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Conserve Ontario’s Carolinian Forests: Preserve Songbird Species at Risk

Canada’s Recovery Plans

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, known as COSEWIC, is the national assessment body that makes recommendations on the status of species believed to be at risk of disappearing from Canada. The Government then reviews these assessments and decides which species are added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk in Canada (Schedule 1) under SARA (Species at Risk Act). Once species are listed on Schedule 1 of the federal SARA, recovery strategies and action plans (for endangered and threatened species) or management plans (for species of special concern), are prepared for each species and posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry (see Suggested Reading).

Species are also assessed at the provincial level by a separate group of experts (Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario, known as COSSARO). Status recommendations made by COSSARO are reviewed by the Ontario government, which decides which species are placed on the list of Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) under the provincial Endangered Species Act (ESA). Recovery strategies (for endangered or threatened species) and management plans (for some species of special concern) are then prepared and are available through the OMNR (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) Species at Risk Program (see Suggested Reading).

The objectives of the federal recovery strategies for the Hooded Warbler and Prothonotary Warbler are to increase the current populations of these birds in Ontario. Successful recovery will raise the populations to 500 nesting pairs of Hooded Warblers and 40 nesting pairs of Prothonotary Warblers. The objectives of the federal recovery strategy for the Acadian Flycatcher and the federal management plans for the Cerulean Warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush are to maintain current populations and distribution of these species. Recovery practitioners are working with other stakeholders to achieve these goals by:

  • encouraging private landowners and public managers of Carolinian forests in Canada to protect and enhance these rare ecosystems through stewardship strategies, easements, acquisition, tax incentives, policies or legislation;
  • providing stewardship and management options to landowners, managers and foresters that are designed to maintain and enhance Carolinian forest habitat; and
  • conducting or contributing to ongoing habitat surveys and population monitoring.
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