Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SARA-OR-2017-0373

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-OR-2017-0373 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species

For the continuation of reptile capture-mark-recapture research conducted since 2003 and 1996 in two protected areas in Ontario, this permit authorizes to capture turtle and snake species to allow for the notching of turtle carapaces and the insertion of PIT tags in snakes. Research is for the benefit and recovery of three species at risk and will result in long term data sets on populations, local threats, habitat use and management needs.

Start Date: 2017-04-25   End Date: 2019-12-30

Issuing Authority: Environment Canada

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

a) All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted. The proponent has demonstrated that mark-recapture surveys within the area will allow for the collection of much-needed long-term information that is currently lacking on the ecology of several reptiles. Such information will be used in recovery planning and site management. The applicant identified several other field techniques for surveys which included: conducting visual surveys without capture or marking, which would not allow for health assessments, long-term monitoring, understanding growth and longevity, threat analysis over time, habitat use and behaviour changes over time; conducting trapping surveys with hoop-net traps or other traps, which is labour intensive, not suitable to the targeted species, and would result in a higher risk of harming the animals; and radio-telemetry studies, which is costly, very labour intensive, puts more stress on the animals than mark-recapture studies and will not alone provide information on population estimates and sex ratios. Mark-recapture surveys are the best option to provide long-term monitoring of populations, which will assess the sex ratio and age class structure, record habitat information, study distribution within the wetland, assess health of the animals, study longevity and growth rates and monitor threats, changes in behaviour and habitat use over time. b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or the residences of its individuals. Measures will be taken to minimize the effects of the activities on the species, including the timely release of specimens at the point of capture. Carapace notching is considered to be safe and poses very little risk to the turtles. PIT tagging of snakes is a standard survey method that is very low risk and the size of the snake will be taken into consideration when determining the size of the PIT tag to be used which will further reduce risk of harm. Surveys will be conducted by foot or canoe, and methodology will cause very little disturbance to the habitat. c) The activities are not expected to jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species because they will not destroy habitat, remove or cause the loss of individuals from the population, or exacerbate or introduce additional threats. The proposed activities have been successfully undertaken by the applicant’s team since 1996.

Contact Person(s)
Canadian Wildlife Service
Burlington, Ontario
Phone: (905) 336-4464
Fax: (905) 336-4587