Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SARA-OR-2017-0387

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-OR-2017-0387 is issued.

Purpose:
Scientific research for the conservation of the species

Description:
This permit authorizes to “take, capture, harm, harass and possess” individuals of six species of reptiles at risk on lands identified on this permits as detailed in the conditions of the permit. Individuals of all six species may be captured, handled, weighed and measured. Turtle individuals may be marked by notching their carapace. Radio-transmitters may be attached and removed to and from individuals of two of the turtle species, as specified in the terms and conditions of the permit. Reptiles dead on the road may be collected and retained on the property covered by the permit. The overall objective of this research will concentrate on long-term population monitoring of reptile presence/mortality on roadways, population ecology, habitat loss and degradation, and improving public knowledge and planning and relevant mitigation measures for future projects.. The radio telemetry monitoring will permit to evaluate the seasonal movements, to describe habitat use and to identify residences.

Start Date: 2017-06-30   End Date: 2020-09-30

Issuing Authority: Environment Canada

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Ontario

Affected Species:

Pre-Conditions:
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 establishing this mark-recapture and telemetry study 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 do nothing alternative is not considered reasonable because it would not allow gathering of new information on population and genetics with the goal of improving the conservation of the species. Some capture-mark-recapture techniques that are more invasive (PIT tagging) were not chosen but replaced by pattern recognition software of identification features for snakes. By using the most current and best practices, the best solution has been adopted to establish this important study. This option was also considered the most reasonable because: 1) during the daily monitoring of roadway transects the researchers will assist reptiles in crossing the highway, and prevent SAR and non-SAR reptiles from road interaction, reducing mortality rates, 2) highway and habitat monitoring affords an extra set of eyes in the area to deter poachers and unmitigated construction and development, and 3) marking can be an effective deterrent to poachers as marking individuals decreases an animal’s value in the black market. All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or the residences of its individuals. Minimizing impacts to SAR individuals will be achieved by several methods such as keeping animal handling time to a minimum, not implanting transmitters or PIT tags, passively tracking individuals equipped with radio transmitters (which will be removed upon completing of the study), timing of the activity in order not to capture hibernating individuals and moving individuals off of roads. Data collected by this study can be used to mitigate, manage and minimize longer-term impacts to these species in the future over the next several years. All of the animal handling procedures have been approved by a university under an Animal Care Committee protocol. All team members involved in the project will be trained in best practice field techniques for working with venomous snakes and other reptiles by professional herpetologists. Applicants will ensure that the mass of radio transmitters is within the recommended range for the species being studied and that in no case will the transmitter weight exceed 5% of the turtle’s total mass. Care will be taken not to destroy or damage habitats in the study area. The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Using the proposed methods and protocols and adhering to the permit conditions, this activity is unlikely to jeopardize the survival or recovery of SAR. The activity will not likely interfere with achieving the population and distribution objectives of the three SAR being studied. The researchers will remove reptiles from danger if observed on roadways and thus will help increase the survival of individuals within the local population. The study will also provide information which will help to protect reptiles at risk in the future.

Contact Person(s)
Canadian Wildlife Service
Burlington, Ontario
Phone: (905) 336-4464
Fax: (905) 336-4587
E-mail: wildlife.ontario@ec.gc.ca