periods immediately before/after a seiche). All nets will be checked and emptied at least every 24 hours (each morning), to ensure all fish and other animals (including turtles) aren't trapped for an excessively long period of time. Fish collected will be identified, measured, and released. As nets are emptied, fish will be held in Rubbermaid totes containing lake water. Total lengths of up to 10 fishes per species will be measured using a measuring board. Fish that are severely injured by accident will be anaesthetized in 40 mg/L clove oil until nonresponsive, pithed, and preserved in 70% ethanol. All photographic documentation, voucher specimen preservation, and recording of sampling data will follow standardized procedures consistent with guidelines in Portt, et al., 2008, Protocol for the detection of fish Species At Risk in Ontario Great Lakes Area (OGLA).
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#RNUP-2020-35017), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-04-01)

    The Toronto Zoo's Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme has been conducting multi-species turtle research to monitor population numbers, movement, and habitat use in the Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP) since 1999 with emphasis on the Blanding's turtle since 2005. The head-start and release program was established in 2012. Blanding's Turtle eggs are collected from nests unlikely to survive and hatchlings are raised at Toronto Zoo for two years prior to release and subsequently radio-tracked for monitoring purposes. While investigating survival and habitat use of head-start individuals, the use of restored wetland habitats by other species at risk turtles captured opportunistically in basking and/or hoop traps is simultaneously monitored. Turtles that are captured will be processed (e.g., notched, measured, weighed, sexed, aged, and some affixed with a radio transmitter) and released. This project supplement's the Blanding's Turtle population in RNUP and provides critical information such as hatchling survival, mortality and habitat use across RNUP wetlands to inform management decisions on turtle conservation and management.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#RNUP-2020-35438), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2020-05-01)

    This project will focus on the management and conservation of species at risk turtles within Rouge National Urban Park by addressing key environmental threats associated with roadways, agricultural fields, trails, and increased predation. Annually, near-total mortality of turtle nests is recorded throughout RNUP. As turtle nests are identified in high risk areas, they will be collected and incubated ex-situ. After 50-60 days once the eggs have hatched, the hatchlings will be released back into the wild, in close proximity to where their nest was collected. Egg collection will occur only where nest protection via predator exclusion cages are not possible or would not eliminate the threat (i.e., interference with roadways, areas prone to flooding, etc.). Ultimately, this project will increase the number of turtles that survive the most vulnerable stage of development, and result in an increase of at risk turtle hatchlings in RNUP.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2007-0042), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-04-11)

    To perform a population survey of Blanding's Turtle and Stinkpot in the NCC greenbelt. To identify critical habitat of Blanding's Turtle by means of radio telemetry monitoring.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2007-0043), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-04-11)

    To capture and mark Blanding's Turtle and Spotted Turtle, assessment of habitat, distribution and movement. Also to attach radio-telemetry equipment to Spotted Turtle in order to monitor population movement.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2007-0053), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-05-09)

    Visual survey of study area to locate and record all reptile and amphibians present. Only specimens of Blanding's Turtle and Spotted Turltes will actually be hand captured, marked and released on site.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2007-0064), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-07-27)

    To possess and to utilize for continuing educational purposes a limited number of species of reptiles as acquired prior to the acclamation of the Species at Risk Act.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2008-0075), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-03-25)

    To capture and to mark Blanding's Turtle and Spotted Turtle, including assessment of habitat, distribution and movement.
  • >> See more Permits and Related Agreements documents

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species Under the Species At Risk Act: November 2005 (2005-11-16)

    The Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003 as part of its strategy for the protection of wildlife species at risk. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, hereinafter referred to as the 'SARA list'. Canadians are invited to comment on whether all or some of the species included in this document should be added to the SARA list.
  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species January 2018 (2018-01-26)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection afforded by the prohibitions and from recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 555 wildlife species at risk. In 2017, final listing decisions were made for 44 terrestrial species and 15 aquatic species. Of these 59 species, 35 were new additions, sixteen were reclassifications, three had a change made to how they are defined, two were removed from Schedule 1, one was referred back to COSEWIC for further evaluation and two were the object of ‘do not list’ decisions. In 2017, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, the Governor in Council approved listing proposals for 45 wildlife species. It is proposed that 21 species be added to Schedule 1, 11 be reclassified, 12 would have a change made to how they are defined, and one would be referred back to COSEWIC for further evaluation. The listing proposals were published in Canada Gazette, part I for a 30-day public comment period and final listing decisions for all 45 species are expected by August of 2018. Please submit your comments by May 22, 2018, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations and by October 22, 2018, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations. For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please visit the Species at Risk Public Registry (SAR) website.

Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update December 2, 2021
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