Endangered Species Act held to account

by James Palmer | July 12, 2018
Endangered Species Act

Photos: Zachary Young, © Snezhok | dreamstine.com

Due to a recent court ruling, recovery strategies for endangered and threatened species will no longer be delayed.

Under the Endangered Species Act, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) must ensure recovery strategies are prepared within a year of a species being listed as “endangered” and within two years for species listed as “threatened.”

This standard, however, was not being consistently applied to all listed at-risk species.

In response, an animal-rights group filed an application for judicial review last fall that argued that the MNRF had not implemented recovery strategies for 37 at-risk species, in some cases delaying implementation of recovery as long as seven years.

Among species on the list were the black redhorse, the gypsy cuckoo bumblebee, the Kentucky coffee tree, and, of particular interest to hunters, the northern bobwhite, once abundant in huntable numbers in southwestern Ontario.

A settlement was reached on May 8 and the MNRF announced that the ministry will begin providing quarterly updates at www.ontario.ca on the progress made in developing recovery strategies.

“I am pleased that Ontario will be enhancing transparency and sharing public updates on collaboration with federal partners to complete recovery strategies for these 37 species,” said MNRF Minister Nathalie Des Rosiers. “I am proud of my ministry’s ongoing commitment to protecting species at risk, and the many accomplishments that it has made in implementing the Endangered Species Act, 2007, including completing recovery strategies for 127 species at risk.”

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