Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SARA-QR-2017-0377

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-QR-2017-0377 is issued.

Affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

The permit authorizes to harm and harass bats at risk (Tri-colored bat, Northern Myotis and Little Brown Myotis) present at the O'Brien House in Gatineau Park and potentially use it as a shelter. This is permitted only in the context of construction activities to renovate the dwelling as described in the permit application, including site preparation, interior renovation work that will generate noise and vibration, and exterior work around the house (adding lighting, landscasping around the house, build an access road, construction of an additional septic field).

Start Date: 2017-05-17   End Date: 2018-03-31

Issuing Authority: Environment Canada

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Quebec

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. Several alternatives were considered, including not doing the project or delaying work until winter to avoid the maternity season of the bats. Not doing the project is not a viable or beneficial alternative for the species. Since O'Brien House is considered a heritage building, the National Capital Commission (NCC) is responsible for protecting it. The house was vacant for some time, resulting in vandalism and property damage. The NCC has lost buildings due to arson and the risk to this property is considered high as long as the building is empty. Consequently, this alternative is not accepted and would be negative for species because they risk losing the habitat they use. The alternative to wait until next winter to carry out the work is therefore not considered the best solution. The possibility of closing the entrances to the maternity roost and chimneys during the construction is not an option chosen because it would render the habitat unusable for a season. The best solution was to carry out the interior construction work from spring to fall 2017, while putting in place a number of mitigation measures to protect the environment and species at risk on the property. Habitat remains available for species at risk, but may be considered less welcoming for individuals for some time. Exterior work on the house will be done between September and May when bats are not in dormitories or maternity roosts. During the expansion of the parking lot, tree cutting will be limited to a minimum to minimize the loss of trees that are potentially attractive for maternity roost. (b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or the residences of its individuals. The applicant presents a general approach that respects the spirit of SARA. The methodologies used meet the standards. The survey dates, target species and location of the proposed infrastructure ensure that the entire project will not have a significant adverse impact on species at risk. An environmental monitoring program will be in place and an environmental site supervisor will visit the site on a daily basis. A Worker awareness program will also be implemented. More specifically, the applicant will put in place a series of mitigation measures to minimize significant adverse impacts on species at risk: -In order to protect the bats, the exterior siding of the house will not be modified to avoid changing the accesses used by bats. -The exterior work of the house will be done between September and May when the bats are not in roosts or maternity roosts. -If bats use the surrounding trees as shelters, a buffer zone around the tree will be protected to reduce the risk of disturbance to individuals. -All exterior lights proposed on the site are of the complete extinction type, which should limit the potential impacts on bats and Chimney Swifts. -When extending the parking lot, tree cutting will be limited to a minimum to minimize habitat loss. -Reduction in vibration, noise and light. (c) The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. The proposed project, with all the mitigation measures that will be put in place, will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of bat species. The O'Brien house cladding occupied by bats and potential maternity sites will be protected. The activity, as proposed, also respects the approach advocated in the Tri-colored bat, Northern Myotis and Little Brown Myotis Recovery Strategy. Since the O'Brien House is located in a forest environment, bats should not have problems finding a suitable site for motherhood. In addition, other roosts exist near the site under study.

Contact Person(s)
Habitat Division
Canadian Wildlife Service
Sainte-Foy, Quebec
Phone: (418) 684-5757
Fax: (418) 684-7045